1964-10-21 - After the Battle
Summary: Morbius takes a somewhat possessed Lamont to a tea house to relax for awhile.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1964-10-20-dream-monster-redux
Theme Song: None
lamont morbius 

There aren't many people at Mrs. O'Riley's tonight, and the table Strange usually occupies is available. Old Mrs. O'Riley is behind the counter, tidying up now that the afternoon patrons have gone their ways. "Sit wherever you want," she says as the door opens, and she barely looks up to see who it is.

He's still limp in Morbius's grip, is Lamont, head lolling. Like a man almost passed out drunk, or ill. He's pale, face gone drawn with the strain of it - all white around the lips.

Oh, the teahouse. Morbius has had some interesting times in this place, though carrying an unconscious man through the door is certainly a first. He sped the few blocks around the neighborhood, but took it slower once he reached the door and tripped the automatic reaction from the older woman behind the counter. Lamont held against his chest, Morbius strides right toward the counter to murmur lowly, "Shepherd's Tea." The first thing she and Strange suggested for him. A bit of home once upon a time. "And whatever this one usually gets, along with a more private table, please?" A very, very horizontal one in the back somewhere, he's hoping. He can only assume that this has happened before.

Or Lamont's a dick and put him in firing range for the spitfire lady.

Mrs. O'Riley eyes the unconscious man, then Morbius. "Do me a favor and don't tell me," she says. Then she sets a pot of Shepherd's Tea to brewing. She puts a few scones on a plate, and the plate on the tray, along with the tea. Then she quotes the price to Morbius. Not everyone eats and drinks free.

IT's one of the booths, it'll have to do. Lamont slumps in the corner…but he's conscious enough to put his head in his hands, like a man fighting off the mother of all headaches. There are beads of sweat on his forehead. The overt streetfight may be over, but it's clear he's still struggling with all of it, somehow.

"Rest assured," Morbius murmurs as he walks away from the counter and toward the back in the quieter ambiance of the place. "I'm honestly not sure that I could explain it if I wanted to." His hands are a little full to grab his wallet right now, so Morbius walks straight to one of the low booths. Balancing the taller, limp noodle man, Morbius steps onto a booth's seat and carefully sets Lamont down in the one attached to it's back side, hovering close.

Carefully, a clawed digit slips into Lamont's collar, tugging the knot of his tie away and loosen his collar. Gently pushing away Lamont's hands as they fumble around his head. "Be still. Be still, Cranston, sh-sh-sh. Focus on my voice and stay here with me." He said they get people when they're asleep, so somehow trying to let Lamont sleep seems…unwise.

He does seem to understand what Morbius is trying for. The gray gaze is cloudy, almost bewildered, but he does focus on Morbius….and he lets the vampire open his collar without protest. "I have it," he explains, blearily. "I can hold it until they close the gate. But it hurts." His pulse is fast and thready.

The old woman sets the tray on the counter, leaving it for Morbius to take or ignore, and she goes back to her tidying, grumbling under her breath about those ne'er-do-wells who pour out of the clubs drunk and a skunk and coming to her for their sobering.

Tossing his own hat aside on the table behind him, Morbius kneels on the adjoining booth. His face may not be the most soothing one to try to focus on; sharp angles and red-swallowed eyes, the points of his ears visible when he scoops his hair out of his face to get a better look at Lamont. He may have already forgotten all about Mrs. O'Riley at this point as he falls back into old habits. Wicked fingers palpate around Lamont's throat to check his pulse, watching his clouded gaze wander. "Yes, you seem like you've had better evenings. You're working hard. Body is having some trouble keeping up."

"Mmhmm," he says, quietly. No apparent fear of those claws so near the veins. "It's been a long ti-" The words cut off in a flinch - not, apparently, as a touch of Morbius's, but yet more of that internal struggle. "Time," he finishes, after a gasp. "Since I had to do something like this. Not since the war…"

Distracted while he monitors Lamont's vitals, Morbius' bed side manner is fairly good for a research dork/monster, keeping the conversation moving and something for Lamont to focus on. "Yes, judging from the pieces I put together listening to the Midwife, you have seen some interesting conflicts." A handkerchief produced from Morbius' breastpocket as he shucks off his overcoat, he wipes down Lamont's face carefully. "I admit, I was surprised. I may have had to pegged for a spoilt child rather than a soldier."

One hand locks around the monster's wrist - not as the prelude to a physical fight, but to have something to cling to. He's surprisingly strong, considering that slender built. The comment makes him grin for a moment, shakily. "That's the idea," he says, focussing on those scarlet eyes for a clearer instant.

The hand clutching at Morbius' wrist is tolerated for a moment before the limb twists forcibly and the heel of a pale hand falls into Lamont's; elongated fingers wrapping around his thumb and wrist, the delicate prickle of deadly claws rest softly against the back of Lamont's hand. "Oh yes," Morbius' accent tickles his word, his mouth curves cannily as he holds Lamont's gaze. Curiously searching that gray gaze. Few folks feel comfortable enough to find Morbius' eyes and hold them, but for the moment, Lamont is struggling with larger things. "I understand that now. Well done. I admit, you fooled me."

"Always better to be underestimated," he breathes, quietly. A lesson Bruce has taken to heart. Trying to be discreet about it, so the proprietress doesn't have to intervene. His eyes close for a moment - there're what might be tears of strain at the corners, and he sets his teeth in his lower lip.

"Very true," Morbius agrees smoothly, squeezing Lamont's hand when his eyes fall shut. "So long as you don't fall into the trap, yourself." Another mop of cloth across Lamont's brow and across his throat. The back of his neck. Supportive and ultimately helpless in this situation, frustration prickles bitterly in the back of the man's throat. Outwardly, Morbius remains calm and attentive. "Breathe…" Reciting softly, tongue tripping over the light trill in his 'r's. Waiting for that struggle to subside with a bracing hand on Lamont's shoulder, the other clutching his own.

"OF believing it?" he asks. His eyes close again, but there's nothing of drowsiness to it. Fighting off pain. "You're a doctor?" He knows the answer already, but ….it's another way to try and reach for conversation. Something to distract the both of them….and keep Lamont from having to bite on a rag to keep from screaming.

"Yes. Practice makes perfect. One must be careful what it is they practice." Distraction in conversation is something that Morbius can do. Uncertain at first if it would deter Lamont from the fight, but the initiation is his green flag, so he takes it. A thin press of his lips together seemed wry. "Yes. Though, different than your Stephen Strange. I amwas?not a surgeon. Have you always been a soldier? You saw combat." Morbius tugs again at Lamont's tie, making sure his collar is loose enough to give him some air. Murmuring under his breath, "So many wars. I presume you mean THE War."

It's plain, a deep steel blue. "I was not a soldier," he specifies, with the faintest tinge of pride. 'I was an aviator. In both world wars, and Korea." He manages to push himself upright against the booth back, a little more, and leans his head against it.

Michael moves as well as Lamont straightens himself in the booth. Taking to his feet, he gathers to his feet to fetch the tray Mrs. O'Riley left out for them, his moneyclip left in its place for her to sift through at her leisure. It's a quick return, not willing to leave Lamont alone for very long. Sanguine-stained eyes narrow faintly while he does that math and sums up with a short, "Hm." A tepid palm touches down on Lamont's forehead, palid fingers spreading through dark hair stained damp at his temple. "An aviator. So what was it about being an aviator that had you doing something like /this/?" Still unsure how to describe what's happening here.

Mrs. O'Riley shoots Morbius a glance, gives his pallidness a once-over, then grunts a matronly 'hmph' and goes back to sweeping. One gets odd sorts sometimes, but paying customers are paying customers.

It's a kind of relief, that cool hand, and he closes his eyes with a faint sigh. HE's feverishly warm. "I….it's a long story. There's something of a family tradition of the occult, you see. I didn't really come into it fully until after the first war, but…..it was always there."

This visit is at least going better than his first to the teahouse, so Morbius honestly feels pretty good about it. And the constant judging looks are expected, so he seems rather unbothered.

Having a lowered body temperature has its boons. Michael is aware of them, letting his hand rest there a while. "Bloodlines. What a bother," the voice nearby murmurs low. Morbius' tone a lull. Peaceful. Patient. A heavy pause plagues the conversation while he considers something. A quick tap of his tongue against his lower lip in precursor, he volunteers, "I was a scientist in the second war. Blood was my specialty—irony, I know." It had to be said. Cool fingers, warmed by Lamont's feverish brow slide down to check his pulse in his neck once again. "I survived by working in some less than ideal situations with some less than ideal individuals. Bloodlines and the occult were of particular interest in one lab I worked in. Briefly."

At that, he cracks an eye. "I can imagine," he says, quietly. "That's how you ended up as you are now?" His pulse won't stay at a steady pace, speeding, then slowing. Morbius can see the pain hit him….and it renders him silent for longer and longer stretches. Strange and his allies had better hurry up.

Lamont's eyes open to find Morbius' feral features transfixed with worry, genuine and humane while he watches the second hand tick away on his wristwatch. Red eyes flick up, touching Lamont's gaze. Caught, the expression is smoothed away as he reaches for the teapot to pour. "You should try to drink something. You're going to become dehydrated."

Pale lips curve dryly. "No. My research related to the occult is what brought me here, actually." The tea cup lifted in the palm of his hand, pausing a moment to see if Lamont can take it without spilling it all over himself, but will draw the cup carefully to his lips for a drink if he cannot. "This happened to me years after the second war ended and my country became rather volatile. Greece struggled and quite honestly, so did I."

He manages to drink from the teacup and keep his dignity intact. It takes time and care, and has him grimacing with impatience at himself by the time he's succeeded. "I see," he says. And there's no hint of judgement in his tone.

"I doubt it," Morbius responds simply while he gives the cup away, allowing Lamont moments to himself without being groped and handled. "As you said, it's a long story. We all have long stories, here." A scrape of his gaze along Lamont's pale face. "Why does Constantine call you 'Kent'?"

That has him making a pained face, not because of internal goading from that unwilling passenger, but….clearly just at the name itself. "Because that's my original name," he says, softly. "And as I'm sure you know, true names have power."

"That was a subject I remember reading something about," Morbius murmurs, eyes squinting in speculative interest over that pained look. Upswept brows knit together while he attempts to dredge something up. "A true name, as well as how it is spoken by its owner. It is like a fingerprint, yes? It wasn't my area of focus, only a vague security precaution." Whole sections of important occult information only glanced upon or missing entirely becomes a little more apparent. "…And you chose…'/Lamont/'?" Yes, a bit of judgment and a little more humor there.

"It was the identity I was able to steal," he says, just as amused. Another try at the tea, and he still manages to keep from slopping it on himself. "But yes, yes, it is, for sorcerers. Some are powerful enough they need not worry about their name being public knowledge, like Strange…."

"Ah," Morbius hums with clarity, amusement still glancing around the corners of his lips. "Fortunate for him. His reputation leads me to believe he would have taken on the risk, anyway." Pouring a second cup of that strong, Greek tea, Morbius takes a drink and some tension visibly relaxes from him. "But not you. So. Why is it that you're the one being attacked?"

He spreads his hands. "I encountered it before….and was able to thwart its wishes to use human bodies and dreaming minds as a way in to this dimension. IT knows me, now."

And hates. Oh how it hates. It didn't know hatred before. Lamont taught it that. To hate. And it hatefully claws at his mind whispering all the things it's going to do to Lamont once he slips up just once.

"Path of least resistance," Morbius hums, logically with a pop of his brows, less vigilant in his hovering state as Lamont seems to stabilize somewhat. "How are you feeling? He would be very irritated with me if something happened to you under my watch."

He grits his teeth. "It hurts. It hurts a hell of a lot. But it isn't winning. My energy's decent - I don't need to sleep, and I can hold out for days. It won't take that long, though." It had better not.

"It had better not," agreement in the simplest form. "If I didn't think it would screw your chances of fighting, I'd offer you something stronger. I am sorry there isn't something more." Standing by isn't something he does particularly well, for all his patience. "What is the solution to this?"

"We wait for Strange and his allies to shut the gate. What I'm holding should wither, at that point. If not…..then, back to Strange," Lamont says. "I hope it doesn't come to that. I can't destroy it entirely on my own."

"We wait," Morbius inhales slowly, turning his head and turning it about in a stretching motion. He settles down once again near by to Lamont. "They better hurry. I think that Mrs. O'Riley is going to get irritated at us if we stay all night." Glancing out toward the front of the building, another attempt at humor to bury the promise that he will stay here, with Lamont.

The old woman continues her tidying. The sweeping is done so she wipes down the counter in a pace that refuses to be hurried. So far, they're all right, if only because they're being relatively quiet and no one's bleeding on anything.

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