1965-03-29 - The Fruits of Wild Magic
Summary: Dr. Strange comes over to check on Lindon, who has come down with an unfortunate case of being a satyr.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
elmo lamont strange lindon 

Another day, and a surprisingly quiet one too. Nothing jarring has traveled down the many leylines that Strange keeps a pulse-point upon. No winged beings have smeared the recently-cleaned windows of the Sanctum. He's even managed not to burn his tongue on his tea.

So…why is there this distinct suspicion that…well, something's up? It takes some meditating, but he finally locates it. A source of magic, flickering to his Mystical attention for its fascinating foreign nature. He's felt it before, eminating via curious tendrils at an abandoned island-locked asylum. It's…

It's led him to the Cranston manor. He's on the door step now, having Gated there in his Master-blues, and sporting a frown, he knocks. And then waits. Politely.

A curtain on the third floor is pulled aside for a brief peek, then released. Moments later, a distant sound echoes on the stairs. Clop. Clop. Slow steps, but steady. Clop. Until the front door is opened and a familiar (though slightly deeper) voice says, "Come in."

He stands seven feet tall, with horns curling from his brow like a ram's. His eyes have the squarish pupil of a horse, and his ears flick and perk forward, horselike as well. He's all lean muscle, bare-chested, down to a pair of modified shorts that cover the unmentionables. They don't cover the dark brown, shiny coat of his horse's legs, with their black stockings and large hooves. A horse's tail swishes behind him.

He's not just a satyr, he's one of the old ones, the ones on ancient urns from the early days of antiquity. They were horsier, but still had horns.

|ROLL| Strange +rolls 1d20 for: 5

The man with the silvered temples hears the odd hollow sound of approach and takes a step back on the stoop, his head slightly tilted, as if he can't entirely process what he's hearing. The door opens and…

The Sorcerer's jaw falls open to showcase bottom teeth briefly and yes, he stares. A blink and then he's walking into the foyer, looking the Archive up and down, from plated hooves to those ears that appear to even be able to move independently now.

"Lindon. What in the seven hel — is this Cranston's doing?" He doesn't sound entirely amused by this possibility.

Lindon exhales sharply, almost an animalesque snort, and he lowers his gaze, long-fingered hands held before him, clasped, as he is completely abashed. "No, I met Lambert's father. He gave me this as a 'gift.' It should wear off in about a week." He sighs, doleful. This is his life, Strange. This is him, now.

Kittens come around to see what's going on. They gather around him, undeterred by his change in form. It's like some lord of the forest meets a pet store. He reaches down to lift up Athena, who purrs as he holds her. "Can I make you some tea?" he asks. Just act normal…

"Er…tea, yes," Strange replies, taking another few steps into the mansion and being careful not to accidentally bump into kittens. "Yes, tea. And Lambert's father…? Lambert the — " One can almost see the conclusion reach him and his dark brows flick up, gaze averted briefly to one side. "…that makes unfortunate sense. A gift…?"

Lindon is privy to the Look. Yep. You know the one. Searching. Patient. Expectant. Sharp.

"As his son's paramour, I suppose I was entitled to one?" Lindon says to Strange, a little pained. Not that he seems to be in any pain. It's all just rather embarrassing, clip-clopping around in shorts because they're the only thing tha fits. He sets Athena down, then goes about setting up the tea kettle and pot.

He tries to avoid the Look, but he keeps glancing back, which means he catches it, and there's no avoiding it. Once the kettle is on, he sighs softly and says, "Lamont had nothing to do with it, he's just really happy about it because—" His cheeks turn pink and he clomps a hoof idly, looking away. "He's interested in old, wild magic."

And that's when LAmont comes home. They can feel the wards respond, like dogs perking up at their master's steps. They've apparently ratted Strange out to him, because he comes to where they are, dressed in one of those gray suits he reserves for boring days of attending to mundane business.

And the Shadow likely walks in on them both when Strange says, "Cranston has nothing to do with this…?" Cue the roll of eyes over to land on Lamont himself, their glint akin to light dancing along the edge of a scalpel.

"Speak of the man himself." The Sorcerer in his storm-blues gestures towards Lindon then, one brow quirked inquisitively, though he doesn't pull his attention from Lamont. "Are you aware that this is Wild Magic, apprentice?" Oh yes, there's the Look again, this time aimed at the man in the suit.

Lindon turns when Lamont comes in. Clop. "Alex is in his room. I thought it would be okay to come downstairs when I heard the door," he says. One ear flicks back and forth. Once I saw who it was through the window." Like a child worried about being in trouble for taking a cookie before dinner.

He starts to say something to Strange's question, always wanting to be the one to impart knowledge (he is a living library after all), but he stops himself. The question is for Lamont.

Monty's expression is utterly bland, as he meets Strange's gaze. It is out of the deep respect for his Master that he does not reply with the more formal version of "Well, duh," Instead, he inclines his head a fraction. "I am," he says, voice mild. "I'm glad to see you are here. I'd meant to consult you on it, see if it is as Lambert's father says." There is a distinct lack of said Wild Magic in his own aura. Someone has the willpower to have kept his hands off the goods….for now.

Strange gives his apprentice a searching span of attention, marking that blandness as mask for something else entirely, but this is not the time to nit-pick. That's later — probably during a lesson when it's far more appropriate.

"How serendipitous that I should be here," he finally replies, his lips not quite forming a smile. "I've been told it was a gift. What is your take on things?" He's still speaking to Lamont, but a glance over at Lindon invites further input as necessary. Not another Look, but a flash of one instead.

Lindon moves carefully, but with more grace than he usually exhibits. It's a preternatural grace, this new body oddly streamlined for movement. He pours the kettle into the pot, then turns to take mugs down from the cupboard. No trouble reaching top shelves, though that's rarely a problem anyway. It seems an odd restraint, this creature made for debauchery and the hunt to be so prim and proper as he sets a few biscuits on a plate for Lamont and neatly sidesteps a kitten.

"I doubt there will be any lasting damage," he tells Strange. "He said about a week, and he doesn't seem interested in lying. There was no use scolding him; he doesn't see the world like we do."

There's a helpless gesture from Lamont, in agreement with Lindon's comment. "Do you see differently?" he asks, and there's no sense of Lamont clamping down on amusement. Whatever the titillation of having his very own satyr….Lin is Lin. "It….doesn't seem to have been done maliciously, but….there are complications I don't see?" A plea for Strange to render his judgement.

Strange leans against a nearby chair, arms now folded as is his wont during various degrees of serious discussion. He glances down as Puck swans by, intent on ignoring him, and snorts at the feline disdain. Figures.

"Charms have their benefits and yes, their temporary nature can be a boon as much as an irritation. Though, allow me…" A languid blink and the brilliance of the Sight enters his irises, their color blooming into the hue of frost-kissed lilac, silver blended into amaranthine. The crawl of his scrutiny is unhurried, nearly tactile in a way that Lindon might feel beneath the hair covering his odd legs and then along his torso, until those eerie eyes finally find his face once more.

"No, I don't see anything that I would classify as a terminal complication. I see potential distractions to studies," and he glances over at Lamont in a mentorly manner that's ultimately fairly mild on the scale of things — merely one of those "excuses won't fly" reminders unspoken. "But yes, it'll wear off sooner than later. It doesn't read as something permanent. It doesn't have any anchors as such."

Lindon smiles at Puck. His baby. They're all his babies, but Puck is a special kitten. Of course none of them can do wrong, and when Lindon gets out the milk to put in a little pitcher for the tea, a chorus of mews has him pouring some into a saucer to put on the floor.

When Strange draws on his magic, Lindon lifts his head, nostrils flaring as he scents the air. There is an animal instinct at work, something old and deep. It's like he can smell the magic, but his brow furrows at its lack of familiarity. Still, it's not a huge leap to figure it out with a glimpse at Strange. So that's what magic smells like.

He relaxes and goes back to assembling the tea service upon a tray while there is much lapping and smacking sounds from the area around the saucer, three little felines crouching with their tails laid out behind them. "I'm laying low anyway, doing my work from home. It won't interrupt much if I just relax here for the duration," he says. "My only worry is we have a house guest we're protecting, and I don't want him to see me like this. There's a whole wing of the manor where he never goes, though."

That diagnosis from the Doctor makes Lamont relax, not bothering to conceal it from either. His breath leaves him in a puff of air, a relieved sigh, and he passes his hand over his scalp. "Good," he tells Strange, bluntly. "You've put my mind much more at ease, thank you," He concedes that look with another of those inclinations of his head, before giving Lindon a smile. Look, the doc says you'll be okay.

Only then does he take a seat of his own at the table. Watching Lindon, but it's not the leer one might expect. Just a kind of pleasure. "He's been very….polite," he settles on, finally.

"Far be it from me to be nosy, but this guest…?" The Sorcerer glances between the two men, his interest having dimmed back down to polite levels rather than the intense scrutiny of earlier. The light of the Sight has dimmed as well, to something more like the silver lining about a cloud rather than one lit from within by crackling energy. "He's unaware of the Arts? Or your circumstances, Lindon?"

Lindon brings the tea service to the table. Clop, clop, clop. He sets it down and pours for them both, doctoring it to each of their tastes. He's observant like that. "He's someone Hargrove wants to kill, to steal his power. Since the manor is well-warded, we've got Elmo watching his shop while he stays here, just until the threat has passed."

In lieu of a chair, he places some cushions on the floor and crouches, tail swishing around his hooves. There's no way that chair would hold him as he is. He's tall enough he's still more or less level with those sitting, though.

"He's aware of magic, and I'm sure he'd understand, but just in case, I'd rather not startle him." One ear swivels, and he lowers his gaze as he says, "He calls me Beanpole to begin with, and tells me I'm too tall. I don't know what he'd say to this."

"Thank you, my dear," Lamont says, as Lindon brings over the tea. Strange first, of course. He nods to Lin's explanation, leaves it at that, for now.

Taking up his mug, Strange salutes his host with a controlled lift of the steaming brew.

"Ah yes, I remember — Alex, the name sounded familiar. I'm minded of the tale of Beauty and the Beast, with an entire wing devoted to a cloven-hooved if not well-intentioned creature." He smiles to himself before hiding the moonbow's curve behind the mug of tea. "I wonder what he'd have to say in terms of my own height," comes the murmur.

"He doesn't mean anything by it," Lindon says. "It's just kvetching. It's his culture." There's a fondness in his tone as he says it. Of course, Lindon gets attached. He takes his own tea last, and only has one of the biscuits after nudging one to Lamont first. "He might say you're too tall, too. I have a feeling he'd work the facial hair angle, though. He spends most of his time in his room, making toys with the parts Elmo brings him."

With a glance at his own hooves, he gives Strange a rueful smile. "It's a nice wing, though," he says. "And I have a room where my Beauty brings me all the books I could ask for."

He blushes at that, does Lamont. It's an odd expression, for him. But the look he gives Lindon is tender. "It's odd," he says, with a grin. "I was used to being the tall one, in a given gathering. But with the pair of you around, that hardly applies, does it?"

Strange diverts from giving Lindon a mildly-insulted glower, surely by proxy of insinuated slights against that carefully-tended goatee, and he breaks to glance over at Lamont. The blush? Oh yes, that's noted. Cue the foxy smirk on his part.

"Is this your kvetching, Cranston? You're hardly short." The smile doesn't fade. "No one ever complains about my height." Oh, that ego.

Lindon's eyes widen in mild dismay. He never said there was anything wrong with that fine goatee! Ears swivel back and forth, then perk forward. "It's just his way," he says. "Mr. Cohen, I mean. I imagine he's going through something devastating right now, and it helps him cope."

Kittens begin to wander in from their date with the saucer, licking their whiskers. They gravitate toward Lindon, the spoiler, the soft touch. They're not afraid of his changes. If anything, they seem to enjoy contact with the ancient ways. Cats.

"I don't make a habit of kvetching," Lamont says, with a flicker of his usual humor in his eyes. "Not generally. If it's bad enough I'm complaining, I'm usually in the middle of a fight."

Strange laughs quietly. "That's true enough," he replies to the Shadow, finally seating himself. He sighs after he settles in and looks to Lindon. "You see, what I'm hearing from my apprentice is that I don't twist the screws hard enough. Is that what you're hearing? Please, confirm or deny this for me."

What a wicked twinkle in his eyes now.

Lindon bites his lower lip, and his teeth are just a little bit pointier than usual. He glances at Lamont guiltily before he looks to Strange. "I don't know that he's saying that," he says, hem-hawing. "Just that, er, I mean he's up to the task! I don't doubt that, and he enjoys a challenge." And he's not really talking Strange out of turning those screws.

There's that pointed little smile from him. "I think you twistthe screws quite hard enough, Master," And that silky edge is in his voice. Perhaps remembering the one time he frustrated STrange enough to make his teacher take a time out. "I just make a habit of not complaining, that's all."

The lofted brows, directed towards the satyr-shifted Archive, descend to normalcy even as Strange's dimly-lit eyes slide towards his apprentice and land squarely on his face.

"If you're not complaining, I must be doing something wrong. Hmm. Duly noted. I'll have to twist them the harder." The shadowy curvature of his smile dimples as he adds delicately, "After all, diamonds don't come easily."

"Please don't twist too hard," Lindon frets. He's ceded dominance to the Sorcerer Surpeme, and it's a meek request, but his protectiveness over Lamont has skyrocketed, and where he would usually not say a word, well. Words have come. "It's just that sometimes I worry he pushes himself too hard, and even though I'm sure he can take it, I don't want him to come home broken."

That's apparently staggered Lamont, just a little, by the way he puts his teacup down. Startled out of his reserve. "No, my dear," he says, gently. "It won't be the doctor who breaks me. And I've…..tried to give up the things that might keep me from being here, for you." To wit, the old dark avenging habit, as it were.

The Sorcerer Supreme points towards the Shadow and adds,

"Precisely as he said. It isn't my job to break anyone. It is, however, my job to maintain the honorable lineage of Masterful teaching in light of my time at Kamar-Taj and discomfort is a part of learning as well as life. Were there a lack of such a thing, one would never grow."

His bright eyes flick towards the front door and he squints the slightest. "…I wonder if you have yet another visitor…?"

Lindon's ears swivel toward the door, and he rises from his cushions, kittens tumbling off of him. "Who could it be?" he asks. He peeks out a window, one that's usually taller than his reach, then he clipclops to the door "Elmo," he says as he opens it. "Come in, come in." He sound rather excited. His tail swishes.

Then he backs away and lowers his gaze, because, well. He's still rather embarrassed about being seven feet tall, dressed only in modified shorts, with a horse's hooves, legs, and flanks, a horse's tail and ears, and those big, deep equine eyes. The way he carries himself, there's a feral edge to it. "It's only for about a week," he says. Then, "There's tea in the other room."

Elmo stares because he really can't help it. His wide eyes take in all the details, going up and down. Lindon's *enormous*. Also, now a monster. "Oy gevalt, my boyfriend's a horse." He was forewarned, but it didn't help that much.

"He'll understand," Lamont assures Strange, softly, as Lin goes to tend to the door. "I'm sure he will." There's a faintly guilty look, though. AS if he'd neglected something.

Strange eyes his apprentice for another second or two and decides that this is a conversation to be extended at another time. After all, someone with rather irresistable golden eyes just kythed a query and it's rather difficult to ignore. He clears his throat and throws back at least half of the tea in one sitting, proof of free time spent in med school at least learning how to slam shots.

"Let me know if he seems to become lost in the charm," he murmurs to Lamont as he rises to his feet. "Wild magic is a capricious line of the Arts. For now, I must leave." Duty calls, after all. With a final nod to the Shadow, he walks out of the kitchen and past Lindon and the newly-arrived Elmo in the process. "Thank you for tea, Lindon, it was delightful as always. Good luck. Mister Rosencrantz," and Elmo gets a knowing little grin in passing, full of subtle intent. A lazy encircling of his fingers before him and the Gate opens upon the Loft. "Good day, gentlemen." The Sorcerer Supreme steps through, the oculus falls, and they're left to their devices.

Lost in the charm? Maybe a little. Even a submissive wild animal is still wild. Large horns curl from his brow like a ram's, despite the horse motif. "It's just for a week," he tells Elmo again. Then he reaches for his hand to draw him to the table. "You've met Dr. Stephen Strange," he says. "Good-bye, Doctor. It was good to see you again." He puts forth one hoof and bows low in deference. Then he clops over to Lamont. "As long as you're safe," he fusses.

Strange goes home.

"Sure. A week." Elmo hasn't stopped staring, and jumps a little when Lindon takes his hand. Because Lindon's hand is now huge. But he hangs on and lets himself be towed along. "Doc," he says, as Strange goes by. He does a double-take. Did Strange really just. Give him. That look. "This is the weirdest day," he mutters.

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