1964-07-05 - Dearest Mother
Summary: Vic finally meets his mother, and he brings a bribe of baklava.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
strange wanda vic 

Vic has kept to himself the past few days, still wrapping his head around this whole 'being alive' thing. Still, for being around a week old, he's doing all right. He's dressed up about as nicely as he's got the means to do so, which means new jeans, he's gotten his military-issue black boots polished.

Coming to the door of the Sanctum Sanctorum, he takes a deep breath, then knocks. He's got in one hand a bakery box, and the baklava within is still quite fresh. He hasn't even nipped into the box. It's all for the parents.

The wards report briskly to the master of the mansion. Himself — he's a bit slower to make his way down to the front doors. The last trip to another dimension left him drained and Strange has only just finished his cup of rejuvenating tea. With a grimace for a pang of over-stretched muscles in his back, he then composes himself and continues opening the door entirely. Shower water lingers in his hair, combed and styled as it is (though damn those fringes of bangs in the front, they never behave).

"Victor, good morning. Come in," he says quietly, giving the young man a mild smile. The novelty still prickles at him. Another son indeed, in some backhanded Mystical way.

Never a dull moment as Sorcerer Supreme.

Stepping aside, he allows Vic to enter. The door is shut and locked, per his inclinations on things, and he eyes the box. His hands disappear into the pockets of his dress pants. Today's button-down is emerald-green with hues of peacock feathers in the right light. "Pastries?" The smile deepens a little. If it's baklava…he's impressed.

The summer invariably brings heat and humidity. For a girl whose hair naturally wants to curl, this is utterly unacceptable and the need to change the shape of her follicles is casually forbidden by the powers that be. Therefore Wanda is dragging a comb through her wavy locks and remembering the days when they shone, smooth and flat, instead of being a riotous mane. Her efforts do help restore order, but she's floating over the staircase with that essential task. Aralune the cat is nowhere to be seen. A book beside her helpfully flips its own pages, however, allowing study time and general grooming.

Why over the stairs is a question for the ages. The answer is, properly, why not.

She does not vary in her appearance much. Jet and wine are her hallmarks, the hues of the bloody dusk favoured by the girl whose brother is the frosted north in every way she is not, and her vantage allows her a chance to witness all who enter. Initiates to the strange may be alarmed to see her up there, but the wards can care for that.

Another guest in the sanctum is not entirely surprising. They come and go, the more proficient ringing the doorbell in a different way. The house still stands. She glances up from her book, the nod offered as close to a greeting as the reticent, paranoid witch usually gets.

"Hi, Dad," Victor says, and those unfairly familiar features grow warmer as he smiles. "I brought some baklava from where I work. I got a job at that Greek place, Saganaki." He holds the box in anticipation of giving it over, but not to Strange. Father dearest is not the intended recipient. He's never even met her, and already Vic is a mama's boy.

When Vic sees Wanda, it takes him a few moments to formulate some sort of response to that nod. Staring seems to be the preferred reaction, but then he catches himself and, flustered, looks away. He swallows, then tells the woman, "I think these are for you." He holds out the bakery box.

The Sorcerer's throat bobbles ever so slightly, even with that smile. It's a shield, that formal close-lipped curve, and he turns his attention from the box in Vic's hands to Wanda, hovering where she is over the staircase. He melts, just a little, watching her groom and study all at once. This is sweet normalcy, down to her reticent greeting. Be still, his heart.

Be still, his heart indeed. There it is again — Dad. "Wanda, this is Victor." He speaks quietly, shifting from one foot to the other where he stands. "We spoke of him briefly, if you remember? He brought baklava." She likely heard the young man's explanation of the contents of the box, so this additional repetition may speak strongly to the fact that behind the controlled air about him, he's still moderately flustered. With the Sight, Wanda could see his aura fleecing about easily enough, with its reactions fairly akin to a breeze on a pond's surface.

The brunette combing her hair has good hearing. A necessity given the way she lived her life, where the difference between discovery or capture often rested on the crack of a branch, the whisper of a sweater against concrete, or the muffled clink of metal. It's a hard life, to be hunted, even with one of the fastest men on Earth at her side since they emerged into the world. Her faulty sense of security never exists, not even in the depths of the sanctum. Its fortifications do not supply adequate protection when she's hunted by her own habits and thoughts.

It helps that Strange knows this. Too that it's the temporal truth of his power, where three in one preside over the mystic affairs of the world and keep a collective Eye cracked open for perturbations around the dusky-skinned sylph with the capacity to change the world in one frightened recoil. They might want to worry about that. The book floats nearer to her knee, its trove of secrets intact. See, no pages burning, no stairs transformed awkwardly into murder vines to strangle and point. Her aura stays to its usual harbinger of fated prospects: faintly carmine at the edges, the stars lamenting their fates in a chorus stained marble and evocative, soaring gold.

"Hello." Is this the marveled meeting of parents? It's probably more like Vic showing up saying he wants permission to date, and has to get through the seraph after he bypassed the dragon. She looks at the box from on high, and the steps down leave her floating in space, until she reaches ground level. She's not short. Neither is she vastly tall like some sorcerers. "It is good." Well, English isn't necessarily her strong suit, either. She holds out her hands to take the box, bracelets clamouring on her wrist. And if anything bites, the wards and the spell burning through her veins in anticipation are likely to be a bit explosive.

It's a courtship of a sort, lauding the romance of the happy family. Billy said don't expect a lot of warmth, and so Victor doesn't cringe nor shrink at the lack of hugs and kisses. Rather, he regards Wanda tentatively, his smile warm and pleased when she takes the box, like coaxing a wild animal to take food without biting.

There are no tricks, no traps. The blue-eyed youth watches the woman (somewhat shorter than him but not tiny by any measure) as she descends, as she takes the offering, and he's sure to make no sudden movements nor loud noises. His aura is a tangle of anxiety and wonder, but his outward facade is calm. "It's the best baklava in the city," he says, then glances to Strange, reiterating (because this is important when trying to impress parents), "I got a job there, doing whatever needs done."

Very good that no tricks or traps make a showing. The silvery wards hang about behind their master's shoulders, eyeing the proceedings with ever-present interest. Vic is oddly akin to them and they acknowledge this on some basic level while not acting upon it in the least. The boss hasn't given any commands anyways and the mistress doesn't seem terribly perturbed.

Well and good, that too, and it gives the Sorcerer reason to drop his shoulders their minute amount to a nearly-normal stance again. "I'm glad to hear it, Victor. In light of your past, it's a success that shouldn't be dismissed. Well done." He gives the young man a considering look again, though that mild smile never shifts. Mask-like indeed.

The wild animal has all the grace of a snow leopard and the capacity to strike unseen by leaping vertically into the air and striking some poor red panda off its branch in a totally different ecosystem because zoologists don't always pay attention like that. Wanda's golden eyes are heavy-lidded, deceptively somnolent, and something mistaken at best for almost absent. Her comb she slides back into somewhere, a banishment done without so much as considering more than a sound. Pop: off it goes to a shelf in the sanctum loft, tucked among the other things. "I see." Never mind she might be the highest critique of honey in the city short of the local bee population. Still, she holds onto the box without treating it like a viper or a bunny displaying disturbing tentacles. She doesn't open it or stuff the baked honey confection in her face like a child, though.

Strange ought to be more worried, pinned down like a butterfly under the metal points of a German lepidopterist. Her gaze remains smooth and hard to read, which generally defaults to 'I am a meat eater and will claw your face off' to the best of sorts. No, she is not warm, not like the snowy dreams that birthed her in the fractional torments of mountainsides and horrific embellishments. "You work at a restaurant? Very good."

Vic shoves his hands in his pockets and nods quickly. "Yeah, the boss said he didn't care about me making a few mistakes as long as I was kind and would treat people right. So far it's just maintenance and cleaning up. If someone's acting up, I show them the door. It's long hours, but the pay's all right." So proud of his menial labor job, because it's his. As for the baklava, its recipe comes from satyrkin, and the gods know how Lambert likes his indulgences.

His smile is dazzling. Brilliant, as his parents voice their approval that he's got a job. His very own job, not handed to him by someone else. After all, when one is a week old, shouldn't one have gotten one's life together? "I can bring you whatever you like from there," he offers. "Everything on the menu's good, and Chef'll make stuff off menu all the time."

Strange wasn't worried, not really. He's quite used to the Spartan communications of the Witch. But it's that two-word response that he uses more often than not when unamused by a situation that flips his perceptions on their head. 'I see.' Oh dear.

"Unfortunately, I can't indulge in what the Chef may make, so you'll be feeding Wanda more than myself." He shrugs; it's an old acceptance in light of the demands of the mantle. The movements are smooth, exuding that bone-deep confidence that he throws up too in defense against potential dissonance in a situation. "It does smell good though."

This is, of course, a statement from a woman who hasn't done an honest day of work in her life prior to stepping foot onto American shores in part because honesty would imply she actually wanted the job for the job. Instead of hunting down some poor sort and knifing him in the name of revenge, freedom, and the blood-soaked history that bleeds out of her life. There is no joy or happiness without stain in the world. The sins of the child carry through those tethered to her, a proof of blight along family trees where one of the forefathers happens to be the elder incarnation of evil in the world. Not even that alternate rebellious sort; truly a demon is a demon is a demon. The incarnation of all that's bad is poised in the family tree opposite a survivor of genocide who might just set himself up as a potentate because.

It boils down to Wanda holding a box. "I will share." With what and who, that's unsaid. She could just wander off to place the baklava somewhere, but she does not. Lambert and she may have a long discussion about the source of his hives and the best flowers to feed them with. "We do not eat so much. But thank you for the offer." It's not the thought that she turns down so much as the politeness for the Sorcerer Supreme, perhaps. That, and forks belong in her hair holding a complicated arrangement in place. Really.

So many sins, and then there is the so very young, painfully naive spark of life made flesh who knows only that he's alive, and life is good. Surely that same life will crush that attitude right out of him, given time. For now, he just accepts things as they come. Every word, every gesture. He knows Mother has had a difficult time, but can he really comprehend what a hard time is? Even the difficult past of his body belonged to someone else. "You're welcome," he says without guile.

His aura is bubbling all around him with a puppy's enthusiasm and a will to do good. Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Victor regards his mother with nothing short of adoration. "If there's anything else you like, I'll bring it. I can't imagine not needing to eat much. I can't stop eating."

"Why do you eat quite so much?" Anyone else, this would be a rude question. However, Strange is a doctor of medicine of some kind and Wanda simply understands weird things because she is the weird one. Mr and Mrs Strange, for real. Her head tilts and she strays a look to the steely-templed Sorcerer after a time. This is his issue to explain, no doubt. Have at.

The sight of the Witch walking about the Sanctum with dinglehoppers artfully arranged within the confines of her lustrous locks would bring Strange to an abrupt halt and she'd be sure to get at least a moment of utterly-serious consideration before the laughter began — good-natured, of course, accompanied by twinkling eyes.

The Sorcerer looks between the young man and his Consort with a wistful ghosting of melancholy that comes and goes as quickly as a cloud across the sun. In the chaos of their daily lives, he can't remember if he ever explained of his youngest brother in great detail. His heartstrings still twang, the movements inciting old bruises to sting in passing. He shakes it off easily enough, because life must go on, and nods, somewhat to himself.

"I remember those years. Colt's years, where you're finally finding your legs and everything is growing. Greek food is good for the body and soul when done well." And surely Lambert does nothing but the best in his art. He glances to Wanda and adds, with a wrench of hesitation in the tone, "It may also be because he is the Mote of Cognizance lost a week or two back. Pure Mystical energy."

You know…that Mote.

"It should not be hungry. It sustains itself." This from Wanda, an aside, quick and crisp. Pure mystical energy that's self-perpetuating given some kind of source in her opinion. Or maybe it needs the colour orange and look, it's 1964, there is a lot of orange around.

Doctor Dad can ask all sorts of questions, and Mom even more so because, well, she's Mom. "I metabolize quickly," Victor says. "I can't even get drunk." Hastily, he adds, "Not that I go around trying to get drunk. It's just that, I mean, I burn through fuel pretty fast." He offers Doctor Dad a small smile. See, Dad gets it.

He comes so very close to apologizing, though, when Wanda insists he sustains himself. Is he doing it wrong? Is he… is he an it? How easily he's undone with her words. He swallows, and he says, "I think it just takes a lot of energy to sustain the body. It was deteriorating fast when I found it. And making it go fast and be strong and all that. I don't know. I'm just hungry a lot."

"The energy itself might, but the body is alive and must remain so to house him," the good Doctor asides to Wanda.

To the young man: "Yes, I can see you needing an increased intake of calories to return the body to its pre-comatose state as well as sustain what movements you may push it to." Strange frowns at Vic, but this is the expression that's more Dad-Worried than simple concern. "You do realize that there are literal physical limits to the human body and its abilities? I recognize that adrenaline can accomplish many things, but you can rip your own muscular tissues to shreds pushing these limits."

The technical descriptions required for the benefit of an intellect spirit housed in a human body will not come from Wanda. Hers isn't the gift of speech universally understood, not without some kind of magical spell she's unwilling to call upon. She runs her hand over her smoothed hair as though to find the texture completely reduced to spider silk instead of the waves and hint of roughness there. More work to be done later, or she's just going to hex it properly straight at this rate. Cheating is a fair outcome for beauty and comfort.

"Ah. But fast and much? That is more like Pietro. Or too fast a burn inside, but the flame has to be sustainable." She's not at her most accurate in English, but put her in English and the breadth of detail possible in a compound psychoscientific word is going to be little short of breathtaking. "Be careful that you have enough for yourself."

Vic nods to what Strange says. Yes, that's the right of it. A body's got to be sustained, especially when its natural inclination is to break down and fail. "I don't worry too much," he tells his father. "Yesterday at work I dropped a cinder block on my foot. I felt the bone crunch, but by the time I got my shoe off to look, it was already knitted. I don't get any bruises, even when I've bonked myself pretty hard." He regards his father's worried face, though, and he adds, "But I'll be mindful."

He ducks his head when he turns his attention to his mother. "Yes, ma'am," he tells her. "Working at Saganaki is nice. The boss believes in feeding people up. Kellan — he's my, um, boyfriend — he's got money and doens't mind late-night runs to Marco's pizza. I'm keeping fed."

The Sorcerer's lips roll inwards at the passing consideration of a cinder block to the bones of the foot. Owwwwwww. Still, very good to hear that the body can heal at such an accelerated rate. It soothes some worry in the back of his mind.

"It's a special streak of luck that you work at a restaurant then, if you're capable of healing yourself at such a rate. I know the drain of a spell well enough.'

Wanda idly strums her fingers along the sides of the box that she's held this entire time in one hand or both. Some point, she needs to put it down or devour it messily where no one can see. Something renders her eyebrows higher, but she chooses not to say what. Probably the healing process at great speed. Her pupils dilate a fraction and the Sight feeds in and out through the shining strands of creation as she no doubt bends her attention to something. The single note that is her alter ego in the flesh, a spike of pale blue-white fire, ends up touched just to see what influence that has.

Poor Pietro. Poor Erik. They're going to wake up to a whole panoply of people. "Did you know him before this?"

Vic smiles broadly at the Sorcerer Supreme. "It's the best place to work," he says. "It's too bad you don't eat. They got this saganaki cheese with lemon that you eat with bread. I can't get enough of that." It's a good thing the kid likes food and has a place to stay rent-free, because he basically needs to eat his paycheck to keep well.

He shakes his head to Wanda's question. "I met him the same day I got my body." His grin turns stupid-infatuated. "He came up to me o the street because he thought I was cute. I thought he was too, and he's nice." Twelve hours old and making time. "You'll get to meet him. He's real sweet."

"I miss it rarely these days. When you're not eating, you can be researching further into the arcane," he murmurs, glance sliding to the bakery box. His Consort rises in his esteem for not having delved willy-nilly into the pastries. After all, it was Strange's wily suggestion originally to have Vic bring the honey-soaked dessert.

"I'm sure we'll all get along just fine," he adds with an air of confidence, as if he's spoken it and so mote it be.

Vic rocks on his heels, and he says, "Not being able to do magic frees up time to eat ice cream." He flashes Strange a cheeky but good-natured smile. "Anyway, I should be getting back to work. The firewood isn't going to chop itself.

He knows his parents aren't huggers, and he keeps his hands in his pockets to resist the urge. To Wanda, he says, "I'm glad I finally got to meet you. You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, and I'm proud to be your son. He nods solemnly to his own words to emphasize how much he means them. And to Strange, he says, "It's always great to see you, Dad." There's that word again. On that note, he makes his way out.

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