1964-05-22 - Meeting the Sister
Summary: Lindon brings Josie home to meet Lamont.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
josie lindon lamont 


Lindon likes order and control, damn it, and now there is something grossly out of order. Josephine has tracked him down. So he's warned Lamont that he wants to introduce him to his sister, and he's told Josephine he'll meet her at the house after work, and they'll go in together. Ordered. Controlled.

And so there Lindon is in his drab brown work slacks and off-white button-up shirt, his tie still tied quite precisely despite it being off-hours. He looks like a librarian. Then again, he always dresses like this, more or less. "Josie?" he says. "Are you ready to meet Mr. Cranston?" He makes his way up the walkway of the house. "It's quite all right. He's a nice gentleman."

*

The house in question is a big Gilded Age pile, some robber baron's town mansion that's been passed down a generation or two. The fenced grounds are well-kept, as is the house itself, one of those ornate Victorian monstrosities. There's a locked gate at the end of the front walk, complete with a buzzer and intercom…..and to Josie's sense of magic, there's dark magic of some kind woven all through it. Wards. There's a witch or wizard living here.

*

"Oh, he looks… Like he's all kinds of fun." Josie is squinting at the building, her blue eyes wide as she studies the mansion expanding i nfront of her. The young woman's skin prickles slightly and her fingers flex against her thighs. She's taking slow, deep breaths but otherwise seems to be in good spirits. Lindon is flashes a quick smile. "It's a nice, um, house."

Josie frowns then, glancing back over her shoulder toward the motorcycle she insisted on bringing along. She sighs ,shaking her head. She has, however, retrieved a duffel bag which she brings with her toward the house. For some reason she stubbornly refuses to leave it behind. Especially once she got close enough to interact with the wards. It's about four feet long and clearly relatively full.

To an observe it probably looks like the girl's entire life must be stuffed into that bag. "I'm sure he's great, Lin. I can't wait to meet him." Josie worries her bottom lip obsessively with her teeth..

*

Lindon unlocks the door and steps in, calling, "It's us, Lamont." He then tells Josie in a low tone, "Just…" What can he say? Don't hunt him? Try not to swear? Tidy your hair? Stand up straight? No, he'd better not. He smiles softly. "Just be yourself." Then he leads Josie toward the living room. "I brought Josephine," he says. "My sister."

*

She can feel the wards react to her….but let her pass. No special effects. There's another layer at the door, proper, as Lindon lets them in. The house itself ….it's ornate. But the furnishings mostly don't match, being lighter, sleeker, simpler. The same's true for the living room - a few couches and chairs, bookshelves along one wall, a fireplace that's still grand, but is cold and empty for the summer night. The man who rises from one of the couches, laying aside the book he was reading, is maybe a decade or so older than Lindon, dressed plainly in dark pants and a white linen shirt. His expression is mild, reserved, but pleasant enough, and he holds out a long hand to her. "A pleasure to meet you," he says, gently. "I'm Lamont Cranston."

*

Josephine, to be fair, has her hair fairly tidied and her clothes are actually clean this time. She isn't even drunk, which is a somewhat harder sell in the young chemist turned monster hunter's case. Alas, slouching is still more or less a way of life for the brunette, who nods slowly as she is being led into the living room. Her gaze casts all around, over furniture and books, and then finally comes around to rest on Lamont. There's a brief pause and then. "Hi! My name is Josie. Josie Mills. Lindon's told me- almost nothing about you actually," she responds with a bright smile. the hand is taken and shaken firmly. She's strong for her size but not unnaturally so. Perhaps a little nervous. "You have a lovely home. A bit… Creepy. But nice." A beat. "Sorry." She carefully adjusts the duffel bag again.

*

Lindon frowns when Josie says the house is creepy. "Josephine," he chides quietly. She may be in her twenties now, but she's still his little sister, and he is so terribly proper when he's trying to lead by example. He offers Lamont an apologetic smile. "Josephine tracked me down," he says. "She, uh, found out about the thing with my head, so we don't have to act like we don't know about that."

*

The books are somewhat tamer than in his actual study - good leather editions of classics, mostly fiction, it seems. "I can't really take credit for it," he admits, with a lopsided smile. "I inherited it, and only actually moved in again recently. I'm trying to make it a bit less dark and overstuffed, less Victorian gothic, but …it's taking time." He glances down at the bag, but doesn't comment on it. Gut instinct says that's weaponry of some kind. His own grip is firm, but there's nothing of the pissing contest to it. He does, however, have a gunman's calluses on the palm and the webbing between thumb and forefinger. "Lindon's helping me organize, catalogue and research the library I inherited. There are a lot of rarities, some of them in storage for a long time, and very little documentation of provenance, things like that. I lived abroad for some years, and only returned to New York a few months ago. Still getting settled." At Lin's explanation, he nods. "Well," he says. "That's a relief. Ah, do sit. Would either of you care for a drink?" He feels older than he looks, somehow. Goodness knows his manners are of an older generation.

*

"A drink? Would be great." Josephine lowers her bag from her shoulder when she moves to take a seat, those blue eyes of hers fairly intense as she looks between her brother and Lamont, carefully studying the expressions of each. Josephine has callouses which might be appropriate to a gunslinger or even a swordsman but not a great deal fo either. She doesn't practice very much- or perhaps she does so wearing gloves. The bag of weapons, as it has been termed, is left carefully in reach once she is off her feet ."A library? That's pretty cool. I love libraries. What kind of things did you find in there? Any rare lost literature or anything? Actually, I'm just wondering how you got my brother to settle down and accept your- help." That last is stated with a pointed glare for Lindon's sake. Then Josie is back to smiling, more or less.

*

Lindon glances away under the weight of the glare. "I'll have whatever you're making," he tells Lamont. Unlike the pair of them, his hands are smooth and soft, his fingertips perhaps a little calloused from the handling of books, but he's not a soldier of any stripe. It's evident in everything, down to the way he moves; in a fight, he would be helpless. Then again, he did just let a respectively small woman cow him with a look. "I thought it was better you didn't know," he tells her, "so you'd be safe. That's neither here nor there now." He sits, not far from Josie, and looks put upon. It's an easy look for him to attain.

*

If only she had any idea. "Persistence?" he offers, still mildly. Then, "What will you two have? I've …water, milk, juice, some decent wines, soda, and can mix up something harder, if you'd rather." The question of safety he leaves for them to argue. He's a younger sibling himself, even if his brother is long gone.

*

"Something hard actually sounds nice right now," Josie chimes in immediately, before Lindon candisagree. She glances at her brother and then back to Lamony. "You're right, it doesn't matter anymore," she agrees almost absently, smoothing her hands against her jeans as she shifts in her seat. "This place really is pretty cool," Josie adds slowly. "Have there been weird things happening here or anything like that? It has an… Energy about it. I don't know. Hard to quite put my finger on."

*

Lindon opens his mouth to protest, then snaps it shut, but he gives Josephine a hard look. Guess who the troublemaker was growing up? And who was the golden child? "It's old," he says. "Old places tend to accumulate an air about them." He folds his hands together and rests them on his lap, and he sits ramrod straight. Order and control. Not something he tends to have when it comes to his sister.

*

The byplay is interesting, and Lamont glances between them, thoughtfully. There's a cabinet meant to serve as a bar, and he idly mixes whiskey sours for himself and Lindon. "Any preference on your drink?" he asks of Josie, quietly. "And….well, it is old. What sort of energy?" So she's some kind of sensitive, too.

*

"I don't know. Mysterious. Kind of like what you'd expect from a scary old Gothic mansion I guess, right?" Josie laughs weakly, twisting in her chair as she looks over at Lamont. "I'll take the whiskey neat, I guess?" Josie blinks, pursing her lips as she looks between the two. "Anyway, it's interesting. A little… Dark, maybe." A blink follows. "Actually, if you have ice that would be *great*." Lindon just gets a look in return. She's innocent. Really. Like the time she destroyed the garbage disposal and Lindon got grounded for a month. She was seven!

*

Lindon smiles up at Lamont and says, "Thank you," he as he takes the hard drink he just gave Josie a look for requesting. It's different. He's a man. Men drink hard liquor. He gives her another look, but honestly, it's Lamont's house and not up to him. "When did you start drinking?" he asks her. "Maybe don't have a lot tonight, okay?"

*

Sibling lecturing. This is almost adorable. Whiskey on the rocks for her. He hands off to brother and sister, before taking his own and sitting back down. Presumably she's old enough. "You are welcome to stay, too, if you like," he adds, gently. "There's plenty of room here. The house was built in the….1880s, if I remember right. Came down to me via my mother's side."

*

"September thirteenth, 1961," Josie responds seriously to Lindon's question before smiling beatifically at Lamont and reaching out to take the whiskey from him. "Stay? I mean, I couldn't… Possibly impose…." Josie blinks, eyes wide as her mind races for something tosay. She gulps her whiskey rather than resort to saying any of the things which are now barreling through her mind. "Um. I mean. Maybe for a night or two occasionally? I'm really a terrible house guest, though. Always forget to clean up after myself."

*

Lindon grimaces and says, "Sip it," in a low tone. Little sister gets abandoned for a few years, suddenly she needs big brother to tell her how to manage every little aspect of whiskey. He takes a swallow of his own whiskey sour. It's diluted, that's different. He sighs then, and he adds, "Hopefully you can think about cutting back now."

*

"I do have staff. They aren't here all the time, but they do keep things in order," Lamont says, easily. "I'm not terribly neat myself, truth be told." He makes a self-deprecating little gesture, before sipping his own whiskey sour.

*

Josie glances at Lindon and frowns but she does slowdown on the whiskey for now. A deep breath follows and thenshe exhales slowly before nodding. "Maybe," she agrees quietly. Now Josie's demeanor has shifted from nervous and frenetic to deeply brooding. She eyes her glass. "Oh, staff? Great. That's awesome. Listen, if I stay tonight they, err, can't go through any of my stuff. I'll take care of my room," Josie starts sheepishly. Then, after a brief pause, she adds, "Thanks. For inviting me, I mean. I'm sorry if I seem off, this is just a lot to take in." Another deep breath is taken. Slowly. "Can I take a look at your library sometime?"

*

Lindon looks to Lamont, then to Josie, to whom he says, "I've always respected your privacy, Josephine." He smiles a little. "I won't even go into your room, or into that wing without a reason." Because Lamont isn't going to put her room next to his, is he? He wouldn't do that. Would he? "I'll give you a tour of the library myself, if Lamont is all right with that. It's been a lot of fun cataloging everything."

*

Their host treats this as if it were an entirely reasonable demand. "Of course," he says, gently. "And he's right. There are few enough bedrooms fit for guests that you can have an entire wing to yourself, if you please. I'll make a note for the housekeeper to leave your room be." At her question, he nods. "Of course. It's still very disorganized, there's so much of it….but you're welcome to."

*

"Oh, great. Thanks!" That, at least, is genuine. Josie is smiling afterward, defaulting to gulping rather than sipping her whiskey. She shifts slightly in her seat and then looks around the room one last time before coming to her feet. "And thanks, Lin. That would be wonderful. I'd love to go through the books and just… Take a look around." She exhales slowly. "Of course you can come visit, Lindon. I just mean- you know. I have private lady things." There's a significant glance for Lamont at that. He's old-fashioned, right? And doesn't need to find her pot. Or her holy sword.

*

Lindon sits up a bit, properly on guard by the thought of private lady things. It doesn't help that his mind has plumbed most of those mysteries already. It's different when it's one's sister. "I know you won't come into my room either," he says, straying away from the topic of Lady Things. "It's just common courtesy." He looks between the two of them again. "So, should we think about six o'clock for suppertime?"

*

The holy sword in question might have some vocal opinions about their host….or what he has in the basement. That door, at least, will remain locked, as it always has. Old-fashioned, but not entirely dim. Not that Lamont shows his amusement beyond a feline blink. "Six o'clock sounds delightful. I tend to cook, though if you have particular requests ahead of time, Mrs. O'Meara's an excellent cook and baker in her own right."

*

"Six O'clock sounds great, Lin," Josie responds warmly as she comes to her feet. "I might bug Mrs. O'Meara for baked goods but I'm happy letting… Anyone but me cook." Josie laughs softly at that, then sets aside her now empty glass. She is glancing around the room, fairly unassuming- and then pauses. Just for a second. AN eyebrow arches but finally the brunette is left to shake her head. "Okay. Let's… See the library, right?" She picks up her duffel bag. "Thank you again." That is for Lamont, of course.

*

"I can cook," Lindon muses. He's never actually done so since living here, so it just comes out of the blue. "There are so many recipes and techniques in my head now." He finishes his whiskey sour and gets to his feet. "Shall we?" he asks, deferring to Lamont. It is his house after all. "Maybe sometime if you want, Josie, I can make those chocolate chip cookies Mom used to make. I figure out how."

*

Family. That's what he's let in here, nevermind the magic sword and the possibility of real trouble down the line. "Of course," he says, turning and leading the way. He's left his own drink, for the moment. "You can leave the bag," he adds, to Josie. "No one here will touch it. Right now, it's only the three of us."

*

Josie pauses and looks back at Lamont before shrugging slowly. "I'd feel weird without it after all this. I'm just going to drag it up to my room anyway. But thanks. I appreciate that." he gets another smile and then she is moving through the room toward the far exit. Josie takes her time looking around as she travels, waiting for Lindon to join her. "Cookies sound fab, bro. Now… Let's cut out."

*

Lindon leaves Josie to her bag without much of an opinion. Her language does get an odd quirk of a brow from him. "You never used to talk like that," he tells her, not so much a scold as mere surprise. Things the kids are saying these days. Never mind he's not that old, himself. Thirties is still young. Maybe a little old to be unmarried, but he's hardly an old man. He lets Lamont lead the way, though from the ease of his gait he knows these halls well. "Of course you can still stay at my place in Queens, too," he tells his sister.

*

The library is catty-corner to the living room/parlor they were just in. It's one of the few places that has retained the original decor, all overstuffed chairs and dark wood and intricate wallpaper. What little wallpaper there is to be seen - it's almost all shelves and those shelves are crammed. Some of it's more classics and old scientific texts, but a lot of it is occult in focus. One rank is even glass-fronted and locked barrister bookcases. More cluttery than the rest of the house - there's a roll top desk in one corner, also one that can be locked.

*

"When I'm town, totally," Josie agrees as Lindon is speaking to her about his apartment. She's busy staring at a shelf full of occult texts, leaning forward. "Far out. You're one gone cat. Is all of this for real? These are some choice pieces, man." She reaches up to brush back a stray lock of hair form her face, staring at the volumes in front of her intently. Josie is officially distracted. the duffel bag dangles beside her, forcing the girl to lean slightly to the left. She ignores it.

*

Lindon looks a touched pained. His sister is being so… so modern. He shoots Lamont a sidelong, hapless look. "Yes," he says delicately. "Sometimes I like to just spend the evenings in here reading. Those shelves over there are books from my place. I'm afraid the stuff I've left there isn't as interesting. This place is safer, so I figured the more valuable ones should be moved here first." And Lamont might notice that Lindon's 'reading' is, on some nights, flipping through a book and knowing its contents within seconds. Once in awhile he'll slow it down, though. For the experience.

*

Their host, for his part, looks a hair uncertain. "You also have experience with that sort of thing?" he asks, quietly. "And as for their reality, well….that's part of what Lindon's work is about." He and Lindon've spent evenings here, just reading. Lamont also loves it for the fun of it.

*

"I mean… Not so much. But it's all really neat. Seeing what all these people wrote down and tried to make sense of. Pretty groovy. You get it, right?" Josie reaches up and pulls down one of the books and opens it to just flip through the pages rather slowly. "I could hook a couple of these for myself," she notes, laughing softly as she does. "This is amazing. Thanks for letting me in here." Josie whistles softly as she goes through the various books.

*

"It has its moments," Lindon says. With Josie engaged in the books, he dares a small, tender glance Lamont's way, still wrought with plausible deniability. It's those soft brown eyes, they always look a little tender, right? Even on accident. "Thank you," he tells him quietly. "I didn't want to impose, but I appreciate you offering. I just like to know she's safe."

*

He's still looking dubious, is Lamont. "All I ask is that you don't take them out of here, you don't unlock the locked cases, and don't smoke, drink, or eat in here. You can come and read at any hour you care to, so long as I'm not occupied with it. If I am, I'll shut and lock the door." He catches that glance, and there's a similar one from him. Subtle, only a moment, but…."You're welcome," he says, gently.

*

"Got it. Don't bag the papers, keep from burning down a stick, grab another tumble after I'm out of the office, and no hanky panky with the glue or the scissors. Thanks. I'll take real good care of all of it, promise," Josie chirps, still flipping through the book she is holding onto. She reads at a fairly impressive pace now. Nothing compared to Lindon of course, but it's still a page in moments or less. "…Oh, hey. Amazons. Groovy."

*

Lindon's eyes widen at Josie, then he shakes his head and says, "We should maybe let her read…" About Amazons. "I mean she's having a blast here." Even so, he eyes her askance. Watching her read, he can't help but smile despite himself, to Lamont, he asides, "She's one of the smartest young ladies you'll ever meet. Don't let the linguistic patterns throw you off."

*

"I'm sure," Lamont agrees, bemused. What is he to do with her? "I should go make dinner," he adds, still in that rather bewildered tone. "Any preferences? I've got time to go get something from the market, or we could order out…."

*

"Yeah, Lin. Don't mind me.. I'll just stay right here glued to this book until dinner's done. Anything's cool." Josie is glued o the pages. At the speed she is going she'll probably finish the volume tonight. Isn't that an occult tome? Who knows.

*

Lindon gives Josie a somewhat worried look. "Okay, but don't, uh, strain your eyes." He sidles closer to Lamont, still watching his sister. "Do you want help in the kitchen?" Lindon says. "You wouldn't know it, but I'm not entirely useless in the kitchen." He smiles fleetingly.

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