1964-05-29 - Tea With Doctor Strange
Summary: Lindon stops in for tea with Dr. Strange.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange lindon 


The weather has resolutely changed for the better — at least, according to popular opinion. The mornings are no longer frosty, the night cool but not chilly. In fact, the sun's out and that's a good portion of the reasoning that brings the Sorcerer Supreme to sit out on the front steps of the Sanctum. He's in a dusty-blue polo today rather than a button-down (too warm for that) and it gives his arms, leanly-corded, a reason to soak in some of the ambient sunlight. It's the black slacks that shift it towards the formal spectrum of wear, along with the loafers. With one leg stretched and the other acting as rest-place for a book, he sits and reads, dark brows knitted in concentration. After all, Etruscan can be a pain to decipher. The rare passersby don't offer any form of greeting, simply because they can sense he's lost to the writing. A page flips with a quiet shush and he continues, mouthing some phrase to himself.

*

Lindon is in the neighborhood. Honest. He had some business in the Village and he knows the neighborhood, so he walks by the Sanctum Sanctorum. It's nice to know the place is still standing. He's not expecting to see Strange, so when he does, he pauses. This is awkward. He hadn't planned to socialize, but he can't just walk past. Not now that there's that pause that screams he's seen the Sorcerer Supreme. He's in an off-white buttondown with brown tie tucked into khanki slacks, and he's got a shopping bag with him, filled with the things that brought him down this way. After a moment, he says, "Good afternoon."

*

A grunt and a quarter-turn of wrist, fingers outstretched away from his temple briefly, is the initial greeting to Lindon. It seems that the book holds his attention with magnetism — at least, until with some delay, recognition places a face with the quiet voice.

Looking up, the other man is hit first with disapproval that rapidly evaporates to that formal geniality given to friends. "Lindon." The book is shut silently with some care. "Good afternoon to you as well. Groceries?" His eyes flick back up from the bags in-hand.

*

Lindon grimaces in apology. Yes, it's book and he's interrupting. Social demands are so awkward and shouldn't be necessary! But they are, and to stay connected, he must observe them. He smiles though, because Strange's geniality is contagious and, frankly, relieving. It's good to see a friendly face. Glancing at his bag, he says, "Yes, sort of. There's a lovely tea shop down the street that carries blends I can't find anywhere else. I picked up a few other sundries in the area since I don't get down here too often."

*

The close-lipped professionalism breaks like the very sun above coming out from behind a cloud briefly, flashing bright teeth and breaking the stern lines of his goatee. "You must mean O'Rileys. I go there often." His expression settles down again, though a quirk remains at one side of his mouth. Strange cranes his neck and looks in that direction off-handedly before back to Lindon. "Old Mrs. O'Riley keeps an open tab for me there. I recommend the scones." He gives the book-keeper a searching look, from toes up, and tilts his head slightly to one side as he considers something.

A hanging moment more and a curious light twinkles in his eyes. "I hear you might have chosen."

*

Lindon says lightly, "Yes! Mrs. O'Riley's. Of course you go there." It makes sense, and all the little factors as to why hit him so fast it's like a psychic vision, faster than the conscious mind. With a small smile, he says, "I'll keep it in mind, about the scones. She's a nice lady." Irish, not unlike Lindon at least in part. The Catholicism came from somewhere.

He really has to work on his coolness. When choosing is mentioned, he ducks his gaze, and his smile turns a little helpless. "Yes," he says. "Tentatively. We'll see. Mr. Cranston has shown me a lot of generosity and kindness."

*

Strange continues to smile in his mild, knowing way. "Cranston does seem to have taken a shine to you. I can see why," he adds, getting to his feet. Between the steps and his build, he looms without threat, the thin tome tucked away between ribs and arm. "You're welcome inside for tea, if you'd like."

*

Lindon's voice hitches a little as he asks, "He has? Did he say anything?" He can't hide the pleasure in his tone or the way his dark eyes light up just a little. Puppyish, such is infatuation. "S-sure, I'd like tea," he says. "How's your Malk? How's Wanda? Not necessarily in that order?"

*

Lindon is welcomed to follow by a come-hither gesture of Strange's free hand. The foyer is dark compared to outside's spring afternoon light, but soothingly cool to someone warmed through and through.

"Aralune is growing an inch a day, it seems, in height and length. I expect her to reach thirty pounds by the summer solstice. She hasn't found her voice yet, but…any day now." Rueful affection in the statement; good lord, teenagers were difficult enough, what about an adolescent Fae cat? To the living room they go, still pleasantly-lit for the blinds thrown wide on the three tall windows along the outer wall.

He continues his thoughts. "Wanda is well too. I'll let her know that you asked. As far as Cranston…" Yes, yes, he was getting to this, promise. He glances up from pouring tea. The flow glistens in a ray of light. "Have your abilities allowed you any manner of seeing the Mystical? The Sight, as it's called?"

*

Lindon follows after, working on keeping a dumb grin off his face. "She's beautiful." Then there's a tremor of laughter in his voice. "Lamont hasn't coughed up any hairballs, so I think he's out of the woods." He glances around for her when he comes inside. She's lovely, but her scratch would be unwelcome, so it's best to give her her space.

"Thank you," he says, in regards to telling Wanda he's asked after her. He takes a seat, long legs tucked up close, ankles crossed. "I haven't tried to see the Mystical," he says. "I hadn't thought about it. I just write down what I see when it's interesting."

*

A acknowledging hum and a nod. The tea pot, eternally warmed, is set aside and tea prepped to finish. With Lindon's cup delivered to the side-table next to his seat, Strange is free to take his own. Once settled and having tasted that his tea is to perfection, he sets aside the demi-tasse and settles back, looking…almost content. He's kept from 'lazy' simply by the fact that his half-lidded eyes always express calculation rather than sloth.

"I ask after the Sight because of Cranston's aura. The aura, the natural energy field about oneself, exists in all. A practitioner's aura tends to be more active, aligned with their inclinations to the Arts and emotions alike. His aura tells no lies, Lindon." A flick up of his brows and he sighs. "No hairballs, however, yes, and Aralune will be granting him respectful space now, I think. She hasn't come into the living room since — "

The Sorcerer stops talking simply because he's glanced over to see the adolescent Malk sitting Bast-statuesque in a ray of sunlight. It sets the silver fur aglow at the tips in star-white. Lindon is giving a measured, jade-eyed look while the black-tipped tail wraps about the Fae cat's feet, its end flicking. "Speak of the devil," Strange murmurs, smiling to himself. A clucking sound draws the attention to himself and with a brisk few steps, the creature is up in his lap, all twenty-five pounds of her. She leans heavily on him, headbutting demandingly into the scarred palm held up for her, before loafing across his lap. Her purr is ridiculously-loud and seems to increase when the Sorcerer gets to riffling his fingertips along the scruff of her neck. "Not afraid of you, at least." Lindon is giving a small smile of friendly tease.

*

Lindon glances over, and his features soften. Oh, he's wary of the creature, but to see one in the fur so to speak! So lovely and elegant. He knows better than to maintain eye contact. He lowers his gaze in a slow blink, then glances aside. He knows a lot about cat behavior. Hell, he knows a lot about a lot of things. He smiles when the cat vaults onto Strange's lap. "Aw, she likes you," he says. "She's got nothing to fear from me," he says.

Regarding Lamont's aura, he half-smiles as he considered. "On one hand," he says, "it would be handy. On the other hand, it seems not quite fair to take all his secrets and give up so few in return."

*

The Malk continues purring away, kneading the arm of the chair rather than the leg beneath the dress pants. Strange scritches the feline beneath the chin briefly before running fingers up her spine to entice that goofy hindend lift.

"Aralune bonded to Wanda and me when she was a kitten. She was abandoned by her mother for reasons unknown. I think the Malk took advantage of thin veils between Realities at the Winter Solstice and became trapped back in its proper dimension when they solidified again." He's not about to share that he had his ankle savaged and his sock stolen for nesting material. "As you and Cranston learned, she feeds upon the bad luck that comes in." In fact, Aralune has just wrapped large paws about the man's wrist and is currently grooming the scarred back of it. Strange seems inclined to indulge the adolescent creature, at least for a bit, and leaves his hand in her grip. "However, Cranston's aura. I intend to teach him to control its nuances better, at least until he has better knowledge of offensive magics. He did tell you this, yes?"

*

Elevator butt! Ah, cats. "Poor thing," Lindon says as he watches her. He drinks his tea, taking each swallow and holding it on his tongue. It's the complexity of flavors that draw him to the beverage. Only loose leaf will do. "It's good she found you."

Lindon shakes his head slowly and says, "No, we haven't discussed it. Though it makes sense. It's, ah, flattering how munch he wants to protect me. I'm not sure how I can repay him for the privilege since he won't use my visions."

*

Strange nods. "It makes critical sense. We're all aware of the fact that others have attempted to utilize your abilities against your will. Cranston seems discinclined to let it continue." That pink cat tongue continues working its thorough way across and up the tendons of his hand and he winces slightly, frowning at the Malk. "I forgot how it feels like low-grade sandpaper." Aralune makes a purring 'prrrp' of a sound and continues, blithely appreciating the nuances of the Sorcerer's singular flavor of bad luck. This particular feeding has a strong swirl of worry through it.

"I wouldn't consider it a matter of repayment," he says, returning to the previous line of discussion. "If you must…" He leans his chin in the palm of his other hand, looking remarkably composed for having the other digits cleaned near to flushing by a zealous Fae cat. "Repay him by keeping him from using the powers. They will drain his energy at first, unless he can find the means to control the amount of power he uses to bring his spells to fruition. Don't draw trouble." So easy to say, but not so easy to do, he supposes to himself.

*

Lindon watches the cat through lidded eyes, a small smile playing upon his features. Kitty. Even if they're huge and fey, they're all kitties. He really should get a cat or something. Lindon hmms, then says, "I can do my best to keep him from having reasons to use his powers. I'm thinking of learning self defense. Someone recently told me I have a certain allure to predators." He clears his throat and looks at his tea. Er, yes. "What I find interesting is the Inhuman King choosing my best interest over the power my visions could give him."

*

Strange's idle, half-distracted nodding comes to a slow halt. His eyes flick up from Aralune's large ear to pin Lindon to his chair for the sudden intensity of interest.

"The Inhuman King…?" His voice is lower now, soft, and the Malk stops grooming his hand to affix the book-keeper across the short distance with a sudden glittering jade-eyed look. Those bat-like ears flick fully forwards. "Last I heard through my network, there was no crowned King of Attilan. Only an older and younger brother, Blackagar and Maximus…" There's an odd lilt to that second name, a lingering over it — a nuance of an opinion. "…and neither hold a crown."

*

"Maximus is of the opinion he ought to, and I've got no reason to argue the finer points with him. I mean, I'm just an encyclopedia who happens to be a human being." He adds, awkwardly, "I prefer more democratic forms of government, myself." He fiddles with his teacup absently. "He's nice to me, you know. He could do a lot of harm if he wanted, even if he can't get into my mind, but the idea repels him. I find that interesting."

*

The Sorcerer's eyebrows rise a visible amount in equally visible disbelief. "Really now….?" The sentence is dragged out, the words kneaded in turn with a smooth stretch to follow. "Get into your mind? Lindon, does he have powers?" In the meantime, Aralune deigns to be slowly petted, her master's touch gliding from skull to tail a few times before lingering in the fluff about her chest. She continues to watch the guest with bright eyes, her long tail slowly undulating across the far arm of the chair not too unlike a snake.

*

Lindon doesn't maintain eye contact with the cat. This is very important. He wants her to know he's not trying to lay claim to any of her territory. His body language is subtle, yet he speaks feline semi-fluently, and he's saying 'I would very much like to hang out and be cool.' That's right. Lindon can attain coolness in cat, but in English he fumbles. "I wouldn't divulge your abilities to anyone who asked," he says delicately. "To be honest, I don't know what-all he can do. I only mean people can't get into my head very easily. Go ahead, try it."

*

Aralune is cognizant of what the book-keeper is attempting to tell her. She is incredibly empathetic to it, rest assured — but her loyalties lie unerringly with her Big Fluffy, the man who continues to slowly massage the fur of her chest. Her purr hasn't abated entirely, merely dropped to embers of its previous volume.

"I believe you, Lindon. I doubt you'd offer if I had the ability to do so. I'm more concerned with these supposed powers. He attempted to get into your mind, didn't he…?" Strange asks this with a composure enviable to hide the jump in his heart-rate.

*

Oh yes, and see the deference offered to Big Fluffy, too. His regard for Strange is supremely gentle. It's all in those big dark eyes, soulful and always looking at least a little lost. "I can't be entirely sure," Lindon hedges. "He said he could take away the noise, but when he tried, nothing happened." He's quick to add, "The attempt was consensual. I don't want you to think he's victimizing me. In fact, the fact he's not is what I find so intriguing."

*

"Intriguing…" The Sorcerer echoes, his voice quieter still, nearly fain to disappear into the ebb and roll of the Malk's purring. His eyes have dropped off to one side. Brows knit further still and they flick about, landing anywhere but upon Lindon again for some number of seconds. It's too warm for a fire; otherwise, the crackling of burning logs would fill the silence that stretches thinner as the moments pass. "Have you considered that he may have succeeded and twisted your psyche to think otherwise?" Strange's steely-blues land once more upon the book-keeper's face.

*

"I've calculated the odds," Lindon says. "There's a non-zero chance, but it's so slim it's barely worth considering. I maintain my wariness, I question constantly, to the point of nagging, I'm sure. I've warned him I'm under a sorcerer's protection, though he doesn't know Lamont by name." He shakes his head. "When I analyze our interactions, I see someone who, for whatever reason, is more interested in my alive and sane than enslaved or dead. The fact I'm wondering why would indicate he hasn't influenced me to believe in him."

*

It's clear that Strange is still suspicious as hell of the whole ordeal, but he's not going to do any nagging. He simply nods and replies, "Maximus has little fear of sorcerers. Keep this in mind."

Bad pun is bad.

"I…think he has an ability to influence minds, yes, and this power concerns me." Greatly is implied for the gravity of the opinion shared. "Why he wouldn't take advantage of your powers concerns me as well." A slow sigh. Aralune shifts on his lap, adopting a more relaxed pose with back legs stretched out along his thighs to half-hang into open space. Her claws slip out slowly once into the fabric of the arm-chair and then back. "I should speak with him again." The major note of the statement is resigned acceptance.

*

Lindon arches a brow. Really, Sorcerer Supreme? Strange has just made an internal list of people for whom no quarter shall be shown when the puns come out. "It's a concerning power," he says, "but I don't understand how his lack of taking advantage would be suspicious so much as puzzling, unless you think he has some long term plan, and I would be surprised if he didn't." He smiles thinly with an apologetic wince and says, "I don't mean to make things more difficult for you. I'm not worried about my safety. I… like him, actually. Not to where I would say we're friends, but he's interesting, and he talks to me like a person." Is it really so rare for him, in this world of powers and magic, to be regarded as such?

*

"Everyone has long-term plans," the Sorcerer reminds Lindon with cool displeasure in doing so, " — and you've made nothing more difficult," he adds in a mildly lighter tone, the smile at least attempted for the faint dimpling at his cheeks. "It was already difficult."

Strange nods to himself as he murmurs, "I'm not terribly surprised that you like him if that's the case. It's a kindness you should receive more of." Aralune stretches again, a tremble of extension making her toes and ears vibrate, before settling her chin atop Strange's forearm. The action serves to encourage her master to relax more as well; it can be seen in the way he leans back more heavily into the chair.

*

Lindon sighs quietly and lifts his gaze to heaven, as if to call upon the saints he no longer believes in. Then he offers a smile toward the cat. She really is adorable in her adolescent way. Yes, he definitely needs a cat. Someone to keep him company on those nights when Lamont is away. "It's getting better," he admits. "The more I stay close to people like Lamont. And you. Wanda has shown me such wonderful consideration." His smile broadens at the mention of her name. It's a harmless infatuation, more intellectual than anything. He then says, "My sister found me. I don't know if I told you. I never should have left her. I did it so she'd never have to be part of this world. She found out anyway."

*

Strange eyes the book-keep now with a very dry amusement that still manages to glint in his eyes. It's not too unlike a good Brut.

"Your sister…is now part of this world." Oh gods below, it never ends — not for the Sorcerer Supreme. "You say this as if she wasn't supposed to be part of it. Should I remove her from it?" He asks this with a little tuck of his chin. He's not concerned of the little infatuation with Wanda. If anything, it strokes his ego and pride in an eminently-worthy soul-mate.

*

Lindon shakes his head and says, "Done is done. It wouldn't surprise me if something of sorcery ran in our family. That she would inherit it and I wouldn't. In so many other ways I was my mother's child. If there is something in our blood, it goes back further than my parents' generation." He waves a hand. Neither here nor there, really. Like he said, done is done. "I worry about her because she's my baby sister, but she's competent in ways I'm not, and immature in others. She's angry I left her, but she's staying with Lamont and I most nights now. They get along famously."

*

"Inter-relational friction is a terrible thing," the Sorcerer agrees. "I can't imagine if she disliked Cranston. I'm sure she's already been warned not to go into the basement." He sighs, stroking Aralune across her skull. Her eyes are nearly shut, ears laid to the sides in relaxation. Nothing like 25 pounds of Fae cat to make one feel like napping in their chair. "What should I know about her abilities? Does she have powers?"

*

"Yes, he's gotten her up to speed on the rules. I'm glad they get along, but at the same time, it's worrisome. She's already figured out about us, I think." His cheeks color. Has Strange worked it out? Lindon isn't sure. It's possible he hasn't! A man can hope. So he leaves what 'about us' means up in the air. Maybe he means the bonding. "I don't know if she has any powers," he says. "It's been an awkward topic to approach. I know she's got a more predatory gait than I remember. Guarded, watchful. She's learned to fight somewhere."

*

Strange lays some truth upon the pink-cheeked book-keep with the gentle comment: "If your sister can see auras and knows anything about the veracity of certain colors within them, she knows of you both." 'Us' indeed. "That she's learned defensive skills is to your benefit as well, Lindon. You'll be one well-guarded individual when Cranston fully learns his skills."

*

Lindon lowers his gaze, and the pink in his cheeks deepens. "I think she assumed anyway. She's precocious." Not spoken as a compliment. No, someone had to take over parental disapproval when they were orphaned. He clears his throat. Ahem. Dignity. He has it. he lifts his chin, and he takes a calm sip of his tea. "I'm starting to feel like a valuable artifact," he says lightly. 'And the strange thing is, I rather like it."

*

That last comment gains a laugh from Strange. Aralune makes a confused, sleepy 'mrrp' sound before closing her eyes again under the soothing smoothing of her nape under the Sorcerer's hand.

"All artifacts are valuable. That you're human makes you exceptionally valuable, Lindon. You've chosen well…if you do so." All of the weight of the possible decision rests upon the book-keeper's shoulders. If Strange has his druthers, he'll have no influence in the matter. Makes for the truest bonding, after all.

*

Lindon lowers his gaze, shy as he says, "I think the choosing is more or less done. He won me over. I don't even remember the first time we met, you know. I was mad and having visions. He saw me raving in the street and made sure I got home all right. I saw him later, and he recognized me, but I didn't know him. We got to talking and, well." He shrugs a shoulder. "He's been taking care of me every since. I can't imagine anyone else at this point I could trust like I trust him."

*

Strange looks properly pensive for a bit, drawing a line down one side of his goatee, before he remembers his tea. It's long since gone lukewarm, but there's nothing like a bit of clever charming of thermodynamics. Lindon might note the faint, fire-hued glow about the inside of the Sorcerer's hands that cup the demi-tasse.

"Trust does matter, I suppose — in terms of a relic, I mean," he adds, wanting to clarify and avoid tender feelings. "You'll have to let me know if you find yourself literally reading Cranston's mind or even being able to communicate over distances. Or perhaps other things, like drawing power without damaging one another."

*

Lindon is quick-eyed, but also discreet, saying nothing of it. "There was once," he mentions, "that Lamont was able to speak into my mind. It was brief, but it was remarkable, because usually nothing can get through the noise. I've had sorcerers try to read my mind and control it before." Only for them to find their own heads filled with a cacophony. "I don't know that I could initiate such a contact. It would probably just be a wall of words if I tried."

*

With tea now heated to steaming once again, the subtle glow fades away and Strange takes a healthy sip. He sighs in contentment after swallowing.

"You should attempt it sometime, see what comes of it. How are you supposed to know otherwise?" His smile is compassionate in a way. "It'd be worth knowing that you can contact one another even when separated, even if it's to add milk to a grocery list." He nods at the bag of groceries sitting beside the chair.

*

Ah, the days before texting. It really would be magic. "I suppose we could try," he allows. "Maybe someday I can learn to control my mind so that I can bring down the barrier when I want to. Then I could let him in." He finishes his tea, tepid as it is, and he tentatively pours himself another cup. It's okay, yes? That he do this? "If I learn," he says, "I'm going to make it a surprise. I can't lean on him for everything. Like teaching me."

*

Very few folk will get slapped on the wrist for pouring themselves more tea. It's generally a pleasure to find another being who appreciates tea in the manner of the master of the Sanctum. Strange smiles to himself.

"It'll be quite the surprise. You could even try it firstly with something like the aforementioned grocery list. Send Cranston out on an errand and then communicate that you wish something ridiculous. A vial of dragon's blood," he throws out as a ludicrous example.

Please, please don't let this come back to bite him later.

*

Lindon laughs, a scant sound, as he says, "I think he'd find some way to bring me some. Maybe I'll just ask for milk." Or catch his mind at an apex moment and really make an impression. "In any case, first things first. I'll keep meditating and work on quieting my mind. I get so used to the noise I don't notice it anymore. It's just background chatter, you know?"

*

"I do. I meditate every morning. It was part of my apprenticeship." Aralune shifts in her sleep, one dark-bottom paw twitching and flicking at invisible strands of bad luck. "The world can go beautifully silent when done correctly." Strange strokes along her ribs and she settles into stillness once more across his lap. The Malk is now a ridiculous display of adolescent limbs and general size reaching both arms of the chair and beyond. Imagine — thirty plus pounds of adult Malk splayed out. Lunacy. "On a side note, I was joking. Lindon, don't ask Cranston to get you a vial of dragon's blood. They're sentient beings that hold deep grudges and I don't wish to tangle with one again."

*

Lindon smiles into his teacup at the twitching paw. He's definitely going to end up coming home with a pair of kittens. "I don't even know what I would do with a vial of dragon's blood. All the applications are a bit above my pay grade." He shakes his head. "Most of my meditation is self-taught. I have the know-how, but it's like with martial arts: there's knowing the procedure, and there's being taught, having it ingrained in you. If I could find a teacher, maybe I could advance beyond what little I've figured out."

*

"There are a good number of us within the Mystical community who could teach you how to meditate. It's a common practice in centering oneself before drawing upon innate powers or speaking across the dimensions. Wanda and myself challenge one another on a regular basis to remain completely centered when meditating. I don't speak for her, but if you were inclined, you could speak with her about such a thing. She'd definitely ingraine it in you."

By the amused smile, the Sorcerer probably means the literal definition of the word, to an extent. Enquirers beware.

*

Lindon perks up, and tries not to, but he does. "Oh, yes, if it's not an imposition. I might ask her what her thoughts are. She doesn't seem like she would mince words or worry more about my ego than my education." A quality he apparently finds quite attractive. Oh, he knows better than to enquire. Maybe the man could use a good ingraining. "There are so many things that would be possible if we could just reach each other without words," he says. "Especially now that my sister is there." And one must watch what one says.

*

Strange's wry little smile deepens a bit more. Oh. Oh, please let him be around when this enquiring occurs.

"I don't know that Wanda could teach the ability to speak without words, through thought projection. Meditation, yes, but…it's not my place to ask of her. By all means, stop by another time and when she's in, you two can discuss the possibilities. She might appreciate taking on the challenge." He means this kindly, not in sleight of the Archive himself. Teaching in itself is a brutal challenge simply because the taught do not learn unless the teacher knows the material well and can communicate it correctly.

"And no, your ego would not be spared. Pride serves litte purpose in battle." Says the hypocrite of the century, cough.

*

"Oh no, I just meant if I could quiet my mind," Lindon says, "I know Lamont could speak to me, and he can hear me in turn. It happened once." He sighs. That one magical time. A quieted mind, Lamont there in a way closer than any two people can otherwise be. "I slept like a baby that night after he was through." No, he has no idea how that sounds.

*

The Sorcerer does not laugh and should get a cookie for not doing anything beyond nodding and flicking his brows high.

"I can imagine that it would be restful having the amount of chaotic information slowed or even silenced for a time. There's an unparalleled sense of connection when speaking into another's mind. Occasionally the communication can breach dimensions and realities proper." He smiles to himself, his hand rising to momentarily brush along the bronze chain hanging about his neck. Whatever it displays is hidden away beneath the polo shirt.

*

Lindon regards Strange blithely. "Yes, I wasn't aware of just how much noise I've learned to live with until some of it was gone." He arches a brow, hmming. He takes a sip of his tea, then says, "I hope it never comes to transcending dimensions. I finally feel like I'm starting to have a normal life. I guess I just assumed he would be staying put for awhile, too." His gaze flits to the chain, then back to Strange's face. "Do you traverse dimensions very often?"

*

"More often than most suspect. I was just off realigning the magnetic fields of a dimension with three suns that inverted the tidal flow of that dimension's ley lines yesterday. The amount of gravitational and Mystical pull within that dimension is unbelievable." He sighs and shrugs. "But it needed to be done. It was beginning to influence the stability of the Andean major ley line and I wasn't about to have the binding geas on the Supay realm fall apart. I need that right now about as much as a herniated disc."

*

"Oh, is that all you did," Lindon says. "Yesterday I finished archiving a series on homesteading in the South during the Civil War." So take that, Strange. "So is that unique to you, or can I look forward to wondering what dimension Lamont's in while I'm trying to get dinner on the table by six?"

*

Strange snorts under his breath, smirking. Indeed, an entire series. Well done.

"Whether or not Cranston travels to another dimension is entirely within his control. You'll need to discuss that between the two of you if it becomes a bother." He makes an idle side-sweeping point of a finger left and right to include the Shadow, despite the man not being present. "I don't care if anyone from this dimension travels beyond it as long as they don't bring back trouble on their coat-tails. Most of the time, it's either professionals, like myself, or someone making a mistake who travel beyond this Reality. I get involved when someone makes a mistake because most of the time, the gods need to be involved." Aralune stretches across his lap again and curls up into a fluffy ball now.

*

Lindon shakes his head and says, "Oh no, no I can't tell him what to do with all that…" He waves a hand. "Magic. That's his life. I don't really have any say." Because he hasn't given himself any. "But I do think he wants to stick around for awhile. That's the impression I get. I'd like to think he's got reasons." He smiles a little, then interrupts himself to say, "She's such a cutie. You'd never suspect what she could do."

*

Strange glances down at the curled-up collection of sleeping adolescent Malk and ends up with a lop-sided smile of perpetually and mildly-irritated affection.

"I believe that's what makes her so dangerous. Her size should be enough warning, but then you take into account her neonatal aspects and unusual level of charm for being a four-legged creature…" He stops himself there and shakes his head, laughing in self-recimination. "No, she's Fae. Don't let her fool you. Wanda and I need to be constantly on guard against her shenanigans." At the word, Aralune wakes, lifting her head and looking about with bleary blinks. "Yes, I said shenanigans, you loon."

Take it all back, mean Sorcerer. She leans affectionately against his hand, dragging whiskers along it, before settling in again, eyes mostly shut.

*

"She's a cat," Lindon points out. "You should already be on guard against her shenanigans." When the cat looks up, he grins, close-lipped, then takes another drink of his tea. "I think I'll stop by the pet shop on the way home," he says. "I had a cat growing up, and I miss that. I think a normal kitten is more my speed."

*

The Sorcerer nods, getting up to move — well, he tries. Aralune utters a growling 'mrrrr' of displeasure and her lap, with a sigh accompanying it, returns to where it was before.

"Stick with a normal kitten. Malks are difficult creatures. If the writings didn't mention it before, allow me to second their general opinions on things." Thankfully, once disturbed, twice irritated. With another stretch, the adolescent Malk collects her long legs beneath her and with a singular brand of disdain, excuses herself from Strange's lap. Out into the hall, she goes, tail raised in a flag of dismissal. For his part, the master of the Sanctum snorts. "Malk. Now, Lindon, I have an errand to run myself and it's into another dimension. I need to prepare for it." He escorts his guest out and on the front porch, the invitation to visit and talk over tea is extended once again. It might as well be perpetual at this point.

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