1965-03-25 - Sweet, Sweet Honey
Summary: Lindon, Lambert, and Lamont are graced with Strange and Wanda's presence at Saganaki.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
wanda strange lambert lamont lindon 

The back courtyard is open, because the main restaurant is full of people, and finally Lambert has had to get help. Which means Sam is no longer being a waiter at all - he is an apprentice chef now, and Lambert can swan around providing food to the clientelle out the back. Both Kai - the elf - and Marcy - the harried single mother - are servers and waitstaff, and there is a position being advertised in the window for 'kitchen aide'. Though the small print stresses flexibility in approach.

There is a roaring fire going outside and half a roast lamb on a spit is above it, with bubbling fat over a fire composed of pine branches and thyme leaves. Redolent with herbal aromas, wine is warming in cups there, and there are blankets for on people's knees if they desire. Most of the smaller tables have been pushed together to make social seating.

One day, the elf just put on an apron, picked up a note pad, and that was that.

Lindon sits near a heater in his coat. He seems comfortable enough, though, with a cup of wine and roasted lamb to dine upon. His nod to socializing is sitting at the pushed-together tables. At the very end, where people probably won't join.

And there's Lamont, sitting at Lindon's side, as if to shield him from any such unwanted socialization. He's also dining on lamb and wine, dressed in one of his dark overcoats. Enjoying things, by the smile on his face. Looking more comfortable than he usually does in public.

It appears that the dinner brought home to the Sanctum so very long ago, carefully crafted with the finest ingredients and genuine culinary interest, inspires tonight's visit.

Perhaps Lamont might sense the first rifflings of amusement, projected with no more intensity than the reaching tendrils of heat from the fire-pit itself. Maybe even Lindon might catch the sensation of a pointed gaze landing unerringly upon them, as if their attempt to remain hidden is all for naught.

"Gentlemen." The baritone carries at easy conversational level, not nearly loud enough to disrupt other occupied tables. The tall Sorcerer wears a black Belstaff and a Witch on his arm with envious ease, the smile a familiar and endearingly crooked thing. "I didn't expect to see familiar faces, but here you are." Strange stops short of their table out of manners. "Care if we join you?"

Kitchen aide. A sign noted by the golden-skinned woman cleaving a serpentine path through the East Village, the dregs of her usual haunts and still kilometers better than her typical digs. «Perhaps good for Pietro?» Tibetan is a language little heard even in its native alpine plateau thanks to Chinese army decrees, and certainly far less in New York. «Maybe not. They would have no supply left.» It may shock anyone vaguely familiar with the witch to hear her stringing more than four words together with her typical laconic bluntness. Maybe Strange got her tipsy beforehand.

Maybe a hungry presence chases after her in grey-charcoal shadows, hopeful for a meal when her aura carries a negative charge, just the sort of beacon to call all carnivorous ships to port. Her deep burgundy coat is worn open out of daring for the cool weather mingled with the copper-bright flames, aspects serving only to burnish her complexion and render Wanda deeply alien, high cheekbones and amethyst-stained eyes drinking in the firelight wrongly. That red-hot element belongs to the sorcerer she accompanies, or at least it should.

Lambert, for all of his fine senses, is a hedonist and mostly concerned with how people react to the gastronomic pleasures he can provide. He is currently serving Lindon and Lamont, topping up their wine. Off in the corner is a woman talking to a shade, in a low voice, but both have wine, and no one is bothering _them_. Out here, Lambert still has his chef's cap on, his curly pelt carefully tucked back within for hygene purposes. Now he lifts his head and brightens at the Sorceror and his companion, touching his chest lightly and giving a half bow. He is sprightly on his feet, despite his rotound frame.

Lambert says brightly "Out here it is a set menu tonight - roast greek lamb, a few salads of sea greens, pasture greens…wait." He clicks his broad fingers and says to Strange "Tsai Tou VouNou? Greek Mountain Tea? You do not eat, eh?"

"Thank you," Lindon says to Lambert with a smile. He's happy to hide behind Lamont. "It's so nice to get out," he says as he looks around the courtyard. That's when he spies Strange and Wanda. He glances up at Strange almost guiltily under that piercing gaze. No terrible truths tumble out of his mouth though. Yet.

It's the woman at Strange's side that gobsmacks him. He gets a dopey smile as he says, "H-hello, Wanda." Then, "Strange."

There's a pleasant smile at that, and Lamont rises to offer his hand to Strange and Wanda. He seems glad to see them….and Lindon's reaction only makes his grin broaden. "Strange, Madame. A pleasure to see you both. You've chosen a good evening to join us."

"I would agree. Spring is trying, at least," he replies to Lamont as he shakes the offered hand, but includes a lingering glance at Lindon, at if weighing the off-chance that the leonine interest will cause him to blurt out something fascinating and enlightening. But he relents, knowing that it's far more effective over tea in the Sanctum. He then glances over at the head chef of Saganaki and his smile grows the slightest.

"You have a good memory, sir — tea, yes, in lieu of food. I will appreciate the smells instead." A free chair is gathered or pulled from the table itself and he gestures at it, intending to seat Wanda and then take his place beside her. "If we could have an order of your baklava, please, Chef Lambert. I'm told it's delicious." He grins, poking fun at his own shortcoming of being unable to appreciate said pastry.

The presence of others to varying degrees of familiarity eventually penetrates through the fragrant firelight. Old memories bestirred by crackling logs and handfuls of herbs on the blaze briefly lure Wanda's conscious thoughts elsewhere, though recognizing when she snaps back into the present frame takes a surreptitious rearrangement. Strange allows for excellent cover, his social aplomb requiring her to step back out of range of sight, almost shying behind the man and an unseen, overly voluminous cloak. The veiled weight of her gaze tears away from the bonfire — family pyromaniacal tendencies are what they are — to each diner in turn, anointing them with the barely blunted weight of regard. Her chin dips in a nod, no terrible truths found there, either.

She can speak English, albeit beyond the mellifluous intercourse of Slavic dominance over the yielding Romantic savoir faire lends itself to a silken, memorable experience. "Good evening." Fingertips carry their heat, borrowed from the summer so far away, somehow. "Wanda. I do not take that title in public." Remonstration that may not be so much as a veiled allusion, the gravitas too much for someone so young.

No terrible truths yet? But just look at the way Lambert is topping up Lindon's wine with a broad wink. Lamont's too. He offers them a little plate of barely cooked beef rolls, still pink, around some chopped cooked rice and dried fruit. A movement to the corner, for the woman there and whatever small patch of darkness she is entertaining. And then he is back, and he coughs "I remember that. I remember that you do not eat my food." He struggles with it, he truly does. What on earth can be _wrong_ with Strange? What CURSE does he suffer from? But then he says "Of course. Coming right up, and a cup of tea - madam, tea or something more robust?" Lambert asks Wanda. His accent is all wrong. Somewhere between Ancient Greek and Texan. Terrible.

Then he just looks a little puzzled "Title? Oh. Strange Madam?" Riiight. Never mind. He grins, and sharp predatory teeth show all through hi mouth, and he is soon bouncing back inside to collect the Baklava.

"This is the woman I mentioned who enjoys honey," Lindon tells Lambert. He fidgets with his cup of wine and, once it catches up wtih him what he's said, in front of Wanda, he takes a hearty drink, swallowing it down. "I think I need more," he tells Lamont. Because what Lindon really needs is to get inebriated.

He recovers, though, or tries to. Leaning an elbow on the table, he says to Wanda, "So how are, uh, things?" He looks to Lamont. Lamont, make him stop talking oh god please, says those big brown eyes.

Not a chance. Lamont is a sadist, and while that may usually involve Lindon, cuffs, and the teak headboard of his bed….tonight it involves watching Lindon flounder all over his crush like a seal in a slush pool. There's only a polite arch of his brows. And you're doing so well, dear.

Strange gets a look, conspiratorial. Aren't they cute? "Wanda it is," he agrees, with an inclination of his head.

Having comfortably seated both himself and his fiancee, Strange takes a moment to shuck off the Belstaff so it hangs between himself and the back of his chair. Beneath, a fitted dress shirt in a luscious shade of red, where the light playing off it brings out the shadow of a glass of merlot and then, even as he breathes, the highlight of sunshine on a rose petal. In his pocket, a folded crimson kerchief: the Cloak, of course, in guise.

"Wanda it will always be." — in essence, he's the third to conceptually echo her name in his calm baritone and thus, through the mysticism of three itself, lay claim upon the name itself. His grin fades softer but then sets, a familiar expression on his face. His bright eyes linger on Lamont and surely the fauxpprentice has seen that prideful and pleased glint before. "«Oh, and surely if Pietro worked here, they would have an empty larder before they could finish reprimanding him…?»" This is Tibetan, murmured towards Wanda herself. He leaves her to conversational norms briefly, glancing back towards the main dining room in hopes of tea arriving soon. His is a quietly-grumbling tummy.

She might be one to practice the adage about a cupful of honey attracting more attention than vinegar. Then again, Wanda possibly curls up with a mug of apple cider vinegar to engage that nettled terseness rarely tempered by levity, let alone a smile. They stand more of a chance seeing Strange perform a spontaneous vaudeville act on a table tonight than making her curl the corner of her mouth. Whatever Strange sees in her is either very much skin-deep or locked up by a distinct lack of easygoing charm and social skills. Acquiring such things on the opposite side of the Iron Curtain seems to be breathtakingly rare; add the incipient wrongness charged at some profoundly deep level through her, rubbing faintly against mystic senses, and a dark impression travels after her even when all but settled into a seat with an odd grace — formal, stately even.

"I need more honey. The jars are licked clean." Lindon knows about such things, perchance, she will engage on that matter while sharpening the flechettes behind those unreadable eyes. "Where is a good place to roll in the flowers?" Because he would know. Surely. Gliding into Tibetan is easy enough. «He could replace it in quick time. But the offense…»

"Oh!" says Lambert, brightly to Lindon "I will get out the special reserve." With honey? Out from the kitchen entrance he comes again, this time with a small beechwood box, sealed with a little red wax "Yes, yes, more, Linny. I have a full bodied red. It will go well with a fire-roast like this. Character is as important in food as it is in friends, eh!" He beams, with no idea that anything may be amiss. Generally genial though he might be, Lambert has almost no comprehension of the feeling - or purpose - of embarassment. He is all Ego in the Freudian sense, at least the bits that are not pure Id. That toothy smile of his remains proof.

"I beg your pardon, I can't speak that language," Lambert says brightly, though by now _Lindon_ probably can. Come to think of it, he might himself be the only one who cannot here. Soon enough the special tea is set down in front of Strange. Sideritis - Shepherd's Tea. Aromatic, pleasant, a strong immune system aid, a healing plant for grevious wounds, and like most of the things Lambert concocts, designed to reduce concern and care. The honey and a small spoon are set down near Wanda, and Lambert says "That depends on the flowers. But there is a place in central park where they have planted creeping thyme."

Lindon smiles at Wanda, so lost due to Lamont throwing him to the proverbial wolves, but also rather sweetly. He's such a mild thing, is Lindon. "Lambert has his own hives," he says, gesturing to the hives on the roof. As for where to roll in the flowers, his brow furrows. "In New York?" He then rattles off the names of a few places — including that thyme patch in Central Park — with flower beds in order of chances of getting caught and the species of flowers involved most likely to attract bees. He smiles, then. He helped.

This is adorable, and Lamont is all but beaming like a proud parent. Look at his little one coming out of his shell, his Lindon making an effort. He puts a hand on the Archive's shoulder, tenderly, for just a moment, before taking a sip of his wine.

Strange indulges in sipping his tea and his seated posture relaxes the slightest, the formality of the Sorcerous mantle shifted off to one side in the presence of friends. After all, this is not business — this is good food and company.

"Forgive us, old habits die hard," he says firstly to Lambert. "We were wondering if someone was suited for the position you have open, the aide, but it's nothing to worry about." His bright eyes flicker to Wanda and there's a dimple. Uh oh. "More honey? Your wish is my command. We can discuss specifics when we return home."

Ought she apologize? The cue goes right over her head or Wanda is a sinner unrepentent, red-shifted into a fencer's taut poise. Rather than epees or foils, she has a very short words at her disposal. And now, a spoon, delivered by the cheery proprietor who in his airy, hopeful nature embodies everything she is not. Other than a hedonist gourmand, her nostrils flaring delicately to identify the golden concoction bestowed upon her with a murmured, "Thank you." Puzzlement shows at description of creeping and thyme, a flick of her violet-stained eyes in Strange's direction to affirm or deny a hidden suspicion. Inwards delves the metal bowl-curve upon the sundrop sea, a languid oscillation chasing shadows and dreams of spindrift petals about. Extraction brings a dewdrop splattering back onto the puddled honey, and she presses the tip to her mouth. Furtive flicker of the pink rose of her tongue traces the curve of the spoon as elegantly as any feline ever samples the cream, leaving a dollop besmirching her sodden lips.

Mute savouring requires the fullness of her attention, a blossoming on the palate arresting any further commentary as the viscous beads slide back along the tongue and her throat with a casual swallow. The hit strikes her bloodstream hard, glassy eyes going unfocused, pupils widened to a belladonna mirror reflecting aged copper and worn gold. Oblivious perchance to company, another quick swipe banishes the sticky slickness off the firm surface as far as she can reach without completely inundating herself with the task of consuming the treat whole. Manners, taught by a pagan witch to the elder evil's daughter, strike minor chords to the conventional requirements of modern society. Oh dear.

"It is not easy to find someone who is reliable, but who is not going to get upset if they see something odd," Lambert says, a little wistfully "The ones who are relaxed, they are often…they have other jobs. Or they get sent to hell? Or something something save the city. And it is very bad business to have a superhero working in your place - it will get attacked, there will be kidnappings. It is just not good for insurance, you understand. I have a business to run! But those who are not…warlocks, or monsters, and so on, they get very silly about the people out _here_." He shakes his head. THE YOUTH OF TODAY. Lambert looks about twenty four. He beams at Lindon, and reaches out a broad hand to squeeze the shoulder of the living library. Then he says to Lamont, talking business "Are you in terrible trouble this week?" Right in front of the boss. Before he can continue, he is busy staring outright at Wanda. Just file that one away for later.

Lindon smiles up at Lambert, and at Lamont who's supporting him in this whole 'socializing' endeavor. He looks so happy to see Wanda with the honey one might think it was a favor just for him. Then he really looks at Wanda with the honey. Pink creeps into his cheeks, and he swallows hard, then drops his gaze to toy with his wine cup, mumbling, "I'm sure you'll find someone, Bertie. It would be a great job for anyone."

"For once, no," Lamont returns sweetly, beaming at the satyrkin. "You?" As if this were a standard exchange, with these two. Perhaps it is. And he can't help grinning like a very old wolf who's sat down to dine with a pair of little lambs. Wanda may be doing him a favor.

"Who now? Cranston? In trouble? …hardly," opines the Sorcerer to all present, spacing out the individual thoughts with just enough lackadaisical regard to build a subtle tension. "Why…? Is there something I should know?"

This is aimed at Lamont himself, accompanied by the laser-like focus known to make the Archive squirm in the high-backed guest chair in the living room of the Sanctum. Is he aware of the enjoyment of the honey?

Undoubtably. A double-edged sword, being soul-bound. Her enjoyment is his, in a way, reflected in more minor albeit unavoidable ways. Strange looks as the cat in the cream in a facet of his own making.

Spool the spoon in a languid corkscrew and she buries the plumbob of the spoon to the shaft. A swift withdrawal favours her with a greater mouthful than she had prior, committed fully to the partaking the bounty of the apiaries on a sun-washed hillside watered by myths and Mediterranean daydreams. Her own Balkan home on the other side of Mount Olympus recalls perhaps some of those underlying signatures elusive even to her sharply refined palate, quick flickers eroding the abundant molten sundrop-spill. Nectar is made to be sampled and savoured, unashamed. Should someone seek any explanation, look to Strange for it. She busies herself with that all-consuming task, nose wrinkled, a serviceable upnod in petite inclination given to all and sundry. Yes. That's all they need to know. Yes.

Yes, he's in trouble. Yes, it's a great job. Yes, the youth of today are corrupt - ask the one who is. Yes, Strange should know. The soulbond is pragmatically arranged on deciphering floral strains with an uncanny ability, almost on par with genetic profiling or scanning for chemical imbalances particular to one region's wine over another. Fine, he's got a high kitten dealing with honey over there, a drunken hummingbird who also happens to be venomous.

"Eh, restaurant jobs are hard," Lambert says, quite truthfully "The hours are long, and the chef is always mad." He wipes his hands, and ducks out to collect the plates from Lindon and Lamont and bring them in for Sam to work on. When he returns, he says "I am thinking of getting one of those fancy dish washers so Sam can do more of the prep work. Elmo can help with it. I don't understand technology like that. And I may need to get a gas oven instead of wood fired." Such suspicion is in his voice - he does not trust that whole thing. Lamont speaks, and Lambert says to him "My father is threatening to visit," in dolorous tones "Without my mother. If she were coming, she could get a leash on him…but she has a cruise." And then he grins as Strange reacts, and he says eagerly "Oh, you know him. Always _something_ going on, yes? That's the magical world. The rest of us have tax. You get Audited." A sideways glance at Wanda, because satyrkin has no shame. Not all the flowers from this honey grow on mortal soil. Lambert says vaguely "I still need to talk to Kai about the Queen Bee I want from his people's country. Asgard can be cold, right? So the bees should do well over wintering for the spring nectar flow…" Ramble.

Lindon nods to Lambert when he comes to collect the plates. "It'll work out though," he says, "statistically speaking." He rubs at the bridge of his nose where one would push up glasses if one wore them. He lets his hand fall to the table, and he glances around furtive. All to avoid being pinpointed by Strange's gaze. He squirms, drums his fingers, glances away, looks to Lamont, then down. Finally, he says, "We watched Voyage To the Bottom Of the Sea instead of practicing mantras. I knew we shouldn't have done it, but we did."

Lamont turns an accusing look on Lindon, wounded. "It was just the once," he hastens to add. Since it's apparently confession hour. Better that than watching Strange's wife enjoy herself - Lindon's crush has apparently rubbed off a little on Monty himself. Then Strange gets a level look. See what you did there?

"Mmm," and Strange allows the silence to string on a little before speaking again, curling a little smile. "Worse things have happened." And indeed, in the grand scheme of things, they have. He returns Lamont's level look. Of course I know what I did there. Cue the glazing of smug throughout his mien.

A breathy sigh betrays the truth of the moment. See, sins confessed, all's right in the world. "Pi," Wanda says, possibly implying a honey-cream pie or honey tarts would be an excellent addition to the dessert menu. Or their table. Approval for Pietro working. Whichever meaning applies is inhibited somewhat by that immediate sideways tilt to smoosh her cheek against the fine raspberry-dark dress shirt, absent the unrelenting charm of the Belstaff. What CURSE does he suffer from? Witch hangers-on. Ones holding their spoon to summon up birds like a faerie princess, otherwise drowsy and completely senseless from the cultivated sugar hit. Cheek nuzzles at Strange's collar, go.

Strange goes home.

Wanda goes home.

Lambert pauses, realising something else is going on here. He examines Lindon curiously, and then eyes Strange, before he says "Huh!" Then he says brightly to Lindon "Now…now say something that I shouldn't have done!" Whatever that means. Lambert, at least, does not have a crush. He just has a robust enjoyment of seeing people have fun that frankly veers into places that it should not. And he does not care one little snippet about this, either. Lambert pours himself a big wooden bowl of wine, which is how it is served here. He watches Strange and Wanda head off, and he sighs a little "Tchhhhh," Lambert says to Lamont and Lindon "What do you think my chances are?"

Lindon blinks slowly, then looks at Lamont with an apologetic wince. "It was just the once," he agrees. He can't help it. Strange has The Eyes! He sweeps his hand through his hair and glances to Lambert. "I wouldn't know where to begin witn you," he says with warmth in his voice and a smile softening his features. Then he glances int he direction the pair went. "With her? It would take me too long to name the zeroes after the decimal point."

"What he said. They are bound in a way that makes most marriages look like children playing on the playground," Lamont's voice is soft, but there is that warmth there. And now it's just the three of them. "Lambert, when you are done tonight, shall we?" Going to be one of those nights, it seems.

"That's a precise example of life being terribly unfair," mourns Lambert "I'm sure I could be just as imposing as he can be - if she digs that. Do you think she digs that? It's so hard to tell. Man. I wonder if…they weren't bound, if I'd have a chance." And then as Lamont speaks, Lambert brightens, grinning "Sure! I hope you're Lindon's ride home so he has to crash over too, man!" Oh, so the gote can learn the lingo.

Lindon looks between the both of them and says, "I packed our toothbrushes and a shaving kit." Because, well, he did. He gives Lamont's hand a squeeze. It's safe here. Safe, even, to squeeze Lambert's hand next. "Life isn't so bad though, is it? If she weren't bound, I don't think my heart could take it."

"I know mine couldn't," Lamont says, ruefully. "Though truth be told, it'd be Strange I'd be gazing at longingly."

"Why choose?" says Lambert, who is, as he always is. Still he pats the others on the shoulder "I need to go and pack up the kitchen," says the satyrkin "Let's relax. I will bring up the guitar. Tonight, music and singing."

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