1965-06-27 - Untrustworthy Store
Summary: It really isn't.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange wanda 



While the consulting gigs don't amount anything close to a six-figure salary at year's end, they're more than enough to pad the Sorcerer's wallet. Groceries are a thing of relative ease, as are the various bills that pass their way into the Sanctum. Thank goodness for the patience to put up with speaking to bleary-eyed, bored, and beleaguered med students on topics far simpler than stitching back together a spinal cord; it means that he can finally visit the Tailor on the Green.

With the Witch on his arm, he decides a short walk is something to indulge in. A Gate to a nearby alley closes with a fitz-crackle and they join the relatively busy sidewalk shoals of shoppers along this drag of the city. He's in a black blazer overtop a plain white t-shirt and cream-colored slacks, most mundane all in all. "I used to go to the main proprietor — the business owner, for my tuxedos when I invited to those dinners. Remember the last one?" Yes, the last one where she was subjected to the scrutiny of "old friends"…as friendly as sharks and weasels, the lot of them, always out for the scent of spilt blood on the social ladder. "This is one of his smaller shops, run by one of his associates. If we've got good timing, they've just brought in their summer picks. I need to replace a few dress-shirts. The last succumbed to acid from one of the soul-eaters of the thirteenth dimension." He sighs and rolls his eyes as he walks. Tentacles. Oy.

A six-figure salary may be limited to banking executives and dictators in banana republics. Such wealth does not belong to a witch from an impoverished country most Europeans cannot place on a map, let alone Americans across the sea. Thus the foray into any shopping excursion stands out as strange, alien, and dangerous. Take the Thirteenth Dimension — far less dangerous to a girl than being forced to mince around baggy dresses without a shape, swing blouses without a shape, baggy pants without a shape. Groceries at least come in familiar colours and textures. They do not involve stepford smiles and blind stares, or the mannequins that look like the shopgirls.

No, the witch does not come loaded for bear, but for ghosts, shapeshifters, and classical demon options. Her pockets contain salt, iron, and a plethora of other rare materials that just might include depleted uranium in a glass sphere. Nothing to see here, nothing to be worried about. Her footsteps are softened to the point of silence, a knife all but ready to be pulled at the earliest opportunity on seams oozing ectoplasm or a collar with eyes on its eyes on its eyes. No need to support tat.

"Tuxedoes. You need a tuxedo?" Her English is accented as ever, lilting, glistening in the Transian chord that runs roughshod over boring Americanisms - - flat tone, never.

"No, I have three tuxedoes. I need dress-shirts, with the buttons down the center and at the cuffs," Strange reminds her as they approach the shop. Its spotless windows are full of the mannequins with their painted features and impossible poses. The fashion of the time is strewn about them, in bright colors and matte alike; ball-joint shoulders and knees are revealed, impossible swoops of torso on display, and…the patterns. It's enough bring even the silver-haired man to a brief pause in step, his mouth hanging open slightly. Recovering quickly enough, he comments, "I'm not sure if they'll have what I'm looking for anymore, but it's worth a look-through. My account might even still be active, you never know."

The shop-bell rings and a fairly well-built gentleman approaches. He wears the dour get-up and expression of a security guard and looks them both over once. "Welcome to the Tailor on the Green. Do you have an account here?"

"I should still, yes. Stephen Strange," the Sorcerer replies, giving the man a bland smile. It's so abjectly annoying to be challenged on such simple matters as shirt shopping. "My fiancee," he's sure to add after the security guard gives Wanda a cursory second-over.

"But these dress shirts are in the tuxedo?" No, she just doesn't understand fashion terms, not at a level anyone else should. Wretched confusion lies that way in syntax and descriptions, the differentiation of one shirt from the other meaningless for someone who generally just conjures up clothes or steals them. Pietro is the dab hand, she is not. Her gaze narrows at the storefront, her hand tightening upon Strange's arm, as though she fully expects something horrible and garish to leap out of the shadows. Or the light. Or everywhere, for it's 1965 and everything garish and ghastly exists in their world. No one should ever support palm trees in rows devised by Satan to hurt the eyes, orange bitter and bright on an acid yellow background.

"Your account. Here." She inclines her head. "Are there spiders provoked by this?"

This in earshot of the Tailor on the green, the man no doubt wondering why Stephen brings in a Russian agent. An idiot agent at that. Quick, call McCarthy. "Something black. Only black."

The security guard gives Wanda a more scrutinous look now, after hearing the spider comment. Clearing his throat in the relative quiet of the store is almost as a gunshot and Strange gains the guard's attention again. His smile is still present but contains a nice glint of coolness now. Antifreeze is just as sweet, in the end.

"My account, please," he asks crisply. The man nods wordlessly and turns away, dismissing them with a sense of finality. Strange sighs and considers the woman on his arm. "It's not nice to tease the mundane," he says in sotto-voce amusement even as he begins to walk deeper into the open layout of the store. The walls are white-washed, all the better to accent and contrast the various articles of fashion on display. The tall Doctor pauses as the security guard approaches them once more.

"Your account is still active, sir. If you need assistance, ask the receptionist at the front desk or any of the associates on site." Nods are exchanged. Once the guard is out of earshot, Strange turns his attention to his fiancee. The aloof social facade drops into the more fond familiarity he shares with so few and his is a charming little smile. "Black, you said? How austere." He leads the way to the men's half of the store and reaches out to test the feel and weight of a dress-shirt in black…semi-transparent silk. "…a bit sheer, don't you think?"

Scrutiny receives a bland reflection of a look. Dull wine-red coat, black dress over black leggings, she fits the Henry Ford model of dressing. Any colour she wants as long as it is black, all in all. Her solemn look invites little inquiry above and beyond her narrowed eyes, blank amber shot by a few tiny dots of violet surrounding her irises. How dare he clear his throat and look so professional. "Black," she repeats. Conspiratorial, since someone clearly knows the formal rules.

Maybe she will prove herself a revolutionary and announce 'navy blue' as an acceptable diversion in the matters of masculine sartorial aplomb. The slant of her dark lashes cants lower, blotting out a clear meeting of her gaze. Might as well be demure while the doctor lies at risk of being poked by needles, prodded by scissors, and jabbed by electric-tipped wands wielded by his enemies. He has enemies. "I do not tease," she murmurs under her breath. "They give pain."

Yes. Shirts weaponize the will of the man. He may just start working his way through, but she looks under the racks for legs and other varieties of bifurcated limbs belonging to suspicious beings. The first hoof or red knobbled knee gets a dagger rammed into it. When he pulls out the sheer shirt, though, that brings a flick of her eye. Lips stretch on a flat, elegant line. "Why wear a shirt then?"

"Because if you wear it, you are wearing a shirt and not naked," the good Doctor replies, clearly amused by the offering in fashion tastes. "I can think of few places that would escort someone from the premises even if they wore it." Chuckling under his breath, he lets the sheer fabric drop and considers the next rack over. "Oh…gods below."

The thing he reaches for is a button-down in matte black…beneath the patterning, at least. Overtop it, in metallic hues of currency — copper, silver, gold — is a cheery and eye-boggling cocophany of paisley. Someone has cleared disemboweled a magical pillow and inked it on the fabric. The hanger clinks and he holds it against himself, trying so very, very hard to look utterly serious as he asks, "What do you think? It is black." Amusement gambols about behind his eyes even as he pulls the straightest face possible.

"Still naked." The slip of golden fingers behind the sleeve reveal two layers prove insufficient to hide her complexion, much less the detail of her lacquered nails or the rings spanning those digits. Her fingers curl to demonstrate the pliable weave and absence of opacity. "I may see people who want this attention. They are like peacocks. They pretend to be crows." Crows in the crowd awaiting their chance to flash their plumage. She carries the hanger into her arms. "It is still black."

That apparently matters more than shiny selection of sequins and distressed coins. She scowls at this assault on her eyes, her bristling aura spiked by the Doom-trod of Saturn on the move. Naturally she almost veils herself in that shirt, tossing it up to protect her eyes from the abomination. "Buy it for Billy," she says, twisting, warping her words.

With the reflective shirt still held against his torso, Strange looks from his fiancee's acquisition to her…to the sheer dress-shirt…and back again, frowning dubiously.

"You…are calling me a peacock? Or…you want me to wear that…one?" he asks before holding out his current pick. The lights of the store flash from it and he rolls his lips, his laugh escaping as wispy snorts. "This one for Billy though? …he might wear it," the man allows before he hangs it back up. "He's still growing. I couldn't begin to guess what size he is." A hum. "Maybe as a birthday present." His fingertips flick lightly through the selection, marking the two other stands of black-themed shirts. "Hmm." He pulls the sleeve of one particular shirt out: pineapples. Rows upon rows of cheerily-stitched pineapples, each as big as a pinecone, ribboned in bright orange and lime green. "Nope," and he pops that ending syllable.

On to the next collection. "That could be worse." A little lilt of question in his comment as he pulls out a dress-shirt in a fine cotton weave. Its color is deep-red, almost sangoire, and it has its flashy accents: broad cuffs in…you guessed it: more paisley, the thickly-hemmed patterns in terra cotta and hemp-green atop mother-of-pearl cream. However, the neck collars and buttons are also accented in the pattern, so it's not necessarily a nightmare. Or eyesore.

Wanda holds out her hands, the sheer shirt slung over her upper arm and shoulder with the hanger dangling against her shoulder blade. "This much," she gestures to width. Another measure flips her hands apart not in span, but height, which offers an elongated measure. "This. Need a little more to cover his pants." Because as if their child likes to show off his belt loops, much less his tummy. God, no. Never. There would be far worse outcomes to anyone attempting to manage that sort of horror upon Billy not-yet-Strange. "It needs pants." She points at random.

Random are vertically striped blue and white pants, as one might expect a circus performer to have, flaring a little at the bottoms and incredibly skinny throughout, rising to an enormous height. Worn, they might cover the pectoral muscles, and lap up against armpits. "They will go well. The first, they can make this for him, can they not? I do not like this last one."

Clearing his throat, for the second time today, is to cover the laugh that almost escapes willy-nilly at the sight of those pants.

"I'll consider those to go with the shirt for Billy, yes," Strange replies so very diplomatically. The sangoire button-down hides away once more on its rack and he takes a step back, eyeing the rest of the collection. "This is…beyond me," and he lifts a hand in silent defeat. "I'll have to go to Macy's for something more simple. That'll do…for now," he murmurs, eyeing the sheer dress-shirt in question and quirking a smile. "Unless you see anything, «Beloved»?"

Those pants are magnificent. Be jealous of their splendour. Only those of sleek physique and a diet of leek soup can hope to wear their tapered perfection on a body worthy of the gods… or at least the Devil. Thor would tear right through them, showing off his battleaxe boxers.

Wanda closes her eyes until the paisley monstrosity is put aside, ignoring the zigzag patterned waffle-cut polyester coat in lemon yellow with fetching pink lining, like an evil Peep unleashed twenty years too soon. That horror deserves a good shake. "Black and white are best. You may find something there?" She points at a roll of fabric. For those who need their clothes cut and sewn over days and weeks, there is the place to go. "I see these pants. That shirt. Billy will be very happy."

He will rend reality for sake of love. Love of good, quality clothes.

"Ah, something tailored." The silver-templed man wanders over to the bolts of cloth in question. A fingertip slides along one in an almost pearlescent white, feeling the texture, and by his nod, it gains approval. "I'll have to consult perhaps…two more times before I can afford to have something tailored. The dress-shirts I have hidden away are a bit tight across the chest and shoulders, but the buttons will hold for now."

He looks to Wanda again. "Something to look forwards to," and he smiles fondly. "Here, let's go to the front. We'll buy that and head home." He offers out an arm on which to travel towards said deskly destination.

Something borrowed, something new, something striped, something blue. Yep, Billy needs the pants. She points at them, and says no more. Assistant Jeeves can no doubt be heard rolling his eyes like marbles in his skull from miles away. She drifts over to an ugly tufted paisley seat, really just a round cylinder with a cushion on top, and there she positions herself quite lazily. Perched, as one wants, with her back straight. "Two more times? Is the price low when you ask them to look three times?"

Rules of three and witches have a storied history, all said and done.

She bites her lip, brows forming a delicate angle over her brilliant eyes. Yes, she has ideas; ideas that must not be spoken. "This one." She points at the hanger over her shoulder. "We will buy this. It will be for Belize." They can leave after that.

"I don't believe the rule of three applies here, unfortunately," Strange replies as he pauses. The pants are…a total disaster, in his professional and Sorcerous opinion, but as the Witchy waifu points, so shall he gather. With the vertically-striped bellbottoms in-hand, he walks over to Wanda and takes the sheer shirt from her. "Belize, hmm? Whyfor ever there?" His tone takes on the usual musicality when he suspects that she's up to something. "Explain to me once I've got these paid for," and he eyes her over his shoulder knowingly even as he travels to the front desk.

Bills are exchanged, their denomination and number probably something to stare at, and the sheer shirt as well as pants are each carefully packed away into their individual bags, wrapped in tissue paper as extra frou-frou protection. Thanking the bored-looking receptionist, he returns to her and offers his arm once more. "Now…what about Belize?"

Witchy waifu needs that back to be turned to make her own series of gestures to add something to the pot. That shall be known forthwith as the Hideous Tie. The Hideous Tie is an eyesore of clashing shades of blue and electrified jelly, given a marmalade counterpane in designs that belong on Grandma's afghan. Myopic grandma who mistook her yarns and has been dealing with cataracts for the last ten years, and thinks she's making something hip and with it. The explosion of rainbow squares on a psychedelic background cuts just the edge of fashion, especially because those squares of mashed up horrors may resemble watermelon slices. It's the perfect, cool summer addition for a man who would like to entertain wearing a hangman's noose. Its hideous hue will drive away anyone who can see, and he will have pity taken on him by the powers that be. Blind justice can smell the combination of ghastly, garish shades from over here. Here being, say, the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy.

"It has a reef," she says. "Many fish. A large temple." A temple known for human sacrifices, even! Perhaps not so much as that. "It will be very green."

Travel plans set in place, and the young woman waits for Jeeves to stuff that tie into the bag, or better yet, teleport it around the neck of the Sorcerer Supreme where it will remain suspiciously limpid and harmless. Right until a ghostly paw emerges to bat at it.

How the tie gets into the bag, Strange may never know. The tickle of reality being futzed with isn't enough to garner his attention…not with how he knows full-well that it's Wanda doing it. It doesn't feel as if it will have a huge impact on the fate of reality around it.

So little he knows at times. He'll discover the length of fashion horror later and make such a face.

"Yes, it is a tropical location. Home first, so we can pack the appropriate clothing. I can drop these off by the closet to be put away later." With her on his arm once again, they depart from the store and walk down the busy sidewalk once more. The sun's bright, the air isn't too warm, and hey, the trip was successful…maybe?

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