1965-09-02 - The Office Shark Pool
Summary: Stephen and Danny catch up over tea and commiscerate about the woes of work.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
danielle-rand strange 

It's starting to get cool in the evenings and even the Sorcerer Supreme can sit still for too long. His antsy legs and wandering feet take him in his civilian garb down a block or two from the Sanctum. His ending destination? Mrs. O'Riley's Teahouse, one of his favorite haunts and, unbeknownst to the mundane, a decreed neutral place to meet and speak over a high-quality cuppa. On his way in, he pauses, uncertain as to whether he saw a familiar face through the broad shop-front window. A hand lifted in a tentative wave showcases the scar-lines briefly.

Danielle Rand loves O'Reiley's. One wouldn't expect an Irish tea shop to have such a stellar collection of rare tea leaves, but it's surprisingly hard to find something better. More exotic, maybe, or automat-style service, sure. But they do it right, here, with tea leaves imported from all over Southeast Asia. And actual tea pots, not merely boiling tea sieves in brackish tap water.

Danny has a small pot brewing in front of her and a carafe of water sitting over a candle to keep it hot. She smiles at the sight of Dr. Strange passing by, a dimple appearing in one cheek. She hoists the teacup balanced on her fingertips, invitin him to join her and take the empty seat at her table.

The Sorcerer smiles, pleased to see that his memory served him well-enough given the odd slanting of light on the windowpane.

"Miss Rand," he says by way of greeting, having collected his blazer and having slung it over his forearm. Beneath it, a simple white buttondown and black slacks. He looks kept but not overly-polished, especially having spent the day in meditation and pouring over old tomes. No reason to fancy up. "What have you brewed then? It smells good." He pulls out one of the chairs at the table and settles himself after slinging the coat on the chair's back.

"A kind of oolong, called Huang Guanyin," Danny explains. She lifts the lid of the teapot and rolls a wrist in the air a few tims, ushering steaming scent towards Strange's seat. Danny's dressed much akin to Strange— women's blazer, trousers, ballet flats and a blouse. Though she sits with her ankles folded under her knees, balanced comfortably on the hard wooden chair.

"You're welcome to share if you like. May I pour you a cup?" She sets two fresh cups out and pours the first one, reflexively holding back a jacket sleeve with her other hand. With both hands, she offers the cup to Strange. "This first cup must be for you," she tells Strange, bowing her head slightly.

"Please, I'd love a cup," replies the silver-templed man with a small, polite smile. "It smells wonderful." He watches her go about the procedure of prepping it and then reaches across the table to receive the first cup. "Thank you kindly, Miss Rand. You are a most wonderful host." He even inclines his head in true almost archaic fashion, a quarter-bow at the neck, and then sips at the tea.

A pleased hum is followed by him sitting back again in his chair, resting the warm cup on the table. His long fingers wrap about it, partaking of the soothing warmth. "You're free of your work today. Luck or did you force your hand and demand freedom?" He grins as he asks, charming to a small degree.

"That's the nice thing about being a multi-millionaire," Danny tells Strange, eyes dancing. "Work is over when I say it's over. I'm sure the office staff appreciated a half-day off, though. The board seemed unhappy. Corporate takeovers don't interest me terribly much," she admits.

"This whole institute of corporate espionage is exhausting. Everyone spies on everyone else. Trying to get the drop on other businesses. Fighting off their spies. I'd prefer a straight fight to all this skulking around," she says, wryly. "I don't think I have the constitution for being a corporate drone."

Strange nods knowingly, his eyes crinkling about the corners as he continues smiling.

"It's difficult, keeping one's place in the social ladder at one's occupation. I remember well enough the shark pool that was Prebyterian. One wrong move and it chummed the waters. They came for blood soon after that," and he laughs, the sound warm if not wry. "It's nice to be out of it, but…given the mantle, I might have exchanged the sharks of our oceans for those of the stars and beyond the veil. Hmm." He shrugs before sipping at the steaming tea again. "Forgive me if this sounds trite, but can't you pay for someone to do your spywork for you?"

"Oh, I'm not doing the spying," Danny assures Strange. "I don't care about the job enough to go out and tally scores. It's a means to an end. If the Rand fortune is merely self-sustaining for the next few decades, I'll be happy. Spend my money on some positive philanthropies and let people more interested in wealth use my money to make money." She shrugs diffidently at Strange. "It's a game like many othes. One I am disinclined to play."


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