1965-01-03 - Revelatory Evening at O'Rileys
Summary: More information comes to light in regards to the Hargrove case.
Related: Hargrove plot
Theme Song: None
elmo lindon lamont morbius strange 

The holidays are hard on people in general. This year New York has taken quite the beating over the holiday season with very little relent. Some portions of the city are feeling it more than others, undoubtedly, and the very same can be said of the people who live in said city. Some are more resilient while others have been beaten with a sledgehammer while all the symbols of festivities and normalcy have been destroyed repeatedly.

Welcome to New York!

The tea shop remains a bastion of stability however during this trying time. The aromatic and warm nature of the place coupled with the dear proprietor's earthy curmudgeon and nattering is a comfort. At least, that's how Morbius sees it. He's been more regular to this place since he was thrown into the mirror dimension here. Anyone who can make a good Greek-origin tea and leaves him alone to read and fret is honestly good in his book. His surface needs are minimal. Like this evening.

Morbius takes a back table not easily seen by the door and the patrons who just step in for a cup and linger toward the front. Purely out of politeness for Mrs. O'Riley, who would probably box his pointed elfin ears if she had any inkling he was disturbing her business. The pale man is dressed sharply for once and less like a transient; his hat placed on the table in front of him and jacket peeled back over his seat, but we're talking professor levels of nerdom here with waistcoat and patches on the elbows and all. Book. Tea. Book. Notebook. Teapot. File folders. And a frown of concentration while he scribbles away.

The holidays had been mildly trying for the Sorcerer Supreme and, indeed, the tea shop owned by the elderly Mrs. O'Riley is a home away from home. With the weather cold but only threatening snow, it's not a long walk from the Sanctum to the shop proper. He manages not to bump shoulders with anyone, amazing enough given the number of people out returning from errands or to home after a long day's work. Returning to the desk jobs and/or various daily paid callings is probably shocking after multiple days of putting one's feet up and binging on eggnog and sentimental records.

The shop bell rings quietly and in Strange steps, a tall figure in his black Belstaff. You know he's got that crimson scarf on, snuggled tightly up about his chin. Scuffing shoes on the mat, he makes his way to the counter whereupon he's immediately the target of a series of questions per the proprietor.

The answers are as follows:
"Yes, we did."
"Yes, many of them, actually."
"Yes, she enjoyed opening them all. Myself? Yes, I enjoyed opening my presents as well. The tea? Yes, I'll need another order."
"I'll take the usual, please."

And with that all settled, he turns away from the counter and makes his way towards the chair and table habitually called his own. On the way over, however, a spread of notes and familiar face makes him draw to a slow halt.

"Doctor Morbius. I didn't expect to see you here," he says quietly by way of greeting, still remaining standing with hands in the pockets of his coat.

And very nearly right behind them are the Shadow and the Archive. The former is all but leading the latter, as if Lin were dizzy or tipsy. The tight, worried expression on Lamont's face and the sensation of a kind of magic in use that isn't the Shadow's usual smoky darkness might offer reason enough - it's centered on Lin. Guess what's happening? He heads them both straight for Strange, without a word.

Somewhere familiar. Somewhere favored. It's an anchor. Lindon is calm, but his eyes are darting about like he's reading the air, and he's letting Lamont guide him where to go. "Aloys Reikland," he murmurs, "Anna Culpepper, Yves Galais." He's mentioned the names before: dead people killed by the same man. He runs his hand over the back of a chair in passing, spiderlike fingers tracing the patterned divots int he wood. He sighs, falling quiet. Calming. It's good to take him somewhere favored and familiar.

Elmo is absolutely not this kind of place's usual clientele, but Lindon loves tea just so much and waxed poetic to him about it and well okay maybe he'll try it, even though tea can't possibly be as good as coffee. As he's on approach, he sees Lamont steering Lindon into the tea shop, and Lindon don't seem so good. He chases after them, the door bell jingling only a couple minutes after they arrive.

The door opens and closes plenty, so once more doesn't garner more than the cursory flick up and back down from Morbius initially. A healthy sense of self-preservation and all, warring with the laser focus of a studious man. Morbius' attention sticks back to his work until the voice is directed toward him. Like coming back from a meditation, shoulders rise and fall slowly with a deep breath, pulling his mind back away from whatever it was on and pulling focus outward again. Morbius closes his book on his finger and looks up at Strange, the unsettling red seas he was graced with for eyes meeting the magician's. "Doctor Strange," his accent clips delicately along the t's of his words. "No? Expect the unexpected, they say. How are you?"

But already Morbius' attention is flicking past Stephen's shoulder as the door opens again and shuts. More people. But /these/ people and the state of his boyfriend stuck to his other paramour's side like that rouses a quick state of alert. Morbius stands with a fluid grace, putting his book down properly as well. "Lamont?" The vampire's eyes begin to emit a soft glow as he strides forward, intent on brushing past Strange neatly and reach out for Lindon's free arm. He's seen him like this a couple times before, but not this far gone. "How long has he been like this?" Seeking out information first. He doesn't seem to immediately notice Elmo. Another patron.

"Well enough, I s —"

And as the other doctor's attention breaks towards something behind and beyond Strange, he pauses in his sentiments. Something familiar this way comes.

The sight of his fauxpprentice confirms the nearly-prescient tingle of Mystical recognition and the Sorcerer completes his turn in place, expression drawn. Yes indeed, Lamont, who's apprently on first-name terms with the vampire. Lindon does look…decidedly under the weather, he decides after running his eyes over the librarian's form. Quick ticks to a medical practitioner's checklist confirm his suspicions. His bright eyes flick up to the door — he's more attentive to the bell than most visitors, perhaps because of the off-chance that others seek him out upon neutral territory to discuss Mystical issues sotto-voce. Elmo's face is unfamiliar and so, as Morbius, he's not sure of what to make of the newcomer at first.

"Yes, Cranston, how long?" he asks, hawk-like attention upon the Shadow.

"Since last night," Lamont's voice is low, as he looks between sorcerer and vampire. And oh, look, there's third boyfriend. He offers Elmo a weak little smile, but doesn't attempt to shoo him off or obfuscate the situation. "It's one of the visions - related to what we've been working on. John and I, as well. A puppet master, of sorts…." He's pale, but solicitous, keeping Lin close to him. "Lindon, we're with Strange and Morbius….are you clear enough to explain?"

"Michael," Lindon says in a faint voice when Morbius takes hold of his arm. His lips twitch at a smile, but then start moving silently as he scans the air. "I can't see you," he says. "But you're here." He takes a deep breath, then says, "The man from Cheshire has struck a dark bargain, a golden serpent wearing a black coat surrounded by his twelve stone kin." He grabs at Michael's arm, taking the extra stability it offers. To a doctor's eyes, he's underslept and dehydrated.

Elmo darts towards Lindon without care for the imposing men all around. "Lindeleh! Lamont what /happened/?" He gets Lindon's other arm. "What's he saying?" he asks Lamont, eyebrows intensely worried.

All eyes come round on Lindon and Lamont, the sanguine-glowing pair flickering back and forth between the two as Morbius reaches to take Lindon's free hand in one of his and a free chair in his other, nodding urgently to Lamont to set the trancing man down. He speaks swiftly to Lamont first, "Yes, I spoke briefly with John about what you were both working on." A vague comment lacking snark, catching up with everyone involved just where they all are in the scheme of what's going on. Lindon speaks to him and without an ounce of give a fuck, the vampire bows his head to touch his mouth to Lindon's shoulder, lingering while he murmurs back, "Yes, asteri mu. As if I am ever far?" He clucks his tongue and falls silent to listen to the stream of clues he reads in the air.

The introduction of an unfamiliar voice finally pulls his attention toward Elmo and rouses just enough of his possessiveness to make that subtle glow around his eyes glow brilliantly, engulfing his pupils entirely as his attention fixes on Elmo. His posture stiffens and leans forward slightly, but he seems to know Lamont, so Morbius restrains himself from further signs of posturing and 'go the fuck away'-itude.

Undeniably intrigued by Lindon's statement, the Sorcerer Supreme holds his tongue for a while longer to see if the Archive is going to contribute any other pertinent information to the discussion at hand. That Morbius is also informed of the goings-ons will be something to consider later.

Strange stretches weather-sore fingers in each pocket and rolls his shoulders as if loosening a tension that continues to linger in low intensity. Unfortunately, vampires tend to trigger that in him. Thank the gods that he's at an angle to miss that flush of ruby in Morbius's eyes.

"And I've received a copy of the notes from John, seeing as the London Sanctum is also being kept apprised of the situation at hand," he adds quietly before making a point of locating old Mrs. O'Riley. She's still behind the counter, but she sure as hell is interested in their little grouped tete-a-tete. A friendly smile from the good Doctor seems to be enough to appease her for the moment, seeing as it's returned and she continues prepping the various orders.

A moment of irony, when he realizes that Lin's managed to gather several of his sweethearts in one place…but it's banished by concern. Fate brings creatures of the occult together by apparent chance, more often than not, and it's enough to have Lamont looking even g rimmer than usual. He settles Lindon in a chair, gently, before noting to Elmo, "It's one of his visions."

The mention of John has Lamont looking relieved, which is surely a rare occurrence when it comes to the habits, movements,and concerns of Constantine. "Good," he says to Strange, almost curtly. "This is a long one, Strange. I don't dare try to stop it or jog him out of it,but….."

Lindon leans his head toward Morbius', a brief touch, but one that shows some sense of connection amidst what must be utter chaos inside his head. He's easily led, at least, and he sits as bidden. "Elmo? I can't tell if you're real or an illusion." He's downright lucid, all things considered. He even catches the mention of John's name and says, "Oh, what has John done now?" His voice is polite, certainly not carrying past the table. If he's to be out in public, this is the best state to have him in. "The Irish witch watches. She needs a sacrifice."

Elmo, startled as hell by sudden red glowing eyes and aggression in his direction, recoils from Morbius. Then immediately goes on counter-offense, snarling, "You got a problem, pal?" suggesting Morbius is about to have a problem whether he wants one or not. Static electricity suddenly makes the entire room feel like a thunderstorm: hair rising, skin tingling, tiny pops of discharge running through clothes and leaping to painfully bite fingertips. Even though Lindon is asking him something and Lamont has spoken to him and there's things going on, he focuses only on Morbius, his hands spread wide and quivering.

Counter-point to Morbius' initial warning hostility, Elmo backs up then comes forward again to challenge. It's a struggle of nature over nurture at this point while the air becomes chargedliterallyand sends the lion's share of Morbius' predatorial instincts into attack mode. Lips begin to curl away from his teeth and subtle shifts across his face make Morbius' features a bit sharper.

It takes the awareness of dangerous warmth at his back in the form of one Stephen Strange and the grip of Lindon's hand on his to keep him from lunging forward and embarrassingly disemboweling one of Lindon's friendly-friends on the tea shop floor. Which just would not turn out well for him in the short-run at all. His expression calms with force as he lifts his chin up, looking down his nose at Elmo. "Yes. I do." Factually correct and reminding himself of the matter at hand, he turns his attention back on Lindon. Being dismissive of Elmo allows Morbius' ego to disengage without screaming at him, sitting down beside Lindon in a second dragged seat. One hand still wrapped around the Archive's, Morbius reaches over to claw out his notebook and swiftly starts writing down every word Lindon says.

Dangerous warmth is an excellent description — for once the ionic balance of the immediate area goes off-kilter, Strange narrows in on the two of them, vampire and mechanic both. The set of his jaw makes high ramparts of his cheekbones and he sighs slowly.

"Gentlemen. This is a place of peace and unspoken neutral ground. If there's anything that needs to be discussed using fists rather than words, you will take it outside. I won't have this place sullied by your actions." His voice is low and smooth, chock-full to the brim of warning. "Mrs. O'Riley does not deserve the disturbances." The Sorcerer Supreme has no need for a display of powers; it's easy enough to shove someone into the Mirror Dimension for a "talk".

That Lindon's sitting is good. That Morbius is taking notes is better still. Now his attention shifts to Lamont. "Are you unable to bring him out of it then? Have you attempted anything as of yet?"

"Soft, Elmo, soft," Lamont's voice is soothing - for once, he's using that mental force of will to try and calm things down, rather than induce pants-wetting terror. "He's a friend. We're all allies here in our concern." Morbius is taking notes, which is laudable and he gives the vampire an upnod. To Lindon, he says, tenderly, "Elmo is here. And John has been telling Strange what we know thus far." To Strange, "I am not able. I don't dare force it."

Lindon sucks in a breath as energy crackles. His grip on Michael's arm tightens. All he says, though, is, "Oh," to Lamont's answer of what John's been up to. "There's a man named Alexander Cohen," he says calmly. "Did I talka bout him? He makes toys. He's going to die." He sighs softly, as if to say 'what can you do.' "Doctor Strange, the Master is going to have to do away with you. When he's ready. He grows impatient, though." He frowns, his brow furrowing, and he rubs his forehead. "He's coming soon. Right now, it hinges on the toymaker. Is that Ceylon? I smell Ceylon." More connection to the here and now. The scent of the tea is drawing him closer to the living world.

Elmo swallows and backs down, breathing hard. There's a lot of pressure on him to settle down and he does, forcing his hands to relax. The built-up static in the room falls away with the faintest of hisses. Suddenly it's ok to touch something metal again. "Yeah," he mutters, eyeing Morbius. "Okay." But the red-glowy-eyes guy is being all kind with Lindon and really, isn't that what he cares about? He takes a deep breath. When Lindon starts talking, this time he listens, and frowns. "Alex Cohen? Runs the toy shop? I know that guy."

There couldn't be a more clearly visible 'fuck you' glance if Morbius had it tattooed across his face as he glanced back in Elmo's general direction. His instincts are screaming at him, but it is a dull roar in comparison to the matter at hand. The sickly bloody glow in his eyes has dimmed to the point where his pupils are visible once more, and his features have returned to a more human nature, Morbius rolls a clawed finger lightly back and forth over Lindon's knuckles as he swiftly transcribes every word from Lindon's lips. "Yes, Agapi. Would you like a cup?" Conversationally polite over ceylon tea, the tenderness in Morbius' thickly accented voice would be alien to Strange and only further underscored by the curt manner he addresses Elmo next when he says he knows the toymaker. "Child, what do you know about the toymaker?" Note-taking like a bat out of hell.

A faint snort is Strange's immediate response in hearing of a threat to his person.

"Do away with me, hmm?" He murmurs, almost to himself. A curl of a smirk shows a little teeth before his lips thin out once again. I'd like to see him try, the tone implies. "Duly noted — and thank you for taking notes, Doctor Morbius, very useful."

Movement beyond means that Mrs. O'Riley is on her way over and the Sorcerer detaches himself from the group to meet her halfway. "Thank you, Mrs. O'Riley," he says, giving her a boyish grin as he takes the cup and saucer from her hands. "If we could get a cup of Ceylon as well?"

"Oh aye, ye can. Seems like some serious business yer talkin' over there," replies the widow, looking around his broad-shouldered presence briefly.

"We are. What better place to discuss such than your tea shop over a quality cup?" Mrs. O'Riley pishtushes as she always does, muttering something about buttering too thickly, and adds,

"On yer tab as always?"

"Yes, please," the good Doctor replies. Once content that she's diverted, he walks back over to the group, sipping at his tea as he walks. Mad skills, not a drop is spilled.

The tenderness….that throws him, somehow. Lamont has clearly not thought through all the oddities of the little constellation that centers around his beloved. But that's a subject for later meditation. "The toymaker it is," he says, looking at the others. "We're going to have to get him first." But he doesn't sound terribly sanguine about that.

Lindon nods to Elmo's question. Somewhere in the swirling eddies of random knowledge, that little bit sneaks in: that Elmo is asking, and Elmo knows this person. "The Master wants to steal his magic, so that he can animate an army. Between the necromancy and the animus, the more he kills the more who will fight for him." He smiles weakly, and in that moment looks, frankly, terrified at whatever it is he sees in his mind. "He's going to take the Archive away from the Shadow. There are ancient rites he needs. He controls minds. He intends to force compliance. Owie." That last is accompanied by a rub at his forehead. "I want tea, yes. I can see a table. Are we at a table?" He blinks a few times and starts to focus. That's a good sign, right?

"Is there anyone here named Child?" Elmo says with New York asperity. "You wanna ask Child, you gotta go find him. But you wanna ask /me/…" He looks at Strange and Lamont, as a method of not getting furious at Morbius again. "He was in Europe during the war, fightin'. Lost family. To, you know." He twitches half a shrug. What other reason does a Jew lose family during World War II? "Makes toys. Nice guy. Spent a lotta time in his shop when I was a kid. He taught me a few things when I was real little." Which had to have been a maximum of fifteen years ago. He's sharply attentive to Lindon as the other man starts to come around. "Okay, Lindeleh, you sit tight, I'll get you tea." He goes to chase down Mrs. O'Riley with way too much energy for the mission.

"You are welcome, Doctor Strange," Morbius murmurs professionally to the Sorcerer Supreme just before he goes on a mission to gather tea and keep the innocent older woman back. It's his turn to pass a thin smirk of 'I don't fucking think so' toward Lamont when Lindon reports that the Master is going to take him away. Unlike Cranston, he has clearly thought more about the technicalities of their situation and currently seems at ease with the 'Shadow owns the Archive' situation. Morbius' expression carries the sharpness of an obsidian scalpel and all the territorial 'fuck off' that a vampire can muster toward the Master.

Morbius barely seems to pay Elmo any heed over his snark while he writes down the details reported on the toymaker. His words back to tendered conversation to Lindon while he swishes his thumb over the Archive's knuckles, "Yes, asteri mu, we're at a table. Mrs. O'Riley will make you tea, we will get you food and rest." Still scribbling a mile a minute before he forgets any details.

Old Mrs. O'Riley looks up at Elmo's brisk approach as she pours water over the small tea-ball in a tea cup. "If yer after the cup of Ceylon, the doctor put in the order. It's not ready just yet. Do you need anythin', however?" She sets down the pot of steaming water and turns to the counter, fully facing Elmo now.

Strange has half his attention on the conversation swirling about the table. Choosing to remain standing, he watches passersby walk past through the wall of windows. Of course his brain is flickering at top speed, calculating chances and comparing outcomes, creating and dismissing reactionary and proactive plans on his part — ever the cosmic player, this man.

After another sip of tea, he glances to Lamont. "Cranston. If you wish me to attempt to bring him out of this trance, I can. However, he's proving most useful in divulging information in regards to this…Master." Maximum derisive inflection on the title there. "Does your concern outweigh this boon?"

The glint in Lamont's eyes at that comment about taking the Archive away from the Shadow….no one, short of either the Masters of Shambhala or the Sorcerer Supreme himself, can take anything from the Shadow he doesn't want to give up. For a moment, there's that air of chill darkness around him….and then it's all hastily clamped down into that semblance of calm. All he permits himself is a dry, "The Master has another think coming, if that's what he thinks." Unlike Morbius, he doesn't dare touch Lindon more than he has. They are in public, after all, even if the proprietress is sympathetic. Strange's question, though….his lips thin out at that. It's a hell of a choice to have to make. "Not yet," he says, finally.

"I feel like I'm runningo out of time," Lindon says, unseeing eyes passing over the three men near him. "What do you want to know? The vault is open. I can see it, everything he's done and will do. I can see because I'm on the inside. Outside, he's invisible. There's so much there, so much to tell you. I don't know what to say. Did I tell you about Alexander Cohen?"

"My friend ain't feelin' so hot," Elmo says to the tea lady, as plaintive as he gets. "Could it be ready faster? I dunno how tea works." Lindon's voice catches his attention. "One second." He whips around and goes back to Strange, saying to him urgently, "You can help him? Then you gotta do it. I dunno what a animus is, but it can't be /that/ important."

Morbius is loudly unapologetic. He looks like something vaguely out of Nosferatu, with better hair and a good tailor. If someone wants to try to curb stomp him, they are welcome to donate their blood to the Bank of Morbius. The question Strange poses on Lamont is not contested by the other man, though Morbius' attention does rest on Lamont still. His demeanor generally of support, though if he makes a decision Morbius disagrees with, he'll likely put in a word.

The decision seems to meet his expectations though and Morbius murmurs supportively if not in a more businesslike manner. "He's malnourished but not in immediate physical distress. I'm tracking his heart rate" mmmm heart rate. "and his vision may possibly be returning." Dear god is he…trying to reassure Lamont? Perish the thought. Morbius' pen poised in his other hand, he leaves the questioning to the two experienced sorcerers. There's a fluttering glance in Elmo's direction but no words for him.

"Tea cannae be steeped any faster than the good Lord intends, lad," Mrs. O'Riley replies to the inquiry. "It'll not be much longer." She blinks and squints mildly rheumy eyes after Elmo's retreating figure before turning back to check on the cup in question. Nearly done.

Strange is more than aware of the line being walked here in terms of information verses personal care, but the double-edged sword has always been his mantra of: all knowledge is worth having, a close second to his soul-sworn promise to do no harm. He glances up from observing the scratching of note-taking to Elmo and shakes his head minutely.

"Doctor Morbius's observations coincide with my own. I trust Cranston's opinion as well. If it comes down to it, I will do as I can." He takes another large sip of his tea. Mmm, blackcurrent and cinnamon.

"He's going to be all right," Lamont assures Elmo, as he turns back. No impatience or dismissal from him. "He's not being hurt." Yet, he does not add. This is a risk, but Lindon's as safe as he can be, considering those around him. "Good," he says to Morbius, gently. Then, more quietly, "Thank you."

"No, the champion," Lindon says, holding dialog with his own indecision as he casts about for information, spoiled for choice. "He's in India. The flaming hand of Kamar-Taj. Why can't I see his name? He lives in Jersey, but he's looking for the Master in India." He shakes his head. "He won't find him there. He fights alone." This makes Lindon frown. Like it's a very sad thing, this person he's babbling about must be so lonely. Empathy even when he's being a giant rolodex of trivia. "I imagine he must get tired."

Elmo draws breath to argue with Strange. 'Not being hurt' seems at odds with Lindon slightly dying from the thing in his head. But the presence of so many assured older men, who are so much more powerful than he and at least two of whom are also sleeping with Lindon, makes him just go back to the tea counter, drooping in defeat.

"Always," Morbius murmurs with an offhanded air to Lamont, as if it were the most natural thing in his world while he begins scratching away once again. Even if he doesn't understand the words, he writes. The trouble with him jotting notes is that, well, it's in Greek. So let's hope that Strange has a 'comprehend languages' spell or something. He can transcribe them, of course. "Gentlemen," Morbius murmurs softly. "I suggest if there is any information you need about this Master, his plans, his location, his signs, weaknesses, et cetera, you ask now." A soft urgency in his delicate tones, but Morbius trusts Strange and Lamont to know this business more than he. A curved talon swishes softly back and forth across Lindon's knuckles, his first two fingers stretched firmly to the tranced man's wrist.

"There y'are, lad," and the proprietess hands off the cup of Ceylon to Elmo. "Careful not to spill it on the way back. Don't worry about payin', it's on the doctor's tab." She nods towards the man in Black belstaff and crimson scarf before giving the younger man before the counter a wrinkly smile. "'Tis good for the soul, tea. Enjoy it."

The admission of the fabled Mystical sanctuary makes Strange's focus sudden sharpen. A distracted nod towards Morbius, it's not a bad suggestion, but now he's eyeing Lindon with crystal-bright attention. "Only one man at Kamar-Taj held that nickname, the flaming hand. Vasant. Gods below, it's been…far too long." The scarf shifts about his neck and he places a hand atop one of its hanging lengths as if settling a restless pet. "If he's searching for this Master on another continent, that's of no help."

Throwing back the rest of his tea, he sets the cup on a nearby empty table. His speech is now clipped, crisp with action. "Doctor Morbius, I trust you can keep an eye on Lindon in the meantime. Cranston, come with me. Nice to meet you," he adds in passing to Elmo, giving the young man a nod. Assuming that Lamont follows, both gentlemen exit out the front of the shop. Even as the bell's ringing dies off, the alleyway next door hosts a rapidly-opened Gate upon the Sanctum's Loft that closes off the very second both men have stepped through it.

A last backwards glance at the other two who remain. "Bring him home, Doctor, and wait for me there?" he asks Morbeius. Surely he means his own place - that won't be odd, that tete a tete with Lindon and his lovers? Then he's following Strange out, expression still worried.

"Good-bye," Lindon says vaguely. He doesn't try to get up, but his gaze does track toward the departing two. "They seem worried," he says, as though the dropping of the bombshells surely has nothing to do with that. "I want to write it all down, but my hands are cramped." Because he's been writing it all down all night on whatever he could find, the wall when Lamont wasn't fast enough to put paper before him. "I don't think he can take the Sorcerer Supreme," he confides, "but he's willing to kill a lot of people to get at him. Including all of you."

"Thank you, ma'am," Elmo says meekly, accepting the cup. Someone has a lot of aunties who pulled his ear for being rude when he was younger. But now he has something useful he can do and he brings the tea over. "Lindeleh, look, it's your tea." He eyes Lindon's hands with doubt. "Can you hold it?"

Relieved when someone seems to understand parts of what Lindon is saying, Morbius nods with a slow and distracted air while he gets specifics written down. "Yes," answering Strange simply, and then to Lamont. "I will. I'll get a copy of this to John." He may not be a sorcerer, but he understands how fellows work.

Lindon's distant words draw his attention while he rushes out the last couple notes. Turning back in the taller man's direction, Morbius bows his head over Lindon's shoulder to rest his closed mouth there a moment, brow touching his jaw. Affectionate and chaste. Doting. Hovering, he answers, "Do you forget who you were speaking to? I wrote it all down. And, luckily, we are all like the cockroach, mm? Takes a great deal to kill us, asteri mu." Morbius' attention shifts back to Elmo, the warmth draining from his tone, but no snapping at him at the moment.

Lindon is quiet a moment, scanning the air, though he's squinting as thought he 'words' are getting harder to see. "I can hold it," he says, and he reaches for the teacup. He doesn't drink, though. Not yet. "If he finds me," he whispers, "he's going to force me to comply. He's going to make me do this all the time. He's going to use me up. If everyone else falls you have to hide me." He stares at the table dully, but, hey, he's staring at the table. Which means he sees it.

Elmo locks eyes with Morbius, lip curling. All of this creepy vampire petting and mooning over Lindon is not going over well with him. But Lindon needs help and that's what ultimately wins out over posturing. "I won't let 'im," he promises, despite not knowing the first thing about what's going on. "Don't talk like that. Ain't gonna happen. Drink your tea."

Morbius doesn't even exert the energy to glare at Elmo, nearly staring through the younger man, at least he doesn't escalate matters again. A cool glance away to hide a bloom of humor when Elmo claims /he/ won't let that happen. "For that to happen, the doctor, John, Lamont, Lambert and myself would all have to be dead. This one man won't be your disappearing, Lindon."

Lindon blinks slowly, then groans and winces. He lets go of Morbius' hand so he can cup the mug in both hands. The heat of it helps his cramped hands feel better. He bows his head, and when he lifts it, there's a tentative focus there. He looks around. "I'm in Mrs. Reilly's." He looks to Morbius and smiles, and then broader as he spies Elmo, too. "And my favorite people are with me." He looks around again. No Lamont, though. "Is Lamont all right? Please tell me I didn't do anything rash."

Elmo reassures Lindon, "Yeah, he's okay. Looked tired. He and Doctor Whasisface went off to talk." He eyes Morbius, gauging the likelihood of a fight starting if he touches Lindon. Apparently he thinks the odds are in his favor, because he delicately strokes Lindon's hair away from his face. "How are /you/? You're givin' everyone fits."

Morbius gives Lindon back his hand after one last check of his pulse, then twists slightly in his seat to get a look at Lindon's eyes. Focusing. Following concrete things in front of him again. Pupils responding. It's a clinical if invasive once over from a dead-looking monster before Morbius relaxes slightly. "Yes, you are." Affirmation, he reaches over and closes his notebook he had been writing away in, neatly and protective. "You were the most helpful you could possibly have been." A darting glance at Elmo, sidelong. "Strange. He's Doctor Stephen Strange," with the heavy unspoken inclusion of 'show some respect', though he'd never admit to it. "Yes, Lamont went with Doctor Strange. They seemed to understand the direction on something you said. I am going to take you back home when you're finished with your tea, and we're going to wait for him to return." Elmo doesn't get his wrist broken, but Morbius' eyes begin to take on a glow once again. "Lindon, please introduce me to your friend. There was a lot going on when he rushed in unannounced and started making demands."

Lindon smiles at Elmo when his hair is swept back, and he says, "Gosh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to." His pupils are responsive, though light makes him wince. He's probably got a splitting headache. Morbius gets a fond look, regardless of headaches. Then he sees the glow, and he glances to Elmo, and his brow knits. "Oh, dear. Dr. Michael Morbius, this is Elmo Rosencrantz. He's a dear friend." To Elmo, he explains, "Michael is also quite dear to me." The most awkward of the post-vision conversations to have: the introducing of the paramours.

"Sure, I'm scared half to death for Lindon, so you turn on the eyes at me, and I'm the jerk." Elmo's not quite baring his teeth at Morbius, who has the more impressive set, anyway. His accent makes 'jerk' come out 'joik'. "Another doctor, huh? Place is lousy with doctors."

Turning his attention assessing on Elmo while he's introduced, his immediate reaction to the man's aggression is dead cold. Fixing his eyes on the younger man, Morbius barely blinks as he speaks to Lindon rather than immediately addressing Elmo. "Many people are dear to you, asteri mu," murmuring quietly, though there is a distinct edge in his tone as the vampire sits back in his seat beside the object of affection. "Do I need to have a conversation with this one as well, or is this enough?" Morbius, /quite/ ready to not entertain the idea of having to have that talk with Elmo.

Instead of aggression, it's a placating smile that Elmo gets, without an ounce of kindness in it. "Don't test me, Mister Rosencrantz. You may call me Morbius and not worry yourself with how hard I worked to earn my title." Steel glints through his delicate sounding accent for the next, his territorial nature peering through. "And I will not apologize for being protective of a man with a soft soul and kind nature, who is clearly under attack by nefarious individuals. If you had half a wit to understand what your eyes just saw, you would be more concerned with that and less concerned with your ego. For all our sakes, stop barking at me; my bite is sharper than yours."

"He won't hurt me," Lindon tells Morbius. "He's very sweet." Yes. Elmo's sweet. He just said that, and he didn't giggle. He licks his lips delicately, balancing headache with social situations which aren't his forte, with a desperate need for tea. He sips, and he sighs in vast relief. Yes. This is his road back to sanity, steeped just so. Good old Mrs. O'Reilly. He lays a hand on Morbius' arm. "Peace," he says softly. It's not an order or even request, but or of a benediction. Peace upon you, vicious monster man. "We're all on the same side," he says softly. "Elmo has never seen me like this before." And Lindon looks so shy and embarrassed all of a sudden. "He doesn't know I'm a relic, or didn't."

Elmo snorts. "Half a wit. You can tell me how much you understand watchin' me resolder a circuit board." He looks at Lindon and everything hard and sharp about his expression goes gentle, and he can't resist touching Lindon's wrist, just for a second, before he pulls back behind the clearly drawn battle lines. "I dunno what a relic is. I don't care either. Heard a lot of fancy words tonight and ain't one of 'em as good as your name. We gotta get you home so you can rest." A totally unconscious 'we' there.

Morbius turns to give Lindon a patient look and murmurs a few words of Greek to him before looking back to Elmo. No longer with such sharp suspicion, but it's safe to say he doesn't exactly like the guy. Still, Lindon speaks peace and Morbius seems to secure. A gently pained flutter across his face, Morbius swallows and bows his chin as he turns his head toward the Archive, "I don't believe he knew it until you said it just there, Lindon." A-yeaup. Confirmed. Morbius sighs and looks to Elmo when he says he doesn't care. "Good. And I may not understand you resoldering a circuit board, but if I ran in on you arguing with one, I would know enough to shut up and step back." A wicked looking hand reaches to cup the back of Lindon's skull briefly as he pushes to his feet, then turns to pack up his myriad books and notes from his table into a worn messenger bag. Prepping to move.

Lindon lowers his gaze demurely at Morbius' Greek words. He answers, "Of course, dear." As Morbius starts to collect his things, Lindon drinks his tea more quickly. "Let's go back to the manor." Like it's his idea. "Elmo, I'm sorry. You must think I'm so weird now. I can explain." His features are tense, and he brings a hand fluttering to his pounding head. "I'm sure once you two get to know each other you'll be fast friends." Sure.

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