1964-01-04 - Why Not A Shark Tank?
Summary: Why is there a shark in a magician's tank in front of the sanctum? It's Tommy's fault.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: Take What Is Ours! - Brian Tyler
tommy wanda strange 

For Billy Kaplan and Thomas Shepherd, some aspects of their life might be stranger than others. The fact they are twins displaced in time notwithstanding, being only a handful of years younger than their mother and uncle? Strange. Their grandfather being the same age as their father? Strange. The spiritual, financial, and everything but biological parent? Strange, who is equally strange.

It so happens the good Doctor has the second most impressive house in Greenwich Village, a place not really known for its mansions. Most people pass by 177A Bleecker Street, none the wiser for what's really there. Others come harbouring ill intentions, mystic purposes, or esoteric questions. For Wanda? It's simply home, and her exercises bring her there through a gateway of seawater. It spills out around her, gushing past her boots, and flooding out seventeen rats, one keg, and a shark.

Look, it's a small shark. It's not even a space shark. Only a standard white-tip snapping and flailing around in the middle of a winter scene in the alley. Slush and disturbed ice rolls off its sandpaper skin, and kelp flails around midair. The witch spins, dancing back while the water starts to hit the drains on the main street, and… Why does she have a cutlass? She has a cutlass. Further, she has a bloody awesome waistcoat, and it's singed and sliced in a few places. But the fact of the matter is?

There's a bloody shark in New York.


Yes, there are many, many strange things that permeate Tommy's life, that's for certain. If he wrote a book? He'd have to write several. Which is saying something, given his still-young age. The stories that he could tell, and only some of them about his days as a superhero. But there's a time and a place for everything. Yesterday was apparently the time and place to have his girlfriend meet his… F.. Fa… F-Word. Because it worked out, and not only that? It worked out well.

Today? Well… more family times were on the platinum haired one's mind. So it was hi-ho, hi-ho, to the Sanctum he went. After leaving a telephone number and address with Hope in case Shit Went Down. Because she's as fast as he and could get to him if she needed backup in a hurry, right?

…it's a dangerous assumption to keep in his mind, but it's an assumption that exists.

Of course, the sight he sees upon arriving is the kind that makes green eyes grow wider than normal. There's Wanda. There's a Shark. There's no sign of Arthur Fonzarelli on a jetski. After taking a moment to evaluate any present threats, he cracks a grin and offers, "Trying to get Billy and I a pet? If so? That scores /major/ points in my book."

Billy might not agree, however.


The shark thrashes around in desperation, its gills heaving. Ink-black eyes have no proof of terror, for such a shallow sea monster has no sense of fear. How could it, when nature has perfected a killing machine over at least a hundred million years? The white tip shark bends and swisher from side to side, much less concerned about biting things than finding its warm semi-tropical sea. Unfortunately New York sucks, and is not providing.

Wanda flips the cutlass to her left hand and slides it back into a narrow sheath on her hip, her garments completely sodden. If there was not any doubt she had a dip in the same sea, a mere turn of her body will affirm that. Every inch of her below the shoulders is sopping wet, the corset and translucent linen blouse, the waistcoat, the very tight pants and boots. She throws a look around to ascertain anyone capable of perceiving the breach in reality, and it turns out, it's her own damn kid.

Better than the options.

"It bites." No, really? Flashing,sharp teeth in multiple rows a danger? Boots squelch as she walks back. "Where do we put this? I have no bowl large enough for it." Understatement of the year, go. Glancing at Tommy, her golden, orchid-rimed eyes lift to his face. Evidently this is a present for Billy. Why not?


"Does Billy have a waterbed? We could totally cut a hole in and, like, add some salt. This is a saltwater shark, right?" Tommy suggests — he hasn't been into his twin's New Room, but he figures it's not outside of the realm of possibility. "Y'know what? I got this."

Without waiting for an answer, Tommy's gone. Somewhere else around the city? A rolling cart is taken from a supermarket. A large glass case is borrowed from a (stage) magician's supply store. These two items are rolled to the ocean in a way that makes Mario Kart look feasible in reality; the whole arrangement is wheeled into the ocean, and then the bunch is brought back to the Bleecker Street house.

Of course, if he's told it's a freshwater shark? Then the ocean is replaced by waiting outside a house in the suburbs while a hose filled up the tank. Tapping his foot impatiently while an amusing little ditty played in the background.

Now that /this/ is done, Tommy's hands move at the speed of Speed — keeping away from the teeth in order to collect the poor shark and deposit it in the waiting tank. It's another benefit of moving like he does. Ease of transporting potentially dangerous animals.

This takes all of his attention until it's done. Once it's done? There's a brief sigh of relief, and eyes turn to Wanda. And widen again. And a hand reaches up to cover them. "Uh. You're soaking wet. Do you like, want a million towels or something? I can make that happen. Preferably before I have to punch someone."


The benefit of having a twin who moves outside time's normal constraints? Wanda knows certain things to expect. Stand still. Do not shift in case she enters the range of motion unexpectedly. Wait a few breaths for everything to settle down properly. Rules learned objectively a long, long time ago indeed assure she does not panic or ask 'Where did you get that glass cage?'

Better than anyone short of Billy or Pietro himself, she probably knows what this grown reflection of her future self's desires and artifice can achieve. Thus she waits, and wrings out her sopping coat, starting by the hemline. Several squeezes drain the worst of the seawater onto the ground, adding the exodus to the stormwater drain. Gutters have seen worse around here on a regular morning.

So now there's a saltwater shark thrashing about in saltwater, a very heavy thing to push given it's six feet long, weighs as much as Tommy does - or more - and generally looks ticked off. Then again, what shark doesn't? With its nose sticking out of the water, its long tail flopped about, it may be the most ridiculous sight manageable short of a shark wearing a party hat.

Wanda sighs under her breath. "No point for towel. I must go back." Maybe not this moment, but evidently the shark is not the sign of a completed task. "Wet now, will get wet again. Why dry myself and waste the time and towel?" A shake of her head sets beads flying, the straggly curtain dripping down her back. "The things I do for him. It would be easier to try another way. Are you good at jumping from roofs?"


Not asking questions is a plus. The longer the women in his life go without asking him questions about some of the things he does? Likely the happier they'll be. Even if /he/ has to think about some of them. Theft is good for a momentary solution; something like this, getting a snack, playing a prank. It's far from a permanent one, though. But he's got a plan, oh yes, he has a plan for that.

…and when she refuses the towel? Tommy bites down on his lower lip. That's the /problem/ with running into a real parent after a lifetime of living with an adoptive one. Some of the mental countermeasures that family have take /time/ to develop. On top of that? Considering how (relatively) young Wanda is, if Hope came around and saw him, she might get the wrong idea! New Plan: Introduce Hope to the rest of the family ASAP. Of all the things he could get in trouble for, he's not going to get in trouble for something that's legitimately Not His Fault.

Of course, the words catch his attention. She has to go back? Oh lord. More wet? That bodes issues. Tommy's about to start saying 'no' a few hundred times.. but then there's something his brain interprets as a challenge.

"If my girlfriend can do it, I can too." …because Hope /had/ to have tackled him from somewhere /up./ Which meant she was likely jumping from building to building. A running start made a lot of difference for people like them! "What do you need me to do?" he asks, blurring for a moment — reappearing /without/ the leather jacket, which would get ruined in the wet — and pulling the goggles down over his eyes. And trying not to look directly into the Wanda.


In the alley outside Bleecker Street at a very specific address, many a strange thing tends to happen. However, this may be a first: a gush of ocean water is running into the drain, thanks to an incident about fifteen minutes ago wherein the wards surely registered Wanda drawing a portal shut behind her.

Kelp on the slush attests to some kind of maritime activity, and the witch herself — in a black and gold trimmed frockcoat, dripping a small sea, the translucent linen shirt — lives the proof of it. She nudges the cutlass aside as she walks, her gait still adjusting to solid, good concrete. Her high boots leave dripping prints behind her, sufficient to trace where she goes only on dry land, and there isn't an inch of that for a good twenty yards. Tommy is dry, however, and the white-tip shark in a glass box on a trolley? It's happily wet, mostly, though the fins flutter and gills heave as it tries to move around in a very contained space. At least it can breathe, which is better than its situation but minutes ago.

That's right. Strange has a shark on wheels outside his sanctum. Ink black eyes stare pitilessly upon the tasty humans. There is no point asking its thoughts, as they are certain to be 'I will eat you if I get out of here. Eat you all. Eat eat eat.'

Sculpted by patience, she hooks her hands into her pocket and comes up with a twisted bit of hemp with several keys and chips on them, at least six silver pieces and nine gold, and a bottle containing something very murky. Half the substance is sediment. "Yes, here we go. I took this. The antidote is contained in the chapel of the winds, and that is guarded. Getting in means we go over top. It's only sixty feet high? I think if we run over the roofs, we will not be caught." Her gaze is calm enough, measured as she lets those words sink in. "We do not want to be caught. It would be inconvenient to explain we are human. I already met the guards of the drowning deep. Hello, «Squiggly»."

Squiggly glares. Yes. The shark can glare.


There's a disturbance in the Force. Wait, no, not the Force, just reality in the alleyway outside of the Sanctum Sanctorum. Looking up from drawing the straight-razor down the line of his goatee, Strange stares at his reflection before uttering a quiet groan. No peace. Man can't get no peace. A quick and careful finishing glide, a few touch-ups (no shaking hands due to an influx of steadying magic, cheater — and proud of it), and once the shaving soap is wiped off, he gears up to go…deal with it.

The side door leading to the alleyway, from a small hallway leading off the shop and kitchen, opens into the cold air of the mid-morning and the Sorcerer sticks his head out. The sight that greets him is…absurd.

"There's a shark. In a tank. In the alley. And you," he eyes Wanda in confusion that's quickly eclipsing to amusement. "You're…in a pirate costume. Is that seawater?" Safe enough to step out onto the snowy concrete, considering he's in the battle-leathers and hence, the boots. Reaching out, he doesn't even need more than a second to drag a fingertip along the waistcoat before his nose tells him the rest; licking the tip of his finger confirms it. "Saltwater." Folding his hands away for warmth and with a sense of dubious interest, his steel-blue eyes flicker between dripping Witch and pale-haired young man "Okay…what's going on?"

The shark is given another speculative if not slightly incredulous side-glance before he brings his focus back.


Times like this, Tommy chooses to focus on sight rather than sound. Inside the goggles, Tommy had his eyes closed. He be was just going to listen. …then she had something to /show/ him, and it forces him to open his eyes again. Open his eyes and get a closer look. It's kind of an odd position, but… those are certainly shiny!

"Antidote," he echoes. That means someone's poisoned or something. That's great news right there, really. "I don't know where this chapel is, but…" he trails off for a moment. Should he? /Can/ he? Probably. Tommy drops to one knee, arms extend for her to climb on. "Climb on. You steer, I'll run, we'll be in and out before anyone knows better." Well, not entirely true. Unlike Hope, Wanda probably can't communicate at speeds that would make it so it would be a seamless operation. There will be backtracking. But that's not a /big/ deal.

"But, if my girlfriend sees us? Explain the whole time travelling parent thing in as few words as you can, as quickly as you can." Pause. "Or she might shoot you." Which would leave Tommy conflicted. It'd be hot, because Hope would be jealous enough to shoot someone over him — but also sad, because he'd lose someone who he doesn't even fully know yet.

Then the voice draws his ear to that door; "Man. Who's the adult with worldly knowledge now? Women are always up to something, Doc." Tommy advises — not having the worldly knowledge to keep his mouth shut. Of course, that may be mouth-moving-faster-than-brain. That happens somet—alot. "You just gotta ask yourself 'can I survive doing this', and 'can I survive NOT doing this', and go for whichever thing you can answer 'yes' to."

There's a pause, and he adds… "If Hope drops by or calls," Mystery girl has a name! "Make her a sammich or somethin', wouldja? Also, get any magical rocket launchers you have ready. She might have trouble in tow, and I told her I'd be here to help."

Thomas Shepherd and Hope Summers, trouble magnets, eating machines, and a match made in… well, somewhere clearly spectacular.


"It's not a costume," Wanda clearly feels the need to speak such. "It is what they wear. Did I dress like us, it would tell them I am an outsider. Port Royal is not friendly to outsiders." Port Royal. The chapel of the wind. The drowning deep. "It was this or go by the ghost ship, and I do not want to go as a ghost."

She licks the salt from her lips; clearly someone was in the water, if not submerged completely. "We are bringing you a present for the last day of Christmas. Davai-jin left the last words of his lost grimoires at Port Royal before it was drowned. I know where the key is, and with the key, you have the grimoire. If the other pirates do not catch us. But with Tommy?" She nods to him, and shares that dangerous little smile. She doesn't have the depth of dimples, but she doesn't need to, considering he is a pale silver mirror to her golden light. "We will not be caught. Now you were doing nothing but cleaning, come and have proper excitement. The ghost ship is not so bad, but my German is too good for their awful form of German. So very poor. Anyways, my love, have you not wished to get warm in the sun? Port Royal is very nice this time of year."

She's clearly talking about the Flying Dutchman.

Tommy's admonishment to explain the time-traveling parent business needs a pause, because she looks at him. "Why? I am not yours. I am his." A nod to her beloved up on the step, renders clear these lines to her. "So there is no need for guns. Violence is a curse, do not seek its growth. We were raised to it, Tommy, in the worst ways." She has no other way to tell him she is the child of terrible times, and forsaken moments. "We go recover magic, we avoid the sharks and the angry pirates. They have cannons, and worse. Like floating pages."

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