1964-07-07 - A Professional Call
Summary: Zatanna Zatara pays a visit to Doctor Strange. Tea is gifted, notes compared, it can be called a success.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
zatanna-zatara strange 

Zatanna visits Dr. Strange.

And she does it properly. A little letter sent by an imp ahead of time, a properly set schedule, RSVPs made. And at the appointed hour, Zatanna is on Strange's doorstep at the Sanctum, wearing black trousers, a sleeveless white blouse, and a bowtie. The slacks barely cover stylishly vogue four-inch heels, and her black hair is worn loose and lazily tumbling over her shoulders.

She knocks to 'shave-and-a-hair-cut' and waits patiently, holding a box in her hands.

The wards report the arrival of the guest and the master of the manor is opening the door within a few seconds. No earlier than necessary, of course, but no later than would be deemed impolite. After all, Strange does things precisely when he means to — generally speaking.

The door swings open to reveal him in his usual dress-pants in charcoal black and a dress shirt in velvety purple. One might call it 'aubergine' if they felt hoity-toity enough. His guest gets the once-over and then a mild smile.

"You must be Miss Zatara. Please, come in. Don't mind the wards, they're curious things. They like to indulge in sniffing out the little nuances of new arrivals." Indeed, here they come and there they wisp about, riffling through the air to disturb it. There's no sense of malice, only simple, semi-sentient interest. They wend about the young woman entirely before slipping off to hang behind their master's shoulders, watching silently. "Lock the door behind you, please," the Sorcerer adds as he walks to the living room doorway and pauses, looking back to his guest.

Zatanna smiles lopsidedly at Strange. "Miss Zatara? That sounds like someone's middle school drama teacher," she says, teasing with a brassy note of self humor. "I'm Zatanna, Zee to my friends, if you like," she tells Strange, offering him a gentle fingerclasping handshake.

She steps into the Sanctum, looking around with wide blue eyes, and then follows Strange along with a flickering gesture of 'shoo!' at a ward snuffling too closely. She locks the door with a thumb to the deadbolt.

"So, I know /we've/ never met," she tells Strange, "and daddy always said that its' polite to bring a gift. Someone said you like teas," she says, offeriing him the little wood box in her hands. Inside, a nice little sample of oolong tea, from Tibet.

"But I think you knew my father— Gio Zatara? He mentioned you," she tells Strange, peering at his face.

"Zee then," Strange murmurs as he takes the small wooden box from her. The magician gain a faintly-amused glance before he opens it and nods. The box shuts with a quiet click and he tilts his head towards the living room.

"I've heard of your father, yes. Our paths didn't cross much and haven't lately. From what I could tell, he was a good man. Proficient with his powers, more apt to use them wisely than foolishly." The Sorcerer leads the way into the warmly-lit room. The kettle is hot and Strange sets the small cedarwood box on the tea stand before pouring himself a cup. Something dark and sweet for him. His eyes rise to Zatanna. "Want any of the tea you brought? Or something lighter? There's a chamomile and lemon if so." He gestures to one of the yellow-tagged satchets all piled haphazardly within a bowl. "Serve yourself." The Sorcerer then sits in his chair and waits for his guest to settle herself.

Strange seems tired, or distracted— Zatanna gives him the sideeye when he turns his back to her. She rolls one shoulder in a shrug, mentally lumping in him with every other doddering old magician who can't be bothered.

She makes herself some over-strong tea and pours in half a cup of creamer into it, along with plenty of sugar. Stirring it all together, she moves to take a seat across from Strange without waiting to be invited and sits with her knees to one side and ankles crossed with a falsely demure posture at odds with the very feminine frame.

"As I said, this is a professional call. I'm moving back to Manhattan and planted my front door across town. Seeing as you were in the area, a quick knock and a few words hello seemed like the polite thing to do," she says, flashing that easy, brilliant smile again.

It's nice to sit after realigning the Mystical magnetic poles in another parallel universe entirely. The tea he sips is warm, soothing going down and the sore nerves of his hands appreciate the heat, wrapped as they are about his cup.

The Sorcerer returns her smile, though not quite as brightly. He still rests on his composed formality in the moment, sitting tall in his chair. "You're too kind, Miss Zee. I appreciate the gesture. What brings you to move again rather than staying here?" Strange is curious, truly. She's been this little beacon of power moving about during his morning meditations and it's delightful to put a face to the firefly.

"This was home, once upon a time," Zatanna tells Strange, sitting comfortably. "Manhattan, I mean. I grew up here. I felt like it was time to come back to the tri-cities, see how things have changed. Move my act here instead of busting out the floor at the Velvet Room," she tells Strange.

She sips her tea, smacking her dark-cherry painted lips— a stunningly stylish look, even among fashions of the vogue.

"Also, the heat in Vegas is beastly and they promised me thirty percent of the gross at Radio City Music Hall," she says demurely, an expression betrayed by her dancing blue eyes.

"Thirty percent." Strange's eyebrows flick up in agreeing appreciation for what offer lies on the table for the magician. "I expect you'll draw in the crowds if you cut your teeth in Vegas. I remember that your father was a showman as well. Continuing on in the family name?"

"Daddy was," Zatanna agrees. "He was old school illusionist. Up close stuff, but the sort of tricks that were best for little crowds. I want to do the big things. Like Houdini did. Bring the danger back. Fire pits, drown tanks, explosives— there's been some amazing advances in pyrotechnics lately. Razzle-dazzle, flashy things. And musical numbers! Daddy always wanted to focus on just the magic, the details and fiddly bits. I want to make it a spectacle again. The sort of thing people aren't just puzzled by, but go 'Wow!' and tell their friends about later."

"I have no doubt that you'll find success here in New York. The crowds love a good show, epecially with that level of prestige involved." Strange sips at his tea before setting it aside. "You may find that you're helping…assuage certain fears in the process — that your shows wrap it all in the gauze of illusion. If so…" and he shrugs mildly. "I appreciate it all the more. It's difficult to keep the public's interest in the Arts to a manageable level. Our field of talented individuals is growing and it's been more difficult to convince the mundanes to stop nosing lately. I presume you've inherited your fathers true talents in the Arts, not just the sense of showmanship?" His eyes rest on her, a faint twinkle in them.

Zatanna smiles coyly at Strange. "Such a personal question, and we're only just getting to know one another," she sallies back at him, brassily.

"Yes, of course, I'm working a bit more than just sleight of hand. And I'm busy helping out the community in other ways, of course. There are always spriggans stealing veggies or imps abducting children. Trolls under bridges. Or in Congress," she laughs.

"I kid. I try to split my time between my stage practice and community service."

Strange smirks the tiniest bit, given away for the dimpling.

"Very humanitarian of you. You wouldn't be the only one wishing for Congress to vanish into another dimensione every now and then. It's a shame that my mantle prevents this sort of thing from occurring. Still…since you're here, any stirrings that I should be aware of as Sorcerer Supreme within our community or beyond?"

"The curse of privilege," Zatanna agrees, with a theatrical sigh. "No. Nothing at the moment, though silence never seems to last for long."

Her eyes narrow. "If you happen to hear about a wizard named Constantine showing up, though, let me know. We've got some history and I'd like a heads up before we bump into one another again."

She flashes a dimpled smile at Strange once more, the mood passing mercurially. "Trigon will probably crawl out of my dumpster next week just when I'm in the middle of doing my nails," she says, looking down at her immaculate pedicure.

"Of course. I'll pass word along as best I can should I come across another wizard named Constantine. The name rings a faint bell, but it's likely hear-tell if he's not local to the area." Or the dimension proper, who knows?

Shifting in his chair, Strange brings an ankle to rest upon a knee. "It is true that the demons tend to interrupt at the most inopportune times. Seems to be a bad habit on their part," he adds dryly. "I appreciate your input. The silence never lasts…isn't that the truth." He sighs, rubbing momentarily at his silvered temple. "Thank you for the tea." It's definitely an after-thought and he tacks on a quick smile for it. "It's a familiar blend."

"It should be. It's a favorite one of the monks in Tibet," Zatanna says, smiling enigmatically. "I spent a little time at the temple. Meditating. Learning. I thought you'd appreciate a little scent of home."

She rises, sensing that perhaps the Doctor is fatigued. "I should get home. Still getting the ley lines organized properly the way I want them, and I need to meet with my publicist. It was nice meeting you, Dr. Strange," Zatanna says, smoothing out her trousers. "I'll see you around. Don't worry— I can see myself out," she says, holding a hand out to forestall him. With an effortless showgirl's stride, she sashays towards the door and out into the city.

Zatanna Zatara goes home.

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