1964-03-07 - Unpredictable Meetings
Summary: Skali attends a party, Strange checks in on her, and Maximus checks in on them both.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
maximus skali strange 


It didn't qualify as a bar. With the high ceilings, the windows stretching from the floor to the edge of the crests, the view overlooking the New York City skyline below all dotted with lights and ribbons of color; the locale served drinks, but it was much too exclusive to be considered a bar. Skali found herself among such company in a tight fitting ensemble that matched in varying shades of blue and grey, inlaid with a paisley print on the interior lapels, foreign designer, just obscure enough to give the impression of exclusivity. It was a far cry from her usual attire, lacking any smears of dog hair or slobber, the sensible boots replaced by tall heels that she balanced on effortlessly while swirling a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other.

Peeling away from the conversation she had been on the edges of, she drifted to the balcony, the March night too cold for most but savored with solitude as the city pulsed at her feet and the idle hubbub of conversion washed against her senses like the waves her benefactor was likely lost in, thus his absent appearance. When the raven landed on the balcony's railing to preen, it's beady eyes considering her between partings of feathers with a noisome quark, she smiled and held out the glass invitingly to the dark-feathered brute,

"Help yourself. It's all I have for you at the moment."


ROLL: Maximus +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 8


"I'm not sure they prefer whiskey. I've always figured the ravens to like mead if they must."

Likely enough he wasn't as sneaky as he intended to be, but the presence of the Sorcerer Supreme wanders idly out onto the balcony to join the erstwhile woman in designer duds. Himself dressed in one step down from a tuxedo, in a smart jacket and dress pants, crisp white dress shirt beneath, the splash of color on him is the scarf, hanging loosely down around his neck. Crimson, of course. In his hand, a highball glass of similarly-colored liquid: whiskey as well, a different blend with notes of apricot and caramel, swirls around a single large orb of ice.

Strange gives the Varg a professional smile that stays just this side of a curling grin and a nod. "Lady Skali. I would say that I didn't expect to see you here, but that would be a lie." After all, knowing her Name means tracking her as need be. Time for a check-in. "What brings you here, of all places?"


"Tra-la-la…I'm not sure which one of you I'm supposed to call a bird." Maximus purrs from where he's standing in the relative dark of the balcony, like some sort of insane party-ninja. He's wearing a very nice suit, nicer a suit than he came in with, sporting some nice new cufflinks with little Masonry symbols. He has no idea what they are, just that there are rubies. He also has a drink and his steel eyes rake over Skali in her dress, the bird in its feathers, and finally Strange when he arrives. "Throw the poison stick away from here." A pause. "Its bad…for the bird." His wavy hair is slicked back from his face, in loose curls once it gets behind his ears. It seems that Max was there…but not being very social with anyone while he watched certain people. Now he's been busted.


The golden eyes of the woman flick over Strange's appearance, something akin to amusement in her expression as she nudges him with a hip. It would be affectionate if offered by a different woman, but the dark-haired woman pulled it off with just a tryst of playfulness that understated any intimacy that may have been supposed. The cigarette smoke had burned her nose up, and thus when Maximus made himself known, she was halfway through answering the Sorcerer Supreme with a curt,

"I was invited. Fancy that."

Though the sentiment trailed off and she regarded the acquaintance with casual regard until recognition dawned, fleeting as it were. She took another long drag, and then held out the cigarette to the raven himself, who chittered almost as if laughing before seizing it in his beak and flying away.

"Alas, the bird is smart enough to be self-destructive. What a burden self-actualization is."


With a thoughtful nod and smirk at the wolfish hip-check, Strange sips at his whiskey. It's a thing to be savored; he doesn't drink often, but recent events in another hemisphere entirely have him more on edge than usual despite their culmination. He brings the glass down from his lips as a familiar voice chimes in from a very sneakily-dark corner and his eyes seeks out the Inhuman royal. There's no disagreement in the Sorcerer's book for the opinion given. He gave up smoking years back, after seeing x-ray after x-ray of lungs dissolving internally from such a habit.

"Quite the burden," he agrees drolly before taking another mouthful. Cool, crisp until it burns down his throat. The dichotomies are delightful. "Maximus, by all means, join us." No need to leave the man out, oddly-eerie as he is in his current placement. "I was just touching base with Lady Skali. Not a single dog hair on her person." The side-glance twinkles. "I'm impressed." He grins, always looking for ways to tweak the Varg's tail. The Sorcerer has a dangerous habit in testing limits.


Maximus is equally intrigued by the commentry. It probably was meant to tease and jab, but Maximus draws his eyes with a snap right back to the doghairless woman. He makes clik clik clik with his tongue, "Lady Skali…oft with dog hairs? These two things do not seem to match each other, unless she has a very hairy husband you are referring to." He swirls his drink in his glass, pushing its limits, so much so that it really looks like its going to spill out with centrifugal force. Then he coughs a couple times at the smoke that still lingers in the air.


"My mate is actually scaled, but I do enjoy the four-legged beasts."

A casual glance was given as the man approached, her nose twitching as she drew in his scent and puzzled over it, committing it to memory. If Strange saw him worthy of recollection, she would weigh him similarly.

"Skali will do. I have no lands or titles. Much too mercurial for such things, I suppose."

And by mercurial, she did mean sometimes she turned into a massive wolf and killed anything she could get her teeth into. That seemed like a lot to lead with though in new company though, so she took a sip of her whiskey and turned to face both the men, hooking her elbows on the balcony railing, arrogant smirk on her lips as she posed in that perfect feminine lift of a hip.

"Strange, I get the impression there was a worksheet I should have filled out for this? Some grading mechanism? Would you like to check my teeth for clothing or some blood?"


Dark lashes block off some of the steely-blues that consider Skali in a new light as they narrow. Intriguing. A mate. There's the faint hope that such a being will be a calming influence on the Varg, prone as she is to ending up with bits of organic material stuck between ivory teeth sharp enough to shear through steel with the proper jaw-snap.

Strange hides part of his cool smile behind the rim of his glass. Smacking his lips lightly, he murmurs as he steps to the edge of the terrace, "No worksheet. I remember enough about you to avoid a need for paperwork. After all, it took me some time to get all of the hair off of the Cloak." Leaning against the balcony railing on his forearms allows him to appreciate the sprawl of the city around them, even though the air is brisk. The ice cube clinks against the glass as he shifts the liquid around in a fidget. "And I'm too polite to poke around those teeth of yours, so please, enlighten me: gone on any successful hunts lately?"

To Maximus, he glances over and adds, "Lady Skali is an accomplished huntress in her field." Understatement.


Maximus is many levels of brilliant, so, he doesn't miss the references to teeth and fur. His eyes squint faintly, staring at her and pondering just what she's hiding while he sips his drink. "That makes New York an interesting place to be. Unless. You hunt. Humans." He lowers his chin and arches his brow like a giant question mark to follow that punctuated statement. A pause weighs heavy. "Or rats." another pause. "Or pidgeons."


Skali rolls back her shoulders with a soft little sound of happiness as the sinews stretch and she preens with nearly as much arrogance as the recently departed raven.

"No, I haven't."

The answer to Strange's question was a low growl souring her mood as she continued with more fang to her features than before,

"And despite how enthusiastically you sorts rely upon your groins to relieve such tensions, I find even such carnal delights substandard to a good run across the tundra."

The whiskey was polished off with a bit of flourish, setting down the empty glass as she sighed wistfully and scowled before glancing to Maximus with a pause to tuck a dark curl back behind the ridge of one ear,

"Do you know how many folks fancy themselves a hero around here? It's a logistical nightmare to hunt even a sewer rat lest someone take offense. Besides, humans are rather boring. They die much to easily."

A pause as she glanced over at Strange and smiled sweetly, "Not that I would know. I've just heard as much."


The Sorcerer turns his head away to avert most of his profile and indulge in a good eyeroll; all this for the seeming interest in the nearest intersection below. At least there hasn't been recent bloodshed. Fabulous. His task, checking in on one singularly-snarky Varg, is complete. Check.

Oh, she's addressing him. Returning from his brief mental foray into his to-do list for the week, he meets those dark eyes prone to going amber and returns the toothy grin, though his doesn't contain nearly as much canine to the ivories. "Yes, the stories don't lie, Lady Skali. Some of us are delicate. Still — don't let your mate know that you'd rather run than cuddle."

He shifts his weight, looking to Maximus. "I have no issue with her hunting sewer rats, by the way. I'm not interested in managing that particular New York population."


Maximus tosses his drink over the balcony. Its completely casual. No rage to go with it, just…doesn't want it anymore, so…away it goes, glass and all. He doesn't even skip a beat to wait for a reaction. He just assumes there won't be one, moving right in to responding on the topic at hand, "Ahhh, so, what /do/ you hunt, Skali? Heroes? Villains? Demi-gods? And may I just say, learning that everyone has a date but me is going to eventually force me to do dastardly things." He draws in a deep breath. "Perhaps to that concierge at the building…"


"My mate knows of my preferences and satiates them when it's convenient to business to do so. Always helpful to keep a bitch like me on a tight leash, no?"

The rejoinder was offered up without malice, something in the tone that accepted her lot in life rested within the realm of tools, trinkets and beloved pets. After all, that's the closest thing to affection she felt for most mortals. Why would she expect more in a partner?

The yellow of her gaze pooled closer to the pupil as they receded, lupine in the low light while attentions pivoted to rest upon Maximus with a sigh,

"Currently I hunt nothing, by request of the Sorcerer Supreme. Demanding men in my life. I like to make them feel important by pretending I'm listening to their advice."

As the only partially emptied glass careens into darkness, she followed its descent with a little whine of want. She wasn't above begging and that had been perfectly good amber liquor. How wasteful.

"Though I did find your charge sniffing about in the wrong part of town a few days ago. Was all tangled up with the soul eating sort. Of course, she still thinks I want to eat her despite my best efforts to convince her otherwise. Silly little thing. I think she wants to die."


Wait, concierge? "Really now…" It's a whisper to himself, with lips barely moving. The Inhuman royal is given a lingering look and the good Doctor scrutinizes as he can in the moment. Then comes the unexpected motion, which confirms his suspicions: not all there at this time.

Strange's incredulous glance shifts from the downwards trajectory of the jilted glass, contents and all, to Maximus and then to Skali, perhaps seeking an acknowledgment that this action just occurred. It seems they're too far up to hear the impact. At least the Varg saw it as well, given her response of high-pitched desire.

A mentioning of a 'charge' takes precedence. Blinking a few times in surprise, the Sorcerer schools his expression back to normal mild interest in the conversation at hand. The eyebrows that had been high in surprise threaten to shift back up again before knitting at Skali's comment. Very few members of his acquaintance can accomplish such a feat.

"You can't mean the Vietnam veteran — goes by Zed? And which charge, Lady Skali?" After all, he has many.


Maximus lids his eyes. "Charge? Ohhh I know…she's up to things and not telling you again, Strange." He smiles slyly, amusedly, with pleasure at the idea of Wanda sneaking about and harassing soul-stealers. he steeples his fingers and taps them against one another. Skali's presence and disregard for mortal life, does seem to be having an affect on him that isn't great.


Skali snorts at the name before growling with a note of lingering resentment still in the tone,

"The same. He suggested I not stray from a path of duty or Justice or some such Dogma. Then he thought it wise to stare me down."

It was time for her to roll her own eyes, chewing the inside of her cheek as she admitted softer than previously,

"Would that I should have ripped out all that blackness in his eyes, popped 'em between my teeth, and choked on the poison while I find out what makes him tick. Gutted him right there if he though he knew what I was. See if his other parts could protect him then, or take me too, find out what makes a man like that scream. If a shell can feel pain. How exquisite would such an agony need to be to affect such a filthy, improper, unnatural thing."

As she had spoken, the manner of her speech had gotten tighter, more constrained, sharp staccato enunciation all teeth and hackles rising underneath the skin. The second question seemed to disrupt her anger, a long moment of silence lingering before she steadied her voice enough to answer cheerfully,

"Lorna. The one that can manipulate metal and squeaks more than she should."


"Wanda tells me everything," Strange replies to the Inhuman royal a bit tightly. "And she's not a charge." It seems wise to not expand more on this, given the amount of general crazy around him currently. After all, Skali seems to be winding herself up tighter than a terrier chasing its tail and it's not nearly as cute.

He straightens in place, resting the base of his whiskey glass on the railing as he readies himself for any form of action needed to keep a full-blown wolfing-out from happening on the balcony of this swanky joint. The liquor sits uncomfortably in his stomach now; the Varg might sense the changes in the atmosphere around him, from staticky flicker of aura to his very skin-scent shifting for stress. He hopes it's not Wanda being referenced and —

"Oh, Miss Lorna." His shoulders drop minutely in relief. "Good." Despite being directly related to his Consort, he has difficulty separating the young woman from the company of Billy and Tommy: young, impetuous, in trouble of one sort or another at all times. "Er, no, not good," the Sorcerer amends with a sharp sigh. "I'll have to let her father know."


"Lorna? Oh yes…I know that one. She's a trouble-maker. No sense in telling her to stop, she'll do whatever she pleases. That is just the sort of person she is. She swings her father around." Maximus makes circular gestures in the air. "And people get so afraid that they do not hold her accountable for her actions. She is the daughter of fear…and…well…I am disappointed in anyone that claims otherwise." Max makes a bold set of statements and a stance to go with it. Then he taps one finger against his chin a few times. "Sooo, Skali…Lady Skali…how do you know the Doctor?"


Skali seems bemused at the Doctor's hesitant relief, and then guilty realization that he'd experienced such. She leans a hip against his own and lingers, a human approximation of a massive shoulder that had once crushed him into the show while fur and blood and gore smeared across his personage in affectionate roll. This trespass was less sustained though, a more teasing familiarity that retracts when Max interrupts and she regards him nonchalantly,

"She's a mere whelp. Some of them live. Some of them don't. It's why humans and their associated evolutions reproduce at such an enhanced rate."

To the other question, a glance was spared to Strange, a smirk playing over the lips smeared with a pink paint, as she casually answered,

"I apparently disrupted some cosmic balance of an ecosystem and we had an informative discussion about the ramifications of such. Stuffy as he is, I find myself fond of the man. He reminded me of how amusing playing at humanity can be."


Having leaned onto the patio's railing once more, Strange indulges in a rather large mouthful of cold whiskey and swallows it down with a wince. He lifts his glass in silent acknowledgment to Maximus's thoughts and accents it with a lingering glance to the man. The friendly hip-nudge isn't returned — the good Doctor isn't precisely sure as to its meaning other than friendly by nature when offered up by woman rather than Direwolf — but he does curl corners of his mouth to reveal some teeth to her in a Cheshire Cat grin after she's asked of their meeting.

It's entirely fair, her statement.

"If you're not careful, Lady Skali, you may actually begin to make me like you rather than hunt you down at random times to ask after your bloody efforts. Being human is entertaining as hell at times, isn't it." The wry grin includes Maximus as he glances to the man and back to the Varg.


Maximus frowns as the woman disregards humanity so strongly. Sure, hes already tried building a death machine for humans, but this sounds like a deep grudge! "I am going home. excuse me, both of you. Sort of nice to meet you…Lady Skali, though you seem a little outside my tastes." he pauses, "By that i mean that you dont seem like you respect authoriy, rather than…that I dont want to eat you. Eating you would be fine." he phrases it like thats the compliment to take away from the slew of insults.


Sort of nice to meet you defined most of Skali's introductions. In fact, this one hadn't pissed himself in fear, reported her to the police or tried to bed her so things were going swimmingly in the varg's low standards. Shrugging at the man's assessment of her, she smiled easily and pulled loose another cigarette, moving to light it if the greatest detractor of the habit was going to be excusing himself. Murmuring around the stick between her teeth,

"Would love to see you try, dove."

She exhaled and waved lazily without twisting more than a wrist into the effort, seemingly as dismissive of royalty as he was of a deity. They would assumedly meet again, under circumstances that would be illuminating when it came to just what value they each placed on humanity.

"I don't think he much liked me."

She commented at his departure, looking over to Strange without any wound evident from the sentiment before shrugging,

"Oh well, it wasn't in my design to be personable."


"Good night, Maximus." Strange watches Maximus leave with a pensive expression, the grin losing out to the faint frown on his features. The Inhuman remains well within range of his radar and pings for the unpredictability of his actions. He'll need to continue keeping half an eye on the man, if simply to help him find fresh air now and then. Nothing like the perks of good Karma.

Skali's comment draws a snort from the Sorcerer and he goes back to leaning once more. Whiskey's almost gone, more's the shame, but that's perfectly fine — he wasn't intending on having more than one drink anyways. "I don't think I need to tell you that you do precisely as you please and this includes being personable only when it appeals to you…which doesn't seem to be often." He glances over his shoulder to the milling crowd and, unable to pick out Maximus, decides that the royal is well and truly gone. His eyes shift to the Varg. "You'd be a gamey steak anyways," he adds unabashedly before sipping at his drink. The curved lines of his goatee give away the smile blocked by crystal-ware.


Skali shrugs at his observation, mirroring his deep thought in her own expression though the notion was fleeting. Still she weighed his words and explained nonchalantly,

"I've been on my own too long to mince words with those I owe nothing and do not care to endear myself further to."

Lazily her golden eyes turned over the collared edge of her neckline, the jest provoking a grin that she did not endeavor to hide and even allowed to edge into a giggle.

"Happy to hear you've considered what I would taste like, Doctor."

And thumbing her nose at him, she flashed a wink and nodded back into the gathering before he could respond to that particularly classless comment,

"Please excuse me. If He isn't planning on appearing tonight, then I may as well retire home and get out of these heels."


Closing his eyes, Strange slowly shakes his head even as he lets out a last faint derisive snort. The final mouthful of whiskey is tossed back and the ice cube clinks about as he straightens, tall and noble and so very dignified.

With a single finger extended in a point towards her from around the highball glass, he says, "You — are no lady. Tsk." However, he will remain the gentleman and gesture ahead of them back towards the gathering out of the chilly night wind. "I'll escort you inside, however, and we can pretend you're human, at least. I have to get home as well."


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