1965-01-15 - Bloody Pawprints
Summary: Lamont comes home after a rough night on the job.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
lamont strange lindon 

He's been out, has the Shadow. By the way he armed and garbed himself, his alter ego was in control. He may not be organized as he was in the old days, but he can still strike fear into the hearts of criminals in New York's darker alleys.

But powers and costume aside, he's mortal. He bleeds. And he's bleeding now, as he stumbles in the back gate, to the glass doors that lead out onto the rear terrace. Bleeding heavily enough that he fumbles the door handle. His return is annouced by the clatter and thud of a body falling against the French doors at the rear of the house. Not immensely loud, but enough to make all the feline ears in he house perk, and one of them goes dashing back to see what made the sounds.

Lindon watches the ears perk, and he sets his book aside, getting to his feet. Puck trots ahead, and the others follow, and in their wake, Lindon. "Is that you, darling?" He comes toward the back gate, and he picks up his pace when he sees the state Lamont is in. "Oh no," he murmurs. As he closes the distance, he racks his mind for every first aid procedure he can grasp onto in a pinch.

He's sprawled on the terrace, a pool of black, a formless shadow, one gloved hand outstretched. Not yet unconscious, though - he shoves himself upright enough to roll onto his side, revealing that pale face. "Lin," he says, in a whisper. The other hand, pressed to his abdomen - blood is dark on black cloth, but bright enough to gleam in the light from the house.

Of course that fountain of knowledge has plenty of help to offer. Like an internal chorus, commenting on blood loss and shock, already suggesting procedures. There's a good first aid kit in the kitchen, of course.

"I'll be right there, love," he says as he goes first into the kitchen for the first aid kit. Then he's on his knees beside Lamont, looking for the source of the bleeding, unconcerned about his own clothing getting stained with blood. "What happened?" he says, his voice trembling. "Who did this?"

The cats are all peeking out, curiously, but not daring to step beyond into the winter night. Monty's managed to creep within, sprawling on the polished wood of what would be the ballroom, if he ever entertained. "I got shot," he says, and there's a hint of humor. "I was stopping the assault of a young woman….and some thug came around the corner while I was frightening off her assailants. He had a .38 in his hand, got me good." There's a wound in his side…most likely just a flesh wound. It doesn't seem to have hit anything vital.

"I should call the hospital," Lindon says as he tears away the fabric from Lamont's shirt, exposing the wound. "As soon as you stop bleeding, oh God." His hands work on autopilot patching Lamont up. The knowledge passes through him in a flood of thoughts. "You're lucky," he says. "It doesn't seem to have hit anything you need to live." Eventually, he gets the bleeding under control. "You need a surgeon, though."

His skin is startlingly pale, against the black silk and the scarlet of blood. "No hospital, no doctors," he says, lying back. "I can't explain this. Call Strange, if you can." Lin's staunching the flow of blood….the slug seems to've passed cleanly through. An entrance wound, a slightly larger exit one, but he's not torn open.

Lindon purses his lips, then says, "Hold this to your side as hard you can." Gentle, but firm. "I'm going to call Dr. Strange and pray he's home." There's a phone just over there in the kitchen. "Yell if you need me," he adds, and he gets up to make the call.

Lindon….well, he's got the knowledge of ages at his fingertips. And hands quick and steady enough to stabilize a gunshot Shadow.

For that's what Strange finds when he arrives. Lamont's on the glossy wooden expanse of the ballroom's floor, lying just within the French doors that lead out onto the rear terrace - one long hand keeping pressure on bandages. He's in full drag, as it were, silk black and scarlet stained darker yet by spots of blood. Conscious, though, if pale and gasping. The wound seems to be in his side.

Lindon is in the kitchen, still on the phone, though he's hanging up by the time the Sorcerer Supreme arrives. There was a time when the sparks from the Gate would make Lindon flip out, and these days, he merely hurries up to Strange and says, "He's this way." He's pale and drawn, and there's blood on his shirt sleeves and the knees of his trousers.

The singularly-odd landline does ring at this singularly-odd hour. The good Doctor is used to random calls, yes, but they generally herald his attention around socially-accepted dinner time or just before he's slipping to grateful sleep. Gods below, the latter is the pits. He answers the phone after sipping at a mug of Chai with liberal swirls of honey and a dollop of cream.

"Stephen Strange speaking. Ah, Lindon —" The Archive is blunt and for good reason: gunshot wound. "Keep him stable, I'll be there shortly." Equally terse in return, the rattle of the hand-piece to the receiver is a sharp clack.

The Gate upon the Shadow's property blazes into being, bright against the blackness of the evening, and out lopes the Sorcerer, clad in his Master blues. No cup of tea in hand as he strides into the slanted and lengthened light streaming out of the mansion, harkening to Lindon and his lead.

"Son of a bitch," Strange growls as he kneels down beside Lamont, immediately running what he can see through his medical knowledge. Far too pale — that's blood loss, so the chance of hypotension is high. He grabs up the Shadow's free hand, heedless of blood, to test for a pulse. Narrow, thready, not good. "Here, Cranston, let me see," he murmurs, carefully moving aside the collection of soaked bandages. He frowns and clicks his tongue. "Clean through, thank gods. Right, this'll take more than a simple healing spell. Lindon." Bright eyes already flooding towards that Mystical amaranthine find the Archive. "Take his other hand, he'll need a stabilizing presence. Cranston. Look at me and listen. This healing spell runs the risk of flooding your body with too much power. You're already borderline in shock. Do you trust me?"

Lindon nods to Strange and settles on the other side of Lamont, clasping both hands around his one. "I'm right here, dear," he says with a fluttery smile, trying to be brave for him. Never mind Lamont's blood on his hands. The kittens circle, only Puck brave enough to get close enough to sniff at blood. The other two crouch away from the action, giving the Doctor a wide berth to do his magic.

That question gets a funny look from Lamont. Now, now, they have questions of trust? After all they've been through? He goggles at Strange for a moment like an interrupted frog. Then, belated and curt, "Yes, doctor, I trust you." He's pulled off his gloves - his hand is pale as it curls around Lindon's, weakly. He gives his beloved a grateful look. It's strange to see that poised body limp on his own house's floor.

"Good, because this might be uncomfortable…and cold," the good Doctor adds with nonchalance that leads to a faint curl of a smile. Assuming a kneeling position in totality, one likely familiar to anyone tutored in the Eastern Mystical Arts, he then places one scarred palm overtop the entrance wound and the other on the round of Lamont's shoulder, meat of his hand settling nearly into the pocket of the man's clavicle — perhaps to stabilize and prevent bucking?

A deep breath and the air resonates around the Sorcerer as his eyes slip away beneath closed lids. His aura leaps up an energetic level, frissons of new-Spring chill dancing through the immediate vicinity, and then comes the spell. A few degrees cooler than lukewarm, nowhere near the natural body temperature of a human being, it infiltrates the puckered opening like a flush of saline solution and then continues onwards and further into the body. Strange's dark brows knit slightly as he seems to slip into a trance, face composed and distant. To anyone with the Sight, this spell is high-sky blue, starlight and life incarnate intertwined to rush healing to torn tissue. It dances along vessels, willing them shut; it zips along nerve endings, engendering sparks of vivid sensation where dead endings regain feeling; it finds the Shadow's heart and offers up a stable cadence even as bone marrow is harried for new components of blood. The question of trust felt necessary…given that while the intent is to fix, there's always the risk of overcharging another practitioner's body with too much energy. Tachycardia would be only the beginning.

Lindon shoos Puck away, or tries to. His little 'sst!' sounds only make the kitten come closer, though he's content to watch from over Lindon's leg for the moment. Good enough. Lindon continues to hold Lamont's hand, and it shows trust on his part as well that he merely watches what the doctor does without weighing in with his (nontrivial) expertise. He's spent the past several minutes researching bullet wounds. He now knows quite a bit. But! It does not say Doctor or Sorcerer on his business card. So he watches, mouth shut and eyes attentive.

Tachycardia, indeed. Lamont's limp, for a moment, with an odd listening poise. And then magic hits him like a syringe full of adrenaline stabbed right into the aorta.

His spine arches like a drawn bow, the grip on Lindon's hand gone from 'limp' to convulsive. A whoop of indrawn air as his eyes go wide and blank. What in the Gods's names?

Strange's power is on a very different level than the Shadow's, and the overcharge….they're treated to the spectacle, if it can be called such, of that dark energy seeming to well up out of him, like blood spilling out of a wound. There's the scent, or the impression of it, of the darkness of earth, burning myrrh……and the sensation of light fleeing, the old, unused ballroom filling up with looming shadows like a silent, summoned army. All of it leaning close to attend.

"«Balance…balance is the key…»" The murmur in Tibetan is barely loud enough to be heard, almost akin to talking in one's sleep. Those dark brows knit tighter still and there's a sense of the tide of the healing spell turning. His eyes remain shut, crow's feet present at their corners.

As if adjusting a faucet, the flow lessens and narrows, its aspects becoming particular to the extreme. No longer a full-body stream, it merely slips through Lamont's circulatory system with the delicacy of a bird on a branch. Mystical resonance between practitioners is a difficult thing to pinpoint, much less find in an active case of risk, but he's almost…almost there…so close…

A small sharper inhale from Strange means that he just might have found that perfect point of equilibrium, where 'just enough' means that the healing can continue without jolting his fauxpprentice about further. His hair and loose lengths of tunic begin to slowly writhe, as if underwater, and he's a counterpoint in brilliant celestine to the darkened room around them.

Lindon murmurs, "Not getting shot is pretty key, too." His Tibetan isn't terrible. He forces himself to breathe steadily, swallowing down his own nervousness. "You're going to be all right, sweetheart," he murmurs to Lamont. "You're in the best hands there are." He flits a smile at Strange briefly, then his gaze goes back to Lamont's face. Those big, expressive eyes are wrought with worry, but he forces a smile to his lips. "You're going to be just fine."

A little overwhelmed, confused….but even in the bewilderment of effectively being swamped in magic for a moment, his own knows Lindon. He recognizes his lover's voice, and for a moment, there's a little smile on his face. The shadows - they seems to lap and fawn around Lindon, like pets seeking attention. A response to the bond, and Strange's magic amplifying his own.

The wound knits, and that pained tension eases out of that lean body. Lamont's left lying, chest heaving as if he'd just run a race, but whole, still sprawled limp. His magic ebbs a little, but there're still shadows twining over them, even daring to run up a little on Strange himself, in contrast to that shining glow.

So very in-tune with the Shadow's own life-force in this moment, Strange can tell the very second that the spell has completed its work. A marked inhale and exhale is akin to a mental stretch and Mystical recall; the water-cool magic heats to body-warmth before seeming to evaporate like frost in the morning sun after the Sorcerer ceases its existence. No longer tapping into his reserves of willpower, one can see him settle back more loosely upon his booted heels, though he never loses that straight-spined carriage. Another round of breathing and his eyes slowly open. Looking mildly dazed for a second, Strange blinks markedly before nodding to himself.

"Yes, very good." His hands retreat, covered in the rust of dried blood — at least for a second. A scouring spell eats away the ichor in a quick wash of sparkling ivory and then he glances left and right, irises still glowing with frosted-violet hues. "Git." The short command is aimed at the shadows inking their way into his personal space. "Cranston? How do you feel?"

Lindon casts a glance this way and that, but to his mortal sight, there is nothing but the normal shadows of an ill-lit room. "Is there anything you need me to do, doctor?" Doctor, not sorcerer or sir or yo Steve. "Does he need to rest. I'll keep him in bed. He won't go anywhere." He looks to Lamont, checking him over with a sweep of his gaze. "How do you feel, darling?"

He tests it, stretching himself in each limb, one at a time, like a cat. Then relaxing back, eyes heavy-lidded, face drawn. "Much better, thank you. Nothing hurts," he says, looking from one to the other. The magic subsides, and the room is only a room again, somewhat dusty despite the housekeeper's efforts. The stain of blood on the wood will be cleaned up before she returns.

"Wonderful. Crisis averted." Strange allows himself a crooked smile of amusement and no small part pride. "If I have any suggestions, it's a good night's sleep and a few meals with a focus on replenishing your iron levels. A bone broth tea will aid specifically as such, if you're inclined to drink rather than eat."

With a quiet grunt, he rises to his feet and blows a sigh. "Gods below, Cranston, I'd say that you owe me a story, but no matter. Another time." Puck, having behaved himself, receives a rather fond little smirk from the Sorcerer. Good kitty. "For now, rest, both of you." Doctor's orders and all that. With that and a small nod to the Archive and the Shadow, the Sorcerer Supreme is attentive enough to step far beyond the boundaries of the terrace before opening the Gate back to the Sanctum. It collapses after he passes through it with a final snapping sparkle of gold and pufts out of existence.

Lindon lets out a long sigh once the good doctor has declared Lamont patched up and has taken his leave. "This is exactly the sort of thing I worry about when you go out," he frets. He sweeps back a lock of Lamont's hair and gazes down at him, his heart in his eyes. "Don't scare me like that."

There is neither bluster nor bravado in Lamont's response. Only a kind of tremulous gentleness. He knows what he risked….and how he might've left Lindon. "I'm sorry," he says, gently, gazing up at him. "I'll be more careful." An uwonted thing for him to day. The bond has changed him, clearly.

Strange goes home.

Lindon slips an arm under Lamont's shoulders, and he says, "Let's get you in a bath, and then into something comfortable. While you're soaking, I'll make you some broth and a roast beef sandwich if you're up for it." Puck looms over Lamont, looking down with a quizzical expression. Why is human on floor? Why is he bleeding?

Because human is kind of stupid, when you get right down to it. Lamont's still drawn and pale, more due now to emotional shock than physical. "We'll need to burn those clothes," he says, a little absentmindedly, as he leans on Lindon. "But for the nonce we can hide them downstairs."

Lindon says, "I think that's it for this shirt." His own sleeves are stained with blood, alas. Onto the fire with it. "I'll get some plastic bags," he offers. "Let's get you in the bath first of all." He leads Lamont toward the bathroom with the biggest, most luxurious tubs. Because baths fix everything. "You just let me take care of everything." Puck follows after, tracking a few bloody pawprints on the ballroom floor.

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