1963-12-20 - Strangely Honest
Summary: Amora appears to tease Strange, and instead leaves in a huff when he bites back, rather honestly.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
amora merlin strange 

Old Mrs. O'Riley has been kind enough to forgive Strange for his last hasty exit and kinder still to humor his blatantly-illogical explanation for how he managed to vanish without setting off the bells that hang at the door. The Sorcerer now sits with his back to the wall in a corner, so closely that the rounded curve of wooden backrest literally touches the fading wallpaper. No one is going to surprise him, not again, not any time soon.

On the table, a small plate of warm scones and a tea seat. He sips at a blackberry and clove brew, hot and sweet enough to not require honey, with silent delight. Whatever his guest wanted has been brought over and ample reserves left in case the older Mage wishes to steep another cup. Strange hasn't divested of his black coat and crimson scarf, content to keep both on to stave off the chill.

"It's nice to get away from the Sanctum," he admits to the older man with a tired quirk to his goatee. "Mrs. O'Riley spoils me, in all honesty."


"Mrs. O'Riley seems a kind sort. She does the family proud. I knew some of the original O'Riley's, in Ireland way back when. They'd be proud to call her a member of the clan." The old wizard makes note. Taking a sip of his own tea, he glances about. He had, of course, noted the strange looks he garnered at his attire. Looks he has grown more and more accustomed to over the centuries. They've long stopped bothering him.

Adjusting his staff as it rests against the wall, ensuring it does not fall, he nods once more. "One's Sanctum is good for ensuring peace, but…" He gives Strange a knowing look, "Stay there for long stretches of time and one can go mad!" He lets out a little giggle. Has it happened to him? Perhaps. "At least you don't have an owl at your Sanctum that keeps bothering you with all sorts of silly things!"


Indeed it would be much more difficult to surprise Strange by appearing directly behind him. But Amora was never one for being shy, much less to give up on something just because it was difficult. Hardly a glimmer of light announced her teleportation directly into the tea shop, between one blink and the next she was sitting in the space left available at the table. A chair had appeared with her, and she appeared to be lazily sitting in it as if she'd always been there.

Without so much as a pause she leaned forward with her usual grace and flirtatious grin as she stole a scone from the plate on the table. "Hello darlings," She purred and promptly leaned toward Merlin to try to peck him on the cheek.

"It's simply been too long darling, so happy to see you survived the Jotun invasion."


The abrupt and hollow sound of his own chair being rapidly scooted a half-inch away from the sudden appearance of the Enchantress is damning. Strange manages to not slosh his tea, but definitely can't help the hissed curse that escapes between his teeth.

Strange manages to keep his voice low and cold. "Gods below, REALLY?!" He puts down the tea cup in order to shift his chair even more to put a larger degree of distance between him and the buxom blonde. Once settled at precisely across the table from her, the maximum space between them, he folds his arms and lets out a slow, patient sigh. "Lady Amora, do us all a favor and honor the neutrality we seemed to agree upon last we met closing wards?"

Of course he means that his personal space is his and so there.

"If you can do so…how can I — we help you?" Amended statement to include Merlin, who surely can hold his own against her wiles.


While much doesn't surprise Old Man Merlin, the sudden appearance of Amora has him startled ever so slightly. "Oh, thank goodness 'tis only you! For a moment I thought that you were someone else!" Who, he won't say. But needless to say, he's relieved that it's Amora. The kiss on the cheek is permitted. He doesn't stop it.

"The Jotun are too self assured for their own good." He mutters. "Perhaps they forgot the weight the name Merlin carries." There's a little twinkle in his eye at that thought, a little hint of a smile on his face. "Though there was a moment when I was worried that Ragnarok 'twas finally upon us, but those worries were for naught!" His smile widens more at that. "I'm always glad to be proven wrong of such worries."


A full and sweet laugh escaped her at Strange's reaction, and utter glee and delight flickered through those luminous green eyes. She flashed him a sharp toothed grin of perfect white teeth against ruby lips. Then promptly scooted her chair closer toward Merlin and made to lean her head against the old magician's shoulder. "Darling, I don't know what you mean about neutrality…" She purred, and nibbled at her stolen scone.

"But I just wanted to come chat, with the youngest Prince ..gone.." She did not say dead still, wouldn't say it. "I am the most practiced user of magic in the realm of Asgard." A smirk painted those full lips wide.

"So, if you desire Asgard's aid in magical needs, I am as they say, 'it'." She winked.

Finally done teasing Strange for the moment she glanced back up to Merlin. "Mmm, aye. 'Tis true enough. My concerns lay with Muspellhiem however. Previously I was captured by them to be used as a vessel of some kind. Whatever ritual they wished to use was interupted, but only by the Trickster's abilities. I am.. concerned that in my present state that they might try their hand again in the future. They gained too much ground this past time.." Her expression darkened and some of her flirtatious demeanor dulled in the frighteningly brutal expression that twisted her features.


The Sorcerer Supreme can't disagree with Merlin's statement at all. Even if he glowers at the Enchantress and carefully brings his tea to his lips, it is a profound relief to know that the old Magician had a hand in staving off the worst of the imminent rush. Unfortunately, she can tease about the neutrality all she wants; it was an unspoken agreement and in the world of magic, it takes words (and Words) to bind. Next time, he's tricking her into a cease-fire, one way or another.

However, he can't help the sly smirk behind the demi-tasse and manages to compose himself by the time he sets down the cup and Amora finishes her concerns about a second incursion.

"It might please you know that you might be 'it' in terms of Asgardian aid, but…the recent events have brought to light that I have certain comrades who possess your skill level and may easily reach it with their potential if they do not currently share it. I intend to ensure this. I have time and I have aid in Merlin, if he chooses to help me in this endeavor." He can't help the little smile and twinkle in his half-lidded eyes. "If the Jotun and Muspel attempt another invasion into my Realm, we'll have plenty of help at hand. You could, I don't know…go flip your hair at the Baron instead, for example. Puppeteer him instead."


A raised eyebrow is given as Merlin looks down at Amora, her head on his shoulder. He sips his tea and sighs. "Aye, those of Muspelheim were a worry of mine as well. Luckily, I knew how to speak to them to ensure the safety of those of this realm. I just hope it is a long time before we must deal with them once more."

There's a moment of pause before Merlin speaks again. "Do you still have that butterfly I gave to you?" He asks of Amora. "If you are detained once more, use it. The magic which resides in it shall remain undetectable until its use. And even then, it shall depart your location quickly to come to me. Wherever you are, it shall find its way to me and I shall find my way to assist you." He informs her.

He gives Strange a confused look. "Mister Doctor Strange, am I missing something…I'd think it would be wise to accept all help offered?" He furrows his brow. "Then again, I accepted the help of a buff-tailed bumblebee once, and sincerely regretted it!"


A dry look was sent in Strange's direction and Amora wiggled green painted nails in his direction. "The Baron bores me." She drawled, and sat up to summon for herself a cup of tea with a twirl of her finger. "He's too easy." She huffed simply, sipping at her tea as she arched a brow toward the good Doctor.

"And might I add darling that no one will possess my skill level in terms of Asgardian magic for several thousand years. I am well over three thousand." She fluffed a hand through her hair as if to tease the point he'd made about flipping it. "No one else has any collection close to mine on the other realms besides Karnilla, and that woman cares only for her realm. Good luck asking for /her/ aid." She gave a look of none too subtle disgust at the thought.

Then her look melted at Merlin's words and she smiled at him, and all at once it was a warm and sweet smile that must have charmed millions. "Of course I do," She murmured, "I shall be certain to use it if I'm confronted with Muspell's minions once more.."


"I didn't say Asgardian magic, now did I?" The Sorcerer reminds her calmly, with that same irrepressible smirk. "I said 'skill level'. Though I'm sure we can agree on the fact that if Midgard and Asgard need to ask for Karnilla for aid, we are all in too deep."

He glances over at Merlin and shrugs. "We have you, me, and my associates. I find her ulterior motives distasteful and lack of trustworthiness disturbing. As they say around here, once bitten, twice shy, Lady Amora." His steely-blues shift back to her.

"And mind yourself with the Baron. He plays a deeper game than you suspect. Easy does not always mean easy. You know that." Strange sips at his tea and settles more in his chair, dedicated to keeping his composure of professional ease. Swirling the brew is his next visible fidget, though not an indicator of anything more than a busy, busy mind behind a calm face.


"Far be it from me to tell the Sorcerer Supreme how to protect his realm." But Merlin's going to do it anyway. "But it would seem to me that, on occasion, one must put their personal feelings aside and work with those they find 'distasteful' in order to better protect their realm." Of course, he's not exactly saying that Strange should work with Amora. Though, he isn't saying that he shouldn't, either. "Just make sure that you separate those you dislike for personal reasons from those you dislike because they cause actual, lasting harm to the realm." He nods his head and sips his tea.

"You know, should we ever require a meeting with Karnilla, I'd offer myself as diplomat. I fully realize she is not the favourite of many. I've dealt her kind before." He knows they'll likely never be so desparate, but he figures the offer should be put out there.

"You know which Baron I'd like to meet? Baron Samedi." He glances between Amora and Strange. "Oh, I know you're not talking about Baron Samedi. But he seems like such a strange and unusual fellow. I assume, instead, we're speaking of Baron Mordo?"


Amora sipped at her tea, not interrupting Merlin as he spoke, but oh did the amusement glitter in those green eyes as he lectured Strange. Her smile remained and she refolded her legs, beneath her seat primly. "Darling," She murmured toward Strange, lowering her tea to the table as she reached up to comb her fingers through her hair, eyeing her reflection in the tea cup.

"When I have offered aid to you, have I double crossed you? When 'tis honest aid?" She fluttered those dark eyelashes and cocked her head to the side. "You rejected my aid in regards to the draugr, and when I aided in sealing the veils did I cross you?" She arched a brow. "Playing with you for my mere amusement hardly counts.." She pouted and leaned back in her chair, tipping the front legs into the air as she balanced herself backwards, her arms crossing beneath her ample chest.

"And I am /bored/ with the Baron. He has ceased to amuse me. I had my way with him and I am quite through. There are Greeks around. Ares is a much more entertaining lover. There's a reason why Aphrodite and he had affairs.." She drawled, arching a golden brow. Then her attention was shifting back to Merlin.

"Darling, I forget, was I on Midgard back when you were in charge of its protection? I miss these details.."


The older Mage is granted a cold look and raven-wing eyebrow arched high. However, he's polite enough to let Amora finish her inquisition after supposed faults before answering each.

"I consider myself a fairly good judge of character, Merlin. That she would interfere with my duties as Sorcerer Supreme through her various selfish ways should be reason enough to strike her from my list of allies. I'm fairly sure that interfering with me tempts the lasting harm you spoke of." Another sip of tea and Strange licks his lips. "I have enough to worry about without her stumbling blocks. I'm sure Odin would understand."

With the table between her and him, as well as the presence of Myraddin, he feels comfortable returning her fluttering lashes with a contemptuous glare. "I didn't need your assistance with the Draugr and neither with the sealing of the veils. You had no power to cross me, but I'm reminded that pulling a tiger's teeth doesn't negate their claws. However, I'm pleased to hear that you'll remove yours from Karl. He deserves better. You're far too heavy-handed." Let her remember who said that.


"No, my Lady Amora. I don't believe I was the Sorcerer Supreme when you first started coming here. But even so, I kept an eye on the comings and goings of the Asgardians, even when others were in charge of Midgard." Merlin explains softly. To Strange, he merely shrugs. "I've given my counsel." He sips his tea and sighs softly.

"You know, back what I was the Sorcerer Supreme, I once made a deal with a rather unseemly fellow. From a rather unusual realm. He bothered me greatly. But then he gave me an owl. And a newt. And a dragon. And then I went to the Dimension of Dreams. Have either of you been there?" He looks between the two others for a moment before continuing. "I did not like it in the Dimension of Dreams." He frowns. "What were we talking about again?"


Strange's words see Amora's smirk and flirtatious expression fail utterly. The glimmering of amusement dying just as quickly. A shuttered effect stole over her expression, shutting down all emotion in those green eyes. Nothing but the most chilling of emotions bled into her expression as he spoke, and not even Merlin's words would lighten it anew. There was a line drawn in the sand then, cut between the scones and tea cups on the table.

"Then I shall rip my magic back from this realm. As it has no need of it." She whispered, her voice deadly soft. The implication was clear, whatever veils she'd sealed would reopen and let in whatever was on the other side of them once more.

Green eyes narrowed and she waved a hand, her tea cup dissipating into a puff of green smoke. It would seem that her time without emotions had in fact left that mark that the youngest Prince had been concerned over. Instead of hot and passionate anger, it seemed to sizzle and snap in cold, calculated chips of ice.


Strange sets down his own tea cup and takes a moment to consider the Enchantress across the ocean of an expanse between them. Midgardian and Asgardian, practitioners of equal merit, at odds inevitably and at each other's throats for their own reasons. He isn't surprised this came up, unfortunately; maybe she can see it in the wavering behind his eyes. He's angry, absolutely. In an strikingly different way, he pities her. Yes, he pushed as she pushed.

"You know I believe in free will, Lady Amora. If that's what you choose to do, then I accept this. I'm not afraid of hard work." His fingers wrapped about the cup are utterly motionless. "However, consider your actions. We are both diplomats of our respective Realms. Your decision will wash back on Asgard. I don't think you wish to seem so flighty. Giving with one hand and taking with another? That is stooping, even for you."

He sighs, tilting his head slightly as he never breaks from her glittering emerald glare. "I am not too proud to ignore your assistance in sealing the veils of this Realm. It was appreciated in the moment. Redacting it?" He clicks his tongue. "I hope you choose otherwise, for the sake of both of our worlds. I do not want to need to approach Odin for assistance."


Sitting back in his chair, Merlin is unusually quiet during the exchange. He listens to Amora's words. He listens to Strange's words. He sips his tea. "Amora." He finally says her name in a soft tone. "I hope any offence can be forgiven and that the innocent lives upon Midgard need not suffer for the…hasty words of but a few."

Stretching out his hand, and with a few muttered words, a gold bracelet with Old Norse runes appears. "This small bracelet is known to warn its wearer of when their true foes are hidden nearby. Perhaps it can be a peace offering?" He smile kindly.


She sat in silence, thickening with each word that fell from Strange's mouth. As she leaned toward Strange her gaze remained firmly upon him, "I am an exile of my realm, not a diplomat. I lent aid out of my /own/ limited magics for the simple reason that I wished to. You are a fool to think I /care/ how it 'twill wash back upon the Realm Eternal. 'Tis /not/ my realm, not my position at stake. You have made it /clear/ you do not desire my aid, Sorcerer Supreme. That you've no /need/ of it. Let those that perish be on your head. For I doubt you can mend all such breaks before the Jotun slay a few of your pathetic mortals.." She whispered, tilting her head the side, her eyes narrowed.

"None alone in Asgard have the power save Odin or Frigga to mend those rips. Nor the knowledge of this realm required to patch them."

"When I said that I was 'it' Sorcerer Supreme, you'd do well to have a care and listen." She added after a moment, then leaned back, her chest rising and falling as if she'd exerted herself in some way. Still her voice had not risen above a whisper as she spoke.

Merlin's voice cut through to her anger, and she shifted, some of the icy edge melted at his offering. A roll of her shoulders followed and slowly, achingly so, that anger faded and she reached out with delicate fingers to pluck it from his offered hands. "Very well, but only because /you/ asked it of me so kindly Myrddin Emrys.." She breathed, and magic escaped between her lips as she spoke. A soft curling of green power that swirled about her figure. As she vanished from the tea shop.

"Remember, I have no love for Midgard, nor her people. My goodwill is all that remains for my continued kindnesses here. Loki is no more to guard my tempers. The All-father cares not for the lives of mortals, nor in what occurs here. Midgard holds no protector by Asgard now. And all are therein hold fast in mourning." Her voice was soft and smooth and rang clearly out after she'd gone.


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