1964-09-17 - Last Resorts
Summary: Unpleasant but necessary conversations between relic and sorcerer
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lamont lindon 

It's 9:30, and Lindon is already in his pajamas and a nice smoking jacket, appropriate for being out of one's bedroom. In the library, he sits and writes. On his lap, Pye sleeps, and across the back of his chair, Athena lounges. He is beloved of cats. Beside him on the desk is a tumbler of whiskey that has been sipped from. It's a quiet evening chez Cranston-Mills.

IT's a far cry from derring do and adventures. A grateful change, honestly. Domesticity has its charms after a hard and peripatetic life. Lamont comes up from the basement, looking weary and solemn….but it softens when he spots his relic. "Hello, love," he says, as he comes to claim one of the armchairs near the empty fireplace. Which latter object he eyes and notes, "I need to have that cleaned. It'll be cold enough to warrant it, soon."

Lindon looks up and smiles. "Good evening, darling. I was beginning to wonder you were going to stay down there all night." He glances to the fireplace. "I look forward to fires in the hearth. Hot chocolate with a dollop of peppermint Schnapps…" Pye looks up at the sound of Lamont's voice, and she gets up, stretches, and hops off Lindon's lap to pad over to 'her' human. She lets out a little mew to announce her august presence. Lindon shuffles his papers and says, "I was just writing down recipes for food from fallen empires."

Lamont scoops Pye up, accepts the tribute of drool on the t-shirt he's wearing. "That all sounds delightful," he agrees, mildly, as he scratches behind her ears. "And the recipes, as well. I'm sure Lambert would appreciate them especially."

Pye sets to purring up a storm, and she bunts Lamont's chest, leaving more drool for his troubles. "I'm going to give him the ones I've got from Ancient Greece," Lindon says. "There are some minor settlements in the Fertile Crescent lost to history because they were absorbed or slaughtered by the Assyrians; I'm writing down some of their contributions to Assyrian cuisine. It's a pity that some of the ingredients can't be found anymore. Our wheat is too refined. But we can make reasonable facsimiles."

It has him looking at Lindon for a long moment, expression almost wondering. The veneer of domesticity is a thin cover, really, for what they are. Pye hitches her self up Lamont's chest a little. "Of course," he says, finally. "Let me know how I can help." Then he smiles, an odd, secretive little smile.

"I may make a list of things we might not be able to get in America. Just how fast and far can you fly?" Lindon thumbs through his pages, checking for errors and finding none. "I might get to travel soon," he says, "to the Inhuman stronghold. I would see their library." His eyes shine with want. "And in return I'm going to bring some of our lost knowledge as a token of appreciation."

He's heard a little of them….but that clearly startles Lamont. "You what?" he says, bemused. "How….how did that happen?"

"I've been given a tentative invite," says Lamont. "From Maximus. He's a Prince, you know." He puts down his papers and steeples his fingers. "I tell you this in utmost confidence, darling. Lives depend on secrecy at this point. There's… trouble. For now, it's best if I stay out of sight. They've got an enemy that would get too much use out of a relic like me."

At which there is that madman's glint in his eyes. Kent is a mild-mannered, attentive lover. The Shadow, however, is entirely an other animal. "I will tell no one," he says, softly. "I would feel much better if I might accompany you," he adds.

"That may not be up to me," Lindon says with a wince of apology. "But I'll be in good hands. A royal guest, I imagine." He fidgets at his desk, toying with a pen. "I've never been a royal guest before." He's quiet for a moment, then he says, slowly, "Darling, I've done some thinking."

He doesn't trust Maximus. Not a whit. But he doesn't protest further, merely inclining hi head. "Yes?" he asks, mildly, still petting Pye.

Lindon stares at his desk, blank-faced, his dark-eyed gaze fixed on the pen in his hands. "I realize," he says, "that I could be dangerous if I fell into the wrong hands. I don't like pain. I can't promise I wouldn't break under torture, or to protect you or my friends. I think it's important for a man to know his limitations." He swallows. "So I'm prepared to do what needs to be done rather than give this knowledge to the wrong people."

That's enough. Lamont puts Pye down, hastily. She squeaks in protest, and trots after, as he comes over to where Lindon sits. He rests his hands on the Archive's shoulders, squeezes. "Everyone breaks," he says, but his voice is gentle. "But no. Don't do that. Don't. I will come for you, no matter what."

Lindon leans into the touch and looks up at Lamont with a wan smile. "I'll hold out, love," he says. "For as long as I can. I thought I should tell you I was thinking about stuff like this. Don't worry, it's absolutely out-of-Hail-Marys last resort stuff. It's the last thing I want to do. But this knowledge, it's a responsibility. I didn't ask for it, but it's mine."

Lamont stoops to kiss him, behind the ear. "I understand," he says, and his voice is both sad and tender. He stays that way for a little, laying his cheek against Lindon's head.

Lindon closes his eyes, and tension eases from his shoulders. "Thank you," he says quietly. "It was a pretty heavy revelation, you know? That sometimes the best thing I can do is hide. It makes me feel like a coward, but it's what my instincts tell me anyway. It just means I won't be going with Max any time soon." He takes Lamont's hand in his. "I feel better when you're around. Safer."

His fingers curl around Lindon's. "I'm glad. I want so badly to keep you safe. I do. I don't want to smother you or become your jailer, but….both nature and magic have me wanting it."

"There might come a time when you have to," Lindon says. "Become my jailer, for my own good. Let's just keep that on the list of last resorts, all right?" He kisses the back of Lamont's hand. "I just hadn't thought about all the things being this… this thing could entail. I haven't wanted to think about it." He shakes it off with a shrug and says, "Anyway, right here, right now, we're fine. A cup of tea would make the moment perfect, but I'm thinking it's bedtime soon."

A welcome change of subject. "I'll make you a tisane," Lamont offers, the smile audible in hisvoice. "And then, yes, time for bed, I'm quite sure."

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