1964-07-14 - Drinking and Deriving Magic
Summary: After coming to the conclusion that being inebriated will help Lamont practice controlling his Astral transitions, Strange joins in like the helpful mentor he is. Lindon and Zatanna attend as well, watching the craziness go down. Someone can't hold his liquor.
Related: Lessons in Self-Preservation
Theme Song: None
strange lamont lindon zatanna-zatara 

It's the Bar With No Doors. Pineapples, tiki statues, carved masks and multicolored wisps of smoke dance along the walls. The barkeep, the head in the jar, takes the order as fast as thought can process them. The waiter, with his scales of reptile — or fish? — delivers the drinks.

Truly, anything you can think of, it's there. Mind the Dragon Blood…it's got a fiery kick to it — literally.

"'nd that's how I managed to bypass that…innane rule about not borrowing books. Wong was sooooo mad, but who cares? I learned to Astrally project." His highball drink clunks down on the table. Strange is in his usual booth, holding office…probably two drinks in. Hyborean Dwarf Star with a twist of lemon. Whiskey with…melted starlight in it? Who cares — it tastes great and they're testing something. "Now you," and he points at Lamont, hand wobbling ever so slightly, "you do…the Astral thing when you're drink. Er, drunk. Are you there yet?"

For science!

He's gotten enough drinks down him already, mundane or no, to bring a flush to those pale cheeks, and a glassiness to those gray eyes. Lamont's definitely drunk, by the way he's bracing himself on the table. He's asking the waiter, quizzically, "Harpy's milk? This smells like Bailey's." It's not a complaint. But he's satisfied with whatever he's drinking, something milky pale that gleams like opals. At Strange's question, he swings his gaze slowly back to the Sorcerer. "Ahh," he says, for a moment, and pauses, as if consulting or testing something. There's an odd ripple to his aura, like water in zero g, but….he stays firmly in his body. "Mmmh, not yet. Remember, the Tulkus made it harder, so I didn't commit suicide by magical idiocy without meaning to." The English accent's slipping in, vowel by vowel. "It's going to take more than this. Opiates make it happen the fastest. Liquor takes longer." His aura's still as dark and smokey as ever, marked with strange silver threads and the rusty scars of old violence…..but the rippling's still going on. Like a flag being snapped in a wind.

If it was an old-timey Western bar, when Zatanna blows into the bar, the music would stop.

As it is, she gets plenty of looks. A black miniskirt, scandalously short; worn over black fishnet stockings with knee-high boots and a four-inch block heel. Her shirt's a grey and peach peasant blouse worn under a corset-style waistcot; fitted close through the hip and waist, and draping off bare shoulders with long, fluttering sleeves.

She takes the bar with one gestalt, smirking glance, and heads for Strange's table.

"-Wow-. So this is what happens when the Sorceror Supreme gets a few too many belts in at the bar," she says, her sharp blue eyes twinkling vividly. She moves with a showgirls' confidence, standing with one hand resting on her hipbone and the other arm dangling at her side, opposite the tilt of her hip. "And… what's happening here?" she asks, wiggling an immaculately manicured index finger at Lamont. "You look like you're about to get washed out by a stiff breeze."

The waiter escapes further questioning by the Shadow and does another round of the Bar to collect empty glasses. The newest arrival, in her fluttery sleeves and boots for days, gets a pensive look from the scaly MesoAmerican. The head in his glass jar considers Zatanna as well.

"More than that?" Strange is moderately flabbergasted. There's no point in lying: the Sorcerer does not drink often these days and he picked a particularly potent blend of liquors in his crystal glass. Another full round and he'll be absolutely plastered. Nothing like the honey-kiss of starshine to bubble through one's veins. "You're…something like six drinks in." Maybe so, maybe not, his counting skills are probably questionable at this point.

Zatanna then draws his attention and she gets a plainly sardonic smile and lift of his glass. "We're experimenting, Miss Zatara. Nothing's happened just yet. What brings you to the Bar with No Doors?" Magically, his drink stays in his glass as he throws his hands wide and then falls back against the booth's plush wall, claiming much of the space with his resting arms. The buttons of his dress shirt, deep merlot this evening, strain a little at the sternum for the move.

Well, she looks like a million dollars. And boyfriend and satyr to the side, he's not immune to feminine charms. Lamont's not leering, that wouldn't be classy. But he's very definitely eyeing her, even as he inclines his head in greeting. "We're seeing," he says, "How much liquor it takes to knock me out of my body." Then he's turning to Strange, "I'm healthier and more experienced now, than I was then. I was damn close to dying at the time, " he points out. "Maybe one or two more. Now, if …" And he pauses, blinking. "They probably do have laudanum here, don't they?" His tone is speculative. "Or some other similar tincture…."

Lindon is a quiet presence at Lamont's side, and he seems to like it that way. Just ginger ale for him. Normal ginger ale. From Earth. Someone has to make sure Lamont gets home to the right dimension. There are few who can look long-suffering like Lindon can look long-suffering. As the two drunk mystics discuss matters of Grave Importance, he just shakes his head and looks around the bar, casting the two a sidelong glance now and again so he can judge them briefly.

When Zatanna steps in, the Archive's attention goes to her. Once he catches himself staring, he clears his throat and drops his gaze, his face darkening a shade or two.

Zatanna catches Lamont giving her the 'how you doin' and looks sidelong at him— but unlike the more demure women who might stalk the streets of Soho, she turns and flashes him a dazzling showgirl's grin and blows a little kiss across the air, with a flirty abandon bordering on supremely arrogant self-confidence.

"I know how many shots that is for me— twelve, back to back, in Mexico City." She flicks a finger and Strange's chest as he lounges backwards. "Scootch over, -rude-, let a lady have a seat?" she says— already wiggling her hips onto the booth and nudging Strange over with her narrow, toned arms.

"Why am I here? Because I'm a big girl with my own car, and everything. And, you can't get Feywyld Slammers in the Bronx." She lifts a finger at the waiter. "Speaking of— Feywyld Slammer, please? With a little mint," she requests, before scissoring her legs under the booth.

"Hi. I'm Zatanna Zatara," the raven-haired girl says, reaching across the table to stick a handshake out at Lamont, then Lindon.

"Seven hells, woman, a moment," Strange grumbles, scootching more than anything else to save his ribs from further abuse. Rather than risking the misinterpretation of a more intimate friendship with the magician, he brings in his arms and takes another large mouthful of his drink.

The waiter overhears her order in passing and nods wordlessly. Within a handful of seconds, the very drink materializes from thin air before Zatanna, sprig of mint floating artfully within its liquid potency.

"I'm not ordering you laud'num, Cranston." The Shadow gets a concerned frown. "This is dang'rous enough as is. Just order 'nother drink. It's on me anyways. Going to deny the opportunity or take advantage of it?" He closes a fist dramatically, giving the older man a challenging grin. Drinking may just bring out the competitive streak in the good Doctor. "It's safe, Lindon," he adds, at total opposition of what he just said. Oh, alcohol.

He takes her hand, shakes it firmly, even as he grins like a wolf in reply. "A pleasure. I'm Lamont, this is Lindon." Poor Lindon's going to have to drag him up the stairs and pour him into bed, assuming Strange doesn't do them a solid and just Gate him right into his bedroom. Then he cocks an eye at Strange for a long moment, considering. Then he asks for something from the waiter, sotto voce. Keeping to the letter of the law - there are substitutes that don't come from Earth's poppy crop.

Lindon offers Zatanna a small, somewhat awkward smile as he shakes her hand. His own is long-fingered, soft in the way of one whose life has rarely included labor. "Lindon Mills," he says. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Zatara." Once he releases the lady's hand, he doesn't seem sure what he's supposed to do with his own, so he grasps his ginger ale glass. "Safe as houses," he tells Strange. But still, he suffers. It wouldn't be the first time he's all but carried a drunk Lamont home.

"Gentlemen, it's nice to meet you both," Zatanna says, flashing that dazzling grin at them both once more. She beams at her drink and takes a sip, and wiggles the glass at the bartender with an expression of hearty approvol on her fine-boned features.

"So what're we doing? A night of drugs and booze? Is this a /boy's/ thing?" she asks, her voice dropping to a theatrical stage whisper. "Am I not allowed? I can go find some of the girs and. .. knit, or whatever stupid thing it is they're doing. Bra burnings?" she hazard, wrinkling her nose with little regard for her saucy demeanour among anyone with more delicate social sensibilities.

What Lamont orders arrives in that same supernaturally-short timespan before him in a thin glass, almost like a champagne flute.

Strange eyes Zatanna with frank curiosity, but nearly immediately loses interest in her once the Shadow's order arrives. The attention span has moments of total loss with this one in his cups. "What did you order then, Cranston?" The Sorcerer rocks a little in his spot, having to lean back against the booth to keep himself steady. Another large mouthful and he winces a little. "Needsmore honey," he mutters, slurring words together. Almost immediately, another Dwarf Star appears, sweating droplets of glittering light on the sides of the glass. This one has a liberal swirl of the sweet stuff through it and Strange lifts his mostly-empty glass towards the bar in silent approval.

"You're allowed, Miss Zatanna, jus…dun intefere," admonishes Strange after throwing back the last of the second drink. Onto the third. Oh dear. Flick — the attention's back to Lamont. "Well? Anything yet?" Rather glassy steel-blues rest on him; even some color has shown up now in the Sorcerer's high cheekbones.

"Yes, it's a night of drugs and booze, and no, you are most definitely welcome. Hardly boys only." Poor Lindon. This is what he's bound to, this is what protects him - a gunman with pretensions to magic. The real sorcerers are clutching their pearls. The waiter returns with something dark, almost oily-looking, in that slender crystal flute. There are subtle colors apparent….at least, in the moments before Lamont knocks it back like a man dosing himself with medication.

A few beats of him looking thoughtful, brow furrowing, waiting for something, forefinger lifted….and then it hits like a freight train. His body slumps over and to the side, head coming to rest on Lindon's shoulder, expression blissful, eyes closed. His astral form is sitting there, still properly upright - it's a transparent double, but weirdly lit, dark and hard to make out. "See what I mean?"

Lindon watches Lamont knock back the drink, and he has a grim look of expectation about him. Annnd there it is. Lamont keels into him, and he gently arranges the sorcerer so his neck isn't getting a crick. That wouldn't be nice to wake up into. "We wouldn't want to restrict this sort of fun to one gender," he tells Zatanna. Despite his sort-spoken wryness, there's warmth in his dark eyes as he fusses over Lamont's unconscious form.

"It's for science," he further explains. "Or magic, I guess. The line draws thin once in awhile. I want to say he's not usually a lush."

"Fascinating," comments Strange in complete honesty in regards to Lamont's reaction to whatever madness he ordered. He has his jaw in his palm, elbow on the table, and he frankly stares at the other practitioner's Astral form. A pronounced blink and the Sight takes over. A little jerk-back signals the Sorcerer's reaction to the sudden bombardment of extrasensory information, but he seems to recover quickly enough after a wince.

His attention shifts to Lindon and the librarian gets a broad, boyish grin to go with the frosted-lilac irises. "It is for science, yes, Lin'on, because knowledge is an 'portant thing." His laugh is loud enough to draw some attention, warm as it is. Pearl-clutchers, get to clutching: the master of the Mystic Arts is encouraging this craziness. "Okay, now back intah your body, Crans'on."

Whereupon Lamont's astral form leans to the side, matching up with the limp physical body. Then there's a kind of wriggle which is absurdly reminiscent of someone trying to scooch their way back into a corset - Zatanna will've seen it so many times in the course of her stage career, showgirls trying to fit into a bustier. For a wonder, it works on the first try, and that slack emptiness is replaced by the laziest, smuggest grin. He lingers a moment resting on Lindon, and then straightens up. His eyes are still heavy-lidded, and his expression is dreamy. This is definitely beyond mere liquor - something else is working on those neural receptors.

"In the interest of knowledge," Lindon says with a wry smile, "Is the exercise intended to teach him how to work magic while drunk or is getting drunk his way into the astral plane? Because I can assure you he gets plenty of practice at the bottom of a satyr's wine bowl." This is what Lamont gets for abandoning his physical form. Lindon will just be his mouthpiece.

Then Lamont is back, and he gives his dearest guardian a soft smile. "Either way," he mentions toward Strange, "I'm finding the evening highly educational."

"It's not too unlike a rabbit 'n a hat, eh, Miss Zatara?" Strange gives the magician a momentarily sly side-glance before returning his attention to Lamont, returned to his body and looking summarily blitzed. Lindon follows for resting point of those bright eyes again.

"During the last lessons, we discovered that things get tricky sometimes when he tries to get back into his body. S'not unlike a key with broken tines. Teeth. Teeth?" He pauses before shaking his head and snorting dismissively. Silly words. "Tryin' to open a lock with a broke key. Get the key in, turn it, nothin' happens. Or some tumblers turn, some don't, and you're left standing there feeling like a damn idiot. Okay, Crans'on, out again." He makes a waving gesture towards the Shadow. "Back out, again, les'go. Practice makes perfect and all that wise crap."

This time Lamont settles himself more comfortably against the back of the booth, going slack-muscled first to make sure he's balanced such that he won't just fall on Lindon again. It's a little more dignified, this time…and it's clear that his astral former looks much younger than his physical body. Hey, Strange is the Master, even if they're both three sheets to the wind - obedience is owed.

And then, disturbingly, he starts to fade. Not back into his physical form, but going vague and indistinct, like he's being seen through a lens going out of focus. Drifting onto a different level of the plane, being spun out like smoke on the wind. It doesn't seem to hurt and it takes him a few moments to realize the process is happening. A moment longer and he's looking over his shoulder as if hearing something…..then turning. But his gaze falls on Lindon, and then it's all reversed, and he sits back down, into his body again. This time the only signal of a successful lock being achieved is the opening of his eyes, before he raises his head and looks at STrange. "You saw that, didn't you?" Still drugged, not as blissful.

Zatanna surveys the scene with an expression of /vast/, tolerant amusement; she sits with her drink cradled neatly in thumb and forefinger, elbow propped against fist and hip.

"So, y'know— call me young and naieve," she says, sweetly, rolling her wrist around without upsetting her drink. "But someone once told me it's bad to drink and drive; and someone else said it's bad to drink and derive magics."

She blinks at Lamont as he phases in and out of existence. "Goodness, isn't that /uncomfortable/?" she asks him. She reaches into thin air and produces a cigarette, and lights it up with a snapcrack of her fingers near her mouth that produces a little cherry flare of heat.

Lindon, without a mystic's eyes to see, only has Lamont's consciousness and cues from Strange to go by to know if everything is well or not. So it's Strange he watches once he's sure Lamont isn't going to keel over where he sits. To Zatanna, he says, "I'd like to think this is under controlled circumstances." He'd like to. He'd really like to.

When Lamont comes back, Lindon looks to him, and there's that warm smile again amidst being put upon. Maybe, just maybe, there's amusement there if one were to scratch the surface. "What happened?" he asks.

Strange looks over his pseudo-student as carefully as he can manage given the bubbling effervescence of liquid starlight in his veins and the whiskey making everything rather numb and comfortable, warm beneath his clothing. With a wince, he undoes the first button of his dress shirt to allow for more airflow.

"Cran'son is fine, everyone. This is protected territory, even in the As'ral plane. And, I'll have you know, young lady, tha' the Astral plane was firs' discovered by shamans un'er the influence of psilocybin 'shrooms," the Sorcerer adds, pointing at Zatanna and nodding his head curtly. His drink shifts about in his other hand, still not spilling. Magic!

"You're fine, right?" he suddenly asks of the Shadow, frowning at the man belatedly.

"Not really," he says to Zatanna, before he pulls a face. The expression of someone who can already feel cottonmouth coming on. He thinks a moment and then adds, "…..kind of the reverse. It's too tempting, to leave this body behind," Matter of fact about it. To Lindon, he explains, as he orders a glass of ginger ale himself, "I find it too easy to fall out of my body, especially when intoxicated…and hard to keep control when I'm there. I used to get very lost….and I could feel it happening just now." He's not sober, still very drugged….but that was enough vertigo to remind him of the old temptation. Unthinking, he edges over to be shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, to Lindon. Someone's an anchor in so many ways. "I'll be all right," he assures STrange.

"I think this is about as scientific as a derby rally," Zatanna tells Lindon, her tone dryly amused. She casts a sideways glance at Strange's drunken antics, a little moue of disapproval touching her cheek; not that Zatanna begrudes a man a drink, but Lanton's having a hard time holding on to reality and Strange doesn't look sober enough to sign a bill, let alone wrest the fellow back if it all goes wrong.

"But, I'm still quite sober," she tells Lindon, flashing a brilliant smile at the fellow to reassure him. "If Lanton starts to wane dangerously, I'll reach over for his ear and haul him back to us before disaster strikes."

"It's good to have that backup," Lindon tells Zatanna. "I'm afraid the ways of wizards and mystics is a mystery to me. I don't have the knack." He does, however, have some fine anchoring qualities. Like how he's already sliding his ginger ale toward Lamont when the man orders one for himself. Great minds.

I prefer to stay sober, too," he adds. "The whole process is educational and I like to keep a mental record of these events." He reclaims his ginger ale since Lamont will soon have his own. "Are you among the esteemed mystics as well, Miss Zatara? You seem to know the ropes."

Strange nods to Lamont, the motion delayed by inebriation.

Still, derby rally? "Well, yes, it's science." There's a stress on the word followed by a sip of his drink. Hellooooo, it's got some weird nattering of logic to it in his squirrely mind. He slouches back in the booth, getting comfortable with an obvious wiggle of his shoulders into the plush pillowing.

Addressing the whole group, he continues, "Crans'on's fine 'nyways, s'not dead or 'nythin'. Jus' be feeling it inna morning. You're takin notes, Lindon? Thank you," and the Sorcerer pats the table a little too loudly in emphasis. "I 'ppreciate it. I may need t' talk with you again later about what you observed. The starlight in m' drink sometimes makes me a lil'…fuzzy." He nods, most seriously.

He does manage a slug of Lindon's ginger ale before Lin reclaims it….and just as the waiter's bringing his own, Lamont's scooting out of the booth with apparent haste. He's gone pale as paper. Here's the the other reason he's given up opiates as a serious habit. He doesn't run for the little wizards' room, but he's clearly in a hurry, slipping past the other tables to vanish down that hallway.

"Really? Where's your variable list? Or your control group?" Zatanna asks Strange, propping an elbow on his slouching shoulder and fluttering her eyelashes at him, winsomely. "It is /Doctor/ Strange, right? Like you actually have a medical diploma. Or is it like… you know, a Doctorate of Philosophy, or something?" she inquires, toying with one of the curly hairs atop his head. She's utterly insincere about it, even as she projects that sultry confidence right at him with a suggestive pout of her lower lip.

She looks over at Lindon, propping her fist against her cheek. "Esteemed? I don't know if I'd go that far. I probably don't have the alcohol tolerance," she says, lying smoothly. "But yes, I suppose that I'm among the Wise. Don't let the makeup fool you, sweetie, I'm not a /total/ airhead," she says, with another Colgate grin.

Lindon takes Lamont's ginger ale to keep it safe. In his belly, once he's done with his own "Oh, dear," he murmurs as Lamont makes haste to revisit all those drinks. "The price of power." Apparently devotion doesn't extend as far as holding Lamont's hair for him. He offers Zatanna a faltering but friendly smile, utterly disarmed by her beauty. "I don't think you're an airhead," he says. She called him sweetie. Ngghehehehe.

"Nngh." It's a vague sound of sympathy as Strange watches the Shadow rapidly disappear. "Told 'im to drink more 'n' nothin' else, but noooooooooo…" he mumbles. He pops his lips before sipping at his own whiskey-concoction.

In regards to Zatanna's perfectly pertinent questions, he taps at one silvered temple. "It's all up 'n here. Dun need to write it down or 'splain. Besides, Lin'on's taking notes in his own brain." The librarian-relic gets a lop-sided grin. Then he seems to realize that Zatanna is very much in his personal space and wrinkles his nose. "Git." She gets a gentle push away, enough to firmly remove her from touching his person. "If the Witch was here, she'd skin you 'live. Behave, young lady."

Zatanna laughs wickedly and lets Strange push her— she doesn't seem rebuffed in the slightest, as if she were deliberately trying to get the old(er) magician's goat a little.

"It's okay, I'll sit with Lindon next time. He's cute! I'm /pretty/ sure he wouldn't shove me," she says, flashing him her most charming grin and clearly enjoying the effect she's having on him.

"So, like, when /I'm/ your age, will /I/ know every thing automatically too?" she asks Strange with round, eager blue eyes— though her lips twist and dance in a barely suppressed smile, before she giggles despite herself and hides behind her cocktail with an easy, pealing laugh.

Lindon nods firmly and taps his temple. "Inside a sober brain with a good memory." He glances down at his ginger ale when there are Shenanigans going on across the table. "I don't mind if, um, I mean there's plenty of room until Lamont gets back anyway." He's going slowly red to the tips of his ears. "I wouldn't shove you." He doesn't know what to do with his hands. They both end up wrapped around his glass. Someone put him out of his misery, poor guy.

Unable to hide the dramatic roll of his Sight-brightened eyes at all, Strange takes a moment to blink away the power before eyeing the magician.


That's all Zatanna gets, the ultimate laconic Midwestern response. Lindon gets a good side-eye, irritation clearly warring with friendly amusement. Poor guy indeed, flustered by the confidence their table-mate exudes.

"Aww, such a gentleman," Zatanna tells Lindon, beaming approval at him. "I'll bear that in mind, but I won't get in Lanton's way— shame to break up a cute couple," she says, with coy wink. Clearly, she's twigged to their relationship; and just as clearly, she's unbothered by it. Then again, she IS in showbiz.

She exhales smoke out the side of her mouth, consideately ejecting it away from her dour companions. "Aww, c'mon Doctor," she chivvies Strange, flashing him a bright-eyed look. "I was just ribbing you a little. Are you gonna be mad at me now?" she asks, twisting her voice into a wistful bit of apprenhension and making her eyes about the size of a starving Spaniel, as if Strange had just scolded her for some innocent fun.

Okay, so Zee isn't above playing a little dirty.

Oh god, is it that obvious? Lindon glances toward the direction Lamont went off to, like that'll make him look straighter somehow. Subtlety is not his gift. Usually he gets by on hiding in corners and going unnoticed. When that's not possible, oh god, the oversharing. "Lamont has paramours," he explains. "You wouldn't be breaking up anyone."

Zatanna's efforts hit the wall of glassy-eyed passivity much like a bird against a windowpane.

"No," Strange repeats, a little more slowly this time, as if the enunciation was desperately necessary. The most subtle of smiles curl at the corners of his mouth before it disappears behind the rim of his glass. Nearly done, the drink, and now sitting at a comfortable level of inebriation, he slouches a bit again.

"Paramours. Huh." The Sorcerer tilts his head back and forth. That's an interesting tidbit of information.

"And?" Zatanna asks, nonplussed— she shrugs a bare shoulder at Lindon. "It's the sixties, bay-bee," she says, bobbling her head back and forth and crooning the word out. She ashes her cigarette the tray with a flick of her perfectly manicured nails, currently painted aubergine. "Free love and all that. What do you think, that the bar straddling dimensions is gonna be filled with a bunch of squares who have a hangup about who you get with?" she asks, brow hiking. "It's pretty obvious you think he's cute. And you're cute! Go be cute together. Or come be cute with me," she says with a flickering wink that turns to an easy, cherry-lipped grin. "Just go get your thing on, however you've gotta do it. Heck, I think even the Doctor here has a girlfriend," she says, tilting her head at Strange.

She snuffs her cigarette out in the ashtray, then makes it disappear up her sleeve with a flick of her wrist.

"Well fellahs, this has been fun, but— girl's gotta get her beauty rest," she says, wiggling out of the booth and adjusting her skirt. "You two play nice— I'm sure I'll see you around," she says. "Taa-taa~," she offers, wiggling her fingers in farewell as she heads to the door.

Lindon nods to Strange and says, "He does as she pleases." The walking encyclopedia doesn't seem overly perturbed by the idea so hey, if everyone's happy. When Zatanna presents him with options as to where to be cute, he pauses. One glance to the restroom, one back to Zatanna, a glance to Strange, and he says, "I, er, I'd better go check on him." He gets to his feet to do just that. But he had to think about it! "It was nice to meet you, Miss Zatara. Strange, I'll see you in a little bit, I suspect." Because he's not getting Lamont home by himself, Doctor. A meaningful look is delivered. Then he beats a hasty retreat before he can share any other details of his personal life.

The Sorcerer watches the young magician go and eventually shakes his head, sighing.

"Wanda's a soulmate," he grumbles, aware that he speaks softly enough to be unheard and does it anyways. Last words and all. Throwing back the rest of his drink, enough to be a solid mouthful, he then smacks his lips and grimaces. "Mmm. Lin'on, note of int'rest. Dun shoot starlight. Makes your brain all fuzzy. Too fuzzy. An' I do what I want, nah what she wants. I mean, what Wanda wants is what I want, usually speaking — hey, Lin'on — Lin — !!!"

The librarian disappears off down that hallway and Strange is left sitting in his booth with an empty glass, all by himself. He scrubs at one silvered temple for a moment before dragging a hand down his face. "…I din' sign up for babe-sittin' duty." A gusty sigh and then he too is making his way out of the booth. A little wobble here and there, but nothing too crazy. The other two have to get home, after all, and then it's back to the Sanctum, probably much to the Witch's subtle amusement.

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