1963-10-09 - Two Queens
Summary: A chance encounter of two queens in New York City.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
tchalla medusa 

The Upper West Side is home to some of the most exclusive boutiques and clothiers in all of New York City. Supplied perhaps by the Garment District, but more often than not by skilled seamstresses within their own precincts, these shops cater to the cream of the crop of New York society, and they don't do inexpensive. After all, in the era of machine-made clothing, these are custom-made, hand-crafted originals. And such upper-crusty shops and their personnel are used to a certain class of customer.

They don't take kindly to the intrusion of those they adjudge as unworthy and thusly unwelcome.

Today, however, one particular clothier is struggling to contain his puce-colored outrage and his spluttering, stuttering confusion. A black woman doesn't dare enter his boutique, but this one has not only entered, she has proceeded to make it abundantly clear that she could buy his entire shop and then raze it to the ground. And she has done so with a cool, calm, regal tone of voice in her crisp, clear but clearly foreign accent.

"I understand that you supplied the dress worn by Lee Remick to the Academy Awards? I need a dress. And as wasteful as it seems to me, apparently I should not wear one of the dresses I have already worn."

Medusa meanders into the store. That hair of course, is noticable right away, but it helps that she's decked out in slim lined Chanel, so the shop owner will probably have to decide what's worse. A black woman, or a probable mutant. That doesn't stop Medusa from moving toward the displays, considering a few of the dresses while her hair seems to gently waver as if in some breeze, without there actually being one. Does she seem inclined to hide? Apparently not.

Seeing another tall, proud woman enter unabashed despite any of her differences, the close-shorn block woman nods at her, apparently not bothered at all by her probable mutant status. Instead, T'Challa turns to the shop owner and reiterates, "I need a dress. Something, I think, in purple. It is a suitably royal color." Of course, anything that fits T'Challa's rather buff, powerful frame is going to be a custom fit, and she knows it. "You will summon your fitter, and I will find the right piece." She offers it like giving orders, because she is. And she cares not one whit for how mottled his face gets.

Medusa inclines her head in a perfectly amenable fashion. "Purple would suit you well." says the redhead. "But you might also wish to consider a lighter color. It would look quite striking. May I ask what event you plan on attending?" She drifts her way over to the other woman, her air casual but elegant.

The Wakandan woman looks over the redhead momentarily, before she responds. "I had considered white, but apparently this is some great Western faux pas." She agrees that lighter colors look very striking against her exceptionally dark coloring. "To help foster some measure of peace, the embassy is holding a diplomatic soiree, and I must attend." T'Challa doesn't sound petulant, but she doesn't sound thrilled. Still, it is because of her actions that some degree of peace-making is necessary. She believes what she did was right; but she has no desire to see herself or her embassy staff ejected from the United States, so now she must make nice with the Western imperialists. How infuriating.

The Wakandan woman extends her hand to the redhead. "I am T'Challa. Pleased to meet you." She doesn't offer a title, or explain what embassy. But it's always possible that someone has been paying attention to international events. Her attendance of ESU is not a secret.

Medusa regards T'Challa as evenly as the Wakandan queen regards her. "Well met, Your Majesty. May I?" she gestures to the displays, walking toward them and brushing past the sputtering salesman, and noting, "I think you're referencing the American tradition of no white after Labor Day. I think that has to do with shoes. However," she finds a slender, elegant peach colored dress. Not childish pastel, but an elegant, rich tone.

Given no introduction in turn, T'Challa merely shrugs, rather impressed that an American would care enough to remember the name of the young Wakandan queen (most news outlets erroneously call her the princess, because no woman could lead a nation all by herself, for pity's sake!) and identify her at single meeting. "Certainly." she offers, stepping out of the way to let Medusa pass, then following along. "Yes, that is it. The soiree will be with Americans." And thus, T'Challa will have to try not to offend them any more than what cannot be avoided. "Mmm. I like this." she offers, regarding the peach dress, its jewel-like tone a nice contrast against her dark, almost night-black skin. "But I do not care for these poofy sleeves."

Well, there is Queen Elizabeth. But she's white, and Europe is a known factor. "An easy enough solution to that. Have the sleeves removed. Of course…who is the designer? Chanel?" She regards T'Challa levelly. "You should have someone call the fashion house. The prospect of clothing a monarch would be of significant allure. You should not be wearing clothing," she makes a vague gesture, "Pret-a-porter."

"I could, I suppose." T'Challa admits. "But this seemed simpler, and faster." While she may not be truly 'butch', she's not much for some of the frillier aspects of expected femininity. Her own expectations are different. "Might I know who you are, then?" she inquires, wanting a name for the redhead who has so surprised her own expectations.

While Medusa is a queen, she is not one of any known geography, and so it is with a calm but restrained tone, she simply says, "I am called Medusa. I hope I am not too forward, but I was raised with a monarchy and have some understanding of the odd weight of expectations on royals." She admits, "I'm surprised, considering the wealth of your country, that the local merchants are not rolling out the red carpet for you."

"Pleased to make your acquaintance, Medusa." T'Challa offers. "Named after the woman of Greek legend, her profound beauty cursed with snakes for hair. Fitting, I suppose, given your gift." The Wakandan queen is comfortable enough with the concept, even if it hasn't been a common element in her life. "The merchants here do not see a queen. They see a black woman. Most cannot even imagine that one looking as I do could be a PhD candidate in physics, let alone that I might be queen to a powerful country beyond their own purview, richer than most can imagine." But she isn't shy about the hyperbole, at least.

"The more fools they." is all Medusa has to say about that. "I understand the allure of being discreet, but at the same time it means that you sacrifice the luxury of presumption. Quite the conundrum, no?"

"I hope you know I mean no offense when I say this," T'Challa begins, "but I am forced to wonder at the possibility, however remote, that you may have chosen to encounter me in this setting as a pretext to establish some connection between the royals to whom you are bound and myself, my country. I hope that is not so. But if it is, I hope you will say so now." Still, T'Challa does carefully consider the other woman's words. "You are right, however. It is a conundrum. But I prefer discretion when not amongst my own people. Just as my country prefers to pass largely unremarked whenever possible."

"It's a reasonable assumption, but quite incorrect." Medusa says. "If it suits you, I shall turn around and leave this very moment. You may have already made a decision about the idea either way and if so nothing I say will change your mind." Ever meet a cat? They give no fucks. And while not disrespectful, she seems sincere in her denial, but ultimately it's up to T'Challa to decide.

Met a cat? Oh, definitely. After all, T'Challa is the Black Panther. She gives no fucks. "Then I will accept your assertion that this was not designed. I prefer that thought to the other." She is rather inherently honest about such matters, and rather self-honest with even the most difficult concepts. "So. If you had to choose a designer to contact, whom would you suggest?"

Medusa considers T'Challa thoughtfully, looking the woman up, down, and over. "You require a slender silhouette. The best at that are Valentino, Dior, Van Dyne, and Chanel. At minimum, they should offer you a borrow from one of their haute lines. If they know their business, they'll make you a custom dress and add your name to their list of important women they've designed for."

"That helps." T'Challa offers, with a rare smile. It's clearly not a natural state of being for her, and doesn't last long. "A good list of designers. I can contact them later today." However, she does still pick up the peach dress, holding it out towards the owner. "This dress. No sleeves. To fit. Is your fitter ready?"

T'Challa turns over the dress she has selected, and waits while the owner talks to the fitter and arranges the fitting room. "By the way, Medusa. Do you enjoy formal functions? There will be plenty of both western and Wakandan classical music." Because she's a queen; she can invite whichever guests she wishes.

"I've attended my share." Medusa says with the faintest of smiles. "But not one in which I get to hear Wakandan music." While she may know where this is going, she does not speak to the assumption of an invitation. It's not official unless it comes from T'Challa's mouth.

T'Challa smiles at the other woman's response. "Then, if you would be interested, I would be happy to send you an invitation. It seems the least I could do to repay your help and kindness." And if that also serves to establish the first levels of a positive relationship with other royals, that would be nice, too. Suitable for a diplomatic effort.

"I would be delighted." Medusa says with a contained smile. Both women have a subdued air, or perhaps it's a careful one. "As well as honored." A quick conversation with the shopkeeper and Medusa's contact information is written down on the back of a tailor's pad. (If investigated, the address is for the Xavier's School for the Gifted, the phone number for it as well, and her full name: Medusalith Amaquelin. Maybe she's Swedish?

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