1965-06-27 - Scents and Sensibility
Summary: It's what you know.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
bucky lucifer 

'Bustling' is not usually a verb that applies to Bucky. STalking, gliding, etc. But, it's not long post-shutdown, and he's happily replenishing stuff from the cellar against the weekend, darting back and forth with a checklist of liquors in his…..suddenly non-metal hand. The left arm is covered in something that does a damn good impression of human skin, down to the shading of a tan, and the look of hair. So Buck's down t- his t-shirt- no use risking more stains on his dress shirt or suitjacket or vest - and old fatigues.

Call the early week a win-win situation for those who enjoy entertainment and seek a certain solicitous quiet. Lux is never riotously hopping or dead quiet, for those who partake of needs and schedules outside the nine to five routine. So descends the quiet hour when Ana closes up the bar, Mazikeen resorts to stalking for prey, and the other spectres withdraw into their own interests. For one who never sleeps, deprived of such skill at any rate, this marks a time for meditation or finding to fill the void. He taps his fingertips against the empty bottle that held an elixir of no particular interest.

Pieces of a dream long gone fracture in the reflection. Lucian examines the glass this way and that, then he shakes his head. The strawberry-blonde deva offers a faint grin and says nothing, but whatever exchange transpires between them leads him to head for the cellar.

"I'm not responsible for any breakage," he replies idly.

It's a meeting at the foot of the stairs, Buck in the clean-up clothes, complete with bartender's apron over the worn cotton of the fatigue pants. Not yet couture, but he never wears them when the bar is open. Those're the hours for sharp suits, the hair carefully pulled back, as clean cut as he ever manages. Afterhours, he's been routing out dust and checking stock - the lagtime on some of the rarities being replenished can be long. The right hand holds a bottle of something gleamingly pink - something rose-based, it seems. The left has a jar of frankincense, its sharp scent faint on the air, despite the tightly screwed cap. "This is the Omani green, right?" he asks, with neither greeting nor preamble, proffering it to the angel.

Lucian rarely bothers with an apron or a smock, though he might possess the means to disappear objects or create them wholecloth. On the face of it, he's dressed down, sleeves rolled back to his elbows, collar open, and every sense of a slow undoing to follow. His footsteps echo on the stairs until pulled to a stop. "And here I was lead to believe you had a feather duster and a crinoline." Only a crinoline? Perish the notion. Amusement cuts deep enough behind the blond's mild tone. "Muscat, nineteen forty seven, a field six kilometers off the coast, owned by a man who lost two sons in a naval accident."

There's a moment of dry sardonicism in his face, at that, as he looks up at the seraph. Very funny, sir. "I do speak French," he observes, mildly. "Pretty well, I'm told." No feather duster, rags draped over the apron belt. No lace cap, either.

Then, carefully, he unscrews the jar, inhales a little. The scent of brick and stone, damp and cool, is momentarily overridden by that odorifeous equivalent of desert sunshine, keen as a blade

"Not wearing black and white to the lengths required by the profession. They have standards to uphold and a guild to support their cause." The louche of Lux flicks his fingertips against the fall of his golden hair, and the measured look taking in the surroundings at the bottom of the stairs. Bucky naturally falls inside that span. No lace cap, a disappointment. "You've managed the gloves, at least."

Bucky looks down at white t-shirt, black fatigues. "Not enough lace and crisply-ironed linen," he says, after a moment. Then he sets aside the jar and bottle to draw off his gloves, wiggle both apparently normal hands at the blond. "I did enough housekeeping as a kid," he says, wryly. "Still do."

Lucian nods, a solemn acknowledgment. "Standards," he replies. "I am usually one to demand they are met and exceeded. I will not permit you the liberty of bypassing them for your own pleasure, let alone mine." Those terrible, bright eyes bring an unholy fusion of tanzanite fire and midnight together, a shade no human really possesses. He is far from fey in any respect, but emboldened, dark and mindful as the mood takes him. The fine scent of the unguent in the air registers, and he inclines his head. "You should think of a pastime as a perfumer, with a nose like yours."

Which conceit tickles him, by the way he grins. "Me, a perfumer. I dunno. I've just got a good nose, but actually making something someone would wanna smell like….." He shrugs. There's still the betraying rasp of plate against plate. Still looking up at the angel, but coming no closer. Lucian does what he wants, after all.

"Olfactory senses enhanced beyond the norm and a peculiar affinity for substances known for their subtle undertones and mid to base notes. For example, that. The frankincense. Rose." The litany makes for a short measure of detail. "I should put out several essences to see what you might do with them. Placing them together, allowing you to flex your creativity. So painfully few bother in this day and age. 'Tis too bad, really."

Lucian smirks, at any rate, holding his place. No going past without his consent, then.

Buck looks thoughtful, considering. "Well, smell and taste are tied so close together," he agrees. A transparent creature, when he's not resorting to Winter's deadpan to paper things over. "If you want to. 's your dime," he says, looking up from a momentary glance down in contemplation. Then he takes a step or two up from the bottom, having retrieved bottle and jar again.

Transparency in soul and nature fit together easily enough. "With time, you can learn. Competitive enough to discover the ins and outs, finding your way. You may even outmatch Ana in a few areas." Lucian smirks, the slow unfolding of that long mouth to the axis of graceful strokes of mirth. He flicks. "I might as well. There should be, hmm, ninety-six bottles in the storage room? In the banded chest with a grey straps. A Serb offered them as payment. I haven't yet found a reasonable purpose for them. Try dabbling and see what you can do." Those indigo eyes flick away as he picks out the location from prodigious memory beyond steel trap; he's the atomic equivalent of a computer, lightning-quick, forgetting naught. "You have a study or a discovery."

That has him turning back, setting the bottle and jar down on a shelf near the stairs. "I can get it out now, in fact," he says, gamely. "Might as well. Where is it exactly?" he asks, back to looking up at Lucian expectantly.

"Mezzanine secondary storage room. Look behind the chinoiserie cupboard, on the fourth shelf back. It should be next to a steamer chest and Sara's toolchest." Lucian marks where Bucky places the jar with such care, measuring every detail in exquisite heights. He might walk blind through Lux and name the placement of evry object, the angle of every piece of furniture, the disposition of those claimed as his, tertiary or not. The mild, oblique comment goes without commentary on part of the dark-haired soldier, and thus, he makes no point to press it. Some secrets will be his sooner or later. Bucky has to move past him. Brushing his arm to what resembles flesh and is not takes no effort at all.

Not skin. But warmer and softer than the alloy arm, and with some give beneath - a fine overlay on the metal. A step closer to looking like a real boy. Politely, he slips past the angel, to head for the storage room in question. "I remember seeing it there, now that you say that," he says, cheerfully. "Wondered what it was, what it was for." He cultivates his lack of questions carefully - so much here is none of his business, and likely not in the least for mortals to meddle in.

Flesh requires a certain springiness and a certain density that modern materials simulate. They lack the same way of distributing heat through the network of veins and arteries, the secret of what makes the substance living, organic. Any number of cyborgs, synthezoids, and unimaginable technology from a rank three or four civilization — such as the Kree and their ilk measure, anyways — seek and fail to replicate the perfect imperfections that make a living, breathing person feel, act, and radiate the way they do.

"Well, we can hardly have you running after the Holy Grail afterhours, can we?" Lucian idly notes this as though he sits on the cup rather than Joseph of Arimathea's descendants or Merovingian kings.

"Wouldn't surprise me if you had it already," Buck says, drily, as he reaches the top of the stairs and turns down the hall to the relevant storage room. Followed by the sound of him moving boxes and in some cases, barrels. He's always got that indefatigable energy, not tired by a long shift. But then, he was made for the long and tireless march in harsh conditions. An evening in the air-conditioned cool of a high-end bar is a vacation.

"What is a cup to me? When there are many cups in the world?" Once again, he smirks. "Finite details and imperfections add value to the common, rendering their value transcendent." The seraph muses on the matter for a few moments, turning only as Bucky seeks escape from the underworld. He is no Charon at the river Styx, but far more akin to Hades querying particularly benighted souls about their experiences. Must ensure the realm stays content, after all. A rebellion from below, tsk, never. "Remember that when mixing your brews. And do occasionally think to wear an apron. You'll find that to be a wise investment when stirring together the various ingredients."

And so he settles back against the wall, waiting to descend anew, seeking some forgotten treasure. Not for nothing was Hades known as Plouton, and from that, the inheritor of all the wealth of the underground veins. He who ruled the deep earth in turn represents the master of the deepest place.

He returns with the chest in his arms, showing no sign of strain. There will be smudges on the t-shirt, though, dust being what it is. "Where d'you think I should put it now?" he asks, looking down at it, and then up at the angel again. "I will. And just so long as nothing explodes," he adds, with one of those rueful faces. "I didn't get much training in demolitions, during the war."

Waiting — a strange game, for an immortal. He thinks in millennia, rather than days, centuries rather than seconds. Even those elements of time prove fluid for someone whose existence, whose fundamental being, defined the start. Phosphoros, after all, let there be light in the morning of the first day is very much the start of life outside the eternal. Fallen so far, so deep. He pinches a bit of wood polish and pours it onto a cloth, smoothing out the finish on a bit of walnut bracketing older than most European nations in their modern incarnation. Something to be said for the decadent traces of deep lemon, a soap in liquid form soothing his thoughts.

Lucifer Morningstar is perfectly capable of dusting, as it happens. Dusting is important, after all. "Nothing in there will explode. You may find the ambergris distasteful, but the infusions made from a base of oil or alcohol are noteworthy in their own right. Don't anticipate drinking any of it. Even your system may not handle the poisonous ones well," he notes in a dry turn. "Demolitions? Alas. You have all Southeast Asia for that."

"From-" He stops. No, that saying isn't appropriate in Lucifer's presence. "Uh. I hope it doesn't come back to that," James's tone is a little bleak, and he busies himself with setting the chest on a cleared off, clean space of shelving, not far from the door up to the main bar. Dust gets blown off, and then he's opening it in a creaking of hasps. "And no, I figure blending scents. I can ask Ana what's safe….I guess I can be poisoned. It just takes a big dose." Lucifer's seen him drunk, after all.

The light arch of a golden brow over a fathomless indigo eye mars the perfect balance of his expression. Intuiting something of the unspoken conversation, he gives nothing along the lines of the smile. "Explosions do make the evening thrilling for a short term, and certainly not for the long term. Such a delusion to want nothing but the burst and the thunder. Audio cues trigger the most exciting reactions in the brain, but fear and cultivated familiarity easily erode that, don't they?"

Two steps up and the angel emerges from the deep cellar. He lays the cloth over his forearm. "Blending brings a certain clarity of mind and purpose, I'll note."

Buck snorts. "I've spent many an evening working towards an explosion." Take than as an entendre or not, as you will. "But yes, you're right. The human mind adapts to nearly anything…." Then he's reaching in to come up with a corked vial of dark resin, black as pitch, or very close. He breaks the wax steal with a thumbnail, opens it tentatively. Something very dark and heavy, but with a sweetness to it. "Opoponax," he says, slowly, turning it to readh the label.

"As a group activity, it can be rather provocative. In solitary study, though, you no doubt achieve a certain focus and mastery, yes?" Lucian smirks ever so slightly anew, the ephemeral reaction lurking in the wings for its full unveiling. "Adaptations. Immortelle, coriamder, davana, labdanum, gaiac wood. Ouds, of course, and of course tasteful orris. Make of those what you will. Most of them can easily be attained without much difficulty. Opoponax holds a smoky richness, sensual. Like the angelica, and not quite the same."

He inhales - not right over the vial, but merely savoring the scent as it makes itslf known. "In the war," he says, rather dreamily, as he puts the vial back in the chest, cork pressed back in with his thumb, "We were fighting down near Grasse. Where they grow all the flowers for the perfume they make. Steve stepped on a bottle of jasmine….oil, I guess…it got all over his boots and you could smell him coming for weeks. One day we had to hide out in the lavender fields while we were waiting for a German patrol. The scent was amazing…."

"Terribly en vogue, too. Lavender and orange blossom come from that area in particular too. Easy to imagine those fields concealing servicemen. Glamorous turn of events." Lucian sinks his teeth into the lining of his cheek. "You would almost think you can forget those terrible turns of events. Scent holds memories very well, effective indeed. Imagine the mysteries and messages you might convey through a few well chosen dabs."

Bucky looks over his shouler and laughs at that. "I dunno about glamourous at the time. We were pretty grubby. And….that part I wouldn't forget. Fighting with Steve and the Commandos wasn't bad. It's just…some of after." He turns somber, rummages in the chest again. Now it's a resin red as congealed blood. "Dragon's blood," he says, dubiously, as he unseals it. It's a spicy, sharp, clean scent. "That's not really blood…."

"I would never keep dragon's blood there. Alarmingly runny substance, not the viscous, tacky gelatin popularized by others. Unless you mean the floral kingdom equivalent, another matter entirely. Faunal, floral, two entirely different beasts." Lucian turns over the rag on his arm and gazes at the woodwork behind Bucky, as though about to commit a frontal assault on the dirt bound to be had. "Breathe deep of what you find."

"That's what it's gotta be," he says, reassured. "I mean, it looks like a resin." He inhales, looks thoughtful. "Sure doesn't smell like any blood I've ever encountered." Gods know he's shed his share. He proffers the vial to Lucifer, as if for confirmation.

The bottle pinched up by the seraph is a formality. The rest, he knows exactly. Each of those handwritten labels bears something of the stamp of his double checking, a minute mark in every ragged corner. "It looks good." Lucian taps the side of the glass. "Quality. The Serb is a master of his craft. Stickler for the details. This will be good, however it can be blended. Though some of those blends can be absolutely awful."

"I'm sure," Buck says, placidly. "'s like painting. YOu go too crazy with color, you end up with something that looks like a mudpie. Just a mess." He settles the vial back in its slot in the chest, and then closes it. "Think i'll have a drink, myself," he says, with a sigh. "I'll have to play more with this as time permits." Busy life, considering the kids and the girlfriend.

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