He had taken note of Varys’ eyes flittering back and forth across the entrance. Typical agent behaviour; he hadn’t thought much of it. Varys had even taken the seat that faced the door so that Peter had been forced into the half-blind position adjacent and rely on the brush of wind against his ear to suggest the comings and goings of the bar’s denizens. But though Varys hardly moved, there was a flurry of flowery perfume which assailed him suddenly. Not a scent one would expect in a place like this, full of men and their mistresses. This was an expensive smell.
Peter didn’t turn. Varys next comment would tell him much.
”I see more than one familiar face in this bar, Peter. A coincidence maybe, or this meeting may be compromised. If the latter, perhaps you should share the orders from your superiors and be on your way?”
And that was a nice surprise. He relaxed his cheeks into a churlish grin.
“You know too many faces. It’s making you paranoid.” He fixed the cigarette between his lips and reached into his waistcoat to remove a folded collection of papers from his inner most pocket. More names and faces, he knew, but he wasn’t going to mention it. The country’s interior was not his concern with Varys; he was snaking his way through the British power structure to move the pieces where he wanted, but Varys should take charge of things in the embassies. There were names of some daughters of a besmirched Indian noble, the travel records of all the German aristocrats within a hundred miles of the capital…
Peter flicked his tongue across his lips once they were spared the cigarette again.
“I’ve often been an unwelcome guest myself, Varys. I take well to others of my kind.” He pushed the folded paper across the table, but still, he didn’t move. “I’d keep that close to the chest, my man, and let’s invite the lady over,” a crook of the eyebrow, “if you’re so inclined.” He wasn’t really sure how he’d move next, but he’d made his play and that was that.
(OOC: If anyone has an issue with this post, do message me and I’ll edit it immediately. I was attempting to get some kind of unity going on amongst the plots, but since there’s no universal vision of how they might all converge, it might be entirely inappropriate. Since, in-canon, Varys and/or Littlefinger always have some idea of the various plates spinning above them, I thought I’d just gesture to that same idea.)
As was her standard procedure these days, Melisandre ordered a cocktail and then proceeded to ignore it. It was too risky to drink in company, not when alcohol made her tongue rather looser than it should have been, and this time she was too busy trying to pick up the thread of one conversation over the ambient noise of the bar to bother with any distractions.
One of the men was speaking, but she couldn’t quite catch the words, and for a moment she thought her judgement had been off, that she was too far away after all, and very nearly cursed.
“I’ve often been an unwelcome guest myself, Varys. I take well to others of my kind.”
But that was Baelish, clear as day - Halford must have simple lowered his voice.
“I’d keep that close to the chest, my man, and let’s invite the lady over, if you’re so inclined.” Merde. They’d spotted her, then, and perhaps she was simply paranoid, but it sounded like they’d guessed she was slightly less than an innocent bystander. That would certainly make things interesting.
Now that they knew she was there, it was almost tempting to just give up the game and approach them directly. Instead, Melisandre forced herself to relax and take a tiny sip of her drink. It didn’t matter what they thought, after all, because they couldn’t know she was listening in, and she had no interest in confirming their suspicions. At this point, as always, she would be better served by waiting.
the secret agents
∟ ygritte lécuyer, melisandre leroux, rhaegar targaryen
melisandre leroux | nimbrethils
Peter glanced at the agent, wondering what he knew. His name and origins were undoubtedly caught in his net, but that was a story the clerk was willing to sacrifice.
“Communication would suggest that both parties are participatory.” Peter replied, inhaling deeply. He didn’t mind that Varys didn’t smoke, but the fact that he taken a cigarette meant Peter could at least be owed a small favour. “I write to Lady Stark but I receive no replies. The only idea I have that she reads my words at all is through my correspondence with her sister, Jon Arryn’s widow. Though, I suppose you know all about that: playing certain cards and expecting a strange hand to be dealt back.”
A Bosnian student buys a sandwich, and the young men of England go to war.
Pursing the cigarette between his fingers, he ran the pad of his thumb across his chapped lips again, recalling Lysa’s telegrams. The form did so fit her sharp way of speaking.
The smoke had cleared again, so he gave Varys a little more, thankful that he had something to shut his lips around when he was done to keep the information to himself. Besides, if he could make Varys beg for information, the day might still start to feel enjoyable.
“Major Stark is to be transferred to London. The Office has plans for him when the call goes out. I pray you have some little birds flying south for the season.”
As the door swung closed behind her, Melisandre paused for a minute, to gave her eyes time to adjust to the darker interior of the establishment. She didn’t expect to see anyone she knew here - which was part of the appeal; she wasn’t looking to see and be seen, only to get a drink and rest her feet for a while - but she had always liked to know who was in a room before she crossed it, and her time in London had only reinforced the habit.
But as she glanced around the room, her gaze fell on two men sitting in a corner, and for a moment, she didn’t know whether to cheer or sigh. She recognized them, of course, though she could hardly claim she knew them: Peter Baelish - war office - to whom she had been briefly introduced at some social event, though she doubted he would remember her, and Varys Halford - secret service - who she recognized only from photographs. Both important men, particularly in the intelligence community, and both men Melisandre very much intended to get close to.
So much for relaxing with a drink, then.
This was going to be tricky - she couldn’t simply walk up and sit down, of course, but she had to make sure she was in a position to speak to them - or at least listen in on their conversation, but that would be difficult in its own right. Melisandre glanced around the room once more, and finally strolled over a table close to the bar; it was close enough that she could hear their conversation if she tried, and positioned so that they would have to walk past her to get to the door. She could pretend to notice them then, but in the meantime, she might as well have that drink.
She should totally intercept the Varys/Peter meeting at some juncture!
ooc: I’d love to have her do that, assuming Varys is okay with it!
Hey, guys! Mel’s in London just now, and I don’t really have much for her to do there at the moment, so if there’s anyone who wants to run a plot with her, by all means, IM me or send me an ask.
Also, hi! I’m terribly excited about this RP, and you all look to be incredibly quality, so this should be fuuuuunnnnnn. (And this is my first Tumblr RP, so if I’m doing something wrong, tell me, please.)
Melisandre Leroux → Taken
To hear the society gossips tell it, Melisandre Leroux is a socialist and an anarchist, an Irish rebel and a German spy, a lesbian and a divorcée and a brazen social climber and anything else they can think of. Nobody really believes a word of it, of course, but London society has no choice but to speculate, since all anyone knows for sure about Mlle. Leroux is that she is twenty-three years old, arrived in London from Paris just over a year ago, and is rather more pious than is generally considered necessary.
The truth of the matter is rather more interesting than that, and far more like the gossip than anyone would expect. Madeleine Dubois had always dreamed of things bigger and more grand than her childhood in the French countryside could offer, and at the age of seventeen, determined to utterly reinvent herself, she travelled to Paris, enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts, and began to go by the name Melisandre. As she explored Parisian culture and high society, it became evident that she possessed an uncanny talent for insinuating herself seamlessly into the most elite social circles - a talent that caught the eye of German agents working in the city. Melisandre had always had a rather zealous personality but nothing to devote that zeal towards apart from her religious beliefs, and in the words of the agents who approached her, she found the cause she had always wanted. Trained in secret and sent to London as a sleeper agent, Melisandre has been instructed to make her way up the social ladder until she enters the uppermost echelons of Britain’s political and social hierarchy… and then to wait and prepare to be activated.
Character(s): Melisandre Leroux
Timezone: PST (Pacific Standard Time)
How I can be reached: Send me an ask here, or through my personal Tumblr; if you prefer, I’m also on AIM (nimbrethils). I’m always happy to talk, whether or not it’s RP related!
Personal Tumblr: nimbrethils