1964-09-23 - Elvish Hospitality
Summary: Three sorcerers and an elf walk into a tea shop…
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
constantine kai strange lamont 

It's a day for scones. Scones and tea. That first crispness of autumn in the air demands it. He's dressed in a turtleneck, black chinos, a white scarf at his neck, and black beret on his head. The beatniks haven't given way to hippies yet. Cool, Daddy-O. Kai has cadged Strange's favored spot in the corner, to the seat of the Sorcerer Supreme remains empty. The elf remains hopeful. He's got the Chai blend that Mrs. O'Riley likes to give him, and the plate of scones is piled hi. He got a lecture for not coming around more often.

He sits pleased with himself, a scone in hand, teacup in the other. There's jam for the scones, honey for the tea. It's a perfect way to capture an elf, honestly.

The doorbell rings lightly, as it always does, and in steps the good Doctor to the tea shop, making sure to scuff feet on the doormat before continuing further. With hands in pockets of his black Belstaff, his scarf is a rather bright crimson in comparison to Kai's cool white. They bonded over a scarf, to be precise, and when the man glances over at his chair, he can't help the soft bark of a laugh.

"Speak of the devil's nephew." He knows Kai's about the nicest thing since sweet tea. "The usual, please," he replies with a nod of his head at old Mrs. O'Riley, tutting behind her counter.

Oh look, his chair is empty. With a sigh, he sits down and slouches mildly, now properly ensconced and unspoken king of the tea shop. With back to the wall, perhaps 'guardian' is more appropriate. No one's tried to ambush here in some time, but once bitten, twice shy and all that. "I was going to ask if you can fit all of those scones into yourself, but that seems ridiculous now because I would bet a relic that you can and have room to spare," he comments, grinning at the Alfheimian.

With as many times as John Constantine turned up like a bad penny Strange could pay off the proverbial mortgage on the Sanctum. There was amusement with a wry, faint smirk. "I'd take you up on that." There was a glint off his sunglasses as he stepped through the door. Well there was tea in New York, where else would the Brit gravitate to? Sure mortuaries, strange gardens, the closed Hell Mouth in Central park, any number of cemeteries, and more than a fist full of churches with- you know what, it's best not considered where else he lurks.

Kai beams as Strange arrives and takes his hallowed place. "Stephen, what a delight! I have so much to tell you." His voice is low, though to anyone approaching, the words might be overheard in bits and pieces. "Apparently I married Loki a few months ago. I had no idea." He takes a bite of scone, then says, "I could eat these, sure, but I'll share." Not that there's anyone at the table currently he can share scones with. He shows Strange his wrist, which has a piece of string tied round his wrist. "I've been wearing this forever. I had no idea what it meant." He beams. At least the surprise is a pleasant one.

"That's a pleasant surprise, Kai," Strange replies, eyeing the handfasting string about the Elf's wrist. "What I'm not terribly surprised of is the Prince's actions. I have noticed, in passing interactions with the royal family, that they do what they will and claim what they want and not much can stop them. You both deserve the happiness." It's a fond little smile that disappears as he hears the newcomer's voice from the doorway.

Bright eyes locate John and then he sighs, shaking his head ever so slightly. "I'm in no gambling mood, John, but there are enough scones for the two of you." He gestures towards an empty chair at the table with his hand. "By all means, take a seat — after you've ordered," he adds, lifting his chin towards the proprietess standing behind the counter, awaiting a request for a certain brew. Knowing O'Riley, she has it.

Constantine sauntered in like he did with a careless swagger. An eyebrow arched taking in the news in the room. Loki? Oh great. Effects of Loki and Eris? Always fun to run across. Still the suggestion had feet and John could walk with that. He went, ordered his Assam tea, cranberry scone because he loved a good decadent tart, and returned to the chair opposite Strange dropping down into it. Attention shifted from he to Kai and back not interrupting the news. "Well, cheers mate. Hope waking up accidentally married works better for you than us."

Kai beams, and when he smiles like that, it's like the sun coming out from behind dark clouds. "I think he means to announce us in Asgard." He takes another bite of his scone, then adds, "At least people will have more to talk about than the fact I'm the son of Evyndir the Thief."

His attention turns to John, who gets the full brunt of that thousand Watt smile. "It's the best. In general I wouldn't be a fan, but this is a special case." He sets his tea down and offers his hand across. "Kai Alfsson, how do you do? I'm a friend of the good doctor's here."

And right behind them is the Shadow. Not that Lamont's in full drag, as it were. Not at all - in fact, he does not seem to ever effect full black in his daily life. He's in a gray suit, dark charcoal gray, with a matching hat. The tie's a deep burgundy, but it has an absurd pattern, if a subtle one - tiny turquoise hippopotamuses, images of the famous Egyptian figurine at the met. The hat he removes as he enters. He's got his usual expression of deep reserve on, but it brightens as he spots Strange and Kai. Constantine gets a wary look, but at least it's not actively hostile. "Gentlemen," he says, politely.

Old Mrs. O'Riley gets to bustling about behind her counter to fulfill John's order. That cranberry scone will arrive hot, considering it's a special batch. The tea will arrive a bit sooner.

Strange watches the Elf and the Gutter Mage conversate and happens to glance up when the bell rings again. Well, it's a party at this point! Lamont is given a wry little smile and the Sorcerer spreads his arms wide from where he unofficially officiates in his chair.

"Cranston. Pull up a chair, this may as well be a convention." The crimson scarf dares a wiggle of fringes towards the other practitioner, the movements far too deliberate to be a passing breeze.

Constantine offered Kai a solid handshake. His lax presentation could be made up for in actual directness and bullshit charisma. "John Constantine, friend to all." When he needed something anyways. The bell dinged and that drew a look askance to the Shadow. His eyes narrowed faintly, not in hostility, but wariness. "Yeah, Cranstan." There was an amused smirk at the new name. "Come have a sit down with us, mate." he might be faintly sore on theri last discussion. Both of them were wary, stubborn and trying because they were to smart for their own good. John couldn't fault 'Lamont' for that.

Kai's handshake is rather solid too, especially for such a little guy. "Then we must be friends," he tells Constantine. Then he notices Lamont and waves to him. "Hey there, mate." Yes, the elf sounds English. Londoner to be precise. "Fancy seeing you on this side of town." To Strange, he says, "You must know everyone, man. Lamont and I chill out on the upper east side sometimes. This is a total context swapper, dig me?" He scoots his chair aside to make room for Lamont, and though he doesn't comment on it, quick eyes taken in the interplay between Constantine and Lamont. His lips twitch at one corner, and trouble dances in his eyes.

When two out of three know his real name, the one by which he may be conjured in earnest….well. "Don't mind if I do. Doctor, Kai,Constantine," he says, as pleasantly as he can manage, after placing his order. Russian Rose Caravan, smoke and floral together….and a maple scone. Odd,but then, so is he. "How are you all, today?"

As luck would have it, a batch of maple scones came out of the oven last. Warm scones all around! Another few minutes will be needed for the batch of cranberry and for the Assam and Rose tisanes to finish steeping.

"Knowing so many comes with the territory," Strange replies to the Elf with that low slip of prideful amusement in said fact. He too is aware of the subtle malcontent between Shadow and Mage and gives Lamont a lingering look that should communicate an interest as to the origins. Perhaps a discussion for another time?

Still, he speaks after folding his hands in his lap, one ankle upon a knee to reveal dress shoes and black socks beneath his dark slacks. "Reality is stable. I have little to complain about and frankly, complaining doesn't get one anywhere in the end." He smirks faintly.

Constantine was a cool neutral as much as an aloof exorcist is. His cheeks pulled in and he sipped his tea lifting the cup to their barrista, "You're a boon of your craft, luv." At the question poised by Lamont there was a shrug, "Oh it's been grand, Cranston. You've met me. I love doing everything the most difficult way possible. Spent teh last two nights banishing things and making cold calls. Delightful stuff." Not passive aggressive at all. Nuuuuupe.

Kai tells Lamont, "I'm great. Everything is peachy. After the summer I had, it's about time things got groovy, you dig me? I'm moving into a bigger house with my squeeze, but I'm keeping my old flat for a studio and base of operations. We're going to have a housemate who's going to have is own room instead of crashing on the couch, and!"

He takes a moment to bite into a scone and munch. Mmm, scone with jam. He has a whole plate of them. "I still don't have a job, and I don't think I'll ever need one again. Got me a sugar daddy." This he says when only the three of them can hear him. Sure, he notices the tension between Cranston and Constantine, but he's in a good mood, damn it.

Lamont's lips quirk sideways at Kai's explanation, and the gray eyes brighten. He could be Lin's sugar daddy, if Lin didn't love his job so very much. "I'm glad to hear it," he says, pleasantly. To Constantine, he makes a little gesture as if conceding the point. "Of course," he says, to one of his least pleasant souvenirs from the last great war - John Constantine, professional Bad Penny. Strange gets an opaque glance, a faint flash of brows. There will be discussion later.

Old Mrs. O'Riley beams in her wrinkled way as she receives her compliment. Both the Assam and Rose blends rest before their respective drinkers and the scones are still steaming.

"Yer welcome, lad." Her voice is creaky in the slightest, accented with the lilt of her emerald-isle homeland. "Drink and enjoy. Anythin' fer you, Doctor?"

"Only the joy of your smile, Mrs. O'Riley. It brighten the very room," Strange teases lightly, aiming to gain a scoff or a dismissive wave from the woman. He takes a sip of his own blend, a lighter green and citrus, before glancing between John and Lamont.

"If you're going to duel, I suggest entering a pocket dimension. They frown on sudden explosive bursts of light and sound here," he comments with deliberate delicacy.

Constantine actually managed to warm a smile to Mrs. O'Riley. It was grateful, genuine, and a glint of the humanity that he was guilty of having. John sipped his tea with a slow shake of his head. "Dunno what you're talking about, mate. I'm just here for tea and a biscuit. Besides, is there a point to dualing a diviner, Strange? They already know who's going to win." Oh, dry humor, party of four, right here.

Kai takes up his tea again, enjoying a bite of scone before washing it down with a drink. "Should have a dance-off," he suggests. "Just chill out with some killer tunes." He tells Strange, "When I go to see the family, you should tell me what you want me to bring you back. I plan on getting a ton of souvenirs. Did I mention I don't have to pay for anything anymore?" He flashes a smile at the other two. Look at him, using other people's money for tea and scones.

Kent can't help but snort at that. "I've no intention of duelling a former student, not unless it's absolutely necessary." ….John was his student? Then he's grinning at Kai. "Firefly wine," he says, without a beat of hesitation.

"I can't have any dueling in here regardless. It's disruptive." The Supreme ban-hammer has come down. Dun dun dun. "This is a place of neutrality per my whims."

But oh. A former student — oh really. The Sorcerer's dark brows flick up at Lamont's statement. One can almost watch him swallow down his curiosity; it's not too unlike a too-large mouthful of tea sliding down.

In the end, he gets that wave of hand from Mrs. O'Riley. "Yer full of it, Doctor. Enjoy, lads," and with a final twinkly smile, she leaves them to their druthers and tete-a-tete. To the crossword puzzle in her corner!

He pulls his focus from staring a hole in the side of Cranston's forehead to glance at Kai. "From Asgard? Hmm." A moment to consider. "A relic of the city, if the royal family will grant it. Otherwise…a new spell, from the Queen herself. She is of great power and knowledge. I would be honored to add it to my own collection."

Constantine didn't seem moved to get up off his arse much less put forth the effort of dueling right now. For now he sat and simmered. He wasn't even angry; resentful perhaps? Disappointed? Not angry. Anger would mean he was able to blame him without being a total hypocrite. Lamont did get a long look from John as he drank his tea in quiet at the talk of relics. Yes, he still wanted the information he came for. Relentless this one. Casually enough he confirmed with a quirk of a grin to Strange, "I'm not interested in conflict, just answers, mate. Dueling ain't our style."

Kai snap-points at Lamont and says, "My gran owns a winery and vineyard." Strange's request causes him to come up short, though. He rubs the back of his neck and says, "I've got about as much influence in Asgard as a turnip, but I'll ask the big man if he can get those things. Of course it will come with some horribly ironic twist. If it's from Alfheim, I can get it for you. Of course there's a chance we could end up thrown in prison the moment we arrive, so no guarantees."

"Of course," Lamont agrees, soothingly. He doesn't seem bristly or hostile, at the moment. "I passed through Alfheim briefly, once," he notes, quietly. "It was a lovely place. One of the few outworlds I'd want to see again." He seems almost wistful at the thought.

To John, Strange replies, "I'm glad to hear it. Mrs. O'Riley deserves the peace that she cultivates here in the shop." He sips at his tea, grateful for the captured time in company not out to kill or maim him or…drain him of his blood or…eat him alive…or subject him to tentacles. Because ugh, tentacles.

"I ask that you avoid getting arrested, Kai," he then follows, glancing to the Elf. "Don't promise it if you're uncertain. It's not that I'd be displeased, it's the premise of the thing in the Mystical Arts. You've been to Alfheim, Cranston?" Color the Sorcerer honestly surprised. He wouldn't have dared the guess.

Constantine arched an eyebrow listening to kai's account. Iiiinteresting. Though at the disclosure of him passing through there that? That got more interest. "You're making my passport feel a little lonely there, I won't lie. You get lost on us?" This seemed to have a glancing bit of entertainment, but for all other purposes seemed interested in Alfheim travels. Phase shifts, teleporting across space? Oh whowouldn't be interested in this?

Kai inclines his head to Strange, lays a hand over his heart, and says, "I can promise I will try, or that, at the very least, I will try to try." He glances to Cranston curiously. "You've been? I haven't seen Alfheim since the 1840s. I bet it hasn't changed at all." He considers Constantine, then waves a hand in front of his face slowly. Just so. Then he leans back and slathers jam on another scone. "So you're all sorcerers, huh."

"I left Earth for a while. I was sick on a number of fronts and I couldn't stand to stay here." Couldn't stand to weaken and fade, but apparently intended to stagger off into other dimensions to lick his wounds and give Death a longer trail to follow. "I ended up there by mistake - I got lost and fled from a pursuer. But the folk there were very kind, and let me rest and heal a while," Lamont explains, as he spoons sugar into his tea.

Well, it's not a complete promise and no one shook on it, so Kai should be safe. Should be. Promises are sly things now and then.

He glances from speaker to speaker and then chimes in. "The Alfheimians are known for their hospitality, yes, especially to those of Mystical ilk from other dimensions. I've never figured out if we're revered or simply interesting to them, but they never once attempted to murder me in my sleep, so I count them as ally." He sips at his tea again, holding the demi-tasse close to his palms. Mmm, soothing heat to sore joints.

|ROLL| Constantine +rolls 1d20 for: 1

Constantine tilted his head with an arch of eyebrows to Kai, "So they say, mate." Still John's attention listened to Lamont with the rest of them as the truth of his trip. The focus for him strangely wasn't on the details of Alfheim or another plane at all. No it was on Lamont's condition.

The strange thing (Other than Stephen at the table) was anyone thinking that the tension standing between John and Lamont was built on animosity or loathing was about to find themselves incredibly confused. John Constantine wasn't one to oft tip his hand but hearing Kent/Lamont was 'sick on a number of fronts' got a look of concern from him and a pained scowl. "Awwwwww, you should have called us, you stubborn old sod." His jaw tightened and there was, glancing back to his tea, a look of regret. Frustration over the current situation? Certainly they stood in the street at high noon on that, but this was different and there was still respect and care for him wether John wanted to admit that or not. "But we never know how to ask for help now do we, old man?"

Kai nods to Strange and says, "Hospitality is a big deal. Like, it's bad juju to deny hospitality and be jerks to strangers. Part of it is you guys are interesting, and part of it is we're just nice people." He grins at Strange. "I'll take it personally if someone tries to murder you in your sleep. Bad form." He nods to the confirmation they're all sorcerers. "You're the talking kind," he notes, "not the 'do cool stuff' kind. That's okay though."

"I'd've died, without their care," Lamont's blunt about it. To Kai, he notes, "I wonder if I've met your kin, before. And….I imagine it might be pity. We're rather weak, most of us, compared to them?" Soliciting the elf's opinion. Constantine has just succeeded in startling Lamont immensely. He doesn't even bother to hide it, blinking at John like an owl, as he sets his teacup down. A carefully taken breath, and he allows, "….I am very bad at that, yes. But at the time, it…wasn't really the kind of problem magic could address directly. If I had stayed, my enemies would've had me, or….'d've died."

The Sorcerer sighs. "We are stubborn sorts, those of us with the Mystical talents. It comes part and parcel to it, I think," Strange murmurs, his sharp eyes flickering about the table. "Death should grind her teeth at our gathering. Still, I would take it personally too, Kai, if someone attempted to murder me. I'll sleep better knowing that they would suffer your wrath if they tried." There's that sly smile of his. He knows that the Elf may as well be composed of moonlight, both delicate and pitiless at times.

He finishes his cup of tea with one last big sip and sets aside the demi-tasse. "Gentlemen, forgive me, but I must go. I'm being summoned at the Sanctum." Wonder who's doing the summoning? Very few have the right. "John…nice to see you. Kai, please take the scones home and don't attempt to pay Mrs. O'Riley. The tea is on my tab," he adds, glancing to all present in turn to impress his point. "And Cranston." A beat. "We'll talk." Totally not ominous at all.

With that, he rises to his feet and takes his leave, tall form in his black Belstaff and crimson scarf, and the bell rings to announce it. The Gate will happen in the side alley, as it usually does, taking him back to the Loft and the reason for the summons.

Constantine looked to Lamont and just watched him with beady, astute eyes like a raven. The Con Man was speaking plain. He'd been up for 46 hours. He was tired. Differences aside he still had soul enough that hearing Kent suffered and hunted? It bothered him. He only stated, "Your enemies are still mine, mate. Still mine." There was a faint nod to the old man then to Strange. "You know how to get a hold of me." He got up and set his jaw casually droppin the salutation, "Kai, goot meetin' you. Lamont." He nodded, "I have a murder to go resolve." He hadn't given up on aiding the dead.

Kai admits to Lamont, "We do like caring for wounded animals and stuff like that. I hang out with Midgnardians so often I forget you're kind of squishy." He rubs his chin. Then he tips Strange a jaunty salute. Not having to pay for his tea and scones, sweet! He's not proud. He leans back, flips John a wave, and says, "Stay chill, Daddy-O." He finishes off his scone, then pours himself more tea. Elf is staying here til he's done elfing it up on Strange's dime.

"I should be away, as well," Lamont….is he uneasy? Guilty? DEfinitely without his usual sangfroid. "We shall all talk further, later. Kai, I'll see you at the Mansion."

Strange goes home.

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