1965-08-15 - Up Up and Away
Summary: Arlo runs into Ambrose on the street. Michael joins the conversation, and it takes a turn.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
michael ambrose arlo 

Outside a club, Arlo is taking chances tonight in a little black dress, with seamed stockings and black pumps. It's hard finding them in that size, and they are to be treasured. What Arlo has in 'her' favor is that 'he' passes very well for a she. There's a silk scarf to hide any sign of an Adam's apple. The make-up is very well done (those smoky dark eyes, though, and ruby red lips). Also? Just, in general? Arlo's pretty. She (tonight, anyway) gets glances, but none of them are dubious. She walks away from the club, down the street. Looking for something. Or someone.

Whatever she might be after….she's got an angel in her business. Mike does his appearing in silence trick again, there one moment when he wasn't present a heartbeat before. Dressed plainly in human clothes, as he always is.

There's a lead in this part of Greenwich Village, and like the relatively slippery creature he is, Ambrose emerges from a side alley farther down the street. A particular mansion here is said to house a treasure trove of ancient antiques, some apparently spanning across more than a handful of centuries. In a black field jacket his time, he too wears a scarf loosely about his neck. It's of a solid weave, sturdy while thin, and fringed along its edges, foreign by look and make. In dark blue jeans and black military boots, he's got this someplace to be by the speed of his travel. As he usually does, he adopts a confident forwards pace that is set to shoulder anyone aside in his way. His blue eyes are half-lidded and a thousand miles away as he plans his upcoming burglarly.

Arlo doesn't see Michael at first. The familiar rush of wings has her starting to turn her head, but then she spies Ambrose. The little minx can see well in the dark, can make out pertinent details. Oh yes, it's him all right. Pursing her ruby lips, she holds her little black and pearl clutch tighter, and her footsteps increase. A click-click-click-click heralds her approach. "You!" she snarls, and she greets Ambrose with a stinging slap. Hello, dah'ling.

Mike's bemused by that greeting, until he realizes it's not intended for him, exactly. He comes padding along with that predatory grace, all the better to observe Arlo expressing her opinion. "Why are you hitting him?" he asks, glancing between mortal and accursed.

He's got enough time to realize that someone's approaching him rapidly in turn and it brings Ambrose up short almost in mid-stride. His face has a second to morph into the beginnings of bemused concern before the blur of the palm meets his cheek. It's enough to bring him to take a half-step back and now he stares, hand reaching up to test the sensitivity of his skin.

"…what in the bloody hell?!" He says, his voice rapidly dropping into a growl. Who gives a damn about the other man approaching? He just got got cracked!

Arlo stabs a finger at Ambrose. "That's for my window, you lunatic," she says in a hiss. She almost lunges forward. There's something else she's about to do, but Michael's question brings her up short. "He's the nut who broke my window," she tells Michael. Then, to Ambrose, "Next time, use the front door. I had to hide everything when the fix-it guys came. You're gonna get me arrested or worse."

The angel doesn't look particularly disposed to take offense on Arlo's behalf. "Why did you break her window?" inquires the winged creature. For his wings are visible - shadowy arcs folded neatly behind him. His expression is only mild and curious, as it so often is.

"You." The venom carries through clearly enough. Ambrose looks profoundly conflicted upon realizing just who hit him, his lips visibly pulling back at one corner into a partial snarl. To hit back or not to hit? Is it even worth it? "There was bloody gas outside of the front door! What else was I supposed to do, go back out into it? Defeats the goddamn purpose of escaping it in the fist place, doesn't it?!" His accent get stronger yet, that old and yet complimentary amalgamation of Fertile Crescent and British Isles. Presumeably his moderately louder response is enough to answer Michael's question by proxy.

"Because he's crazy," Arlo tells Michael. She doesn't take her eyes off Ambrose as she speaks. At least she doesn't seem inclined to hit him again. Just yet. "Just chill out until it passes. Or say 'I gotta go now, can you get me out of here?' Communicate." She gestures between them with her clutch, back and forth, "like people do. I would have helped you." She utters a wordless sound of frustration, and she staps a foot. Click. Then she turns to Michael and says, "He doesn't even believe in angels." That Ambrose, her tone says, he's the worst.

"That's foolish. He's talking to one," Mike observes, with the faintest hint of amusement. As if to illustrate his point, he spreads his wings to their full stretch, the full manifestation. So there's the emberglow iridescence to them, somehow in full flower, despite the dimness of the night street. His presence grows, too. Though physically, he only takes up that much more space within his wingspan, that sense of size spirals up. As if they stood in the shadow of something immense. Like a skyscraper has bent down to look at them.

|ROLL| Strange +rolls 1d20 for: 1

Still rubbing at the sting of his cheek, Ambrose takes a half step away from the mad-man — woman — mad-person who insists that keeping him confined was logical and that winged beings exist. Then the mild-mannered gentleman accompanying the would-be-she in her little black dress throws in his ten cents.

The brunet scoffs, looking at Michael as if he's grown an extra head. "What the fuck are you smoking?" He can't slather on any more derision for drug users in his tone. But then - then there's this whole extension of feathered wings out of nowhere and Ambrose's jaw drops plain open. He pales a shade, maybe even two…

…and then turns about as neatly as a professional athlete to begin a frantic run back down the way he's come.

Arlo stares up at Michael. This isn't something she's seen before, and for the moment, she even forgets that she's here to rough up Ambrose for being a crazy person. "Woah," she says. "Baby, you and I gotta talk about what you can do sometime."

Then Ambrose turns to run, and she calls, "Oh, you big baby! He's not going to do anything!" Quickly, she asides to Michael, "You're not going to do anything, are you?"

"I'm not going to hurt him," Michael says, but there's an impish note Arlo hasn't heard before. He is, however, going to chase Ambrose down….by the expedient of flight. He lifts up in a few slow wingbeats, and then he's picking up speed. It's like being chased by a large, annoyed condor.

Arlo's eyes widen as Michael pursues, and she laughs, bringing her hands to her lips. "Ha! Go get him, baby!" Yeah, that's her angel. Okay, not hers by possession or anything, but. She comes click-clicking after, not able to keep up, but she gives it her best shot. Having long legs helps. Wearing stilletos does not.

Few times in Ambrose's life have brought him to expend this much energy into disappearing from the scene of an altercation. Those who fight and run away live to fight another day. He pants loudly as he rushes past people fast enough to rustle clothing and to lift strewn newspapers in his wake. The Bane takes little bites here and there to refuel on the way, as a trail-horse might browse on passing bushes.

"No no no no no no!" Each denial comes on the exhale and he takes the corner of the street at a daunting speed, nearly swinging out wide into traffic. He ends up running nearly horizintally across the side of a parked station wagon to avoid it.

|ROLL| Michael +rolls 1d20 for: 16

|ROLL| Strange +rolls 1d20 for: 15

Which is when the angel comes down before him, light as a feather - just in time to have Ambrose barrel into him. He wraps his arms around the accursed mortal gently….and then lifts him up. Someone is coming for a little flight.

|ROLL| Arlo +rolls 1d20 for: 20

Arlo loses the trail of the angel and fleeing mortal. Then she stops, and she thinks. Relying less on sight, she hones her hearing. While listening for Ambrose's screams would be fun and amusing, what she hones in on is the whumpf of Michael's beating wings. That's a unique sound, and she can follow it to wherever he's taking Ambrose. She's not going to miss out on this, oh no.

There's no stopping abruptly, not at this speed and not even with the traction on his boots. Ambrose is immediately entrapped — and immediately begins flailing as his feet leave the pavement. At first, he's silent but for panicked gasps and exhales, but then comes the flow of,

"NO, PLEASE, I NEVER MEANT TO DO IT! IT'S THE CURSE, NOT ME! I'M INNOCENT, PLEASE DON'T TAKE ME!" He struggles madly within the arms of the angel, apparently content to be dropped however many feet rather than continue in this vein.

"I'm not going to hurt you," Michael's voice s gentle, unstrained, as he beats his way up to the edge of a rooftop, where he rests his feet. "Don't struggle." His strength is terrible, immense, and he cradles Ambrose like a human might a struggling kitten. Then he pauses and peers past the poor artifact thief down to Arlo. "Tell him I won't hurt him," he asks her. As if Ambrose might listen to her.

Arlo gazes up at the pair, and her brow furrows, delight coming into conflict with concern as Ambrose really does struggle and struggle hard. Michael's got him, though, so she relaxes somewhat. "Hey, Traceur, he's not going to hurt you. Trust me, if he wanted to hurt you, you'd be hurt. Michael's a sweet guy." Like Ambrose is going to listen to her.

She spreads her arms, clutch in one hand. "Look, there's times in your life where you just don't have control, and you gotta relax and ride it out. I strongly suspect this is one of those times."

|ROLL| Strange +rolls 1d20 for: 13

Don't struggle, he says. It might appear that asking this simply makes things worse. Now emitting sharp cries here and there, Ambrose wriggles like a mongoose in a snare. Even with the Bane-bolstered strength, there's no out-muscling the winged being. Being cradled does not change his opinions on things. This is outright panic on his part. Words mean little to him.

"PUT ME DOWN!!! PUT ME DOWN!!!" He reaches up with a swing of one hand to plant it firmly palm-against Michael's face. The Bane lunges hard and fast and immediately bites off more than it can chew. The monumental life-energy, bright as a magnesium flare and brighter yet, is enough to blitz Ambrose's system and bring that struggle to an abrupt and limp halt. He's not dead, by any means, but his pupils are blown wide and his vision hazed out until every glimmer of light has a thousand rainbow halos.

It's like turning on a bathroom tap and getting the Nile in response. The Bane can't even make a dent in that inexhaustible life fire, the flame kindled untold eons ago by the Divine hand and never dimmed since. "How very strange," Michael says, as he glides back down to stand before Arlo, holding Ambrose cradled limp in his arms like a sleeping child. "He hurt himself. He tried to take some of my energy and he got too much." Like Rose there is a kid who ate too much candy and gave himself a tummy ache. He jiggles the poor mortal a little, looking down into his face. "I don't think it'll kill him."

Arlo looks between Michael and Ambrose, then again, and once more for good measure. "Tried to take some of your energy? Is this crazy bastard a Mutie and didn't tell me?" The nerve. She comes up so she can peer at Ambrose more closely. "His heart's still beating," she says. She presses the back of her hand to Ambrose's forehead to see if he's got a fever, because that just seems like the thing to do. Her hand is cool from the night air. "Do you have a place we can take him? Because we could take him to my place, but if he breaks another window, I'm going to brain him."

|ROLL| Strange +rolls 1d20 for: 4

Things continue to be hazy and bleary. His pulse is joyously loud at his ears and beneath his skin, the Bane's buzz has dropped to an all-time low. Gluttoned like a dog after raiding for the Thanksgiving turkey, it has no effect on anyone around him.

Ambrose moves a little in Michael's arms at being jiggled. "…am I dead?" he asks, voice a broken little whisper, even as he feels the coolness of foreign skin touch at his forehead.

"No," Michael says, softly. "I don't have a place. I don't….I come to rest where I please. I'm sorry," He cranes his head to peer down into Ambrose's eyes. "No," he says, softly. "You are not dead. You tried something I haven't seen a mortal do before. What is that?" And there's energy sort of prodding at the Bane, curiously. Let it snap, it can't hurt him.

"You're fine," Arlo says flatly. "Can you walk? If you can walk, you don't need to lie down at my place." She's full of heart, this one. "Besides, I live a subway's ride away, and I don't know that angel boy here can fly with two." She frowns at Ambrose not spontaneously walking to show he's fine. "If you have to stay at my place, you're on the couch, and that's more than you deserve."

Oh, good. Not dead. It's enough to make him inhale a little harder. More animation comes to his expression and it attempts a pained frown.

"…owwwwwww," comes the faint whine. Too much life-energy — too much! Michael's prodding earns him another few lazy bites from the Bane, all too happy to continue glutting itself on the available energy. His eyes roll to consider Arlo; as they do, the overhead lamp reds through his pupils before they go dark again. "…like bloody hell I'm staying there."

Michael pets Ambrose's hair, gently, as if he were soothing an animal. "You are hurt from this. You should rest. Where would you rather do this, then?" he asks. Then he looks at Arlo. "I can fly with two. YOu'd just have to hold me."

"Maybe you'd like to lie down in the gutter you demon-eyed batshit motherfucker," says the delicate flower of womanhood that is Arlo in that little black dress. She sniffs, then looks up at Michael and says, "Well, he's not staying at my place, so I don't care what you do with him. If you want to come by my place later…" She lowers her lashes and gives Michael a coquettish smile. "You know where to find me." She flits another look at Ambrose that is ice cold as if to say 'but not you.'

"…I'd rather sleep in the gutter," Ambrose has the gumption to snark back at the one in her black dress. He's already beginning to wiggle again and attempt to get out of this absurd cradling hold. "Put me down immediately, you winged lunatic!"

Since he's not dead and not being subjected to angelic tribunal, he wants out — of course — and as far away from his current company as possible.

"If it won't disturb you, I will come to you later," Michael agrees. He shakes AMbrose gently. "No. You've made me curious. What did you try to do to me?"

Arlo tells Michael, "You won't be disturbing me, sweetheart. I've always got time for you." She's all velvety sweet when she speaks to Michael, smiling like a school girl, a smile that could light up a room. The expression shifts when she turns her attention to Ambrose. There's a salty mockery in those dimpled cheeks. "You're in trouble," she sing-songs.

She then kisses Michael on the cheek and tells him, "Don't let this punk push you around, baby. I'll see you later."

"I'm not bloody going to tell you! PUT ME DOWN!" This might seem a familiar state to be in, how Ambrose is beginning yet again to work himself up into a wolverine-like fury at being held. He gives Arlo a cold side-glance before basically face-palming Michael yet again. No Bane to bite, but he's using the angel's face as a point of strength to try and shove himself loose. Little sounds of concentrated effort slip here and there. His hair is definitely all mussed now and if he's not careful, he's going to lose one of the guns from its holster.

It's like trying to push over a train one-handed. Not happening. "If you cooperate, maybe I'll let you go." A smile for the kiss….and then he's lifting off again. Ooh, Ambrose gets a flight, too. Maybe that'll encourage him to talk.

Arlo waves up at them as they ascend. "Good night," she croons. Then she heads toward the subway, because nothing in the clubs is going to top this night she's just had right now. There's a bounce in her step, damn it, and she's humming under her breath all the way home. She's pretty sure Michael won't hurt the guy. Reasonably sure. She'll be sure to ask that he's okay when she sees Michael later. Not that she cares. Just… look, shut up.

"No, no, NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!" Doesn't matter how he protests — apparently, the master-burglar is going for a flight. There's no end to the squirming now, considering that the Bane is free to nibble here and there at Michael's endless source of life-energy. "PUT ME DOWN, NO! I REFUSE! BARMY BLOODY CHERUBIM, YOU PUT ME DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!"

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