1964-09-01 - Dear Mrs. Merryweather
Summary: You don't argue legal points with archangels.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
caliban lucian michael 

It was a quiet late afternoon in East Village and Ms. Florence Merryweather was out front of several of the well kept tenements taking stock and inventory on a clipboard adjusting her tiny glasses that made her look a very well kept, retired mole. It was in this that she stopped the stranger who was sitting in the alcove of the building, "Oh I'm sorry young man, you cannot just park yourself there. This is a thoroughfare for residents. Why someone could trip over you and then where would we be?" She had a pleasant sing-song voice that could grate cheese really. She was humming pleasantly to herself and paused. Her smile tightened as the figure with his hood up looked at her bewildered.

A rasp tone asked, "Pardon?"

The smile tightened. "Ohhhh I'm sorry I didn't know you couldn't hear, sweetie. I said you need to move off the porch. This is a tenant threshold. If we were to have a fire drill you would be tripped over and injured. Trampled by many. We wouldn't want that."

Caliban looked from her to the very quiet building and back. "But you aren't doing a fire drill."

Ms. Merryweather was torn between 'dirty hobo get away from this porch before you lower our property values' and 'How would Emily Post put this?'. She blniked, "But we could be."

It bears noting that Lucifer Morningstar, formerly Samael, is ridiculously good-looking. More than he has any right to be, wearing what amounts to a pure velvet coat in magenta, the bruise of sunset. It doesn't even close over his chest, the frogged latticework showing a generous, hairless two inches from throat to the start of leather pants. Honest to God, rockers wish they could wear them leather pants. He looks like someone landed after a hard night of playing in an imperial Ottoman harem, then rolling through a guru's pleasure palace, then tumbling up here. Oh, what tales he can tell.

His hair is out of place, carelessly tousled. He's got a pipe of something illicit in hand, the album for the next hot thing on his person, and a cigarette because it's just too damn early not to. It's good to be the fucking king.

Also, shut up, Dad.

Lucian, as he cares to call himself, strides down the stairs with a flare of that ankle length coat. It's fucking epic, accept it, Mrs. Merryweather. His endless summer gaze takes in it all: cars, buses, crank pot, glorious tasteful mecca of life, and the underbelly. All looks about right. Caliban melts into the general quality of it all, and he dashes some ash onto the fire route.

"I imagine someone pissed on the wall of the third unit," he tells the smiling mole woman with a heart stopping smile of his own. It really is. He's that bad.

Ms. Merryweather was still looking at Caliban waiting for him to /politely// move. Her smile froze when ashes hit the stoop. She blinked again. What sort of monster would do that? She blinked again and looked up and PAUSED-. Oh my. Her very second thought was where was this young man's mother to allow him out dressed like this. You can't even fit a proper wallet in those pants. Her expression held onto polite as only oblivious little old ladies can do. "I'm sorry young man but you cannot just ash your cigarettes here. Who do you think you are? If you would kindly pick that up it would be most appreciated." Her smile was glowing with friendly expectation. Because those were things decent people did.

Caliban was still at a loss for words not wanting to skulk out into the sunlight and not wanting to be trampled on. He gave her a wary look and in return got a side glance of 'see it's as good as a fire drill'. He honestly had no clue how to address this.

Lucian has a brother, who looks far more like a down at heels mercenary than a rock star. Michael's much less beautiful and much less clever than Big Brother. What he does have that Lucian does not have is 'satiable curiosity.

Mike's dressed in worn fatigue pants, jump boots, and a t-shirt. He's a pace behind and to the left of his elder-by-several-trillionths-of-a-picosecond, the pale eyes wide with curiosity. He's glancing between Caliban, Merryweather, and Lucian as if expecting an explanation from the latter.

The nearsighted mole worried about ashes dropping from a cigarette still firmly wedged between Lucian's curled lips is the least of the world's troubles. She stands there so imperious on her territory that he has to pause, and draw himself up. "Pardon, were the cinders troubling you?" He has the voice to match, curling around the ears like a feline around the ankles, all sleek fur and purring admonishment. Yes, it was clearly a rough night wherever he was.

He tosses the pipe of things interesting to Caliban. "Payment for your troubles," he adds, trusting the man to grab it. (Or not.) His smile doesn't get close to unctuous. Decadence, on the other hand, has its own time. "Are there any laws against enjoying the fresh air in a fire escape, exactly? Can you cite them to us just to be sure?"

Michael exists. Therefore Michael gets a tactile smirk from the golden haired man. Not blonde. Gold. So too are those eyes intensely blue, shining with all the light of a first evening coming upon the cooling universe.

The retired mole(tm) smiled beatifically to Lucian who was asking good questions. Yes more questions about the rules and let them be- oh the poor lad couldn't afford clothes that fit properly. Such a shame. "Yes in section 4, article three of the Homeowners and Renters Association Bylaws." She chirped happily, "Paragraph two. I think Ms. Abernathy used a few too many commas on the paragraph, granted, but that is not important right now. Now I'm not entirely certain whom you might thing to be to question them, but for your safety and that of others you wouldn't want to trip in a fire would you? I think not." Oh she clearly had no clue whom she was speaking with, but she had a clipboard.

Caliban, on the other hand snatched the object out of mid air and eyed the woman and the rock star and his muscle(?) warily. there was something utterly perplexing about the old woman and it caused the Morlock to wait this one out with a faint grin of 'is this happening? This… this is happening'. He didn't speak as drawing attention to himself was quite the opposite of what he was here for. He had to ask though. "What, good woman, is a 'Homeowner's Association'?"

OH THE LOOK that followed as she stood up explaining perhaps what a shower was to the crumpled man on their stoop. "A Homeowners and Renters Association. It's an association for those who have the good habit of living in someplace respectable to have and uphold standards." She left the insinuation that he would know nothing about that off. The implication was omnipresent.

There's a brightening to the angel of war's eyes. Still pallid, a muted shadow in comparison to Lucian's vividness. But….it's wicked amusement; Mike may be pure and righteous, but he is not always kind. He throws Lucian a flash of brows and the tiniest of shrugs. He *could* strike her blind and maybe even dead with fear, but how sporting would that be? "How are you going to help him?" he asks, suddenly, bluntly, turning those eyes on the woman. "If you own a home and he needs one, then you owe him the duty of shelter."

"Commas in fact can make all the difference in the world, completely transforming the intent and implication of the sentence," answers the former Master of Hell. Former once and future… "Indeed, entire legal arguments hinge on the proper use of an Oxford comma, and great minds deliberate over interpretation. And that is the law, isn't it? Ninety percent interpretation, ten percent creativity?" Also possession, but let's not get into that. Lucian has the most beatific smile that marks the corner of his mouth, the cancer stick plucked free. He tosses the priceless record in a stenciled sleeve to Michael. He may not be glorious but he deserves really good music.
"So, it may be the desire in your bylaws and regulations was to prohibit the presence of any object that blocks the fire exit, and not to permit flammable compounds within fifteen feet, but the application of poor grammar does not ensure the enforcement the association voted upon. In fact, it can obliterate the argument and permit certain… Mm… Unwanted implications. As grievous as allowing or, indeed, mandating such behaviours as necessary." Let that sink in. Except he won't, oiling the wound and adding a spritz of lemon to go with that salt. "Would you be a dear and fetch me the latest versions? And, of course, the latest approved versions by the board and homeowners. I assume they all stood for election this year, correct, and have accounts in good standing, in accordance with city, county, state, and federal regulations? For it would be terrible if one of them was, say, in violation of a parking ticket or nor permitted because they were not a resident of New York officially, registered at their current address with the state and the department of motor vehicles, on the voters' list, and all that busy work. Imagine, one bureaucratic slip and suddenly your whole slate of bylaws is rendered null and void because of an illegal accessory."
He relishes this. Let's not split hairs about that.
Don't mess with a man in a purple coat. He has the balls to pull that off, no one short of God being angry really quells him. "In fact, madame, I believe it essential to assure you haven't inadvertently violated any of the subclauses or the city's mandated rules about these things. I should hate to see your authority so undermined by one of your fellows being careless or faulty." Cue smile. "Now if he has maintained his habitation in any of these places for a period of thirty days or more, he is indeed considered a tenant even in lieu of a written lease statement and, as such, entitled to protections from eviction on the basis of such tenancy. Glaringly in violation of the association's rules or not. Sidebar, separate concern, but let's be sure we're all on the same page, shall we?"

Ms. Merryweather was, for what it was worth, a woman of high if not rigid morals and lived and died by the rules of social etiquette and proper society. She was happy to clarify to Michael with a honeyed and cheerful tone, "Oh no, sweetheart, I don't own the building. We own our own properties. The Homeowners and Renters Association (the H.A.R.O.) doesn't just give residences away. But yes the board has firmly voted on all manner of ordinances in agreement with the Civic Beautification Committee or the CeeBeeCee." She was s o proud of this community effort.

Lucian's words caught her a bit confused and she laughed, "I'm sorry young man, but I didn't know you were so contentious about our building…what with ashing on it and all. But here, take my copy." She was positively brimming with glee. Lucian wanting to tear through the contract made her just giddy that the youth were taking civic interest and responsibility. She did, in fact, have a copy on her clip board.

Caliban's fingers extended in a moment as if for a question but was just flummoxed. There was no fear in this woman. Zero. He was flat-footed to inspire her to leave because her single-minded task blinded her to dangers abound. Amazing and yet… annoying. He spared a look to the two gentlemen and then back to see how this puppet show was playing out. At least the entertainment was good and she wasn't stabbing at him. This was a definite plus from his last stoop.

The one deadly weapon with which Mike has no facility at all: legal recourse. Lucian unloads on the poor woman like a ton of bricks, and Michael's turning to Caliban. "Are you thirsty and hungry?" he asks the unfortunate young man, voice gentle. "I have a little money. I could get you something," HE doesn't *seem* terribly dangerous, at least at first glance. He asides to Mrs. Merryweather, still apparently idly, "Nonetheless, I assume you have a home," HE rolls one shoulder, then the other. Hasn't had the wings out in a little too long. "And he doesn't. What are you going to do to help him?"

Reading takes time. Lucifer is very good at it, but he's also the living repository for every fact he ever encountered. There is the issue of photographic memory and being a vault the size of Andromeda (the galaxy, not the woman) for all that knowledge. It takes time to find what he wants in this flimsy document.
Page flip. Caliban is Michael's to worry about, and he already provided the fun for their situation. Nothing like some good LSD to figure out the meaning of life.
"Tsk, ma'am. Your care and consideration for following the letter of the law is commendable," he murmurs over another flip of a page. No way is he reading that. "Although it neglects the spirit of the law, which ii equally as important. For if you were to protest to any higher authority to enforce this, which I currently don't recommend, you would find yourself in violation of statute RCNY 58.32." He gives another of those benign, amused grins. "Inclusions of any covenants, conditions, and restrictions for renters or homeowners in this complex must have a direct reference, where applicable. And section eight does give clear guidelines on solicitation. Section ten has enforcement of said prior sections, and you might realise you are both not allowed to enforce the following compliance we aren't your tenants or owners; nor, ma'am, are you permitted to be out here soliciting others. So." He hands back the guidelines. "It's all pish posh. Unless you really want me to start measuring for compliance to your rules on siding materials. I'm happy to start."

There was a confused look to Michael, "Well I'm trying to assist him to some other locale where he isn't causing endangerment to herself or the others." Blink-blink. She really did mean well in the most judgmental and blind fashion. It was Lucian's words that snapped her attention up. Her smile never moved but her knuckles whitened like opals around the edges of her clip board. "Doooes it?" The flash in her eye was war and doom that might call for… well one of the two gents on the porch to defend the sanctity of the policy and good decency. "Well." Deep breaths. Deep breaths! "Marilyn Crosby will be hearing about this. That was Nancy Ferguson's art to finalize legislation on. And I DO… thank you… from the bottom of all our hearts for finding this oversight. I'll have to make you a fruitcake." DEEP BREATHS! With genuine gratitude, for them at least, she asked, "Maybe you can help him as I find myself suddenly in need of an Association meeting."

Caliban's scarred lips pressed together. This was too funny. He wasn't certain what just happened but he was also not one to turn down an offer. He went to say something, but OH the brimstone and fire off the woman whose good policy was violated from within. As she excused herself he took a deep breath, Hoarse words came out, "I was hoping to see someone. But it looks like it will be another day of waiting. You are very… interesting gentlemen."

"I am neither gentle nor a man," Michael corrects, mildly. "And if you need stay here, Well, I can go get you something and come back." Belatedly, he puts out a hand to Caliban, with the air of it being a very foreign gesture.

Caliban arched an eyebrow. Ya know, where he comes from that was not the most confusing rebuttal he's ever received, especially when one of your contingency was gelatinous. A hand, pale, thin, bruised, and with an extraordinary grip met Michael's. "Well you're generous in any regard." His voice was not so different than shoes shuffling across gravel. While he hand the hand he pulled himself to a stand. The man had more scars than a scratching post. "I still don't understand the purpose of an association for homes is."

"I may have to make a few inquiries." Of what kind, the louche doesn't say. Lucifer has no reason to, though he entertains notions in his head that probably would make her clutch her pearls and cause Mrs. Mole scream for them to think of the children. All the terrible weight of musing with little better to do… It's a bad idea to go in a foray down that angle.
"I'm sure madame over there meant to say that having everyone under a single thumb permits uniform looks, thoughts, and appearance. It has some advantages, as say with countries where the population density is considerable, Japan coming to mind. And yet, that being said, it does tend to reduce the concept of social compassion, independent thinking, and problem solving. So there you have it. A fiefdom for one. "

Michael's hand is uncallused, despite the myriad of weapons he's used in his day. "I'm an angel," he explains, placidly. "But I'm wearing human form in order to blend in." Ooooffff course you are, Michael. "And honestly, I don't know either, when it comes to a home association." Then Lucian explains it, and he gesture with his free hand - he hasn't relinquished his grip on Caliban's.

Caliban cracked a grin to Michael finding amusement in this with a chuckle. "An angel? And maybe I am a Horseman. You may call me…Caliban." The look was not necessarily one of doubt but of interest. His hand was still seized. It was what it was through those eyes, devoid of any real colour for an albino shifted from Michael to Lucian and back. "She is still far kinder for a deranged old woman than the one that threw knives at me from her porch for 'shopping'."

"You're not, though you can aspire to such things. I wouldn't." Where is that cigarette? Is it out? Not any more. Or another is in Lucian's mouth and he gives a feline smirk in his brother's direction. "He's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but veracity tends to be in his court." Mostly. There's a smirk to that he can't resist. "She isn't kind. Perhaps if you are a petunia. But cruelty is a token I'm not inclined to abide when waylaid on the back of a badly implemented bit of tyranny."

Michael nods, all earnestness. "Yes. I'm Michael, angel of war," he says. "I'm on vacation." And apparently dead serious on that front. He's still holding Caliban's hand with the trusting gentleness of a kindergartner. "Pleased to meet you, Caliban. No, I'm not as clever as Lucian there, I admit." No shame where that's concerned.

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