1965-02-11 - Words Over Pie
Summary: Lamont and Elmo get to know each other a bit better.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
lamont lindon elmo 

It's another fine day in Lindon's favorite diner. They've got a cherry pie he claims is the best in New York. In a pinch, he'll take blueberry, too. In the moment, he's got coffee and the remnants of a sandwich, with only the fries left, and only a few of those at that. Pie time is imminent. Of course Lamont knows where Lindon is. Lindon makes a point of Lamont knowing, and he called Elmo to let him know he'd be at the diner. Just in case Elmo was in the neighborhood.

And Lamont is with him, for once. Sitting across from him in one of the booths. Drinking a malted, of all things. But then, he's fond of them. The Shadow has a sweet tooth, it seems. He's in one of his somber suits, though he affects no black in day to day life. T hat's reserved for his alter ego.

Elmo wasn't, but now he is. Half an hour ago he flipped the OPEN sign on Rosario's Housewares to CLOSED and got on the subway, despite the worry that Morbius will be lurking around, too. Whatever, he can handle Morbius! He kind of can't, but don't tell him that. So when he comes in, he's somewhat alarmed to see Lindon has company in a good suit—but it's Lamont. Whew. Approaching the two men, he offers, "Hey."

Lindon looks up at Elmo, and he smiles. "Elmo," he says, and he scoots over. "Lamont, you know Elmo." Then to Elmo "We were just about to order pie. Want to join us?" He takes a drink of his coffee, then sighs in contentment. Two of his favorite people are here. "Lamont, Elmo asked awhile ago what to do if I have another vision, and I told him to contact you, but I was wondering about your thoughts."

"Hello," says Lamont, gravely. There's always the faintest air of wonder - this is particular companion of Lindon's is the one who feels the youngest to him. Reminds him of that very distant youth. "Please do join us." A nod at Lindon's explanation. "Contact me, of course. But….I don't recommend trying to stop it or force it in any particular direction. It's not like an epileptic seizure," A quick glance at Lindon, "You've never inadvertantly harmed yourself in the course of one, have you?"

Elmo sits down, smiling at Lindon, glad to see him. Can't touch, not in public like this, so this smile and soulful glance will have to do. He nods to Lamont. "Nah, wouldn't try. But I didn't know what to do at /all/ and…it was scary." He folds his arms, tucking his coat around himself.

"I walked into traffic once," Lindon says. "It's best not to let me leave. If I have enough paper and something to write with, I'll stay, I think." He grimaces, and he steals a soulful glance at both of them, laden with apology. "It's so embarrassing to make you two have to deal with it. Knock on wood, it'll be awhile before the next one. The powers that be can't want to talk to me all the time."

"Don't say things like that, they might take it as a dare," Lamont's voice is very dry indeed. "And yes, keep him away from traffic. Indoors, if at all possible. And….always, always, something to write." Still contemplating Elmo, as if sizing him up for a snack.

Elmo mutters, "Paper," and pulls a notepad and pen out of a coat pocket, writing it down. "Okay. Thanks." Glancing up, he realizes Lamont is studying him, and ducks his head, looking away. "Uh… Lamont, are you okay with…with me? With me and Lindon?" His shoulders hunch up and he gets a little red around the ears. "I know we don't know each other so well. Just…" He winces, trying to feel his way around the question. "Is it okay?"

Lindon catches Lamont's predatory look, and his brows lift as if to say 'now, dear.' It's a question he lets Lamont answer, though as he occupies himself with a drink of coffee and pushing away his plate. Saving room for that pie.

He has grace enough to look away, for a moment, politely, before he replies. "I think we should get to know each other better, perhaps," he murmurs. Tone carefully neutral, so it isn't misread as another sort of proposition entirely. "But yes, so far, I am okay with it."

Funny enough, that doesn't seem to reassure Elmo all that much. He flicks Lamont a quick glance, eyes a little wide. "Uh, sure. Whatever you wanna know. I'm kinda bad at …at this stuff, and I don't wanna mess it up." He looks at Lindon again, for reassurance.

Lindon offers Elmo a smile, and he says gently, "You're both intelligent and reasonable people. I'm sure you'll get on just fine. Elmo and I met over books." Big surprise there, Lindon and books. "We have lively debates over contemporary authors, and he's even swayed me on Heinlein." See, Lamont? Lindon brought home someone clever!

It makes him soften, and there's even a hint of humor in his gaze. "I should've expected that," he says, voice still soft. "I don't know about bad. Inexperienced, perhaps."

Elmo can't help grinning when Lindon compliments him. "Only on the non-weird Heinlein." He relaxes, a little, managing to look at Lamont, and study him somewhat in turn. "Yeah. Inexperienced, ain't that the truth. I…I wanna learn, though. I don't wanna hurt anybody."

"You're fine, Elmo," Lindon says, soulful eyes only daring a glance before looking away. The waitress with the goo-goo eyes isn't on shift, but that doesn't mean no one's watching. "Our circumstances are a little odd, and that's my fault, and the timing is challenging because of this… this thing with the bad guy. What you're navigating is pretty tough." He looks to Lamont for confirmation.

"Is there any?" Lamont asks, tone momentarily whimsical. His body language is perfectly proper, even somewhat prim. "And….Lindon is right. Though not that it's his fault." He meets the mutant's gaze, levelly, before asking Lindon in an aside "…..has he been to the house yet?"

"Yeah," Elmo says, although he's not the one being asked. "Morb and I took him there after Lindon was, uh, sick, at the tea shop. Morbius. /Morbius/ and I took him there," he corrects himself. "Morb..ius said he'd be safest there. Then he showed me how to make tea." He leaves out the vicious whisper fight he and the Living Vampire got into, over the whoel event.

Lindon admits, "I only barely remember that, but yes, I think I recall you being there." To Lamont, he says, "It was an emergency, but also there was a followup visit. We had tea in the parlor." He glances to Elmo as he says, "And the tea was just fine. That I remember."

What a strange little constellation of lovers they've fallen into. Lamont lingers over a sip of coffee, but Lindon, at leas, can see amusement starting to gleam in his eyes. "Good. There's a tea that's particularly helpful in the aftermath, an herbal concoction Doctor Strange suggested."

Elmo lofts his eyebrows at Lindon. "It bettera been. I got lectured on how to make it right." And sacrificed a significant amount of pride. To Lamont, he says, "Yeah, that's what he had me make. Tasted real weird." He hesitates a long moment, looking between them, then lets his shoulders drop, slowly, easing out of high alert.

Lindon grins at Elmo then tells a passing waitress that they'll have three pieces of cherry pie. Because now is the time of pie, and apparently everyone is having some. "Doctor Strange is the man whose number I gave you," he tells Elmo once the waitress is gone. "The one who you don't call unless everything goes all pear-shaped."

"Strange is the nuclear option," Lamont agrees, and his tone has gone very grave. "The last court of appeal, at least on earth. He's understanding, so he won't be furious if you misjudge the severity of a problem before contacting him, though. So don't be afraid to."

Elmo takes a deep breath, trying to coax himself out of anxiety. "Okay. I'm gonna call him before I guess, if I gotta. I hate guessin'. Makes mistakes real easy to happen." An electrician would know! "I just wanna help take care of Lindon," he adds, quieter.

Lindon says with a wry twist of his lips, "I just want to be someone who doesn't always need this much care, but I'm glad I have it." He smiles at them both, and he nods to Lamont as he says, "Definitely better safe than sorry. Strange will know what to do. Just don't worry too much if all I'm doing is writing stuff down. Writing stuff down is good. It means I'm focused and not going to do anything else."

"You have abilities of your own, if I recall correctly?" Lamont's voice is slow, careful. This may be something Elmo has no wish to discuss.

Elmo gives Lindon a look that is just dopey with adoration. He catches himself doing it and hurriedly finds something else to look at. Lamont's question is great distraction. "Yeah. I'm a. Uh. A mutant." Holding open his hand, he demonstrates: electricity suddenly leaps to life at his fingertips, sparking and fizzing between them. He extinguishes the sparks before too much notice gets drawn. "I'm on a team and they call me Sparkplug." Embarrassed pride.

Lindon grins as he says, "Sparkplug, I like that." He tells Lamont, "We actually met when I brought my coffee pot from the apartment to his shop. He fixed the electrical bits." The waitress comes with pie for all. "Thank you," Lindon tells her as plates are distributed. Then he takes up the fork he has retained, and he looks at the pie with a sense of boyish wonder. He really likes the pie here. "Which reminds me," he says to Lamont, "if we ever need the wiring looked at, Elmo here's our man."

Lamont says, sudden enough to surprise even himself, "You know, I wish I could do that. I envy you. I know it's a hard age to be one of those so gifted, humanity is so very cruel to those who are different. But…." He trails off.

"JP came up with it," Elmo says, grinning. He then blinks in total surprise at Lamont. "Ya…ya do?" Looking at his hand, then at Lamont. "Wow," he mutters, under his breath. "Yeah. Yeah it's hard. My team though, we're tryin' to do something about that." Pie has appeared and he regards it with some confusion—when and why did that get here? Sometimes he's not that observant.

Lindon beams at Elmo. Pie. He tucks in to his own, eating slowly to make it last. Mmm. "Eat up," he says. To Lamont as well. "Have some pie." Pie fixes all things. "I admit, it would be great to be able to do something like what you can do," he says. "Either of you, really."

"What I do….I had to learn. I had potential, but no ability. And I'm from a very long line of warlocks," he explains, in all apparent earnest. Lamont the Squib.

Elmo repeats, "Wow," genuinely impressed. "Warlocks? That's bad ass." He hitches a shoulder at Lindon, smiling. "I was just born with it. Just some kinda genetic dice roll. I learned how to build stuff, but it's real easy." No big deal. He obeys Lindon and eats the pie.

"I always only had my smarts," Lindon says. "I guess I still have my smarts. Just… other smarts, too. I've discovered I get bored easily these days, especially since being housebound so much, but books help. So does meditation." For a moment, he looks so forlorn. Just… lost. As it hits him just how much deep shit he's in with this bad wizard.

A lift of his hand, and he turns it into a reach for the sugarpourer. No touching Lindon in public. "And your smarts have been plenty, my friend," he adds. A sidelong grin at Elmo. "Not so much when you don't seem to be one yourself. It's rather lonely."

"You're not? I thought you were—you know. A wizard." Elmo tries to say it casually, but it's hard when he's getting amped up about the idea. "All you guys, you got that, right?" When Lindon gets sad, he too acts like he wants to reach for him, and winds up stuffing his hand in his pocket. No touching! "Aw, Lindele," he says, looking at him mournfully.

"It's just a big mess," Lindon says. He looks at his pie, and it cheers him up a little, enough that he eats a bite. There, yes, that's better. "I'm surrounded by powerful men, for which I'm so, so grateful. I just miss self-sufficiency. Relics don't exactly have that."

"I am now, of a kind. But what power I had, I had to find and learn. It didn't come to me with birth or lineage, as it generally does." He takes a bite of pie. "And I did a number of terrible things to get it."

Elmo for a minute cannot figure out what to do with himself, he wants to hold Lindon's hand so bad. Lindon is so sad and he can't take it. So he pulls out a tiny mechanism from a pocket and starts tinkering with it, using a delicate eyeglass screwdriver. "You'll have it again, Lindele." Making promises he has no idea can be kept or not. "We'll get you through this." Assigning himself to the group of men protecting and defending Lindon, without thinking about it. He looks up from the mechanism when Lamont says he's done terrible things, and no doubt about it, he seems impressed, his eyes going wider.

Lindon favors Elmo with an achingly sweet smile. "I'll keep the faith," he says. "And I'll not feel sorry for myself. I have wonderful company, and here I am out in the world." With a glance to Lamont, he says gently, "All's forgiven, though." Like it's up to Lindon to decide who is and isn't forgiven for terrible things they've done.

Apparently it is. His smile is oddly uncertain, for a beat or two. "Thank you," is all Lamont says.

Elmo says wryly, "It's okay, you can feel sorry for yourself." Looking between Lindon and Lamont, though, he doesn't say anything, seeming to realize that's not something he can weigh in on.

Lindon tells Elmo, "I might a little bit, but John put it into perspective for me. It's one life weighed against the world. I can suck it up and take it for a little while." He watches Lamont go to take care of something, and there's fondness in his eyes, undimmed as he glances then to Elmo. "He's a friend of mine, I don't think you've met him."

Elmo makes a face. "Maybe, but that don't mean you gotta be happy, bein' miserable." An impossibly delicate gear gets shifted around in whatever weird little mechanism he's playing with. "John, John who?"

"John Constantine," Lindon says. He doesn't hesitate to give up the man's identity. He's got business cards that say Necromancer on them, for Heaven's sake. "And you're not wrong, but I shouldn't lose sight of the bigger picture, either."

Elmo tips his head. "I met him, yeah. When Jim knocked you out. Has sense, that guy." He drops the screwdriver and rubs his eyes. "God, I hope Jim and his family are gonna be okay. I hope you're gonna be okay. This whole thing, craziness."

"Oh, that's right," Lindon says. Still, he can be forgiven for not remembering the details around times he's been drugged, magically or otherwise. "Isn't it madness?" he asks in a low tone. "Mystics and magic, bending reality, none of it's logical at all. I'm in it and I don't even understand it. What's guys like us supposed to do?"

Elmo flashes half a smile up at Lindon, peeking over the rim of his hand. "Didn't expect you to remember. It was a helluva night." He picks up the screwdriver again. "I dunno," he says quietly. "I dunno what to think. I dunno /how/ to think about it. Weirdest stuff I ever seen in my life. And I can't do anything about it, like Morbius keeps reminding me." Even quieter, he adds, "All I can do is try to protect you."

"Nobody can do anything about it," Lindon says gently. "Except try to protect me, and themselves because if anything happened to you, I'd be heartbroken. The way I figure, yes, I'm laying low for awhile, but there's really nothing else to do except live, you know? I'm not having a vision, so no need to worry about that, not in the moment, and the moment's all we have. Let wizardly types work out what to do with the baddy. If there's nothing we can do, we might as well have pie."

Elmo shakes his head. "Nothin's gonna happen to me, don't worry." He slows down, thinking about what he just said. "Okay, to be fair, I ain't exactly involved in the safest stuff ever. But my team, we got a guy who can fix you up. He's the one who helped Bethy. And he—he helped JP when he got hurt." He doesn't go into how JP got hurt. "So I'll be okay."

Lindon sighs softly. "I'm not going to pretend I don't worry," he says, "but I also know that people need to do what they're called to do." He smiles a little as he adds, "Besides, it's kind of cool having a dangerous vigilante for a boyfriend. Just. Be careful."

Elmo laughs low, under his breath, giving Lindon a rakish, adoring look. "It's kinda cool bein' that, I'm not gonna lie." He turns the screwdriver a fraction and the little mechanism whirs. Satisfied with it, or maybe just able to cope with the level of emotion now, he tucks it and the tool away in one of his many pockets. "I'm always thinkin' about you. About what you'd say if I got hurt. So I'm careful."

"Good," Lindon says, "I'll have to cultivate a disapproving look for you to carry in your heart when you're about to do something ill-advised." He strokes his chin, then says, "Hmm, maybe just mildly disappointed. I don't think I could muster up full disapproval. Not when what you're doing is so cool."

Elmo laughs again, quietly, really far too engaged to be platonic. He leans forward, gazing at Lindon. "You're adorable. Seriously, don't worry too much. You got enough to worry about, without me. I got the team. We're good together."

Lindon grins and ducks his head. "I'll worry," he says, "but not too much. I believe in your competence, and you've got someone there who can patch you up." He stops paying attention to even the pie until the waitress comes by and asks if they want more coffee. Lindon snaps out of it and says yes, please. Then he ducks his head in his usual awkward way. "Anyway, I think you're pretty cool."

Elmo gets awkward too, embarrassed but pleased. "Nah," he says, automatically denying it. "Kai's cool. JP's cool. I'm just a dork tryin' to do what I think is right. But. Thanks."

"Not at all," Lindon says, low-toned and emphatic. "Your friends are cool because you're cool. I mean look at the little thing you made just talking to me here. I think that's pretty cool. A man who's good with his hands is definitely cool."

Elmo's flushing, forced to sit here and listen to Lindon tell him such things. "Ah, Lindele, yer killin' me here." He's grinning down at the tabletop, trying not to be too obvious about getting flattered.

Lindon grins, and he says, "I don't know, you look pretty lively." Did Lamont leave pie behind? Why yes, he did. Lindon claims his plate, casual-like. Unguarded pie is Lindon pie. "I keep hoping if I hang around enough cool people some of it will rub off on me."

Elmo replies to that with a long look. A long, undeniably flirtatous look. This talk of rubbing off on him! "Hey, you want to head outta here? Maybe go to your place?"

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