1964-09-29 - Self-tempted, Self-Depraved
Summary: The first sort by their own suggestions fell, self-tempted, self-depraved: man falls deceived by the other first: man therefore shall find grace, the other none.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kai bucky lucian 

Kai lays on the floor within view of the glass patio door. He's surrounded by opulence, but he prefers the floor. He's got newspapers spread out and he's browsing one of them. They're mostly art rags, some about the music scene. Loki is out walking Kevin, domestic trickster that he is (teaching the dog to prefer his company to drive Kai slowly insane). Today, the scone elf is in jeans and a tie-dyed t-shirt of his own making, all bright and vibrant. He's barefoot, in full relaxation mode as he reads by the light coming in through the patio door.

|ROLL| Lucian +rolls 1d20 for: 13

Whatever passes for subtlety, it is absolutely not the dazzling wingspan occasionally catching the sunlight. It takes considerable skill to /see/ those feathers, however, given their radiance is outlined rather than fully filled in, drinking up the solar rays but giving so much more to pass through.

He takes a desultory path on the wing to find a certain Midtown address on high. No death-defying acrobatics or acceleration, anyways, considering what he carries. Someone is probably unlikely to look up but they can't really complain about the Winter Soldier being transported in a spiral of silk by a man who flies. And given he's golden haired, he's Captain America. Even if Cap can't fly.

Lucian, though, is dressed nicely enough; dark pants, dark shirt, killer black boots. No blousy pirate shirt here. He doesn't alight on the terrace. No, he hovers over it. The back draft of his wings shouldn't cause any wind; they're a photon or three thick. And still, it does, because impressive hovering is a seraph thing (TM).

It's an odd appearance for Bucky, of course. He still has the suit jacket and dress shirt he was wearing when he left for work the day before. His hat is in his hand - no reason to wear it when it's sure it'll blow right off on the way back. From about the waist down, he's swathed in some silky fabric, tied like a sarong, with a tail of excess wound over one shoulder, the better to keep it in place. His hair is loose, and he looks utterly exhausted, even as he cranes his neck this way and that to peer at things from this unwonted perspective. To Lucian, he notes, voice mild….and very rough indeed, as if he'd smoked all his cigarettes the night before in quick sequence, "….KAi coulda just brought me clothes, and I'd'a walked home." No real protest in his voice, though. "I got my keys," he adds, "So even if no one's home…." At least Kai is the one person in New York who won't be completely flabbergasted by all this.

"They call that something. Ah, what is it?" The angel's voice is caramel and honey on the ears, the saturated sunrise spilling from every last chord. It's a masterpiece however torn around the edges. "Ah, yes, I recall. Shame, walking in shame. As if I would ever allow one of Lux's employees to be subjected to that." The smirk turned up at the corners withers away any notion shame could last in his presence longer than thirty seconds. Maybe. Lucian shrugs his shoulder, surveying his surroundings. "The ambiance needs work. I can see the overlay of rage and jealousy seeping into the foundation. Might tell the others to do something about it." His shoulders lift and fall in a shrug that tugs on the powerful muscles of his back, and the wings curl in languid stirs. All he can do not to shatter the glass and he descends, alighting on the railing such as it exists. Showoff.

Kailooks up. Well, that's something you don't see everyday. It's true, the elf has seen some shit, and this? This is interesting. He gets up and steps out onto the patio. "What's this?" He says , a slow smile of delight blossoming on his lips. "Yes, we seem to have misplaced that. Bring it on in." He regards Lucian in all his glory with intense interest. "Would you like to come in? I can make you a drink." Poor Bucky gets an amused grin. "So what's the story?"

His face is solemn, despite the absurdity of the position and his garb. "Nobody woulda known," he says, permitting himself a little grin. "Kai won't tell anyone. He's good about keeping my secrets. I was coming and going from that apartment building for months, and only one guy guessed the Winter Soldier was his room-mate." He's clinging to Lucian, unashamedly. For an angel, the fall's nothing. But even the supersoldier's healing factor won't be enough to save him, if Bucky takes that dive.

He pauses at that, brow furrowed. "Yeah? You know, now that you say that….I can kinna see it. I mean, Lady Amora's been kind to me, so I shouldn't knock her, but…I guess she's just so obsessed with Prince Thor that every other guy is just a means to an end. And I'm only a mortal, my lifespan's like two minutes compared to hers." He shrugs, ignoring the very evident fact that two someones whose time is numbered in aeons thought him worth attention and tending. But it bubbles up, after a moment, and he gives Lucian a hasty kiss on the jawline, and laughs at himself.

Which Kai probably saw. Oh, man. "Hey, Kai," Bucky says, cool as you please. Not even a hint of a blush. "The boss was kind enough to bring me home," he adds.

Zephyrs caught at floor-level stir up whatever dustbunnies roosted among the furnishings and bits of dander shed by Kevin, blowing them around in devilish spires. Those last few undulations of his wings cease and the nigh invisible appendages flare wide, affording a near perfect attempt at balancing on the curved bar. He stoops slightly, that golden-haired bartender, and opens his arms to allow freedom to the wrapped mortal. Lucian says nothing about deliveries, not when Bucky resembles nothing so much as a bundle of joy and he is hardly crane-like.

"As talented as you may be at vanishing from sight, you defy the norms and thus stand out." His tone brooks little defiance; he knows of which he speaks. He should given his whole deal with Lux is the epitome of tugging human heart strings for profit.

And so, he nods politely to Kai. Or he was starting to, except for the branding at the sharp line of his jaw. Smooth-shaven as he will forever be, the pale track of fair skin carries that well enough.

Mind the dark flash in those eyes. "Obsession attracts the wrong sorts. There is a strength someone can exploit or it poisons over time." Observations, really, of a very, very old individual. #2 of eleventy bajillion.

Kai's brows lift when he sees Bucky's kiss along Lucian's jawline. Then he stifles a laugh, poorly, and those bright elfin eyes sparkle with delight. They're of a deep blue, with flecks of silver like moonlight on water. At a passing glance, he could pass for human, but it's those little details that betray him. He wraps an arm around his middle and his shoulders shake silently. Finally, he finds his voice and says, "This calls for scotch."

The elf draws back a few steps, then turns to walk toward the kitchen. Once there, a musical giggle can be heard as he takes down a bottle of scotch and three tumblers. It's a fine, aged brew. The Master of the house appreciates his luxury. "Who's your friend, Jack?" he calls.

When he emerges with three glasses, each with a splash, his cheeks are pink from mirth. To Lucian, he says, "I'm Kai, Jack's housemate. I'm afraid the master of the house is out, but I'll be your standin." He offers one of the glasses to Lucian first (he knows who the guy in charge is, here), then one to Bucky. Retaining his own, he gestures across the room. It's rather posh, to be honest. "Make yourselves at home."

Upon the wall, there is an exquisite painting of Serrure, his inky black hair gleaming, verdant eyes alight with mischief, and the slight curl of his lips promising exquisite torment. Or pleasure. Mercurial creature, he is, and the artist has captured him beautifully. It's a rare talent to be sure.

|ROLL| Lucian +rolls 1d20 for: 19

"Ah," Bucky says, "Lucian, this is Hjuki Eyvindrson, who goes by Kai. He took me in when I was lost and hurt, " he explains. Then, "Kai, this is Lucian, who runs Lux. He's the guy who hired me." Because every employer in Manhattan is an angel solicitous of his mortal employees. He steps down from Lucian's embrace to the patio - he's got his boots on, at least. It's just the pants that are missing. He keeps one hand for the sheet that's preserving an oddball semblance of of modesty, sets down the glass on the living room t able, and darts into his room. A few moments later, and he returns, sans suitjacket, but with jeans and presumably boxers beneath, hair pulled back neatly again. He snags the glass and takes a slug, then sighs. Still not blushing. Yeah, he's the one who's given the game away.

"And they had as king over them the prince of the endless void, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon." His gaze is placid. "Son of Alfheim, take up a lamentation for the king, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord, "You were the seal of perfection, full off wisdom and perfect in beauty."' The son of the morning, the man of sin, the prince and power of the the air and darkness; the ruler of darkness in this age."

Can't blame some of the writers, but still, he assesses the scotch with a long, low look. Better than meeting those eyes and finding perdition in every heartbeat, judgment that not even Frank Castle can leverage with similar acuity. "Hysterical lot prone to a touch of overembellishment. I am called Lucian." Just like Kai is 'just' Kai. "Hjuki. I know your great-grandfather." How he does those leaps or if he's razzing someone out, pulling one's leg, could well be defined as a possibility were he not totally defying gravity by stepping down light as a feather.

The glass is taken, raised, and sipped by someone who knows his alcohol. Mad scientist with the mixers, he appreciates the slow burn. "I accept the hospitality but I will assume the master of the house would not have me treat this as home." Thin flicker of a smirk there. "Nothing personal. Rather a matter of province. As Thor, so with Odin, and such. They have their hierarchy. I upend it."

Kai watches Lucian with open-faced fascination. He's seen death. He's been an unwitting subject of Hela and prisoner of Chernabog. This winged one? He trumps them somehow, and yet the experience has left the elf more stable on his feet in the presence of greatness. Wonderful practice should he ever have to look Odin in his one eye. "If I ever meet him, I'll tell him," he says. "I'm afraid I'm below his notice." Yeah, afraid. More like relieved.

He takes up a lean against the arm of a sumptuous couch, and he savors the burn of his scotch. He peers at Lucifer for a time, then says, "Njall Stigrson?" It's a stab in the dark. His paternal grandfather's father was still alive last he checked. "He's lived quiet a life if the stories are true."

His attention drifts to Bucky, and he offers him a dazzling grin. "I owe you a high-five," he informs his brother-in-spirit. "I was wondering where you'd gotten off to." He winks, pouring it on thick. No, Bucky will not get out of this one without teasing.

He takes another drink, small and savoring despite that he could toss it back like water if he wanted. "Sometimes I think hierarchies could use a little upending," he says. "In any case, don't mind my darling. You have no designs on me, I'm sure. That's what he gets wrathful about. He won't begrudge you a little scotch and conversation." Especially if he's not around to disapprove in person.

Buck's expression is sphinxish, at that, but there's that first rise of color. He gives Kai one of those sidelong looks. "Long night," is all he says on the subject. "Then I slept the clock 'round." IT's hard to know where Bucky is on a given night, he's got so many different places to crash, after all, though he's settled more and more here. Safer than any but the Mansion, and that has nervous making people in it, like Mr. Stark. "AKA Lucifer Morningstar," he adds on a sigh, and finishes the rest of the drink in haste. Hey, he was screaming it all night, he knows it.

"The hierarchy does badly require it. I am not a little sorely tempted." Lucian traces the rim of the glass with a fingertip. Never bother looking for fingerprints; he hasn't been given any that would remotely be recognizable in a database, subtly shifting every few seconds. "But, perhaps a matter of scale. How did that irritable little man phrase it?

"For you have said in your heart:
'I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.'"

That beautifully acerbic smile tosses back a golden strand. "Error of course. I have no desire whatsoever to be like him or him. That would be repeating a mistake, especially his." Fuck you too, Dad.

Kai's lips twitch. Long night. Oh man, Bucky's going to get it later. The razzing, the interrogation, the delighted laughter. Hjuki has a puckish streak himself, even if he can't hold a candle to his beloved. He blinks a few times. "Lucifer Morningstar? In the very flesh?" His attention turns to Lucian, and he marvels, "It's such a pleasure to meet you." In his jeans and tie-dye and bare feet, he bows with flourish. He's had home training, he just tends to ignore it.

Bucky gets another sidelong glance, impressed. The Morningstar? Way to go, bro. To Lucifer, he says, "We exist to do better than those who came before us. Luckily, in my case, it's a low bar." Never mind that, in so many ways, he's just like his father. Rakish, a charmer, a great lover of high romance. Fuck you, Dad. For getting caught and being taken away.

There's something grateful in Bucky's face at that. Kai is the one being in the Five Boroughs to whom you can confess that you spent an entire night out doing some fairly depraved things with the actual former Lord of Hell…..and get neither disgust nor disbelief. There's more disbelief in Bucky's own face. Without the nearly hallucinogenic levels of pleasure and pain, the contrast between Lucian and gritty reality is sharp. But now he's looking at Lucian again, and it's not mere longing, but some of that wonder. He's impressed, himself….and not by his skills in snagging any attention from a beauty like that. Maybe at surviving it.

"No, not in the flesh." He can't exactly lie, though neither does he have to use the truth as a blunt, binding force. That would be the squirrel-chasing golden lab of his brother. Nothing really leaks through the resonating photonic atoms that make up the lean form Lucian adopts, though he carries a tremendous gravity to any sensitive and there's the little matter of that gaze that renders time and conscious barriers impotent. "One would hate to disappoint the clientele and general public by assuming anything overly gaudy." He knocks back another finger of scotch, as though the amber branding his throat does anything more than sparkle in the autumn hour shot by shadows.

One good chase of the liquid libation gives something pretty to watch. "Yes, I made all this. Not what was made of it, subtle and profound difference. I remember the World Tree and myriad other things. Comes with the territory. No, I am not bullshitting you."

Using his name puts him on alert. Believing in him? That's food, powerful food at that.

Death and renewal has given Kai something he lacked before: perspective. Belief comes easily these days because all the things he was taught to believe? They turned out to be real. The Great Adversary is in his living room? Cool. He pours the fallen angel another splash of scotch, not shy about personal space as he moves in to do so. "Well, however you appear, you're easy on the eyes.

He goes to Bucky to touch up his scotch as well, and he clasps the assassin on his fleshy arm. Seriously, good job, bro. He's proud. He flashes Bucky that telltale grin again. "Bet you'll sleep for a week," he says. He touches up his own glass and resumes his lean, as though no form of seating must ever be used as intended. Sitting in chairs properly is what the Man wants you to do!

"All things considered," Kai says, "Thank you for making it. I've been having a great time." He raises his glass to Lucifer, then takes a drink.

That's when Bucky colors in earnest. So much for playing it cool. "I intend to," he says to Kai, admitting it without hesitation. "He, uh, and my manager - they broke some of the uglier parts of what the Russians did to me," he explains. "I'm very grateful." His gaze darts between them, settles on Lucian again.In front of Kai, he doesn't have to be shy about just admiring the angel.

The Devil is mum on certain things, probably too many to count. He did set a little boy in East Village straight about whether God wears underpants the other day, though. Pique controls the conversation more than anything.

Let's also remember he's a lush happy to partake of certain libations, and especially those given freely by a nice hidden elf trying to catch moon-glow in his eyes and razz the gloomiest muffin assassin ever. Scone, assassin, and whatever the hell the Morningstar is. Say a burger and you'll die an endlessly painful death.

Where was he? Oh, right, disregarding chairs and nodding absently to the conversation. "I do take umbrage to furtive programming protocols. Nasty things that speak of being a hammer where a scalpel would do. Pity, that."

That glimmer is there in his eyes, just waiting to blossom and glow until it encompasses all of him, rendering him silverblue and ethereal. Not today, alas, or at least not right now. "The next time I'm in Alfheim," Kai offers, "I'll bring you Firefly wine. I almost applied for a job at Lux, you know? After I was fired from my last job for disappearing. Then my darling said I shouldn't work at all when he can support me." A lifestyle Kai could easily get used to.

He considers Bucky over the span of a slow sip from his glass. "I owe you, man," he says to Lucian. "For helping Bucky here. Just seeing him be him lately has been so cool." He smiles at Bucky admiring the angel. Is this how he is when Loki is around? Impossible, he's too cool for that.

"Well, that's them, all about brute force engineering," Bucky observes, wryly. It's not as fond as Kai is, that gaze, nothing like that tenderness. Just a kind of avid wonder. "That's when I was gone for that while," he explains. "We were captured and taken to Svartalfheim. Kai they tortured. Me they turned into an animal and made me fight in a pit. Then they set me on Kai and I killed him….and we had to go get him from Niflheim." Not the explanation he gave before, but then….that's when he thought Lucian was just some sort of beautiful metahuman.

"Indeed. I shall remember that." Old rules about deals with the Devil also apply to debts. No golden lion from a fantasy rock compares, though. Live and learn! Lucian nods to the matters otherwise, occasionally given to longer stretches of silence. As a publican, the job rather qualifies him to hear instead of talk and he does coet the silences from time to time. "Mr. Barnes can be blamed for an equal amount."

Just one terrible little revision to make and the ghostly arc of a smile isn't one that reaches those farseeing eyes. No telling what this creature knows and knows naught. "Not quite dead."

Surely owing the Morningstar a favor can't possibly end badly. Kai's usually sunny expression grows sober when Bucky talks about Svartalfheim. Solemnly, he says, "Niflheim is so boring, you almost wish you could die again. At least in Chernobog's cell, I had a toy to play with and there were walls and a floor."

A third round of scotch is poured. "Then my darling and my friend came to save me, with others, who risked their lives just for me. It's humbling. It makes me think my life isn't my own. In a good way. That the time I've got left, I need to use it for better things."

Bucky gives Kai a look. He, at least, remembers how those stories go, about the deals made at the crossroads at midnight. He slugs the scotch again, which is really not fair to it, but….there's a shrug. It's gone beyond favors for him to something like fealty. Twice granted gifts unbargained for, when among the myriad of sins that wreathe the Soldier is never once found disloyalty. Some debts can be repaid, others only forgiven.

Sins on sins; debts on debts. Is there really anything less intoxicating than a fair balance of the divine scales, a cosmic rendering by enlightened choice? Willpower is the essence of Lucifer; creativity and independence, stormily created at times, the rest. So for him there is only the certainty of a drink and the salute, of sorts. "Good then to know what you have found worthy in life. That seems to be the guiding principle for most. Know what you want. Strive for it, attain and exceed it. Never cease to improve upon it."

Kai nods, curls bouncing. "Yes," he says, emphatic, a mere glimpse of the passion the elf is capable of, bright-burning all the same. "That's how I feel about my art, and I live for and by it. Again, exceed, improve." He's lucky to have talent and means. No hardcore purveyor of macaroni greeting cards, he. Or worse: macrame.

He sits on the arm of touch, balanced neatly. "See, I hear the stories about you," he tells Lucifer, "and I think, man, I don't know. I know he's supposed to be bad and all, but he sounds like a real hep cat. I was right."

It is all catching up in an abrupt rush. Ecstasy can be as exhausting as pain. And the scotch, not helping. That silence from Buck is broken by a faintly slurred, apologetic, "Gen'lemen, I'm sorry. But I gotta go lie down. Kai, we'll talk later. Lucifer….I'll never be able to thank you enough." It's the truth, isn't it? He doesn't try to stumble over and kiss the angel again, thankfully. Instead, he sets the empty glass down, and slips away to the little room off the living room. The thuds of two boots hitting the floor, and then the *whumph* of a body collapsing on the mattress. Lucifer 1,000: Barnes: 0.

One long, pointed look goes without the mortal niceties of blinking. Might as well tear down the walls and hang glass plates everywhere for all Lucian gives the undoubted impression he's examining things on a molecular structural level, and plotting whatever a man who runs a posh, successful club thinks.

Probably pondering inseams and scone recipes. Or melted cheese.

"How kind, but you must admit you are biased. He came back in one piece." Truth enough.

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