1965-07-16 - Dinner
Summary: Kai goes to Amber's for dinner and they both surprise each other.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kai amber 


Groundskeeper's Shack, Xavier Institute. 7:30pm EST
Perched above the lawnmower, tool and tractor shed is a small, one room apartment for the person who uses 'em. In this case, that'd be Amber. The door's closed, but there's a window open not five feet away from it, out of which streams two things, 1) antique country western music, and 2) the smell of homemade chili.


Kai sneaks, because he can, and because this place has 'secret' written all over it. It triggers his urge not to get caught. Fortunately, he's good at sneaking, using his gift of illusions and darkness to fade into the background and provide handy shadows. So there's very little the herald his arrival except for a sudden knock on the door, three quiet raps.


"Just a second.", Amber calls through the open window. "Okay, that's lookin' fine, just leave that on low.", she says to herself as from within, the distinctive snap of a gas stove being turned down. Then a few footsteps before she opens the door. Shock of all shocks, she is both immaculately clean, sweet smelling, nicely, if rustically dressed, and ~gasp~ hatless!
"Hey, Kai, right on time.", she grins, "C'mon in, can I get ya somethin' t' drink? Fraid all I got's Dr. Pepper, iced tea an' water. Don't like keepin' beer around, the li'l bugger's'd be bustin' in an' these locks are more of a suggestion to stay out than a statement.", she chuckles.


Kai looks awfully human tonight, but even in his human guise, he's gosh darn pretty. Light Elves, what can be done? He's dressed in his mod glory, in greens and blues instead of his usual fiery orange. "Amber!" he says, "You look lovely." He beams, and he kisses her cheek. "Dr. Pepper's fine. I love Dr. Pepper. There's nothing like it in any other Realm. Only Midgard could come up with something like that."


"Aw, this old thing?", Amber says, plucking at her gingham dress. "Thanks.", she says, blushing slightly at the kiss. "Comin' right up.", she says. "Go on, now, make y'self t'home.", she instructs, shooing Kai towards the small sofa that makes up the bulk of the small living area's furniture.
If there' any doubt of Amber's origins, a glance at her little home should dispel them. The walls have been thoroughly whitewashed, wooden floors scoured clean and polished. What little decor there is is of a decidedly Western theme, mostly consisting of photographs of landmarks and vistas found on the high plains, including Devil's Tower and a honest-to-goodness ghost town.
"Here ya go,", Amber replies, returning to press an ice cold bottle of Dr. Pepper into Kai's hand. "Heh, so Asguardians like Dr. Pepper.", she smiles, "Give 'em full makes for taste, then.", she says, hoisting her own bottle. "Cheers!"


Kai wanders to the couch and sits perfectly at home in other people's houses. "Goodness, you keep a clean house," he says. "I live with another man, and sometimes a third one, so you can imagine." He looks from photo to photo with interest. For all the years he's been on Earth, he's spent too little time west of New York City. It's fascinating. He snaps out of his reverie to take the Dr. Pepper with a smile. "Alfheimian," he says. "Though now I think I'll give some to Loki to see what he thinks. It'll either be a favor or a prank." His smile turns wicked, and he lifts his drink, then takes a drink. "Mmm, that's the stuff."


"Ah, Alfheimian.", Amber replies, clinking bottles. "Beg pardon. It's kinda hard t' keep it all straight, sometimes, ya know.", she winks teasingly. "And thank you, I got a dirty job, no sense havin' a dirty home.", she says firmly. Seeing Kai take an interest in her pictures, she starts explaining where each comes from. "That there's Devil's Tower, out in Wyoming. Ain't got out there to see it myself, yet. Looks kinda spooky, risin' outta the plain like that.", she says, shivering a little. "Bet y'all know it better than us.", she winks playfully. "An' you can tell Loki, he's got a problem with Dr. Pepper, he's got a problem with Texas.", she says with girlish firmness. "An' we got more guns than him.", she chuckles.


"Loki is a Prince," he says fondly. "He has a certain standard, and for some reason he puts up with me. I'm learning to cook so he doesn't have to eat spaghetti with sauce from a jar every meal. Honestly, I bet Dr. Pepper would be a welcome palate cleanser." He studies the picture of Devil's Tower. "I would love to go see places like that, and Texas," he says. "New York is the city I know, so it's the one I keep coming back to." His attention darts to her again, and he asks, "What is Texas like? It seems like everything is just so big out that way."


"Ain't so much that things are /bigger/, really.", Amber says, pursing her lips thoughtfully, "Just there ain't so /much/ out there. If that makes any sense.", she concludes. "The city scared me shitless, beg pardon, first time I seen it, but then, got t' thinkin'. It's the same /space/, just with more /stuff/ in it. Again, if that makes any sense.", she shrugs slightly. "Texas, well, I ain't exactly an expert, but we got a history'd curl your hair.", she grins. "Civil wars, revolutions, all manner of excitement, good an' bad.", she nods. "It's th' only country in th' US can legally, on it's own initiative, split into four different states."


Kai says blithely, "That's a good way to look at it. Same space, more stuff. He twirls a finger around his hair and says, "I think it already did." Today his curls are actually tamed down instead of their usual wild, disheveled state. "I remember the Revolution, but I don't remember Texas," he admits. "But I know there was a lot of stuff happening in the South, and then there was that business with the Alamo. Has it ever split into four?"


"Well, we did kinda back the wrong horse in th' Civil War.", Amber concedes with a sigh. "Not 'xactly our finest hour.", she notes. "But we had a revolution of our own, from….Octorber, eighteen thirty five to April, eighteen thirty six.", she says, obviously quoting from a childhood textbook. "See, 'til then, Texas was part a' Mexico. But they went an' made us mad.", she grins, taking another swig of her drink. "We was a Republic for a spell, but we managed t' convince the United States, they were better off with us than without.", she winks. "Pretendin' to cosy up to the Brit's'll do that.", she chuckles musically. "An' no, we're still one state.", she notes. "Anyhow, I best get t' scramblin' eggs.", she says, and hies herself back to the kitchen. Donning her apron, she calls out, "You like cheese in yours, yes?"


Kai finds that chuckle infectious, and he grins broadly. Beneath his trim beard, dimples can be seen. "We all make mistakes," he says, "and we learn and grow. I suppose the same thing applies to land masses and governing bodies." He takes another drink of Dr. Pepper, enjoying the stuff. God knows what they'd think back in Alfheim. As she heads to the kitchen, he calls after her, "I like cheese on just about everything. Cheese is one of life's great pleasures."


"I knew there was a reason I liked you.", Amber chuckles, moving to snag a six pack of eggs from her tiny icebox. With a few deft cracks, a pinch or two of salt, a hit or two of hot sauce, and a healthy grating of sharp cheddar, she positions her buttered cast iron skillet over low flame. "Aw, shit, hey, Kai, there's a bag a' Fritos in th' cupboard up yonder, can ya snag 'em for me, please?"


Kai gets to his feet and says, "Of course." He plucks the Fritos from the cupboard and offers them over, setting them nearby. "This all smells so good," he says. "I've never had Texan food. I'm so used to eating Greek or hitting a noodle shop in Chinatown. My parents would be appalled at my eating habits. I don't even remember the kinds of food I ate in Alfheim all that well. Not well enough to make them."


"Heh, well, hope this lives up t' standards.", Amber replies, working the eggs over the heat until they come to a creamy texture before killing the heat. "Gotta undercook 'em just a bit.", she notes, reaching into a doll-house sized cup board for a pair of deep, white glass bowls. "Now, if you'd be so kind t' put about a handful of Fritos in th' bottom.", she says, readying her hunk of cheddar and grater.


Kai opens the Fritos bag and puts a handful in each bowl. "It smells great," Kai says, "and you've got cheese on it, so it's bound to be delicious. Besides, my tastes are pretty simple. Before Loki, I was living on bologna sandwiches and noodles. Once his deed is done, he sidles out of the way, watching what she's doing with interest. "I would love to bring Midgard cooking home when I go to visit."


Amber gives both bowls of Fritos a healthy dusting of cheese before using a wooden spoon to ladel on the eggs. "Heh, I can give ya th' recipie fer the chili, if you want.", she says, blushing again at the praise. "See, now that's why ya gotta undercook 'em a little, this chili's /hot/, an' the eggs are already firmin' up in the pan. That said, it's a healthy ladle of chili, another much more liberal grating of cheese and a fat dollop of sour cream. "Bon appetit.", she grins, fetching a pair of hot pads from a drawer so the bowls don't burn our hands.


Kai perks up as he watches everything getting layered on. "Thank you," he says brightly. He takes a hot pad to carry the bowl to a place to sit. "I'd love the recipe. It seems like a shame to live here for as long as I have and only know a few dishes." He inhales deeply and sighs. "This really smells good." Still, he waits a little for it to cool. Elves aren't impervious to burning their tongues.


"You are most welcome, Kai.", Amber smiles, blushing once more as she stirs her bowl up until it's, kind of a mess. Snagging a bottle of Tobasco sauce, she gives her bowl a few healthy shots before offering it to Kai. "Might wanna taste th' chili first.", she advises.
The chili? It's /hot/, the kind of 'creeping up on you' hot that you don't notice until bite number four or five. Hence the sour cream.
Amber wastes no time tucking in hungrily.


Kai follows suit once he's settled, Dr. Pepper near at hand just in case. Bless that super stamina, though. When he tastes the spice, as it creeps up on him, he grins. "Oh, wow, this is hot," he says, and he takes another bite. "It's burning my mouth." And yet, he continues to eat, so it must not be hurting him too badly. He uses the sour cream to cut the heat, but he continues to eat with enthusiasm. "How do mortals handle this much spice?" he asks with a quiet laugh. His cheeks are a little pink, but he's far from suffering.


"Heh, I was raised with this.", Amber chuckles, seeming to playfully enjoy Kai's discomfiture. Take that, Alfheim! "It's my Oma's recipe.", she winks. "Sort of, I asked th' grocer fer jalapenos, man looked at me like I was tryin' t' buy drugs or some such.", she snerks.


Kai grins. "It's delightful," he says. "You should talk with Lambert about where to get ingredients. He's got his places he goes." He continues to eat. "We eat more like the Norse did," Kai says. "At least they do in Asgard. Lots of savory and roasted things. The confections they make in Alfheim, though, they're amazing. I'll bring some back."


"Might just do that, he got any contacts out west?", Amber replies curiously, arcing a hopeful eyebrow. "I dunno if I can grow 'em here, ground gets awful hard in winter.", she sighs. "Roast beef.", she sighs again between spoonfuls. "Momma made a pot roast'd knock your sock's off.", she smiles whistfully. "Ain't never managed t' match it. Good with steaks, though.", she grins. "I mean the /cheap/ cuts. Boys on th' trail loved my London broils.", she grins proudly. "Oh, and please, do, sir!", she grins happily at the mention of extra-terrestrial pastry. "So how's it y' get back an' forth'? I mean, I know the whole 'rainbow bridge' bit, don't take me wrong, but, what the hell /is/ it, 'xactly?"


"You know," Kai says, "I think Lambert's family lives in Texas, now that I think about it. He says they live out in the middle of nowhere so no one can really get all that upset at them being, you know, different." Wistfully, Kai adds, "I love roasted beef. It's fattier than stag. So delicious." He tilts his head at her question. "Ah, the Bifrost? It's… I know there's science behind it, but I'm not a scientist. I just know that Heimdall, he's an Asgardian, is the Gatekeeper, and he can see all things in the Nine Realms. The Princes have only to ask, and he opens the Bifrost to them. It's like a bridge. They travel through it to return to Asgard, and again back to Earth. They can travel to any of the Nine Realms using it. It's called a rainbow bridge I guess because it leaves a rainbow after-image. Anyway, we'll be taking the Bifrost to Asgard, and from there to Alfheim."


"Like some kind of….shoot….what's th' word….wormhole? Is that it? Think that's it.", Amber replies, nodding enthusiasticaly. "So y'all can open an' close 'em at /will/?", she asks, momentarily forgetting what's left of the chili & eggs she's been chomping through so passionately. "That's……that's a lot of energy, ain't it?", she inquires. "I mean, I'm just a humble cowgirl, as you can see, but I've read my share.", she notes. "An' didn't Einstien say somethin' about the speed o' light bein' impossible? 'Cause you can't produce enough, power, I mean?"


"Yeah, something like that," Kai says with an agreeable nod. "I admit, I take so much of this stuff for granted, I don't even think about how it happens, but I guess with a wormhole, it folds space and gets rid of distance. It would take an incredible amount of energy, but Asgard's so advanced, it's probably nothing for them. We're not quite so much so in Alfheim, but we have magic for a lot of stuff." He continues to eating, savoring every bite. The dish had him at cheese.


"Shit…", Amber breathes, a bit awestruck, pausing before taking up her spoon in anger once more. "Every time I think I got a bearin' on what's goin' on, somethin' yanks the rug out from under me.", she sighs, pausing to take a big swig of Dr. Pepper. "Heh, reckon that's how it goes for everybody, though, don't it?", she muses, polishing of the rest of her supper.


Kai grins and says, "I don't think most people give much thought to how the things they use every day work, like electricity for example. I've no clue. I just know when I flip the light switch, the light comes on. I know it has something to do with energy." He takes a drink, then adds, "Then you've got people like Tony Stark who not only understand it but invent it. It's astonishing, really. I've only traveled via the Bifrost a few times, but it's just this thing, you know?"


"Heh, yeah, I follow ya.", Amber nods. "Like horses, 'round here, they're a big, scary mystery.", she smirks. "For people like me? Shoot…It's second-nature. No thought required.", she nods. "I wanna teach Julie about horses.", she smiles. "She's all about horsepower, time she learn't what it really means.", she grins. "You know about horses?


"Oh, I miss horses!" Kai says. "I mean sure they have them for police and carriages, but it's not the same. I lived in Scotland for awhile back when, if you wanted to get anywhere, you did it by horse. They're magnificent. Back when I was a child, you couldn't have lived without them. I don't think I've ridden one in fifty years." He shakes his head, all wistful. "I traveled nearly the length of the UK on a horse when I was only a child."


Amber positively beams! "Yeah, I love horses, too.", she sighs happily. "/Best/ job, I ever had, hardest, but /best/ job, I ever had, was this ranch, /way/ out in middle of nowhere Montana….Bar-Q Ranch. We'd ride the range for /days/.", she sighs whistfully. "Like th' old West, I mean, this was bear an' wolf country, we carried pistols /and/ rifles.


"That sounds amazing," Kai says. "I think the reason I love the city so much is I just don't know what to do with that much quiet. I end up alone with my thoughts." He shakes his head. Apparently, that's not a good thing. "I love the noise and bustle, but I do miss the horses and the green places. They seem to be disappearing so fast."


"i'm /slowly/ gettin' used to it.", Amber concedes, nodding. "I try t' think of th' noise as th' same y' hear in the wild, just diff'rent an' louder.", she smirks. "Hell, not even that /much/ louder. WHen all's silent, a rustle in the grass sounds like a gunshot.". she smiles. "Different territory, y'know? With different things within."


"Different animals," Kai says. "Just that most of them are human." He's quiet a moment, then admits, "I spent a lot of my time alone growing up. My parents didn't want to mix with the mortals. They were just hiding out here. They kept me away from them, so I spent most of my childhood by myself in the quiet countryside. But you know me, I love people. It was torture. I love the sound of being surrounded and not alone."


"Sounds lonely.", she says, placing her hand on Kai's shoulder gently. "I'm sorry for that.", she adds simply. "What happened, if I might ask?"


Kai bows his head at the touch, though his smile never quite disappears. It just turns a little maudlin, but briefly. "My parents," he says, "were on the run from the authorities when they had me. I wasn't exactly intentional. That's why I was born on Midgard. They were hiding here until they got caught. They've been in prison for a couple centuries now, and I've been on my own. I'm never really on my own, though. Not when there are people around. I've had so many friends. Good friends. And I remember all of them. It's not so bad. And now I'm with someone who will outlive me by far, I don't have to say good-bye so soon."


"Imprisoned? For having a kid?", Amber replies, recoiling a little as the honor-bound Southerner stirs inside of her. "That's some horse /shit/." she says firmly. "On what charge? By whom?", she all but demands, fists curling. "What kinda society does that t' people? Ain't right….ain't nowhere /close/ t' right."


Kai's eyes widen, and he shakes his head quickly. "Oh, no. No, no, no, they're imprisoned for stealing a relic from the All-Father's vault. They just happened to have me, unplanned, while they were on the run. They're definitely guilty. I'm still going to try to get them sprung, but there's no doubt whatsoever they did it. Signed confessions, everything. I just went to Asgard to watch the trial and to visit them, but they let me go because I didn't do anything."


"You get your plan together, Kai, my friend, you let me /know/.", Amber says firmly, offering her hand. "I lost my parents in a car crash.", she says flatly. "Ended my life, really.", she contnues, looking as close to vulnerable as you're like to see her. "That was /it/, one world over, another one started.", she explains. "I was fourteen when I went t' the orphanage…..escaped a few days later, thumbed m' way t' El Paso, got picked up by th' Staties.", she chuckles. "Then they sent me to a reformatory, was what they called it, anyhow.", she continues. "More like a goddamn prison with soft edges. We ended up disagreein


Kai clasps Amber's hand and tells her, "When we travel to Asgard, Prince Loki will speak on my behalf. It's his father who's got them imprisoned. There's also Prince Balder and Prince Thor to speak my behalf. I'm sure between the three of them, the All-Father will be agreeable." Then his features soften, and he says, "Oh, no. I'm so sorry to hear that. "How unfair, to imprison a child just because she lost her parents."


"No, no, it's okay.", Amber replies, squeezing Kai's hand back. "Like I said, one life ended, another started.", she says, using a napkin to cover what just might be a snuffle. "I lit outta that place, took jobs as they came. I was sixteen. Was never no man's doxy.", she says firmly. "A few tried, they met bad ends.", she winks, lettng her eyes go just a smidge RED, just enough to singe the rug. "If you /ever/ need my help. Kai, I'm /here/.", she says flatly. "There or anyplace else. This gun's for hire.", she says. And yes, she wants to kiss you.


Kai admits, "I was every man's doxy." He laughs a little. "But I can't imagine you putting up with any kind of ungentlemanly behavior." He smiles at her, red-eyes and all. "The same goes, you know. If you ever need my help, you've only got to ask. I would bring Hell down on anyone who tried to hurt you. You've always been so kind to me."


"And you to me…..aw, hell….", she sighs, then just gets on with it, planting her lips tentatively on his.


Kai's eyes widen. He doesn't pull away, though the kiss he returns is nominally chaste. Then he draws back so he can look at Amber's face. "Oh, my goodness," he says. "We won't tell Loki about that." He smiles a little. "He gets jealous." He glances down at his Dr. Pepper, and his cheeks are pink. Mr. Suave isn't so suave at the moment. "I didn't think… do you fancy me?"


Amber is blushing like hellfire right now. "I…I shouldn't have done that.", Amber replies, suddenly finding work to do in tidying up. "I…", she stammers again, then sets the crockery down, and lunges into Kai's arms. "Dipshit, if you ain't figured that out by now, you're dumber than I thought.", she says, kissing hm again. "An' that's pretty dumb.", she giggles, snuggling against him.


Kai laughs as he says, "I'm actually quite stupid." It's something he's made peace with. He catches her up in his arms, and he's a strong fellow for all that his stature is on the slender side. He hugs her, and his heartbeat is fast in his chest. "I had no idea," he admits. Then, more seriously, he says, "But Prince Loki is my… I don't know what the word is for it. Boyfriend sounds so trite. He would be furious, and you couldn't possibly want anything to do with a pervert like me."


"Like you said, I been alone a long time, Loki don't like it, I'll light his Asguardian ass on fire.", Amber says flatly. "Ain't lookin' for anythin', just what you said…to not be /alone/ for awhile.


Kai murmurs, "Well don't set Loki on fire. It's bound to make him cranky, and it's not his fault." He considers, still hugging her, and he says, "Can we cuddle and watch TV? I can't bring myself to betray him, but I know what you mean about not being alone, and sometimes that means…" He clears his throat, and his cheeks color more. "Physicality. There's nothing wrong with that."


"Yeah, okay.", Amber blushes, pulling away just long enough to tune into sone randon channel before embracing Kai again, gently. "So..you're…lovers?", she asks, not judging, but curious. "Way I heard it, he was your step-father."


Kai slings an arm around Amber's shoulders and leads her to the couch. Cuddling he can do without guilt. "My step-father? Oh gosh, no. He's my lover. We're practically married, inasmuch as two blokes can be." He sighs wistfully. "A Prince. You know all I wanted to do after the trial was disappear, and who do I find, but a Prince?" He shakes his head. Talk about failing at simple goals.


"No, no…that's okay.", Amber says, giving a bit of a sniff. "I understand.", she adds, resting her head on Kai's shoulder. "Met more than a few gays in my travels, got nothin' against 'em.", she smiles. "None ever did me wrong.", she adds. "I'm sorry.". she says, raising up to look Kai in the eyes, if there's tears, they're long blinked away. "We was talkin' at cross purposes. No harm done. No hard feelin's. I promise.", she says, offering her hand.


Kai relaxes, and he says, "Thank you. For being so understanding. I would have hated for you to hate me because of it." Which is a possibility he just accepts as normal. It's probably happened before. He takes her hand, and he says, "No harm done. There's nothing to apologize for. I would still rain Hell down on Earth for you. My friends are my world."


"Likewise.", Amber nods firmly. "Like I said, you wanna bust your folks out, and by bust, I mean /bust/,", she says firmly. "You let me know. I'm a cowgirl.", she smirks. "Always wanted to pull a jailbreak.", she winks. "You tell Loki he best treat you right, or the eyes of Texas are upon him.", she says, leaning in to kiss Kai's forhead.


Amber says, "You're a good soul, Kai. I'm happy I met you."


Kai closes his eyes for the kiss, and he grins, dimples and all. "I'll tell him," he says. "And if diplomacy fails to produce my parents, I'll let you know. We'll think of something. They are guilty, but two hundred years…" He ducks his head and says, "You are too, Amber. I'm happy I met you. I look forward to having adventures, too."


"We'll tear them a new one.", Amber giggles, nodding and relaxing into Kai's side. "Now turn to channel three, dipshit.", she chuckles. "Outer Limits is comin' on. Oh, and you're on kay-pee.", she winks, settling in for weird tales of the strange and ambiguious.


Kai gets up to turn the channel, then resettles again at Amber's side. "Fair enough," he says. "Next time, I'll bring whatever I find in Alfheim, and some Firefly wine." Then he too settles in for weird tales of the strange and ambiguous. He loves this kind of thing.


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