The early morning hours in the neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen suited the Varg. The faint smell of ocean on the breeze was backed by a lazy roll of traffic at indolent pace, like fat flies buzzing around a corpse. Sprawled in a fashion that made the park bench appear more comfortable than possible, the golden eyes were weighing the staggering pattern of a man's stride as he made his way across the street. Occasionally the vagrant would halt, a car sliding past with an angry honk or a rude gesture, and then again his motions would restart as if a rusting machine piloted his motions instead of a bottomless hunger for alcohol warring with the onset of sobriety.
She could have risen to help him, but instead she crossed her legs and dropped a hand to gently scratch behind the thick, copper-touched ear of the Alsatian Magnus who sat at a knee, his own dark gaze surveying the drunkard with less amusement than his mistress and a marked disdain. That is, if dogs could feel such things. It was possible he was just bored.
Ah, Hell's Kitchen. It's been some time since the Sorcerer graced this part of New York. No good memories of this place, nope. Still…it's a part of his monthly checklist firmly shoved into Procrastination Land for some time now. Might as well bite the bullet and do a walk-through…and hope nothing bites him this time.
Thus, in the general weird twist of Fate, the early morning with its growing light and slowly-gaining momentum of life sees Strange emerge from an alley about a block down from the Alsatian and his handler. The second glance, in her direction, causes the man to tilt his head visibly and audibly scoff. Magnus might hear the sound — maybe even the Varg in human guise. In black Belstaff and that irrepressibly-charming crimson scarf, he makes his way down the sidewalk.
No louder than is necessary, he calls out, "Milady Skali. What a fine morning, don't you think? So full of sunshine and cheer." Ooh. Someone's got a wicked edge to their humor this morning; the half-hearted grin might round it out.
There's a warning little 'huff' from the dog, it's cheeks puffing out with the disgruntled noise, ears flicking back in an overly dramatic demarcation of its displeasure. Yet its attentions had never left the man in the street, who had managed the middle of two lanes and was now waiting for the light to change up before attempting the other half. The golden eyes of the woman turned slowly though, after her nose had twitched, then nostrils flared, a smile spreading throughout her entire countenance as she focused her attentions on the approaching man.
"I suppose it's a matter of perspective, Doctor. You are certainly in a pleasant mood."
A little head tilt, a small allotment of space made on the bench despite the fact it would inconvenience her languid draping of musculature and skin across iron bars.
The good Doctor gives Magnus a proper moment of pause for the sound of the whuft, but once he follows the dog's attentive gaze, he realizes that he might not be the sole reason for the grumbling. He might share that same level of grumbling concern as the canine for all that he doesn't immediately respond to Skali's comment.
A grunt leaves him as he sits on the bench, not close enough to intrude upon the Varg's personal space, and leans back against the backing. "Pleasant enough. I've been told that I'm a bear when I'm truly irritated." He doesn't completely settle in, not entirely. On alert, not too unlike the Alsatian, that's where the Sorcerer is at currently. "I'll be blunt. Do you smell any undead? Have you seen any? I need to know."
Namor had been looking for the girl on the parkbench ahead of him for just a little while. Certainly not long enough to be irritated, even though she had snuck out while he was in the bath this morning without even a thought to mention where she might be off to today. Sure, he may have been underwater for an hour, but certainly she could have at least had the thought to toss something heavy in to get his attention. His hair was still wet from said bath, and buttoned up in a clean, expensive suit, the prince wouldn't have minded if he had found a group of thugs set up to rob him before finding the woman who shared his bed. Give him a chance to release some pressure.
As it was, he hadn't had the time to get properly worked up over something so trivial, so he slipped into a smile at the sight of her. And her metaphisical physician besides apparently. "Can't you hear the bones rattling when they walk up here? The must be a hell of a lot louder when they're on land." Injecting himself into the conversation from a yard away, the Atlantean works to prove that he doesn't need to be physically between a pair of people to get in the way. "Asking a wolf to do a hound's work is dangerous Doctor. There's no leash when she goes charging after the prey."
Skali arches a brow, regarding him as the question teases her smile into a broader grin.
"Would you like to dress me up in a collar and tell me to 'find it'? I've always looked good in leather."
If he was in a mood of sorts, her own was positively wicked. As he had settled beside her, the hound sitting at her side had granted him an errant and passing growl of split attentions before flicking ears back towards the stumbling drunkard who was staggering closer still. The dog could only multitask in so many different directions though, and at the approach of Namor, the black-and-tan beast let out a grumbling sigh and lay upon the ground. Let his mistress handle such things.
Just as her nose had twitched upon the approach of Strange, now it did for Namor - this time with a little flush to her cheeks as she watched him close the distance and leaned up almost like a cat as a hand found his arm and tugged to pull him towards her. He didn't need to join her for a nose to turn into his shirt with a soft noise of happiness that was admitted from the back of her throat, even as she murmured with a smile,
"Don't listen to him. I can be very useful. The cleanup is just a bit more complicated."
The eyeroll is obvious enough for one to catch. "Skali Kineseeker…" the Sorcerer grumbles with an undercurrent of faint annoyance and enough complaint to color it. His grumpy naming of the Varg happens not a split second before the Prince chimes in and Strange eyes the man with a titch more irritation to his general air. Huzzah, interruptions.
"Your highness." He manages a diplomatic tone. Plus ten points! "I didn't intend to use you as a tracking hound, Miss Skali, because unfortunately, you're both right. I may need the thing alive when everything is said and done." He jams his hands deeper into his pockets in a fidget. "Truthfully though, have you come across any undead here in the Kitchen?" He looks to the woman again, snuggling up against Namor as she is. The amused smile is there somewhere…maybe in Strange's eyes? It just dies on the way to his lips.
While he smiles at Strange's diplomatic greeting - the first civil hello he's had outside of UN conferences - Namor only nods an acknowledgement, his attentiones briefly captured by the tugging attentions that pull him closer than he would prefer to the pair. Easier to disrupt a perfectly good conversation if he can stand far enough away to make the other parties shout. Fingers scratch idly at the back of her head, melting the woman away from him so that he can turn attentions back to the current subject of his annoyances.
"I'm sorry Doctor, you lost me. Are you looking for undead, or do you need them alive? You do know they are mutually exclusive traits yes?" Smirking at his own cleverness, he adds, "Really though, do you need them with all of their limbs intact? I'm sure Skali here could do with just a slight maiming. Depending on the corpse you're looking for, you might only need a head, anyway. Maybe some of the upper spine to go with it."
The offered scratch was an accepted pittance of affection and she let him drift away, as tempestuous as the seas he governed when it came to posturing and polite conversation. When he slipped out of her grasp, she let out a petulant huff that sounded similar to the one the dog offered earlier and glared between the two.
"I can bring something to bay without dismembering it first. I just consider that latter detail a favor. And I don't owe you any favors, Strange."
There was no emotion applied to that observation, but a simple balance of the scales stated. He had declined the last favor she offered, though the name he had called her back from the brink of oblivion with did not go unnoticed.
"Of course, as a friend, I could be moved to assist in whatever it is you're doing. Undeading dead? Or deading them in the first place?"
"I need to know if the undead are here at all, first, before I consider the next steps." Strange speaks as if explaining this to a particularly dense student of the Arts, with a sense of patience strained. "If they are present here, I do need them dismembered."
His blatantly unamused glare flicks between the two beings. Oh yes. These two were meant for each other.
TO BE CONTINUED