1964-10-09 - Introducing Hargrove
Summary: Lindon has a few guests over for a chat about a someone who seems to be killing wizards.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
lamont jesse constantine lindon 

Lindon has invited John to the apartment he keeps in Queens. There's less that can be damaged there. He lets John in, showing accommodations far less posh than a manor. This is where he lived before he landed himself an idly rich sugar daddy. Books. Books everywhere, and he's his usual awkward self. "Come in," he says. "I made tea." The kind John likes, doctored the way John likes it. He remembers these little things.

There is a kitten asleep on a chair. He's about five months old but big for his age, a snowshoe Balinese by the look of him. Lindon explains, "He kept crying til I brought him with me. That's Puck. Anyway, thanks for coming by."

Constantine dipped his head in a brief, though honest 'Cheers." He stopped looking at the cat. His head rotated almost owlishly to orient to that of the cat's and he squint at it. If he was telepathically communing with animals he did not say. "You let em take the name of the hob-goblin? Oh you're doing to find yourself in deep pockets to this one, mate." When the cat turned its head, slowly so did he. "Hmm?" Tea? That snapped him from reverie there. "Oh, brilliant." He turned to gravitate to the tea and have a look around. "How is yooooour houseguest?" Mary. He liked to cut to the jugular didn't he?

"That was his name when he cam to us," Lindon says wryly. At the sound of Lindon's voice, the kitten starts to purr. Clearly, the animal has chosen his human. Lindon picks up the kitten and gives him a cuddle. The kitten purrs louder and snuggles up. It's pretty sappy.

Lindon sits down with his own tea, the kitten on his lap in a purring loaf. "Oh, Mary?" he says. "She'll be arriving soon. I might introduce the two of you if you're around." He says with a pleased uptick of his lips, "She's very smart. I think I'm going to like her."

Constantine nodded slowly and actually missed his cat. She was a good, if mnot cranky old lady. Proper black cat too. Mangey feral thing she was. He watched the pair and supposed it was like that where all cats found a like human to adopt. He turned back to the tea and the books. "Bit of a lot lot on you. Is all this so you don't have to go so far? Don't blame you. Beats the hell out of explaining everything all teh time."

Lindon shakes his head and says, "I don't mind it though. It's the pursuit of knowledge, and what greater purpose do I serve?" He smiles lightly and strokes the kitten's ears. "Aside from taking care of you, huh," he murmurs to the kitten. "We have two more at home, but this little one insisted on coming along." He looks up to Constantine then. "I found the name Hargrove. He visited Aloys Reikland the same day he died. He's visited other wizards the day they've died, too. At least three."

|ROLL| Constantine +rolls 1d20 for: 8

Constantine murmured looking over the books, "Naw, that's okay you don't have to look after me. I found myself a-" He paused. "Oh the cat well, luck to you both." He was a bit taken with the volumes considering them with an absolutely laudable and dangerous insatiable curiosity. The news on Hargrove proved idle with a nod until Lindon mentioned …three more? John's skin went faintly pallid and his attention was locked on Lindon. When exactly he put the teacup down or when he crossed the room was anyone's guess, but he was presently staring the Archive in the eye with a piercing look of Hell itself. Were there any doubts that John might strap him tight to a hospital bed and carve into him until he got the answers he wanted? Well that look said that Lamont's fears were to unwarranted in the slightest. Still, Constantine moved to lay no hand on him, and the words were curt and quiet. "How long ago? When? In New York or elsewhere? Before or after his murder? Do you have names? Addresses?"

The kitten, snoozing, lets out a small 'rrr' without waking up, an ear flicking. So little and fuzzy, and so fierce. This is his Lindon! The tiny growl is reflex; the animal doesn't act on it, at least not yet. He is just a baby after all. In fact, when Lindon pets him soothingly, he goes back to purring. When that animal grows up, it's going to be a real live one. Lamont will have all sorts of fun with a pet that won't let him near his boyfriend.

Lindon, for his part, sits up straighter but looks John in the eye, though it's a tentative thing. John wouldn't do that… would he? Oh God, he would. "Before," he says quietly. Abigail Culpepper, Brighton, 1957. Yves Galais, Paris, 1958. Francine Dumont, New Orleans, 1960. I have a feeling there were others going back further than '57. He was in New York three years ago, obviously. I don't know that he's been back."

They just get settled in, and there's another knock on the apartment's front door; a straightforward three knocks. Standing in the apartment building's hallway it takes Jesse a second to realize he has that smoldering tube of tobacco hanging out of his mouth. Public establishments were one thing, but people got touchy about their homes. Looking around the narrow space laden with doors on both side, Jesse frowns and lifts up one crock-skin black boot, stubbing his smoke out on his heel delicately and tucking it away in his breastpocket while he waits. Another trio of knocks, impatient, rolling his eyes upward, roaming the hall while he waits. Rude enough to knock twice, but not rude enough to just walk on in.

Constantine stood, not the broken man poking around the globe for answers, this was the man who would march back into hell itself and demand them. The defiled soldier, the damned scholar, and the ravenous soul that might relentlessly consume the world were ever much present at the forefront of John Constantine's pursuit of answers that might raze and burn whatever he had to in his path to get them. Presently he seemed to be staring a hole into Lindon until finally he surmised, "Well then they're not likely interested in the likes of you. Or weren't… your door is knocking." So damn much to think about…

Lindon sighs and leans back in his chair when Constantine gets up. He strokes the kitten, who opens one eye to watch John go, then goes back to sleep. He's got his eyes on you, John. Beware the kitten. His ear flicks at the door knocking. Lindon swallows. That's right, the door. "Come in," he calls, then looks to John with an unspoken question: does he know who it is? Lindon isn't expecting anyone. He swallows again, nervous fellow, and he says, "They had no way of knowing I'd come into being. John, it only happened because of what this Hargrove did to your friend's wards."

"Damnit, John…" Jesse whispers to himself, shifting his weight back and forth on his legs while he peers down the hall. The impatience dance. The door opens up when he hears the word, a hint uncertain at the broach of protocol, but once the seal's broken, that's that? Jesse stands in the doorway for a moment, staring at the sheer number of books immediately greeting him. Eyeballing the oddity, a couple hairs on the back of his neck twitch uncertainly but he steps inside anyway with a lean on his feet and the heavy, measured steps of a man inspecting the space curiously while he goes, closing the door quietly behind himself. Brows tucked in together slightly, Jesse wanders into the space occupied by the other two, reading the room some. The hesitant expression washes away and the scruffy-faced preacher nods loosely toward Lindon. "Hey. You must be that Mister Mills. A pleasure." Walking along until he stands offset to John's side some, giving the damned man a long look that smacked of a little expectation on politeness.

Constantine conceded, "Well if I weren't lookin for ya, mate, you can bet your sweet bippy that Hargrove isn't completely aware either. Ought keep it that way." Hie head slowly passed to Jesse and his posture became less bellicose. A hand drifted between them, "Lindon Mills, the good preacher Jesse Custer. he's a … well we're all on the same page." Was that… an Archive joke? Really, John? Really?! "He and my old mate are working out getting us information we need to figure out the ways of what's going on. It got a little messy. Lindon made tea. The cat is named after a hob goblin." He nodded with an impish grin. "There. that catches us up, doesn't it?"

Lindon looks up at the holy man, and his posture straightens up. "Father, hello! Sorry, I would get up, but…" But there's a kitten on his lap, and Bast enjoys her spot at the spiritual table in this house. John remark about being on the same page gets a quirk of his lips that is almost a smile, and the set of his shoulders relaxes a little. "Please, make yourself at home. There's tea, here, let me get up…" He gathers up the kitten, who mews a complaint, and Lindon places him on the chair. He immediately jumps down and follows after Lindon while the scholar pours another cup of tea. "Milk or sugar?" With a little laugh, he adds, "I guess we're all caught up. John, I'll tell you anything else I find out. I've got a feeling it's bad, and it's going to get worse."

Jesse knows the sound of someone's asscheeks clenching up when he enters the room, and can only offer Lindon a mild smile as he comes to an ambling stop beside Constantine. Which leads one to wonder: what the hell is /John Constantine/ doing running around with a man in a clergy collar? Or perhaps that's the point? A myriad of possibility ranging from 'possible babysitter' to 'disgrace in a costume', Jesse doesn't do much to clear the air aside from using himself to try to dispel some tension and insert his own personal brand. He lifts a hand mildly, excusing Lindon from not getting up immediately while he gives the hobgoblin kitten a look. "Ah understand, Mister Mills. Don't wanna disturb the hobgoblin. An' please, Jesse's fine. Ah actually don't have a church of my own these days t'watch after, so the honorific's not really mine t'claim." His voice remains low and smooth, pretty much taking it all in stride and without issue. Giving John another glance and an arched eyebrow. "Messy could mean any number of things with you, John. So could 'a mate'. This rascal ain't givin' you any trouble is he, Mister Mills?" Smirking faintly to Constantine. "Sugar, please."

Constantine soul hurt of what there was of a soul left to hurt, save, or suffer within him. He took a deep breath and eyed Jesse, though without hostility. A tilt of his head to Lindon and he cleared up, "Lindon here was an accident victim of one Aloys Reikland whom we came to investigate. Turns out he's one of four that were summarily hunted down. The others before him, actually and not after so… whatever he did drew attention but didn't start this. Not on his own…" He squint and seemed to hit an epiphany counting on his fingers and then shook his head. "No they started dying before Aloys tried to sacrifice me.. nuuuuu that's not it…" His voice fell to thoughtful tones. He passed over the part where he was almost sacrificed by the guy he was trying to…what, avenge? too easily. Entirely, entirely too easily. Casually he wiggled a finger in a circle, "Go for the Assam. Bitter. You'll find we have a lot in common. And let's remember I'm not the one that raised hand on Reikland here." Which still left him none the less dead and John any less alive instead.

Lindon offers over the tea, doctored appropriately, and he says, "Well, respect where it's due, though what do you prefer me to cal you?" Lindon may be a sinner, but anyone in a collar like that gets all the hospitality. "Please, have a seat. This one's the most comfortable." The kitten, unimpressed, sniffs at Jesse's foot, then rubs against him. This preacher is now his. He sniffs at John and marks him, too. These, these are his. So is the leg of a side table and a stray slipper.

"It's not well-known," he tells the preacher. "That I was, er, that something happened." He paces, raking fingers through his hair. "I don't know thoughts or intentions," he says, "just what happened, as it happened. I don't know why Hargrove was after these mystics, only that… that with Francine he said something about how he would put her ability to tell fortunes to proper use. What he wanted from your friend, I don't know."

Jesse gets the cliff's notes from John and seems to take it all in stride, hands never leaving his pockets as he takes up space in Lindon's book crammed apartment. Then John gets that 'look' in his eye while he tries to connect the dots and Jesse loses a little bit of interest. The chase John's going on in his head could take a little while and he's only going to get fragments until it's put together. Instead, Jesse leans back and peers over at Lindon; dark, perceptive gaze giving the bookish man a probing once over. "Well, yer lookin' good, all things considered. Might better than the other guy from what Ah understand." Reaching out to take the tea as offered with one hand, there's a look down into the steaming cup, pondering something to himself briefly before casting a polite smile back toward Lindon. With grounded grace, Jesse casts a small smile toward their host.

"Preacher's pretty spot on, Mister Mills. Much obliged, but Ah'll take the opportunity to stretch m'legs if you don't mind." Another glance down while the cat brushes up along his legs, leaving tiny hairs along his black jeans along with his scent. Benevolent little beast that the cat is. Turning back to Lindon, there's an amused twist to the man's mouth. "As luck would have it, Mister Mills, Ah'm pretty good at keepin' secrets," imparting a little bit of a harmless joke. Quiet and content, he watches the conversation swirl around him attentively.

Constantine had that wild look connecting distant dots on some conspiracy board in his head. His brow furrowed. "I'd not be surprised if Lamont was still at risk." He paused and added to Jesse and summed up: Lamont Cranston: Old teacher, master of diving and scrying, hates me , loves me, and hates that he both likes me and let me life. Pretty certain. Always a fun time with that one." He paused and tilted his head down the hall, "He here?" Sure now he asks. The exorcist paced slowly and scooped up tea in hand again. His ring finger tapped on the cup as the wheels ground slowly in his head. He was trying so hard here. It aggravated him not having an immediate answer.

Lindon smiles t the joke and laughs a little, then ducks his head. Under Jesse's gaze, he doesn't seem to remember how to stand, and his hands cling to his teacup for lack of knowing what else to do. The guilt in his features is free-floating, like take a number and get in line for the list of anxieties brewing there. Nothing tooooo unusual for a lapsed but not entirely done Catholic. The kitten hops up on the chair offered to the preacher. It is the most comfortable, after all. "Please, call me Lindon or Lin," the Archive says. "I'm just… I'm just Lindon unless I'm at work.

His gaze darts toward John deep in his thinking. "I'll warn Lamont," he says. He then says, fussing, "I don't think he hates you." Then he shakes his head. "No, he's at the house. I just figured here would be good to meet since I was going to be here going through some books." He wets his lips, then says, "John, there's nothing to do but dig deeper, and we'll have more answers."

Watching the bookish young man crumble under the weight of his own thoughts, Jesse falls back into his training from what seems an eternity ago. Composing himself as a neutral party and eager ear. "Good to meet ya, Lin." Amicable.

Jesse takes an experimental sip from his cup, brows arching upward at Constantine over the edge while he explains Lamont. The preacher considers briefly and mentions conversationally. "Sounds pretty familiar in regards to yerself." He smiles crookedly and then arches his brows. "Here? He live here?" A quick glance around the small apartment to find signs of another occupant, though it's hard to tell with the array of books everywhere. Instead, he turns to Lindon.

Constantine tilted his head, "Maybe." in reference to the familiar. "A diviner… a conjurer… an apothecary… and someone shite at keeping spirits bound properly…what do they have in common…" Awww if he didn't care he wouldn't curse so much right? He flinched a wine and shook his head. He squint a look to Jesse as Preacher and book spoke, "We try to leave Lindon's name as out of our discussions with others if we can, yeah? I can think of more than three people above and below not to mention here that'd like to crack his head like an egg. It's jut poor cricket." Unsporting and also just…rude. Also while tenacious he wasn't ruthless; not if he could help it. The guy has a cat. And tea, TEA, GROMMIT! Look at em.

Lindon eyes John sidelong. "You said you had no interest in the Archive," he chides, gently. It's not like he can blame John for being tempted; all the answers somewhere in that head if only he could be commanded to bring them forth. He tops off his tea and puts a little sugar in it. "Just tell me what, specifically, you need to know. I'll see what I can do. I have to think about these things, and sometimes I get headaches."

He starts to relax around the preacher. It's not that he's unpleasantly uncomfortable, but rather in the presence of the coolest of kids: the ones with a line to the big man. Even if, logically, he knows it doesn't work the way his upbringing says, old habits die hard. "Lamont and I share a house," he says. "I just keep this place out of habit, I guess. It's a place for overflow books, for having company without disturbing Lamont, and for guests. I'm attached to it."

Listen much and say little, Jesse. The preacher looks between the two other men, thinking for a couple moments on John's question. he shrugs. "Other than you probably owe 'em money?" Jesse shrugs one shoulder smoothly and nods, as if the mention of keeping Lindon's name quiet was a give in. "Of course," turning his attention back toward the seated fellow hosting them. "No use in paintin' targets on people's backs while we're at it." Though the mention of keeping a house with John's friend is given a longer consideration, then a following nod.

Constantine :rubbed the back of his finger to one side of his nose and then his thumb the other side before pointing a wan look to Lindon, "I seen enough books burned in my day mate. I have no want to see that destroyed what I took the time to bind properly. I don't actually like seeing things come to that. I don't want the Archive, but I didn't say I didn't need it. I do know how to ask mate. This is just… important. Now it might save other people's lives too." He turned to Jessee as if to say, *seeeeee I actually do think of other people* …sometimes… sometimes often… sometimes just sometimes… always himself first.

Lindon is so bad at being in the closet. The nod Jesse gives him is met with the briefest sidelong glance, a tell of a lie. In this case, omission of truth. No guilt there, though. No remorse that he's living in sin with this 'Lamont' person. Gently, he says, "You have my help, John. You're my friend. When this bad feeling manifests into useable information, I'll tell you everything. I just have this feeling." He drops a hand to the kitten, who purrs and mews in his sleep, stretching to get more comfy. Kitten cares not for serially murdered wizards. "These 'premonitions' aren't. My mind," he explains, tapping his temple, "works faster than my consciousness can follow sometimes. It comes to conclusions before I'm aware of them, and I just get gut feelings til everything catches up."

Jesse exchanges a look with John that seems just on the verge of a facetious 'Yes John. Good John.' With an arch of his eyebrow. Am I supposed to be impressed? The preacher turns back in Lindon's direction and reassures, "We ain't tryin' to put anyone out who doesn't deserve to be put out, Lin." Constantine's word might be a little, well, tarnished perhaps, but Jesse's got a sterling reputation. As long as you're not in Texas.

Constantine nodded slowly to Lindon and just tried to let the agitation come down. His mind was trapped in a race against an opponent he didn't know who had a head start and brought harm to someone he didn't like to admit he cared about. damndamndamn. Finally he sat. and rest the back of his head on the chair. Objectively he added out of the blue, "I think he still owed me forty quid at that." He looked back to Jesse and admitted, "I don't like seeing people hunted, alright? It's a bit of rubbish and i'm concerned by what this Hargrove is trying to know. Frankly Lamont would flesh out the skill set and that won't do. he's into my pocket forty quid as well."

Lindon shakes his head and says, "We aren't going to let him get at Lamont." The retiring fellow isn't usually quite so vehement, but in this? In this he looks like he might be willing to stand up and fight. Well, sit down and fight. He still has a kitten on his lap. "Lamont's no slouch, though. He's a power in his own right." Just who is he trying to convince? To Jesse, he asks with a shy duck of his head, "Are you part of the mystic circles here in town?"

Speak of the Devil. Well, not the Devil, he's at his club downtown. But the Shadow….naming calls, doesn't it? Rather than be a complete ass and try to sneak in, Lamont's knocking politely on the front door. Hey, Lindon might be having one of *those* guests, no barging in. n his daily life, he doesn't affect black - far from it. He's in his usual charcoal gray, a well-tailored plain suit and matching hat, the latter already in his hand.

"Ah'm downright amazed," Jesse whispers sarcastically when Constantine confirms that /someone/ owes someone money and the mention of hunting and general feelings of impending doom and danger. He remains standing while Constantine finally takes a seat, standing somewhere between the two men, hovering in no man's land with his little teacup in hand, listening to the two. "Nobody's gettin' at anybody on our account," Jesse, sounding far more confident than he should when dealing with the jinx that is John Constantine. Turning his attention back toward Lindon, the preacher hums and shakes his head. "Not really. Ah just got int' town. Ah was on my way here with a couple of friends when good ol' John here dropped in our laps on the same path. Figured why not? Ah'm from Texas. New kid in town. Still learnin' the who's who."

The polite knock at the door draws his attention away and in that direction. A paranoid glance toward Constantine, Jesse subtly undoes his suitcoat button. "Expectin' someone, Lin?" Conversational, Jesse's jacket hangs open, making his sidearm easy to get to just in case.

Constantine rubbed his cheek with the palm of his hand. "Jess, sit already. You're not pontificating today. Too much thinking on your feet leads to bad knees." Seriously? Well to be fair he wasn't wrong. He course corrected to Lindon, "Our good Preacher here knows more than his fair share. Effectively… I'd say so by our standards. If the mystique of the Book ain't mystic enough for ya, Jess, mat I dunno what is." He left off the part about stolen devil angel babies and the voice of God in God's own absence. You know, the minutiae.

"I think Constantine has that effect on people," Lindon tells Jesse wryly. At the knock, he shakes his head and says, "Not really expecting anyone, but sometimes Lamont comes by when he knows I'm here." He rises to his feet, cuddling the kitten when it complains. Still holding the small creature to his chest with one large, long-fingered hand, he goes to the door and looks through the keyhole. Then he relaxes and opens the door. "Lamont," he says with a warm, easy smile. "Come in, please. You know John, and this is Jesse. Preacher Jesse." Puck looks at Lamont with feline smugness. Hey, Lamont, look who Puck's got? That's right, Lindon. Lindon gives him a cuddle and says, "He wouldn't stop climbing me on my way out so I brought him with me. We were just talking about, ah, someone who might try to kill you." Hi, honey!

"That is a long, long list," Lamont observes, as he comes in, tone mild as milk. He's poised and relaxed, favoring the others with a small smile. "A pleasure to meet you, Father," he says, inclining his head. The pleasant look doesn't slip as he turns to John. "And hello, John, how are ou?" Urbane and good-natured, though the gray eyes are opaque. The kitten's look gets a raised eyebrow.

Jesse watches Lindon's back while he walks to the door, alert, though not so much so that he can't give Constantine a mundane look. "Pontificating. Really. Sittin' down never stopped you." None the less, the confirmation that Lindon knows who's at the door results in Jesse buttoning his jacket once more. Stepping around to the 'most comfortable chair' as it was pointed out to him, but stays standing out of politeness for Lamont as he enters. Dark eyes quickly give the man a once over and Jesse gives Lamont a dip of his head. "Likewise, Lamont. Any friend of John's iswellsomethin' else." Taking the seat a moment later, still holding his teacup, mostly full.

Constantine didn't get up and glanced askance to them. "I am in the room sti- oh bollocks." He had that effect: Drive people together when portents would choose… or to their doom. Hey, he hoped for the former. Either way he gave up arguing the point. At the comment that it's a long list of people wanting to kill Lamont John chuckled, "Yeah you taught me well, old man." There might even be some truth to that. The wolfish half grin greeted Lamont. "Lamont, Jesse Custer. This is the Preacher I either did or meant to mention to you. Totally counts. Just out doing a bit of legwork. turns out our name Reikland was number 4 or better in missing persons that this Hargrove bloke decided to alleviate us of. Given the pattern? Heeee might be getting in the market to hit various peoples of influence, or anyone whooooo ever practiced in New Castle." An eyebrow arched up with a l look to Lamont. He didn't say why he was concerned. but he loved not putting all the cards on the table.

"The good news is I have a really bad feeling about Hargrove," Lindon says. The kitten starts to purr, and he gives him another cuddle. That cat has Lindon dancing like a puppet. But then Lindon offers the kitten to Lamont as he says, "Here, let me get you some tea." Puck rubs against Lamont's nice suit. Lamont (and the suit) now belong to him. As Lindon putters with the tea, making sure everyone is topped off, and Lamont is served, he says, "Which means I'll have another revelation soon." His brow furrows. "I can feel a headache coming on, though."

Lamont accepts the kitten and drapes him against his shoulder, like a man trying to burp an infant. "Thank you, my dear," he says to Lindon, companionably. He slants a look at Constantine, prompting with a raise of his brow. Student, elucidate. Old man? He looks to be in his middle forties at best.

Jesse remains pleasant and neutral in the small space that he owns rather easily, like he effortlessly belongs there, among Lindon's piles of books and holding on to a cup of tea that isn't sweet tea. He asides over to Constantine with a low-frequency murmur, "Doesn't count if y'waited until Ah'm sittin' in front of the man, John." But ever as pleasant while the others talk the long way around their business. Jesse glances at his wristwatch and absorbs what he can.

Constantine looked no more than late thirtied but there was a faint,, faint grin as they both knew damn well better. He spoke no more of any of it really. He loked to Lindon and said, in actual earnest effort, "Don't take any unnessary risks, yeah? No on e wants to see you ring yourself inside out." Jesse looked at him giving him politeness council. Bless Preacher Jesse, because traveling with Jon, Cassidy and Tulip he'd surely need it. "You know you get upset when I don't do it then how I do it. Make up your bloody mind, mate." Jesse was right, though. The pat on the sleeve opted to say that he knew as much too.

Lindon smiles when Lamont calls him 'my dear.' Yeah, there's no closet here. Once everyone has tea again, Lindon sits, and he says, "The headaches are a consequence of the gift. If it means stopping someone who is targeting people, including Lamont, then a headache is a small price to pay." He smiles fleetingly at John, and though he does look a little pale around the edges, he's also resolute.

"Anyway, tell me what Texas is like?" This to Jesse. "I'm from Wichita, never been any further south." Because the doom feeling he has is making him uneasy, and that uneasy feeling is made better by normal things. Small talk might not be his most comfortable thing, but it's a normal thing. Time for idle chitchat.

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