1964-07-17 - Tea and Scones
Summary: Lamont, Lindon, and Strange discuss the matters of the day over tea.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
strange lamont lindon 


It's afternoon tea time at O'Riley's. For once, Strange is one of a good number of folks looking to settle in with a cuppa over a book or some small talk. He keeps to his normal table, in his normal chair with back pushed to touch the wall — no sneaking up on him here — and he sits with a small diary open in one hand. His drops dip in his usual scholarly frown of contemplation and his movements, sipping of his tea, are indicative of muscle memory rather than active focus. He wears a polo shirt in pale blue rather than a dress-shirt for the warmth of the day, but the dress slacks and shoes remain the usual business. The crimson handkerchief at his pocket is the Cloak in disguise, definitely not in fashion, but present.

"Gods-damned Etruscan…" he grumbles, flipping between pages briefly. "Whoever wrote this had to be drinking at the time."

Uh, no sneaking up on Strange unless maybe you're the Shadow. Not that Lamont condescends to use that ability to just pull asshole tricks on his teacher….most of the time. So he enters in the usual way, holding the door for Lindon. He's in a loose linen shirt, khaki pants, and a Panama hat - looking cool and contented.

Lindon is dressed for the heat, too. A striped polo shirt tucked into khaki shorts. His legs are long and pale. He and Lamont are out in the Village, taking in the sights. Since it's always time for a spot of tea, upon seeing Mrs. O'Riley's, Lindon drew Lamont toward it eagerly.

Once inside, he looks around and spies Strange. His features brighten, and he waves toward the man. He's just so different around people with whom he's become familiar.

The ringing of the shop bells brings Strange to look up and that pensive frown melts into friendly recognition within the second.

"Gentlemen," he says, loud enough to be heard amidst the soft chit-chatter of the tea shop. "Please, pull up a chair once you've spoken to the proprietor." He nods to the older woman behind the counter, an Irish matron with steely hair and similar of spine, full of spit and vinegar on her worst days, purveyor of delicious scones on the best. She finishes counting back change for a young couple and then gives Lamont and Lindon a bright little flash of a wrinkled smile. "Tell her to put it on my bill," the Sorcerer adds, winking at the woman.

"Yer going to owe me a fortune when it's all said and done, Doctor," she says, laughing creakily, before turning back to the two men. "What will suit you today, sirs?"

The menu is taped to the countertop and the font is small. What a list of teas! They could order nearly anything within reason.

Jasmine pearl green - because flowers taste good and the Shadow has to prove his masculinity to no one present. Lamont's taken his hat off the moment he's through the door. He's visibly assuming his own aura of charm, though not throwing magical weight behind it. "A pleasure, ma'am," he says, offering that smile so long out of use. It's been a while since he had to play air-headed playboy.

Lindon orders a lovely smoked Ceylon courtesy Strange, and a bag of it to go on his dime. His order made, he makes his way over to Strange's table and sits. He doesn't mind his back to the room. If he's not safe between the two of these mystics, being able to see it coming won't help "How have you been?" Lindon asks Strange. He looks to Lamont, ad he's doing his level best not to smile shyly and drop his gaze. It's a dead giveaway, and he's learning to just be cool.

"Go 'n sit then, I'll getcher tea to yah shortly. Doctor always asks for scones, so those'll be comin' too," explains the shopkeeper after giving back change. She turns to the back counter and begins putting together the blends of herbs and florals.

"I've been…fine, I suppose," Strange replies once the two men are seated with him. He sets down the small leather diary on the table, with a pencil to act as bookmark, and takes up his tea with both hands. The usual dark-berry brew for him, with a liberal swirl of cinnamon and honey. It smells like a kiss in the brambles on a summer evening. "Reality seems stabilized as of late and I can't complain much about that. Wanda is well." He smiles to himself at this. Always a good thing. "What brings you to the tea shop?"

"I'd heard its praises sung enough we figured we'd come give it a look," Lamont says, pleasantly. His own restraint's more carefully in place, to ordinary eyes. Nothing exceptionable in the way he looks at Lindon or speaks to him. But Strange can see the way his aura sort of yearns towards Lindon whenever they're close enough, like iron filings affected by a magnet.

"I thought it would be nice to go somewhere with drinks I'm not leery of," Lindon says. "Sometimes it's just time for a cup of tea." He doesn't say he was antiquing. Even he knows once you admit to antiquing, heterosexuality shrivels up and becomes vestigial. "There are just so many great things you see in the Village that you can't find in Queens."

Oh yes, that aura and its leanings towards the Archive can't be missed, given the faint frosted-lilac light found within Strange's eyes. Heavily-lidded, he looks supremely content in his chair with his tea and he nods at Lindon.

"O'Riley's is a gem, truly. No better place for herbal brews in this city and you're both well aware of my propensity to judge heavily on the matter." Man's got a perpetually-heated tea pot, for heaven's sakes.

Mrs. O'Riley drops off the two cups of tea as well as scones. "Enjoy, gentlemen." With that, she returns behind the counter to take the next order.

"Thank you, ma'am," Lamont says, politely. He himself was mostly tracking down obscure books, like he does. "High praise," he adds to STrange, as he picks up his own cup. It smells like the breath of some strange jungle.

Lindon offers Mrs. O'Riley a sheepish, boyish smile. He had an Irish nana. It's a kneejerk response. "Thank you," he says. His cup of tea smells like a campfire, smoky and cozy. "Did Lamont tell you about the dream creatures attacking him?" he says once the old woman has gone back to her counter, and he pitches his voice so as not to carry too far. Tattle tattle.

"Yes, I'm aware of the dream-walkers. Cranston informed me of them again at our last duel — lessons," Strange amends before laughing rather dryly. "You did the right thing, leaving as you did, you know." His eyes rest on Lamont, twinkling. "Aralune is very sensitive to Wanda's emotional states. I know she doesn't approve of me putting myself into dangerous situations…not at home, at least. It can't be helped when I'm upholding the mantle." He shrugs. "I'll be wary of that move at the next lessons."

The charming grin implies that the quicksilver, squirrely mind of the Sorcerer Supreme has been at work with plans for said lesson. Oh dear.

There's that curling, sardonic grin. "I won't use it *next* time," he says, in dulcet tones. "I'll surely have found new ones by then." No wonder Wanda disapproves of these two playing White Spy vs Black Spy in her house, even if it's in a warded room. "And not really dangerous, not from me." He could've taken the wire out and sawed through an artery or too, if'd he'd really meant it.

Lindon shakes his head. These boys and their game. Of course it's important education and should be taken seriously. At the same time, these boys and their game. "I take it the lessons are going well?" he asks. "Lamont seems intact and even pleased with himself." He takes a sip of his tea, offering the scones with polite interest when they come.

The Sorcerer's own smile deepens further, sensing the unspoken challenge. Nothing like bearding the lion in one of his dens. Metaphorical claws slip and retreat in the slow drag of one fingertip along the outer rim of his teacup.

"I'd say they're going as planned." His eyes flick to Lindon, losing a shade of intensity in acknowledgment of the shyer of the two personality types present across from him. "He should be pleased. He's gaining the ability to stand as impressive protection in the case of attackers. I apologize should he ever return less than hale. It is not my intent…though mark me, Cranston, I have no reason to withold the blows because your enemies will not either." School of hard knocks, this one. He sips at his tea before adding jokingly, "Let's try to avoid worrying Wanda though, if we can…for our general safety." His chuckle is warm, affection for the Witch plain.

That grin is still there. "You've yet to come close to what my old masters put me through," he says, quietly. Not bragging, stating a fact. He was magically taken apart and put back together on so very many levels. "And I know, believe me. I can deal with bruising or other injuries - I heal fast." His gaze turns to Lin, and softens, just a bit.

Lindon waves a hand and says, "I would rather he come home knocked around by you than unprepared for something nasty, or not coming home at all." He smiles at Lamont, briefly before he glances away. Ahem, must be cool. His own aura is warm and homey, reacting to Lamont with a sense of affection, but also safety. "I think it's a good idea, what you guys are doing. The world is getting weirder."

"I don't intend to do so," Strange replies to Lamont with equal, low-grade gravity of tone. His gaze takes on that faint lilac over-glow again, even slightly citrine about the very centers of his irises. It seems that this strikes a tender nerve within him, one close to his heart and soul-bond. "I'm not going to temper you, Cranston. You have been tempered. I am here to hone your edges further until they think twice about approaching either of you."

He nods at Lindon. "I agree. There's…a sense of uncertainty in the weave of reality. I don't intend to go anywhere anytime soon, so have no fear in regards to that." He sets his tea down after a large sip and engages in some minor people-watching beyond the windowpanes of the shop's front wall. "No other movements from the dream-walkers beyond what you've reported?" He asks this quietly, keen eyes now shifing between the two men.

"Precisely," Lamont says, more gravely. "The initial work was done when I was forged into what I am." What, rather than who. There have been Shadows before him and will be Shadows after, oh Bruce Wayne beware. "But the refinement is needed. And no, not for me. No contact."

"None that I know of," Lindon tells Strange. "From what I can piece together, this creature, whatever it is, seems to be evolving. Messing around with the human mind in a dream state to find the mot efficient way to use it. Last time, it seemed like only people in a certain mental state saw the creature via its dream-walkers. This time, it's possessed the people themselves. It's learning." He shrugs a shoulder and takes a sip of tea. That's just what his superbrain knows, man.

Strange rubs at one silvered temple, clearly dismayed at what he's hearing from the Archive.

"I hate it when they evolve…" he grumbles. There's some past experience with such a concept, apparently, which may give his table-mates some peace of mind. "Right. Please, keep track of its movements, if you can. I haven't seen any particularly disastrous results come of its presence, but if it begins to move erratically or increase its presence further, I need to know immediately."

"Of course," Lamont says, gravely. Even if he managed to throw off its influence the last time….it was a hell of a fight. And there is no better way to give Kent Allard the jibblies than by being able to negate his will.

Lindon nods to Strange firmly and says, "I've written it all up. I can make sure you get a copy if you like. I'm not sure what it's going to do next, but I can tell you it seems convinced to this area of Greenwich Village." He offers a lame smile. That's good news, isn't it, at least? Sure, it's on Strange's doorstep, but it's only on Strange's doorstep.

"I would appreciate a copy, Lindon. I have…minimal issue with the being confined to the Village. If it spreads farther, I will be concerned." Strange sips at his tea. "It is the lesser of the evils that it stays within my reach. However, you have my explicit permission to engage and keep it at bay should it come forth again and I am unavailable to assist you." He nods at both of them.

There's a glint of something in Lamont's eyes. Maybe eagerness. It tried to kill him once, and that he takes personally. "Understood," he says, in a murmur, before taking a sip from his tea.

"Of course," Lindon says. A copy of the report will find its way to Strange giving details on the evolution of the thing, and a few projected scearios depending on what evolutionary path it ends up thinking. Lamont is given a somewhat worried sidelong glance. "We'll be wise about it," he assures the Sorcerer Supreme. "The good news is it still seems ignorant about humanity. That means we can surprise it."

Strange's lips quirk at the corners. "Surprise tends to be a brutal point of attack when dealing with the Mystical and arcane. Cranston probably knows well enough the efficacy of a bullet in a duel." His glance to Lamont is pensive and yet respectful all at once. The Sorcerer, at least, is very aware of the dangers of firearms in the middle of casting.

It's a weird, hybrid fighting style they're coming up with - Wizard Krav Maga, where bullet, blade, and wire are as much part of the arsenal as incantation and rune. He makes a little moue of understanding at that. "Precisely," he agrees. "Most casters need either speech or gesture to manifest their will."

"I'm looking for more information on closing the gap it's getting through," Lindon says. "Kind of a mystical spackle. The herb that's extinct except for a sample under the city, I wonder if someone powerful enough could extract it. Or simulate it. Or bypass that rite altogether. It's only good for a thousand years anyway."

Strange frowns and draws a line along his facial hair before suddenly setting down his cup.

"Actually, that reminds me. I was just reading about such an herb. I remember making a mental tally to return and read about it at another time." He gathers up his light jacket and gives both men a ready grin. "If you'll excuse me, I should do this. Better to be proactive than reactive. Lindon, if I find anything of importance, I'll contact you immediately. Cranston, you are included in the missive by proxy. Gentlemen, enjoy your tea." A sharp nod and he strides to the door. Old Mrs O'Riley is given a little wave and then he's gone, leaving the scent of sandalwood-laced incense in his wake and a mostly-finished cup of blackberry-clove tea.

Strange goes home.

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