2020-04-10 - Additional Aid Required


Lena surprises Ambrose at home to discover what happened to him in the altercation with Oliver. Tea is shared and nobody dies, this being a usual bonus.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Apr 10 00:29:19 2020
Location: Talbot Manor - Interior

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Theme Song



It's been less than a week since the altercation in the Park with Oliver that left Ambrose reeling — literally. Fain to wander far from the house, he's briefly touched base with Prince Loki about a potential solution for his problem: severe loss of life-force, Bane-tinted. It left the Jackal looking…a little different.

He's currently shuffling around in the kitchen wrapped in a cobalt-blue spa-plush bathrobe and black sweatpants. Tea is in the works by the kettle's presence just beginning to boil on the stove and he's blearily looking down at the selections, both packeted and loose-leaf. Blunt nails rise to scratch at his jawline tiredly. Every hair on him, from crown to toes, has gone starshine-silver, though his youthful looks linger on. Constantly now, in the back of his eyes, the gleam of the Bane like a gauzed candle-flame.

"Black tea, I think," the man murmurs to himself, plucking a purple-inked satchet from the wooden box. "Blackcurrent will do…and honey."

Talbot is out grocery shopping and the children went with him as support as well as strength in numbers. Ambrose is safe enough on the property being guarded by the Phurba as it stands.

"Just sugar for me." Comes a voice form behind. "And some cream, of course. Have you ever had coffee creamer in tea? It's a magical thing." Bastardization? Perhaps. Lean looks the man over, from head to toe then back again. Frowning, she cants her head to the side. "I…like the look but I hate it, too." A beat. "What happened?"

Ambrose jitters in place enough that the tea packets rattle against one another as he clutches at the wooden box. A slow sigh leaves him as he recognizes the voice and glances over at Lena, silvery-white brows knitted. Drat: Sterling must have left the front door open again. The Phurba, recognizing the young woman, hadn't bellowed warning or attacked.

"Miss Lena," he first greets her. "Yes, there is some sweet cream coffee creamer in the fridge. Mira prefers it in her coffee in the mornings." Her question has him smiling faintly, though it doesn't reach his eyes.

"You are too kind," he murmurs, still abjectly subdued in counter to his usual sharp edges. "I suppose the easiest explanation lies in something akin to, I lost my temper and suffered for it. The fine details are still being discovered. You see me missing a large portion of myself. Oliver's master had a hand in it." He reaches for a second mug for Lena and hangs a second blackcurrent satchet within it. He then extends a grasp for the kettle, exhaustion in every line of his frame.

"I see. I should have killed him when I had the chance." She frowns, feeling that tug of guilt in her belly. Reaching over, she sighs. "Sit down. I'll make your tea." Shrugging off her jacket, the girl rests it on empty space avaible to her before inching, near elbowing, Ambrose out of the way. "Take a seat, old man. I know how to make tea." Removing blackcurrent from her cup, she goes for something basic for herself. Besides, cream and citric acid don't really mesh well together most times.

"You're not you, and I don't like it." She tells him, taking up the kettle to pour the water in and allowing the tea (in their eggs) to steep.

Lena knows well how to move the man, even if he glowers tiredly at her upon realizing she's scootched him out of his tea prepping work space. His hands slide into the pockets of his bathrobe as he then steps back another silent foot, watching her long enough to grudgingly admit to himself, as a Brit, that she does know what she's doing.

Lena can probably hear him walk over with the vigor of the 'walking wounded' and sit down at the table. A sigh leaves him as he anchors an elbow on it and then his jaw on his palm, eyes with their pale lashes heavily lidded in her direction. "I do not like it either… I cannot sleep and yet I feel the need near constantly." Still, even if he is nearly a shade of himself, Ambrose squints keenly at the young woman. "But what is all this about killing Oliver when you had the chance?

"I met him. Him a couple of his droogs." She explains, still waiting for the tea to its sweet spot. "Speaking from shadows, giving warnings about not knowing you, blah blah blah. Funny thing, they brought candles. I went to blow one out because, y'know, it's what you do. They got upset and I got icy." A shrug, she removes her egg before his - she wanted a lighter taste. Sugar and creamer in, she sets it aside and starts to finish off Ambrose's cuppa.

"Killed the droogs, probably, but Oliver ran scared. Very classic baddie, though. The whole 'you'll rue the day' or some shit." A smirk, "He called me a witch. So that was cool." Striding over to the table, she sets the mug down and returns to fetch her own. That is, after she cleans out the eggs and rinses them.

In retrospect, it is amazing to consider the potential gamut of reactions from the Jackal possible over the span of 48 hours. Potentially, in his full capacity, he would have spluttered like sparkling gears and prickled and possible made Lena swear to never leave her safe house…as successful as that might have gone over.

Now, Ambrose merely lets a slow, growling sigh leave from the very base of his gut. He watches her stir in the honey he'd mentioned earlier and deliver the mug silently, Bane-gleaming eyes following her movements and lingering at the sink.

"…that fucking ruddy bastard," the Jackal manages in a very nice approximation of his normal snarly ire. "Thank all of the bloody gods that you had your weaponry. He is no gentleman and I shall kick his corpse when I've finished with him." Fingers curl around the tea-mug and he seems to relax a touch at the warmth seeping into cold hands. "He meant to insult you with 'witch', by the by," the master-thief informs Lena with a faint smile.

"I know. Dated insult, though. I'm an Ice Witch? I'll take it. He thought my guns were magic, I think. That and well, one's named Jadis, so…hit the nail on the head?" Smirking, she moves to sit across from him. Blowing across her mug, she takes a cautious sip and settles back.

"I'm sorry for what I said over the phone. I'm use to life being screwed, but lately it's been a bit hard. Without Mick around, y'know…" A gentle shrug. "Anyway. I have a question for you." She begins and sips from her cup once more. Setting it down, she rests her hand out, palm up, upon the table. "If you feed from me, will it help you?"

"Oliver had his rare moments of clarity…" With such acidic rue does Ambrose mutter this into his own cup of tea he sips at. Mmm, perfect: the balance of honey sweetness to the more bitter bite of the blackcurrent is soothing on so many level. He sets the cup back down and glances up from the tea's surface when Lena continues speaking.

"Life is difficult and you've no need to apologize, though I thank you for it." Ambrose speaks quietly with his eyes upon her. Her prefacing a query has those light brows lifting and quirking. A gesture of his hand off his mug is invitation to ask — and she does.

His throat bobbles. "…yes, it will always help, little bird, but you know the pain it causes as it does. Right now, I am…" Fading out, the man tries to look away from Lena and fails. The Bane's interest is piqued; she'll see her heart's beating echoed in the distant pulsing glow in the back of his blue eyes, bum-bump…bum-bump…bum-bump.

"…I am not entirely whole and not entirely myself. I do not want to leave you weak, not now when our enemies are sniffing at door-cracks." He swallows again and seems to both slouch and sharpen at once. "Regardless, I will not say no. It appears that every little bit counts." His hand lifts off the mug again and reaches, coming to a halt above her palm; he watches Lena's face for any sign of demurring.

There is none to be found. Her pale gaze lingers on his own, determined and stead fast. She fed him once before, she knew the feeling, and It knew her. "Take what you need. I'll heal." She explains before closing that distance on her own, grasping her hand to his.

His hand is cool to the touch, as if circulation weren't at full function, and the manner in which Ambrose closes his fingers about the pad of her hand and wrist is like a constrictor slowly coiling about prey. His own pupils flare crimson in increments as the Bane seethes up from his bones and towards Lena's hand. Warmth first spread into her skin following by the sensation of pins-and-needles gloving her entirely hand from tips to wrist.

One canine tooth frets at the corner of Ambrose's lip until his lashes flutter shut, brows firmly met on his brow in concentration. Pins-and-needles is swiftly replaced by what feels like tiny milk-teeth pricking at chilling skin and the sensation begins to work its way up into Lena's forearm. Lethe begins to haunt; very softly, another voice seems to whisper to the young woman's mind, 'Shhh…rest…lay down your head and close your eyes…'

It was akin to getting a tattoo. In an odd place. Against the ribs maybe or the soft, fatting bits of one's body. She stares, eyes contact held until Ambrose's gaze seems to soften and fade. Biting at her lower lip, her brows knit with drive as she keeps her hold. Her fingers tighten around the Jackal.

With the voice weaving through her mind, she grunts a response before whispering back, "Help him." Her other hand digs at the table, fingers tense and blanching white with pressure. Her head hangs before resting atop the table, though her hand loses none of its vice like grip.

The subtle vibration of her head rested on the table brings Ambrose's currently-white lashes to lift. He blinks slowly, as if confused to see her follow the song he hears wending through his blood with every pulse of his own heart. The curse is trying to match up with Lena's own for a moment of perfect siphoning of life-force, as lethal as a knife taken to a vein.

'Sleep…slip into slumber…do not resist…' whispers the dusty voice again, its language slipping ancient beneath the English overlay for understanding.

"Miss Lena…?" slurs Ambrose, more sense of self dawning in his Bane-lit eyes as he fights to get above the insidious assuaging delight of the curse feeding.

"F-fine." She murmurs in reply. She was fine, for now. She had youth to offer. That and horrible sense of heroism. "'m fine…" she repeats now that Ambrose was attempting to speak to her. Whatever she can provide, she was going to do so. Sometimes, it wasn't up to a God to keep Ambrose safe and kicking.

At length, even as her head rests and her body arches with the sensation of It's feeding, the girl's grip finally begins to slack off. Her fingers relax, her body shudders, and a weight pushes against her eyes until they fall, lashes fanning atop her cheeks.


It's not English either, but it doesn't have to be. Ambrose feels the slackening of her grip and immediately rips his hand away from her. As always, the Bane screels at being denied its attempt to bleed its poor victim dry as a corn husk. Warmth immediately flushes into Lena's hand and the sensation of so very many teeth vanishes like smoke in the wind. Grimacing, he fumbles to get up out of the chair. Elbowing his tea-mug makes it slosh onto the table, but he ignores it as he mittens his hands with bundling of each bathrobe sleeve and maneuvers her to sitting back in the chair.

"Miss Lena? Miss Lena, I swear to all the bloody gods in all worlds, you had better respond to me or I WILL get the smelling salts, which you will NOT like!" His voice is tight as he leans in, covered palms at her shoulders to keep her from slumping forward. His eyes are wide, still glowing in their pupils, and his lips are pressed thin with fear.

"You made a mess." She tells him, hearing the clank and wash of tea. Sitting back because of him, her eyes part and find his face. Smiling, gently, she blinks rapidly before allowing her gaze to settle. "Were you done?" She asks then, a careful sound in her voice. Concern. Genuine concern. "Did you have enough? You can have more if you need it." She offers, even as her hand lingers on the table, palm up, fingers twitching.

Once he's certain he's got a live Lena on his hands and not one lingering on the verge of death, Ambrose steps back. His sleeve drags through the slosh of spilt tea on the table as he stumbles into his chair, elbow heavily rested on the arm of the furniture and hand covering his face.

It takes him a long few moments — and he does ruefully glance down upon realizing his sleeve is now soaked in tea — but then his eyes rise to Lena's face. "No," he croaks, as if his voice didn't wish to work properly. It sounds dry and parched. "There is never enough, Miss Lena. Of course I — it wants more."

"I have more to give if you need it." She offers once more. Her hand trembles as she reaches for her cup, claiming it and taking a sip before moving to stand. At first, she sways, but then regains her footing and balance. A shuffle, a drag of her boots, she moves toward the kitchen and starts hunting for something, anything, to clean up the spill.

"The drawer to your left contains dish towels," volunteers Ambrose in his raspy, dusty voice. How avidly he watches Lena move; she practically glows neon with 'prey' to the curse still wending through his veins and beneath his skin. A soft groan purely self-remonstrating and he forces himself to look away.

"I do not wish to take you to the edge of death, Miss Lena… I do not. The curse, it would leave you a broken doll in the tandem beats of our hearts." He gathers up his mug and sips at the remnants of the tea in it, less than half at the moment. "You…what you have given is enough this time." Ambrose dares to shift his regard to her face again. His smile mostly shows, still weak, twitching, hungry about its lips. ""Every little bit counts. If anything, I might see about convincing Lord Loki or Miss Astryd or the Lady Sif to volunteer more of his…life-force. Mmm. No, that is unwise," he ends up muttering, frowning at the Bane's steering of his thoughts.

"If you are hungry, eat. Maybe letting it starve so much hasn't helped you." She murmurs, setting up the kettle and a new cup to make him a fresh lot of tea. Moving back, she leans over the table and starts cleaning it up. "Rabid dogs snap first." She murmurs, eyeing his face gently before going back to her task at hand.

"I do not snap."

Ah, there we go, a familiar crisp grumble from the Brit who leans back in his chair, all the better for Lena to reach with the towel. His arms are tightly folded and his chin is half-tucked; it means he must observe Lena from under silvery-white brows with the shadow taking not a hint of reddish glow in his pupils.

"Miss Lena, let me impress upon you the severity of the situation. I am — fuck," he spits, scowling. "The curse is always hungry. It does not matter the time of day or position of the stars or whether or not I have eaten. It could consume the world, Miss Lena," he continues more wearily, leaning his jaw on his palm now. His voice goes small and quiet. "Which is why I was attacked as I was. I…am afraid of what is being done with what was stolen from me."

"You still didn't tell me what happened. And I've heard the deal with the Curse before. You're very keen to share it." She mutters, a bit of grumble in her voice as well. Once the table (and floor) is clean, she moves to rest the towel at the sink for now. Making another cup for him, she lingers at that distance and breathes.

"I'm waiting. Tell me what happened."

Whatever mumbles tersely out of his mouth now, with eyes averted off to one side, isn't English and it probably isn't polite. Ambrose slouches more heavily in the chair now, legs splayed wide with the draping of bathrobe across his lap. His eyes focus on some middling distance towards the kitchen's doorway leading to the living room and entry area beyond.

"I lost my temper," he repeats of earlier, but continues on, tone flat and weary. "Oliver attempted my life after he also attempted to convince another one of my friends to join his…delightful little club." How acidically this drips from his lips. A nose-crinkled sneer flashes white canine teeth at empty air. "I survived this and while looking to speak with someone wiser about the situation, myself and the others were confronted again by Oliver. He goaded me enough that my logic left in lieu of the curse's insistence that we remove competition from the board."

Competition? The curse insisting this?

"I was betrayed." He visibly shivers, palms now gripping his upper arms. "Something…something beyond this world attacked me." How else to describe the feeling of his soul being shredded by void-ilk fangs like viscera? Ambrose continues staring at some point on the floor, jaw tight. "It left me as such."

"So, larger things are at work here. More so than just something magical in nature?" She asks and returns to the table. Before Ambrose sits a fresh cup of tea. Reclaiming her seat and nursing from her drink, the girl's eyes level on Ambrose. "You know I want nothing more than to help you, and you know I'm just stubborn enough to carry through." She explains, sipping. "Maybe we need more outside help. Maybe where a conversation can be had that's safe."

It takes another moment or two, but Ambrose does realize that there's a newly-steaming cuppa before him again. He blinks at it before glancing over to Lena again. Something about the whole affair, the fresh tea, her earnestness, it makes him swallow. When he speaks again, his voice is more clear. The Bane appears tamped down hard into his bones now, well and truly grounded.

"This place can withstand a god," he shares with Lena in a tone of absolute certainty. There's not an iota of doubt that if the bastion's defenses were to come into play, any and all comers would regret attempting to attack. "So we may speak of things here without concern. Whatever the enemy side is attempting, it is both magical and physical in nature, yes — metaphysical. I am no scholar in this but for my small, intense slice of interest in the metaphysical of my curse's origin. Whom do you think to bring into this affair?" he asks as he picks up his tea and sips at it to find it just as perfect as the first he'd knocked all over the table.

"I'm not sure. I honestly can't tell you. You know I don't know many people outside of a very small circle. Maybe someone in SHIELD can help us? They deal with the…powerful and strange, don't they?" A glance at her cup, she continues to drink before giving it a smooth swirl to help the sugar not settle. "I can't do much myself. I can fight. I can kill. For whatever reason, when I refused his offer to join, my 'magic' spooked him? Does he not like the cold?"

Mentioning SHIELD has him wrinkling his nose again. A slow shake of his head follows while Lena ascertains the status of her tea. The Jackal takes a deep, quenching mouthful of his tea before sucking at his teeth, his eyes still resting on Lena's face.

"Oliver was likely spooked by the science of your guns, yes, but moreso because he expected to…perhaps bowl you over with his…false earnesty and woebegone platitudes at freedom from a world which wishes to drag you bloody across its surface," he guesses, his smile without humor. "I doubt he is fully aware of the spine that modern women possess. It is good you showed you what-for as you did. He will be wary of you now and it is to your advantage. As for SHIELD…I think not. They are but human for all they deal with the strange. Remember that I made mention of Prince Loki and the Lady Sif, Lady Astryd and the Dread Wolf, Fenris. We have power to bring to bear against the enemies. Last I heard, Fenris was collecting comrades and…" His silver-white brows flick up in continued chilly amusement. "I would hate to see what he dredges up."

"I've heard a scam a few times in my life. Even pulled a couple - I know their tune and his was rather lacking." Finishing off her drink, she sets the cup aside and sighs. Slumping in her chair, she stares at her hand and gently works and kneads at it with the other. "How - how do you want me to help you, Ambrose? What do you need me to do. Not want me to do, need me to do?"


Ambrose's mouth works when he doesn't come up with any immediate wisdom to offer. Reaching to scratch at his jawline again, frosted with pale stubble, he then leans back in his chair. His tea-mug is gathered up and held tucked to his lap, firmly in control in fingers interlaced.

"I need you to stay safe, first and foremost, more than anything else. Aht," he very quietly interjects in case of any fussing, less sharp in his current state. "Knowing you are safe will keep my mind and Talbot's mind free of worry. It does not mean you need stay hidden." Reneging on a long-taken stance appears to be less painful when one's already exhausted. "Lord Loki thought that we might trace my lost life-energy via sympathetic ties to what remains in me. He might have means to weaponize you further against troubles, should they appear. If you could…" A sigh leaves him. "…cautiously listen for stirrings of cult-like activity in the upper echelons of the city, that would be of utmost use to us all. I was informed that Oliver might be spreading his influence in those rife with money and boredom." A beat. "I know, you will have to suffer wearing a nice dress, potentially."

The sass, at least, has not died in him.

"I look fucking amazing in finery, thank you very much." She huffs and still working at her hand. The tingling was still present. "I can do that. Been awhile since I danced about and sweet talked idiots with deep pockets." After all, it was how they met.

"Thank you," she then states gently. "You and Talbot, both. For…accepting me. Looking out for me. I'm still not use to it, so I'm sorry I butt and thrash against it so much."

Maybe surprisingly, there's a soft chuckling from the Jackal leaning so heavily back in his chair. His smile, though tired, is now real enough to flash 1.5 dimples.

"I think, one day if you are bored and wish to see Talbot attempt to be diplomatic, do ask him about dealing with me when he first attempted to tame a half-wild Jackal. We are familiar with the growing pains of trust," the man replies. "But yes, do be careful in your carousing. Oliver has seen your face; you are a known quantity and one labeled as dangerous."

"Good. I'd rather be marked as dangerous than weak." She mutters, wiggles her hand out and then straightens up. "Anything else you want me to do?" Any talk about trust is left alone for now.

"Truly…consider this entire affair from a point of espionage. The less you are seen, the better. It is not about grandeur or displays of force…not yet anyhow," Ambrose allows before he sips at his tea. "That time will come soon enough, no doubt, and when we are as prepared as best we can manage."

He thinks a few moments more and then flares a hand off of his tea-mug. "Other than speak to Lord Loki about better defending yourself and seeing what information you might find within the circles of the rich within the city…no. I think start there. We are myriad, those of us in defense of the city and mankind beyond it, but lacking in information of the cults."

"Cults are…sometimes very easy. If you have a face, look lost, they'll snap you up." Moving from her seat, she gathers up her mug and moves to rinse it out at the sink. Chewing at her cheek, she looks over to Ambrose and exhales smoothly. "What can I do for /you/, da….Ambrose?"

Those eerie eyes track her motions about the kitchen. Steaming continues rising up from his drink; each inhale smells of the sweet fruit of summer and soothes him more. The Bane? It's also still eyeballing the young woman because it had a nibble and still wants more.

Her inadvertent trip of tongue makes both silvery-pale eyebrows rise. Time to attempt to soften the mis-speech with humor. "D'Ambrose, is it? You know French? That might translate as 'of Ambrose', as in 'la cuisine d'Ambrose'," he explains, the language tripping off his tongue easily enough. There's still a small dimpling to accent it.

He continues more quietly. "Do your utmost to remain out of the grasp of anyone who would wish you harm. It is both a simple and difficult thing, I know, especially if you choose to collect information on the cults, but…you are still alive. My faith in you is an established thing," the master-thief informs her in a wash of his old dry morose humor.

Lena Snart stares for a moment and then lowers her hands. "I need to go." That slip up was enough to embarass her completely. She doesn't comment about the slip into French, or even if she knew the language at all. All she wanted to do was leave.

"I'll go speak with Loki and we'll see what we can do. You…take care of you, alright? Give Talbot my annoying affection."

"Alright," replies the Jackal in a tone very mild in counter to his usual mannerisms. He still eyes her with a knowing cast to his face, though not necessarily a smile. More as if something were confirmed for him in the slip-up. "I shall, of course, pass on your annoying affection to Talbot."

Then, slowly and with care, he rises from the chair. "I would be no gentleman if you weren't escorted to the door," the Brit explains of his reasoning for momentarily abandoning his tea.

"You're not. You're a Prick." She smirks and waves her hand. "I can find the door. I did when I came here after all. Just…drink your tea." She insists and snatches up her jacket before striding out of the room. Under her breath is a growl of annoyance.

Ambrose pauses by the kitchen doorway and stands there, just close enough for him to be brushed past by her exiting. His hands slip into the pockets of his bathrobe as he watches her stride across the long stretch of Oriental rug to the front door.

"Be well then," the Jackal tells her, his own tone sliding into the true weariness he feels. After the front door is firmly closed, he shuffles over and locks it firmly. When he returns to his mug of tea in the kitchen, he lingers over it for some time, looking down into it as if it had any answers beyond the rare bubble and swirl of steam.

For now, it does not.

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