1963-10-16 - Club Soda Confessional
Summary: Strange seeks out Lynette. Rumors are dispelled. Doubts are reassured.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange lynette 

Dressed in a dark Belstaff coat, dress pants, shined black shoes, and a wide crimson scarf about his neck (ends tucked neatly within the coat's lapels), Strange looks decidedly out of place in the area. He's used to ignoring the odd stare every now and then, however, and continues contemplating the outside of this bar named "The Cigar Factory".

A 'hmph' fogs in the air before him and he glances around once more. Quite the neighborhood. That she chose to come here…though, perhaps it's safest. He hasn't received word of any demonic activity in Harlem and, after all, he did suggest that she stay away from the park.

The front door squeaks on its hinges, announcing his entry into the place. It's well-lit nearest to the bar proper, with shadows growing thicker around the edges. Of course the air is redolent with the scent of cigar and he wrinkles his nose. He'll take incense any day. Stepping to the side and continuing to ignore the sideways looks he receives, he briefly shuts his eyes. The Sight flickers to life within his mind and…tah-daaaaaaahhhhh. She's nearby.

As he saunters up to the bar, he wears that same calming smile that Lynette saw before. She'll see it if she notices him and chooses to approach. "Soda water, please," the good doctor announces to any of the bar staff within ear-shot.


Of course she was near by. No amount of mystical searching fingers was needed to find her. She was there, behind the bar top, complete with more suitable clothing (thought second-hand all the same) and her massive hair gathered up in a woven wrap. She stares at first, her fingers gripping tightly around the glass she had been drying. He hadn't noticed her, at least not yet, and after pouring the man his beverage of choice, she sets it before him and then goes back to her business.

She's silent, not greeting him, not saying a word, until she swallows and takes a breath. "Dat stuff is so bitter," she murmurs, setting a glass down on a rack, and then grabbing a new one to pad off. "Don' know how people stand it. But, each dere own."


His slim, scarred hand brings the soda water to his lips and he watches Lynette carefully. She's right, the stuff is bitter, but also carbonated; it soothes his stomach as it goes down rather than inflaming it like every other drink offered here at her place of work.

Strange tilts his head and gives her a searching look. It's not got the scalpel-edged chill he uses to unmask the people who insult or confuse him. No, it's softer, more concerned. Clearly, she's less than happy to see him.

"Yes, to each their own," he echoes quietly. The glass makes a hollow clunk as he sets it down and then settles on to the bar stool. His fingertips drum on the wood briefly before he sighs sharply. "I came to check on you, Lynette. I had to leave quickly during our last talk and while it was necessary, it was also rude. I apologize."


Lynette quirks a brow. She takes a moment to glance around the room, noting who was there and if the needed refills. The cloth in her hand 'squeeks' and 'squawks' as she moves it around the glass, another done, it, too, get set aside. "S'alright. Y'important, I know dat." She offers, at least now giving him a slow, warm smile. "T'anks f'checkin' up on me. M'fine, as y'c'n see. M'clothes fit, n'de actually lady clothes. Got a place t'sleep dat ain't de park, n I got a job."

Head down, her chores are soon completely, leaving her to rub her hands on the back of her capris and just stare for a lost moment or five. "Dat all y'came for? T'check on me?" She finally inquires, moving closer to Strange so that she stands across from him. "How'd y'find me, anyway?"


The good doctor waits while she works. He's the patient sort, after all, when not under extreme duress or imminent death at the hands of demons.

"It's not difficult," he murmurs before taking another sip of soda water, after she asks her question. "You have a distinct signature to your magic, remember?"

How could Strange forget? He'd never grasped the palm of a potential mambo before meeting her. The ghostly tang of blood touches the back of his mouth and he's unable to resist swallowing it away.

"Tracking it is easy enough." He glances around the bar and then back to her, offering an encouraging smile. "I'm glad that you're safe here. It's a far better place than the Park. Speaking of that…"

The root of his visit.

He swirls the soda water around in the glass, keeping the bow wave of the drink from spilling over the edge with unusual skill that speaks to an old, well-established habit that he doesn't indulge in any longer. "I ran into an interesting individual when I was checking on my wards. He mentioned that you two had a talk about summonings. Ring a bell?"


"Dat baby fox t'ing wit two tails?" She questions flatly, giving a glance toward the door as if daring him to enter when hearing he was being spoken of. "Yeah, rings a bell. Was gonna come n'talk wit you 'bout it, but…" Then she stalls out, and that inner fear presses in the base of her stomach. Her jaw tightens, and digging into her pocket, she pulls out a card with some type of kanji written on it. "Dere. He gave me dat, but I don' wanna see him again." She murmurs and takes the smalles step away from the Sorcerer Surpreme. "Don't erase m'memories. Please. I ain' gon' be bad no more. Promise. I messed up. I know dat, but don'…don' go into my head."


Strange takes the card from her hands, glancing up at her in mild concern at her sudden reticence, and looks it over. Ah, okay - this seems…somewhat familiar, now that he squints hard at it. It's very old Kanji, something the Ancient One would have been able to read as easily as a toddler's book of ABCs. He'll have to think on it, maybe come back to…her…? Wait, what?

He looks up to see her retreat ever so slightly. "I'm sorry, Lynette, but I didn't quite catch that," the good doctor murmurs, frowning. "Erase your memories?"


Lynette nods then, once, twice even. "I came lookin' f'you. Met two men, dey used magic, too. I told'em what I wanted t'see y'for. Dey warn me." She explains, even if her petite form now presses against the rear counter that's lined with a selection of bottles. "I didn' mean t'call 'm. I was tryin' t'talk t'Papa. T'get answers on how t'deal wit my powers. Y'know? Claim'em like y'told me to? I messed up. Dat fox was angry wit me. Said if I did it again, he'd eat m'heart." Reaching up, she grips to that thing hanging around her neck. Now, it wasn't just a coin, but was also a hammer like charm that dangles with it. "Den dat other man said y'd be mad. Dat y'wouldn't teach me anyt'ing, n' y'd clean out m'mind."


Two men, eh? And you came looking for me…

A sudden lightening of his irises, right about the pupils, as his Mystic power flash-surges in time with his emotions. The realization is cruel.

"Alright, alright." He presses his palms flat against the old bartop, having set aside the glass in order to take the Kanji-inscribed paper. It lays to one side, ignored for the moment. "Back up, please. Two men told you that I was going to be mad at you and clean out your mind? Who were they?"

Nothing he can do about the Kitsune now; he's already promised to touch base with Lynette on it, but it seems that his reputation precedes him now in a rather dark way, so…he probably doesn't even need to touch on it again, especially if the messenger-of-the-Goddess threatened to eat her heart.


"No." She corrects then. "Met two men, one told me 'bout y', dough. He knew y', I could tell. Intimately, almost." She stalls, her jaw firming up as she holds the name on her tongue. She's thinking about it, being honest, dealing with yet another super power in the cosmos of everything her world her become. "Mordo." She answers at length, her hand clutching those charms all the more tightly, forcing her knuckles white. "De man's name w's Mordo. N'de other man w's Merlin."


Strange's fingertips go to massaging his temples. Crow's lines appear at the corners of his eyes as he controls his temper.

That…hurts, hearing how his name was apparently slandered. Merlin…no. The oddest things come from the magician's mouth at times.

Mordo, on the other hand? Ouch. What in Agamotto's name. And here he thought that the tremulous strands of their friendship were still intact. Hopefully…hopefully his words were misheard.

"I…see," Strange finally says, meeting her gaze again. "That's not the case, Lynette. Not at all. What stops you from trying a summoning again if I erase your fear of the Kitsune's warning? Hmm?" His voice is pitched low and in deadly earnest. "No. I'd rather you learn. That is part of my job as Sorcerer Supreme - to teach."


"Ain't dat memory." She explains, her face holding a bit of concern, and confusion. "It'd dat I could do it in de first place. I know y'don' need s'mebody like me messin' t'ings up 'roud here. God knows dat's happenin' already. I jus'…I don' wanna cause trouble, n' I don' wanna make y'upset, n' I don' wanna be a target." Her hands rest behind her back, and the mirror behind the bar shows her nervously tugging at each finger in turn. "Deres his card. I ain't callin' 'm no more. Didn' wan' to in de first place…"


He lifts up his hands, palms up, in a sort of shrug. "Regardless, he gave it to you along with the warning. It's not a curse - not that I can tell, anyways," Strange adds, pulling the card before him and then rotating it back to face Lynette. "It's Kanji, ancient caligraphy from the East. It's a benediction of sorts. You'd have to give me more time to transcribe it, this is a very old version of the language, but I can tell you, at the very least, that it means you no harm."

A searching look once more even as he slides the paper towards her. "Do you remember what I told you over coffee and a muffin?" He continues even if she tries to speak. "You are yourself. Ultimately, you make the decisions that influence the world around you. You were born and that was the beginning of your journey." He takes another sip of soda water and briefly rolls his lips together before continuing. "You won't be a target if you don't make yourself a target. You've given me no reason to worry about you thus far." Okay, no BIG reason; the accidental summoning was a shock when the Kitsune mentioned it. "Just…wait perhaps another few weeks before trying a summon again. Absolutely do not do it within the next two weeks. There are…larger plans afoot and I need to ferret them out."


"Keep it." She explains, not even reaching out to reclaim the card. "I really don' want it. 'Sides, I was gonna give it t' you anyway." Keeping her hands to herself, she looks across to Strange, her brows furrowing slightly, sloping as a mix of ideas, thoughts, words, pass through her mind without reaching her tongue. At length, she doesn't speak, and just offers him a curt nod. "Y'need a refill?" She inquires then, far off topic and onto something completely different.


A sigh. "Alright then." The Kanji-bearing card is slipped away into an inner pocket of Strange's coat. He has to shift aside the crimson scarf, with its gold lining, and the ambient light of the bar winks from the Eye of Agamotto, hidden beneath both garments.

"No, I've got enough left still, thank you," he replies as he buttons up the Belstaff once again. Another mouthful and there's just one sip left at the bottom of the glass. He swirls it around again before glancing up at her. "Anything else before I leave you, Miss Lynette?" The tiniest quirk in his goatee, that one-sided smile indicating the sense that indeed, there may be yet one more question.


Lynette looks the man over then. She's silent, as before, and seems thankful when her name is called. "Excuse me." She moves off and away, laughing up at a table and clearing their glasses, taking a few more orders as well. Returning, the glasses rest in a sink as she takes up a few more bottles of beer and delivers them. Now, she washes the dishes, dunking her hands into warm, soapy waters. "No." She answers timidly. "Y'jus' worry 'bout ferrets n' stuff. I won' be summonin' anyt'ing. Promise."


Now…the good doctor has been dealing with a young apprentice for long enough that he recognizes the potential for words to mean not quite what the person intends. He watches her go about collecting the rest of the glasses and then as she washes them.

His silent approach wins him nothing but more quiet words and a sense of this one last question unasked. There's no reason to press; she's shy enough that she'd likely never speak to him again. He needs to keep a subtle eye on her regardless. There's a lot of potential in her powers.

The remaining soda water is thrown back in the essence of a shot of hard liquor and Strange winces as it boils down into his stomach. "Very good." He sets the glass quietly down onto the bar and rises. From within his pocket, he produces the cover for his drink as well as a hefty tip, more than enough for Lynette to buy nice groceries, pay part of the rent, or treat herself to something nice. "You know where to find me if you wish to speak more. I appreciate your understanding."

One last final glance around the bar and that friendly half-smile. "You're doing well for yourself. Keep it up." With that, the Sorcerer Supreme meanders slowly back towards the door.


"He said I wasn' worth it." Lynette finally comments, her eyes settling on the cash that's put into a register, tip included. Her dark eyes search up, focusing on Strange directly as if trying to read him before he reads her. "Dat fox t'ing. Talked t'me like I was trash. A bother. A burden on his day. Said cause a'how I looked at de time dat I wasn' worth teachin' anyt'ing to." Her lips thin then, as that rage starts to build up within her tiny body. "Dey all like dat? All dese magic types n'all dey do is judge n'fight n'bicker like cats." Reaching up, she drags the bright net off her head, allowing her dark hair to floof out in all its glory. "I don'…I dunno. I wanna learn, sure. I wanna be in control of what I c'n do. But if dats how dat world is. Your world…who wants dat? Willingly?"


He does pause - and then he turns, on his heel, and strides back over to the bar.

"No. We are not all like that, Lynette." Strange stands before her, on the other side of the bar, tall and confident and somewhat sad, in a sense. "We are all proud. We worked hard for our powers, oftentimes hurting ourselves in the process. It is called the Mystic Arts for a reason - it is an art. Sometimes, there isn't enough room for all of us, with our differing magics, and they collide. There is always a reaction of sorts, hence our…catfights." He wrinkles his nose in a ghost of amusement. "One needs to be stubborn in order to succeed at an art, yes? Strong? True to oneself? If you know where you wish to proceed with your magic, then work at it. Start at a level where you can control your attempts and build. Research. There are many tomes in this world that explain where to begin. I might suggest meditation, myself." Strange shoves his hands in his pockets and offers her a true half-smile. "I begin every morning with some meditation. It allows me to center myself, to still any worries within my mind, and allows me to focus on my intentions."

This time, he points at her to accent his next thought: "And you are not trash. You are potential. A seed. A fledgling."


Lynette glances down at her feet for a moment, and then up once more. She's listening, that much is apparent. For whatever reason, her gaze shifts, twisting those dark, large orbs into the jade eyes of a serpent, and back again. Rubbing at her temple, she then brushes into her curls, causing them to bounce and kink in different directions. "M'jus' scared, ok? M'scared of what I c'n do, n' what I should do wit it." Another scritch she glances around the bar, making sure she was done with serving, at least for the moment. "I got invited t'dis school for de gifted. Told de boy I don' t'ink what I got's a gift, but he suggested dey c'n help me t'control it. W-what should I do?"


Strange can guess which school this is. "Xavier's Institute?" he asks. "If so, that's where I sent Illyana, my apprentice, for…extra schooling." He'll leave it at that.

The change in her eyes is noted with a minor flick of one eyebrow that settles once more into patient neutrality. He's getting rather used to rapid changes in faces. Quirk of knowing many folks in the Mystical world. "I understand that you're scared." His voice is calming now, sympathetic. "I was afraid too sometimes when I was learning. The prospect of having such power at your fingertips can be…harrowing. You've heard it before: you decide your actions. Your actions have results." He shrugs. "It's as simple at that. And yes, I know, much easier said than done."

A beat and a sudden friendly smile. "I have faith in you, Lynette."


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