1965-06-02 - No Rest for the Weary
Summary: Peggy briefly entertains the Sorcerer Supreme over tea when he comes to suss out her feelings on Billy's newly-revealed powers.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange peggy 

A weekend. Most people get the day off, but most people aren't the Director of SHIELD. Peggy gives herself very few days off. Right now, she's at her desk, papers spread across it as she looks from one stack to another, occasionally making notes on them with a red pen. Tea is sipped from as she sits there, enjoying the (relative) quiet on the weekend.

No doubt the man took the day of the week into account. The idea of arriving in a mundane fashion appealed, to an extent, simply for the counter-balance of later display in Mystical eccentricity. While he's never actually set foot in the Director's office, a simple and momentary meshing with his fiancee's memories is enough to give him a rough idea of where in reality the space must be.

The relative silence of the office and the general space of room around and outside of it allows the first odd sound to be of note. Almost like crackling wood, something that makes little sense unless an electrical outlet has suddenly failed. No scent of wood smoke, but that is…absolutely the sudden appearance of flint-sparks in empty air. The flickering takes on a swirling aspect, its path traveling outwards in horizontal centrifugal manner, and the closed office door is blocked off by the sudden oculus. Beyond, another space entirely, dark wood and glinting glass and the influx of incense. From within steps a face likely familiar enough, groomed goatee and silver temples, though last she saw him, he wasn't wearing the master-Blues of his mantle.

"Director Carter," Strange says quietly by way of greeting, palms held up and outwards with both pointer fingers extended — one-half warning at further action and one-half placation. It's not a normal arrival, not in the least.

Her hand has already grabbed her pistol from below the desk at that first odd sound. It's pointed to him as he enters, though once she sees who it is, she simply places it on the desktop. "Doctor." she says, sounding slightly amused. "I do have a telephone, you know."

His faint smile is cool even as he watches the dark hollow of the pistol swing away from him.

"I do as well," he replies as he looks back at the Gate rimmed in its sparking lightning. A gesture made slow, as not to startle further, dismisses the portal and it collapses back on itself. The office door is untouched, the air around it empty and returned to its previous state. "I hazarded that I wouldn't be interrupting any critically important by simply stopping by, especially on a weekend." He cocks his head and listens, hearing no obvious sounds of work beyond the office walls. Glancing back to her, the good Doctor tries another expression, one of polite interest. "If you have a moment, I wish to speak with you about a recent promotion you granted." His arms are lightly folded and the scarred hands hide away.

"Billy, no doubt." She indicates the chair on the other side of her desk, offering it over. "Tea?" she asks, extending that offer as well.

"Got it in one," Strange agrees with a curt nod. He presumes to take up a seat in one of the chairs set up across from the Director, available no doubt for guests to her office. "And yes, I would appreciate some tea. If you have some honey to stir in, all the better. If not, I don't fault you. It's an uncommon practice in America."

He then considers her across the gap of space and shined wood, spattered by documents as it is. "I presume you know of our relation, given he has a streak of honesty a mile wide when it comes to those he trusts." His tone, while nonchalant, has a certain crispness that implies a disgruntled acceptance of the trait.

Peggy stands, and moves to her tea service there. She pours a cup, and moves to set it on the desk near him…and the honey as well, before she takes a seat. "He has mentioned the issue, yes." Her tone is neutral; she's not assuming anything about the conversation.

Dark brows rise. He leans forward to take the cup of tea and testingly sips at it. Yes, it'll need honey.

"I've never heard the fact that he's my son been called an 'issue' before," he says dryly. A dollop of honey disappears into the steaming brew and the soft clinking of a spoon takes over ambiance for a brief period of time. Tink-tink, he knocks drops into the cup, and then sets aside the utensil. "Though I'm sure, to an extent, it may become one from time to time. I won't beat about the brush further, Director Carter." He leans back into the chair after taking another mouthful of tea. "I'm here to ascertain precisely what you intend to do with Billy now that you're aware of his abilities." Clear blue eyes rest upon her now, sharp and almost glinting.

Peggy looks back. "Ultimately, what I'm going to "do" with Billy is SHIELD business, Doctor. That said, I'm sure we're both aware that I have no way to compel your son to use his abilities. He became an agent of his own free will. I intend to treat him as such. As for the…deeper nature of his abilities, that is a very slippery slope that I do not intend to explore."

"Hmm." It's a sound of contemplation, almost rueful by lilt. Strange sips at his tea again, continuing to hold the Director's gaze. His lids narrow and he inhales, only to let it out in a slow sigh.

"I appreciate what candor you can offer me as Director of SHIELD, Miss Carter," he finally says. "Also wise that there's little interest in the aforementioned nature of his abilities. The ramifications of their abuse, well…" The shrug is almost blithe. Almost. "These I must deal with. I would rather not do so. I have enough on my plate as is. No rest for the weary, as the saying goes," and the tea cup is lifted in a little honest salute.

He then changes tact smoothly to something far less brittle by conversational nature. "From what I can gather, Billy does enjoy his work here at SHIELD. I appreciate you offering him the opportunity to expand his role in life. I feel that his time here will grant him…exceedingly singular lessons in the world as a whole."

Peggy shakes her head. "Those abilities are far too…disturbing in scope. I'm not an overly religious woman, but the entire thing was a bit too "went to a high mountain and was shown all the kingdoms of the Earth." She meets the salute with one from her own cup. "He's worked very hard. I admit, when he first sought to apply, I intentionally made the road hard. I was worried that someone as young as him, with his abilities, would lack the perseverence. The role of a SHIELD agent is not glamorous, and it is hard work. But he stuck to it, and excelled in his performance. He earned his promotion."

"He does dig in his heels when he wants to do something, doesn't he?" The good Doctor laughs quietly if not in fond exasperation. "I'd claim that he gets it from his father, but that seems self-serving." The man sobers up soon enough and shifts his jaw back and forth in quick bruxation. It highlights his cheekbones all the more.

"I'm glad to hear that he's earned it according to your estimation. Hopefully, in the process, he's gained more of an understanding of what limits he should hold upon himself. I assure you, he's very aware of the potential ramifications of abusing it. I informed him long ago of the consequences and how much I'd hate to have to step in." He looks up from his reflection in the dark tea. "I know that you have possibly the least glamorous position of all here in SHIELD, Director. It is not fun and games, the art of espionage. The risk ever outweighs the chance at success, in my view." He sighs and gives her another weighing look. "How much do you recall of me, Director?"

"Bits and pieces. Largely gained through things that Billy has let slip. He trusts me, and that means he's not as careful as he would otherwise be when he talks to me." And to her credit, she hasn't abused that yet. "And of course, our prior dealings."

The Sorcerer flashes a grin and chuckles behind clenched teeth. Damn — the memory is ironclad as ever.

"Oh, Billy…" He says the name in obvious exasperation and clicks his tongue sharply. "Still…I wondered if you had remembered…well and good." He speaks crisply again. "Bear in mind that I am generally available for assistance, should you need someone more experienced in the metaphysical to consult. You're welcome to call or send word via my son; he knows how to contact me beyond the usual mundane methods. Or if you'd rather have my card again?" He half-disappears behind the demi-tasse for another huge mouthful of tea. Mmm.

Peggy looks amused, and pulls out a business card of her own. "The one with my direct number." she offers. "You and I are parallels in some fashion. We're both the final arbiter of various things; espionage for me, magic for you. We should be able to contact each other in case things cross over into the other's area."

Reaching across the desk, he takes the offered card into scarred and faintly trembling fingers. A once-over and the new number is memorized; regardless, the card is slipped into the interior pocket of his undershirt, beneath the storm-blue tunic.

"I appreciate it, Director, and I agree entirely." In a surprisingly smooth sleight-of-hand, he holds up his closed fist facing outwards. A roll of thumb down and across fingerpads suddenly slides his personal card into view, out of thin air. The paper is cream-hued, textured almost as parchment, and glinting faintly as if dusted with mica. On it, in an inked black script, his name including doctorate title as well as a phone number. "We each have our own chess games to run," he almost purrs, holding out the card for her to take in turn.

Peggy smiles at the sleight of hand, and takes the offered card. It's just placed on the desk right now. It'll go into her Rolodex later, but not while she's mid-meeting. "We do indeed. Thank you for stopping by, Doctor."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License