1963-10-17 - Following Up
Summary: Marcus follows up with Strange not long after the Sorcerer Supreme's badly-timed walk into Hell's Kitchen and vampire territory.
Related: The Sorcerer and the Bride
Theme Song: None
marcus strange 

(( NOTE: Scene occurs after Merlin and Strange speak initially. ))


It'll take Marcus a bit longer to get back to Sanctum, perhaps in an effort to make sure that anything undead is now officially dead-dead. He also needs time to settle down from cutting loose at the sight of a friend in peril. Usually that sort of channeling is reserved for when the man is too close to the Hellmouth. At least this time there was a reminder to not get too lost in the surge of elemental power. So for a time, he just has to take stock of what he really did. Charred and blackened building fronts, the street, the cop cars that were reduced to burnt out husks and small ash piles where he assumed were what was left of any fledgling vampires. Eventually, finding that maybe he was lucky enough to not kill anything that wasn't a vampire he moves off. There may of been an attempt to find Thea, but perhaps it's for the best that she was at work at the hospital. Still, he left a note for her.

It takes him to the Sanctum, unsure whether to knock on the door ot just walk inside. Considering the state he found Strange, he decides that being improper would be less a slight than finding him in need of help and being unable to open the door. So this time, he walks in, hoping the protective wards don't strike him down on the spot. "Doc?" he calls. "Hey Doc, you okay?"


The wards bullrush him with crackling power until a sense of thunder rolling overtakes them and they halt, mere inches from Marcus's unprotected body. It's the silent will of the Sorcerer Supreme, calling back the defensive spells after realizing who decided to walk in without knocking.

"In the living room," comes the raspy voice, barely audible at this distance. Should Marcus make his way into the room, he finds the good doctor in his chair, holding a red-splotched rag to his neck and staring blearily into the crackling fireplace. He still wears his battle-leathers, torn in places near his collar bone where the Bride's nails slid through like steak knives, caked in differing colors of blood - both vampire and his own. That tarry muck still coats his knees and the bottoms of his boots. The crimson Cloak is wrapped as tightly as it can be around his frame, which shakes with the incoming fever, his body's response to the venom in his system. "I'm alive…though you really should knock," Strange says with a groan as he turns his head to look at Marcus. "The wards nearly took you apart."

Merlin, another house-guest of the Sorcerer, had graced him with a spell to slow the spread of the vampire's venom, but there wasn't much more the experienced Mage could do without shocking the man's system. It keeps Strange from passing out in front of Marcus, but not from shivering.


Wrong choice. It wasn't any hostile attempt on Marcus' part, neither is the instinctual reaction of that orb of brownish-gold elemental power envelops him. But the moment the wards stop, the translucent shell cracks and shatters apart. Though, would've been really interesting to see what would happen when a unstoppable force meets an immovable object. There's a parting thought at what could overwhelm the strength of his earth sigil.

"Er, sorry. I just thought…I was worried." he manages to say stepping the rest of the way inside and coming to the Doctor's, looking him over. "Ah, shit, Doc. I'm sorry I'm didn't there sooner. I was in the area and but…I guess I wasn't fast enough. I know a woman though. Thea. She's got some kind of crazy healing ability. I tried finding her before I came here, but I couldn't reach her and it was getting too late and…" he sighs a moment after, pondering. "Is there anything you want or need from me? I mean, I don't know how much I can do here. And I can't say I've explored the possibility that I can heal at all. Maybe water…" he ponders, then shaking his head. "Never used it like that. And can't say I'm exactly a fan of making things. So…I'll forget that." he looks a bit worried. "Is there anything I can get for you?"


Breathing slowly and thickly, Strange listens to Marcus's thoughts with closed eyes. Sweat dots his brow and he seems pale in the singular light of the fireplace. With a painful swallow, he finally looks up at the young man again.

"It's fine, Marcus… You arrived when you were needed m-m—" The first of many bouts of coughing hits him and he has to work through it entirely before he's able to speak again. It leaves him leaning back limply into his chair. "When you were needed most," he whispers as he swallows carefully.

The bite wound appears to be clotting, though slowly. It no longer freely bleeds, just oozes into the no-longer-white rag. "If you could pour tea, that would be b-" Cough-cooooough. "-best. Take one of the satchets marked with red and gold writing. Best for blood l—" Hack wheeze. "-blood loss." The tea kettle, ever hot, and the tea cups remain as they always are: on the tea stand by the hearth.


"Hey, don't talk until you can, alright?" Marcus rises to fetch said satchets, looking at the array of them on a shelf. There's a peering, perhaps curious at the arcane ingredients held within, but he doesn't ponder it long, grabbing the properly colored one and returning. The kettle is taken up, and bringing tea cup and platter, remembering how the man seems to prefer his tea a particular way. He's never made tea, but watching the Doctor do it a couple of times, he's got the right idea.

"You know, normally we'd just take the cellophane from cigarette packs, slap it on that sucking chest wound tell you to get back to shooting. But we're not in Austria or Poland or France right now. And I was barely any good at being a field medic." The ingredients from the satchet are sprinkled into the tea, watching the other from when it's enough, then stopping. "Here. Drink up." then offering the platter and cup to him.


A laugh from Strange at Marcus's tart comment regarding battle-field medical aid and then he dissolves into a stooped figure wracked by coughs. Once he's done, he exhales and inhales heavily as he leans back in his chair once more.

The young man is deft at following unspoken directions - the Sorcerer appreciates how he stops at just the right amount of additive to the tea - and then, with a shivering hand, takes the saucer with cup balanced centrally. The porcelain rattles until he steadies himself with a squint. Only then does he set aside the saucer, if only to enable himself to pick up the cup.

Can't drop his other hand, it's pressing the rag against his neck.

The first sip goes down with a sore-sounding hum of relief and then the next one. He has to pause for another throat-clearing cough and then glances up at Marcus. "Thank you, Marcus. Please, ssss-" Some tea sloshes onto the chair as he coughs and takes a moment to curse under his breath before he continues, "—sit. Tell me you killed the fledglings?"

He needs to hear it from the Elementalist.


Marcus stays at the man's only until he tells him to take a seat. It is partially the soldier in him, leave no man behind, and it's only reluctantly that he finally does so. "I saw the ash piles. They're dead, don't worry. And whatever that bat thing was that picked up that bitch that was going after you, I'll make sure they're next. I had half a thought to leave one of them alive to tell his master that I was coming for them, but that's just asking for troubles."

"I should be thanking you. I've never used two sigils like that at the same time. If you hadn't been there, well…I'm just glad that you were." He doesn't go too far into it, but the fact that his eyes were glowing orange and that his brands had burned holes in his hoodie, which he's still wearing, just suggests the fact he's only starting barely scratch at the surface of what he's really capable of. No wonder the Hydra scientists who created him called him a 'magical weapon'. Control will forever be an issue for him.

When it seems like Strange is starting to look a little better from whatever was in that tea, he seems to relax just slightly. "So. What happened. Who was the woman? What was going on?" he asks, before adding. "Though, take your time, pretty sure it's hard to talk right now."


Strange's eyes close in relief at hearing about the demise of the fledglings. The officers…he's still worried about the officers, but dying of blood loss wouldn't have helped them much. Plus, he was plain out of magic-energy right now. No wonder the wound is having trouble clotting.

He'll take on the task of offering aid to Marcus in the future, after he's through this bout of troubles and once the Hellmouth has been permanently banished. For now…rest and tea. What else can he do?

"I walked into the neighborhood and was immediately attacked. Numbing fog," he rasps, opening his eyes to slit to focus on Marcus. Or at least in that general direction. "S-s-some sort of sp-p-" Another dry cough and a shiver. The fever is setting in now. "-spell. Couldn't hear. Vampires summoned the officers, my attack scattered them and the fledglings before drawing out the Bride. At least, I assume she was one of Dracula's Brides," he adds faintly. "A friend told me that Vlad Dracul now lives there. I was curious." His shrug makes him hiss and wince. "It hurt."


"Seems like somebody was waiting for you, Doc." Marcus replies after a moment. "Not really sure who'd know you'd be in the area, but the way you describe that sounds like you were expected." He frowns a little at that. "Or it was just really unlucky timing too, I guess. I don't know. I only heard the commotion from a few blocks away and came upon you getting a hell of a hickey. I would've taken her out too if I was fast enough, but it was either her or you, and sorry, not going to leave you hanging like that."

"Vlad. Huh, he's real." That's said with all the shock of a man who heard the Cubs lost. Stuff stopped being surprising a long time ago. "So, Dracula is the target. Probably a far cry from Bella Lougosi. But don't worry, I'm not going to go all balls out looking for him myself. I know what could happen. I could burn the entire Kitchen down if I'm not careful."


Strange manages to get down another mouthful of tea before his next cough. "I wouldn't go without back-up, no," he murmurs roughly.

Clearly, he's the result of a solo escapade.

"I doubt that I was expected. The trap wasn't sprung until after I'd walked a few blocks in." A faint, tired smirk as he adds, "I do, however, project an aura and a signature of power. If the vampires treat their territory as literally as animals, I was an interloper and needed to be removed." He closes his eyes and takes a few moments to just breathe. The wound, his veins, all of his joints - they burn insistently.

"I believe that Vlad has magic as well, Dark Arts. The Bride I fought was able to cast a disabling spell into my shadow." He nods carefully towards the tarry stains on his knees and boots. "Be very careful when you engage them," and then he dissolves into another cough-fest.


"No, I won't go alone. You never take on a target without a team to do it. At least, that's how I used to do it. Operating alone, you take too many risks out of desperation." Marcus nods. "But yeah, I'm not shocked if they were able to pick up on on if they're into that kind of thing. Not saying they are, would just make sense. I should get Thea out of there. She lives in the Kitchen. Jessica I'm not worried about, she knows how to handle herself. But Thea's just some nursing student, even if she's a mutant. She's not the fighting kind. I don't think, anyways."

He a grins a little then. "I'd like them try to disable me. Frankly, I don't think they can, I don't think anyone can." Strange's ability to calm Marcus he doesn't really count as 'disarming'. And well, that makes sense for someone who's been branded as he has. "So when you're ready, healed, we'll get some others, and we'll hunt Vlad down. Finish him and his bride off. Send'em off on a proper honeymoon."


The young man is granted a ghost of a smile, one that reaches Strange's eyes, as feverish as they are.

"That sounds like a plan," he murmurs, "but please, don't wait on me. I was foolish enough this time. The Hellmouth sings a siren song that I can't ignore." A sharp inhale and wicked cough. It sounds like he's ready to hack up a lung. The tea sloshes and spills a little on his vest. No biggie, not right now. After all, blood is much harder to get out.

A mouthful of the brew seems to calm his itching throat and the good doctor swallows with some difficulty. "I can continue to offer advice, but I will need my full strength to banish it before it reaches a certain point of power."


"I'll see who I can dig up, then." Marcus remarks. "But this guy has got to be dealt with one way or another. And I'm more a fan of the permanent kind." He'll leave the thinking about how best to deal with a legendary vampire for later. "No, I know what you mean by the Hellmouth have a certain draw to it. That bothers me more than I like to think about. Which is why I haven't really been around it all that often. Don't want to happen to me what's happened the last couple of times I've gotten too close to it. Every time, it gets worse, rather not what finds out a third time."

At that, he rises. "Look, I'm going to take care of a couple things, but I'll be back to check in on you, Doc. And next time I'll make sure to bring Thea along to look you over. She does good work. She healed me after I got sliced open by a demon. She wasn't too pleased with me bleeding all over her couch but. And yeah, we'll plan some more. About Vlad. About the Hellmouth. And you know you can always rely on me to help you out, alright? I'll be back." A beat. "Uh, next time, I'll make sure to knock too."


"Yes, please do knock," Strange says with a half-smile. "If I'm not paying attention, the foyer may get destroyed."

He knows of Marcus's sigils and their power levels. No small thing. Of course the foyer wouldn't survive intact.

"And thank you again," he adds before offering the young man a gently-dismissive nod, being careful not to strain his neck any more than needed.

He listens to the steps disappear from the room and then the shutting of the front door before uttering a bone-deep sigh of weariness. Finish the tea, he coaches himself, even as he coughs and shivers, and then rest.

The Sorcerer finishes the brew and then leans back into the chair. A restless sleep claims him shortly and the only sounds in the Sanctum are the crackling of the fire and his ragged breathing.


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