1964-08-29 - For All Eternity
Summary: Father and son discuss the details of immortality.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
strange vic 

It has been a few days since mortality met Vic head-on and bounced him on the pavement. He's brought baklava for his mother, and this time it has arrived unharmed along with himself. And yes, he would love a cup of tea. So they sit in the living room, and Vic takes a drink from his cup. He has to be Strange's son. The boy loves him some tea, and this blend in particular. "You got this at Mrs. O'Riley's? I think I'll get some on the way home." He doesn't live all that far away, all things considered. Same borough, at least.

Strange nods, ensconced as usual in his personal high-backed chair, looking far more at-ease than the last few times father and son have crossed paths. Vic appears more hale and whole than at the apartment and changing out of tattered oil-and-blood-stained clothing does help this impression. The baklava will go over well with Mother, who is away on errands of her own, though not likely a hunt for an errant drunk driver this time around.

"Yes, the addition of the Ceylon leaves to the Masala blend was genius on her part." He takes this particular brew with a spoonful of honey. Others might take it with a dollop of heavy cream atop the sweetener. No doubt Wanda includes at least three heaping mounds of liquid gold in hers. A sigh and Vic gets the usual once-over from those sharp steel-blue eyes. "You seem well." That's 'Dad' for 'thank the gods you're alive, you healed up entirely, it's a mystery save for I suspect the Mote, but you're alive and that's the most important part, even if it does piss off Lady Death, but oh well, my life is just like that.'

Vic nods and says, "She's great." She also feeds him scones. He doesn't know much about what goes into which blend. Yet. Someday, it'll all sink in, when he's not a callow youth of three months. He likes his with just a little honey to take an edge off the natural bitterness. "There's complexity," he says after another sip. You taste one kind right off, and then the next is like an aftertaste."

Looking up from the cup he's studying, he smiles and says, "Yeah, I feel good." There's not a scratch on him, predictably. "It took me a few days to sleep off, and the day after, I had all these weird little grains of asphalt coming out of my skin. It was weird." Ah yes, where his body ejected all the foreign material a nice scrape over the pavement ground in.

Vic regards his father for a moment, then he says, "I'm fine, though. I'm as surprised as you are."

"'Surprised' is a good word for it," says the good Doctor after a short bark of a laugh. He's relieved and it shows in every line of his posture. Those crow's feet aren't nearly as heavy as before and it's the dimples that make an appearance. "That's one of you I don't have to worry about nearly as much," he adds, the smile fading a little.

He glances off in the distant direction of Billy's apartment, with its wards set by the Sorcerer himself and easily located based off this premise. The return to the present comes quickly and he looks back to Vic, still wearing that world-weary smile. "Fate was kind this time."

Vic smiles, and his dimples echo his dad's. "I'll still be careful crossing the street," he says. "It was unpleasant enough, I don't want to go through it again." He glances aside, somewhat abashed as he adds, "And it upset Kellan. I don't like upsetting him."

He nods agreeably. "Fate did us a solid. I keep saying I've got a charmed life. Even when bad things happen, there seems to be some better purpose." He takes another drink of tea, then rises to top off his cup. He offers his father the same. "So what do you think of Kellan?" he asks, incidentally, not that it's been on his mind or anything.

Still half a cup of tea in his demi-tasse, so Strange shakes his head for a refill at the moment. Vic is free to drink as much as he wants, as usual — the Mote does seem to be bottomless when it comes to sustenance.

Ah, Kellan. The amount of concern over this significant other both amuses and pleases him on some level. That ego, always stroked when the realization comes that an opinion matters so highly. Still, it amounts to the need for delicacy as well, if there's such a requirement.

"He seems like he was raised well," replies the Sorcerer after another mouthful of tea. He shifts to rest an ankle on his knee, the hem of his dress pants rising to flash ankles. Bare feet today, all the better to appreciate the soft carpeting of the living room. Plus, it's too warm for socks, hence the two buttons undone on his dress shirt to reveal the divot of his collarbone. "I didn't note any malaise of bad karma about him or past possession by evil spirits. He passes muster." A little quirk of a smirk, not unkind.

Vic stirs a little honey into his tea, then reclaims the comfortable chair he's designated as 'his' when he comes to visit. Those big blue eyes, how earnest they are, of course Strange's opinion matters. The kid is hanging on his words. He grins broadly when Kellan passes muster. "That's great!" he says. So sincere.

"He's a good guy. The first person I met, the first day I came into flesh and blood, who was just really nice to me. He bought me a bag of hot dogs." Vic smiles at the memory. He let me crash on his couch. I've known him all my life."

"All your life, huh?" A light laugh and then Strange considers — it's true, actually, if counting from the first morning of complete Cognizance in reality proper. Vic hasn't been a Mote for that long. "I can't imagine being courted with hot dogs, but then again, 'normal' is in the eye of the beholder." Another sip of tea. "Is he mundane or does he show abilities?"

After all, the Strange family tends to bond to those beyond the pale.

"I was so hungry," Vic says, "and I didn't have much money on me." Of course the stomach had a vote in who Vic ended up with. He gets a wistful look about him, the poor besotted youth. "It's just the way he was to me," he says. "so kind, and it's not like it was charity. He said he'd seen me and wanted to figure out how to get to talk to me, and that's how it went down." Cue a lopsided grin.

Then he's all business as he sits up a bit and says, "Oh sure, he has abilities. He and his brother are both mutants, but their parents don't know, and their parents might be in league with evil people trying to do experiments on mutants so we're all a little on edge about how that'll unfold. Kellan can make copies of himself, and he has some telepathy. Kaleb can manipulate sound waves."

Ah, so both of the twin brothers have powers, but of the genetic twist rather than the Mystical ilk. Those dark brows drop at the revelation of said parents.

"Their parents might be in league with scientific experimentation on mutants? Or they are?" The clarification is important. Danger by proxy of relationship is a risk that pings on Strange's radar.

"We don't know," Vic says. "We know they're friends with someone who most definitely is, but we don't know if they're unaware of what's going on or what. They don't know the twins are mutants." His brow knits. His beloved's worries are his worries. "It's been bad, Dad," he admits. "Kaleb and Lorna got kidnapped. We rescued them both, and I don't know about Lorna, but it took Kaleb awhile to be himself again."

The youth frowns, studying his tea again. "I mean you can't keep Kaleb down forever, but we still don't know what-all they did to him."

Strange closes his eyes and slowly shakes his head. When he opens them, his gaze falls to the fireplace. The embers are low, not useful with the late summer heat, but they never die entirely. He seems to consider the glowing coals, eyes half-lidded and voice thoughtful.

"Kaleb will share in his own time, I suppose. The resiliency of youth does tend to aid in muscling through the difficulties of life." Says the man with the premature silvering at his temples. "Don't pry." Those eyes shift back to Vic. "From what I've learned from your mother, prying gets you an answer at the cost of ripping out stitches, if you'll entertain a wry metaphor."

Somewhere, in the Sanctum basement, two drums and a cymbal crash to the floor in sympathetic irony. Bah-dum-chht.

"Yeah, we're just taking care of each other right now," Vic says. "I mean, that's what we always do. Home needs to be a safe place." And that means safe to keep one's own counsel. He smiles a little at the mention of his mother. He so often does.

Vic exhales a long breath, like the pressure of keeping all this in has been driving him nuts. "I'll keep you up to date on what happens. We're going to be traveling soon. Kaleb's got this friend named Maximus. We went to an island with him once and we're going back so Kaleb can relax. If you ask me, Kellan needs a break, too."

At the mention of said island vacation, Strange sighs. It's resigned, in a way.

"Yes, the Prince mentioned it the last time we had tea. He was asking after the fact that you were related to me." Cue the arched eyebrow. "While I may count him as friend, Vic, he has a tendency to couch plans within plans. Be wise." The Sorcerer rubs at one of his temples, half fidgit and half self-soothing gesture.

Vic lowers his gaze, chagrined but not seeming particularly guilty. "I think he saw it in my looks," he says. "He was looking at me oddly before he made a comment about something running in our family. Devotion and something else." It may or may not be that Kellan and Vic's schmooziness might make a certain Prince somewhat nauseated.

Wait. "He's a Prince?" Vic says. "Wow. And a friend of yours." This has made Maximus gain more esteem from the young Strangeling. Who nods thoughtfully, and he says, "I'll keep an eye out for everyone. He and Kaleb really seem to get along."

Strange indulges in a passing rueful smile that grows rapidly thin.

"You do share some of my bloodline's defining phenotypical traits, which you may find to be less than amusing in the future. If I told you of every metahuman and supernatural enemy who would wish to bathe in your blood, Vic, for being my offspring, nightmares would be the least of your worries. Be cautious," he tacks on to the previous warning.

Another sip of tea and he leans back into his chair, momentarily grinding his teeth lightly. On to the Prince. "He is royalty, yes. I believe Maximus once attempted my affections and failed for my soul-bond with your mother. The bond was sorely tested against my will…hence my lack of complete faith in the man. I can forgive, yes, but forget? No." The word drops like a stone. "I suspect his comment about devotion stemmed from this happenstance. If he finds his happiness elsewhere, I wish him it and much more." A little salute with the cup of tea and another large mouthful.

"Right," Vic says. "We look a bit alike and that could cause problems." See? He understands Dadspeak. "I'll be careful. I don't exactly go off looking for baddies on calibre with you. Just the kind you and people like you don't need to worry about. Muggers, anti-mutant organizations. If something that bad shows up, I'll run the other way and tell you."

Then Vic's features soften. "Aw, you withstood magic for Mom?" Which makes him proud to be compared thus. He puffs up a little. Hey, he's just like Dad! "I kind of hope him and Kaleb end up good for each other, even if it's just as friends. He had a messy breakup, and he deserves some happiness."

"Everyone does deserve happiness," the good Doctor echoes, that ghost of a smile returning, even if it's shadowed by the topic at hand. "I'd withstand the end of the universe itself for your mother, Vic. She deserves nothing less after what she's done for me and for the world. If only it knew." Granted, the general populace would freak out, but it's the premise, surely.

Vic nods and says, "Yes. She does." That he doesn't follow that with a warning glower is a testament to how well he trusts Strange to take good care of his mother. And all this is before he asks, "What did she do for the world?" He nurses his tea along, and a smile touches his lips. His mom. She's the grooviest.

"Does it ever get to you?" he asks. "That you guys do so much and no one really knows? Or are you glad they don't have to?"

Strange drums fingertips on the arm of the chair lightly. "In the end, I'm glad. When I was younger in the mantle, it irked me. None of the luxuries of laud for my efforts, dashing myself time and time again against enemies and coming home bloodied for the silence of life ongoing. But that's the gist of it — life. The continuing evolution of mankind here, on Earth, without interference from otherworldy beings from dimension beyond normal ken. It took a few years and a few hard lessons, but…it's worth the nightmares — and it led me to Wanda." I think. He glances to Vic again.

"Your mother is invaluable. She's kept me alive. She's kept me sane. She's stood beside me against gods and helped to bring them low. She keeps me on my toes. She keeps me humble," and he chuckles here and shakes his head, "whether I like it or not. She makes me more mindful of the risks I take. She's my reason to come home. She is home." A little shrug, even mildly embarrassed in a fond way. "For the longest time, I was alone. Now there's someone to share the burden and seven hells, she's got the strength to do it. I couldn't ask for a better twist of Fate." There's that smile, there at the end, the softer one kept within the family for the family, and it breaks the lines of his goatee for its true appearance.

Vic won't tell. Strange's softer regard is safe with him. "She's amazing," Vic says. "The power she contains with such grace. She's the most beautiful woman in the world. I couldn't ask for a better mom. The two of you are good together." Highest praise. Not only is Strange worthy of her, but they work.

He takes a drink from his cup, then says hesitantly, "I've been thinking about not dying. That… that could be forever, couldn't it."

"To soul-mates," responds the Sorcerer Supreme quietly, and salutes with his final sip of tea. But then, ah, the question and therein lies the rub — immortality.

Rising to his feet, Strange walks to the tea stand by the hearth and pours himself another cup. It steams, wreathing him in deepest, darkest notes of Chai and the ambient light from the room glints from the spoon that snares another globule of honey. "It could be forever, yes," he finally replies. Clink-clink, the stirring utensil knocks the walls of the cup for the mild quivering of damaged nerves. "It could be until the future of this reality is formally decided or until an enemy is lucky and damned enough to find a way to snuff out your Mote. I haven't aged since I was…oh, what…" A tilt of his head to one side and he glances to Vic, lips quirked again at the corners; "…31? 32. No…31," he decides. "The years are beginning to blur. Life continues, regardless of my aging stasis. I'll deal with the inevitable troubles of passing on inheritance and things like this when they come. You sound worried." Of course he noticed this and eyes Vic again as he returns to his seat, new cup of tea in hand.

Vic watches Strange, and he nods solemnly to him. Thirty-one? That's ancient. Maybe not as ancient as forever, though. He shakes his head as he says, "I don't worry about inheritance stuff. Kellan and Kaleb are loaded, and I've got a good job, and I'm going to get a degree, so I'm set." He takes another drink of tea, then glances over at the pot. Does he want a third? Of course he does. He holds out his cup with a small smile. Please? For the son?

"What worries me is what happens when Kellan starts to get older if I don't. Or what if I'm immortal but I still age? Most of my existence, I'll be withered and old. I don't think I will, though, because my body's always restoring itself to this condition."

Almost seated, but not quite, the good Doctor. That's what grants Vic his third cup of tea. Strange sets down his demi-tasse on the side table next to his high-backed chair and retrieves said tea-pot. The water glitters and steams and voila — filled nearly to the brim and not a drop spilled despite the scarring. Must be from years of practice.

"If Kellan is without immortality, then yes, that will be something you'll need to discuss with him. Wanda has powers of her own; I expect her to see the final sunset on this planet with me." Fingertips glance affectionately over the perpetually-warming tea-top in passing when it's returned to its placing and then he stands there, hands in his pockets, his overall air unusually casual and yet so formal. "Society is continually changing. You'll need to change with it or else be forced to the edges of it. However, you're lucky, in a way. You are of magic and immense possibility. You'll be fine." Thus sayeth the Dad in the reassuring Dad Voice.

Vic murmurs, "Thank you," at the refill. He takes a drink, and he sighs with contentment. Tea. "I don't know that I want to bring it up just now," he admits. "Kellan's been going through some stuff, what with his brother being nabbed, and not knowing if his parents are part of the whole shebang. He's still getting his head around the fact I died and came back. I think I'm just going to let it sit for awhile. We've got time." He smiles wryly and adds, "that's kind of the problem.

"But I've been thinking about it, and I don't care if he gets old. I just want to be with him, and if I won't have him forever, then all the more reason to make the time we have count." Then, in the true fashion of teens everywhere, he declares, "I'll never love anyone else."

Settled into his chair, Strange steeples his hands before himself, tips just glancing his chin, looking for all the world like some nefarious madman instead of the peace-keeping Shepherd of Earth's Fate.

He'd make a rakishly good one, that's for sure. Here's hoping he never entertains posession or the like.

"You may find the very time that your Mote ignores changes things for the good or for the worst," counters the wisdom of the years to the zest of teenaged passion. "If that is to be, then so be it. In the meantime, yes, treasure what you have. You never know when you may lose it." So soberly-said.

"We could have lost it all a few days ago for all we knew, before I mean. "You never know what's going to happen. Even when you have powers. It's like the more you have, the more danger you get to go with it." His eyes are wide as he contemplates mortality, in general if not his own. "Now I gotta think about what you said about changing with the times. I can't just go along not thinking the Beatles are one of the best bands of all time. What if rock and roll doesn't even last?" These are worrying things!

"I get the distinct impression that rock and roll will be around for a nice, long time," murmurs Strange before laughing to himself. "What with the Beatles and their effect on our current society." He sounds…introspective. "It's not difficult to change unless it's a hard habit. Society, in turn, will help, either by unerringly calling you out or setting a witch hunt after you. Most likely the former, not the latter," and he waves a hand dismissively. "Witch hunts are more of a metaphor these days."

Vic relaxes. "Oh, well then I can handle whatever else happens," Vic says. "We're going to go see them, soon." Which at this point in history requires leaving the country to do, and he sounds so casual about it all. "I think the best way to get along is to stay involved with life, you know? Try new things." So easily said, just wait until those things involve urban lumberjacks.

Vic shakes his head and says, "I'm sure glad I brought it up to you, Dad. I was worried. Not about witch hunts, but just all of it. Knowing my folks are going to be around too makes it better."

A flash of a grin and the dry humor follows. "Not many young folks say that about their parents. You get to be subject to our advice for centuries." Strange says the word so lightly before he sips at his tea, his half-smile hidden behind the rim of the cup. "But yes, try new things. Take advantage of the time given you. Continual learning is a blessing that so many ignore." Mind, in terms of his mantle, it's a requirement, so no wonder he treats the concept with such reverence — it keeps him alive at times.

"You're going to travel to Europe, then?" The question changes the cant of the conversation at hand and thus, a few afternoon hours are wiled away over tea and a spot of calm in the life of two busy immortals.

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