1965-10-16 - Punch Him Harder pt 2
Summary: Log Summary
Related: www.marvel-1963.com/log:1965-10-07-punch-him-harder-pt1
Theme Song: None
constantine jebediah douglas morbius 

Jeb allows Morbius to move his hand, not unlike a young frightened child being navigated by his parent and yes, this doesn't at all ease John's idea that this tiny thing has been somehow willed into existence through alcohol, poor decisions, demon blood sacrifices, tea and likely really hot sex and probably belongs to the pair of them, though… somehow speaks… sweet tea and cornbread? Interesting outcome from Greek and English.

Jeb's hand moves from Morbius' arm to somewhere around his side, clinging to a bit of his shirt as he tries to calm down, tries to move himself away from the brink of tears. "Ah ain't put it past anythin' yet to try hittin' him harder but my brother and many other people would prefer Ah didn't. Halgrim, for one, tells me he don't want me to face him on my own and he probably hasn't changed his mind on that." Jeb explains, voice still quivering a little. "A mage? Like… witchcraft and stuff?" There's a beat, waiting for Jebediah to say something awful. He studies John for a long moment and then smiles, slightly. "That's really cool. Can you fix Doug? Mister Morbius is the smartest man Ah know so Ah came to him."

"All.. Ah know is… Doug isn't gettin' any better… None of us can talk or hit any sense into him and now he's trying to kill people. And Ah'm scared. Ah'm scared, Mister Morbius. What if he ain't come back? What happens to him? What happens to Jay? Can what happen to him happen to him too? Can it happen to you? Can it happen to Sammy? Can it happen to Halgrim?" Jeb's hand on Morbius' shirt tightens. "Can you help? Can you just tell me you can help? Please?"

John scoffed. Of sorts indeed! His eyes fixed on nothing in particular listening. He sniffed a bit, thoughtful, part indignation, and utterly unmoved by the wave of emotions attached to facts. "Glad to see we're still on the same page, Michael."

Then there was a name. Michael got a side glance while John was jotting facts down in some mental notepad. "Grimm." A slight nod and arch of eyebrow. He then noted to Jeb pulling a notecard holder out of pocket noting "Doctor." Not Mister. Informative, not offended. "Brain trauma can do that if it's what it is. Jebediah, yeah? Seen a few mates from the war that didn't quite make it back but, let' not rule anything out."

He handed the card over to Jeb reading: JOHN CONSTANTINE
Exorcist, Demonologist, Cosmic Midwife, and Master of the Dark Arts
(phone number included)

"Something like that. Something… not at all like that, laddie."

"Sometimes the book is different, but we're often at least on the same page, John," Morbius offers back across the table while Constantine goes into sleuth mode. Deattached, quiet, seemingly random. Michael pats the back of Jeb's hand currently squeezing at the crux of his arm and allowed the young man to all but crawl into his lap.

All this time, Jeb's never been corrected as to what Morbius' title is, and when Constantine points it out, the vampire cannot help another muted smile cast across the table at the saint of last resorts while he refills Jeb's cup and scoots the plate of dolmas closer to the young man.

"That's a lot of questions we don't have answers to, Jebediah." Morbius continues calmly, stroking Jeb's hand under his clawed fingers. "We need more information, first. Which means you need to calm down. Take a breath. And start from the top. You found me. John is someone I trust with my life and—" Morbius looks at the card over Jeb's shoulder and arches a brow at John. "Master of the dark arts, are we?"

Back to Jebediah, Morbius fixes his uncomfortable attention on the young man. "We need facts. Clues. Was there something that happened just before all of this? You mentioned something about time travel? Start at the beginning, Jebediah. Like a storybook, we can't follow the plot if you don't go in order."

Take note, Tarantino.

John wrinkled his nose to Michael with a long, laboured sigh, adding ruefully "I've been meaning to have those changed."
Jeb is calmed exponentially when Morbius starts to stroke his hand. The young man has been clearly distraught for awhile over all of this and just slowly deteriorating until now. Of course, Jeb would hide how affected he has been by all of this. His brother was the one who mattered most in this and he needed Jeb to hold his shit together. Comfort isn't something Jeb has had time to seek. Morbius pets Jeb with what most would consider scary taloned fingers and the young man leans against Morbius, trembling starting to subside, the impending tears stalled.

"D-Doctor Morbius, Ah'm sorry." He stammers and takes the second cup of tea, drinking it slower, he hasn't let go of Morbius either, not yet. "Before he went crazy, Ah know that his powers were actin' weird."

He looks over at Constantine, realizing he might not know what 'powers' Jeb is speaking of. "Master…? Consternation, Ah'm a mutant. Ah can shoot electric plasma from my eyes." To demonstrate, he leans away from Morbius for a moment and his eyes give off small sparks. Then he takes his place right back against Morbius' side. "So is everyone in this story. So, Dougie, he knows every language ever. Includin' body language, so if you lyin' to him, he can tell. If you're sad, he can tell. If you're mad or happy or excited or hiding somethin', he knows. Before this all happened, he was having trouble with his mutation, having to ask us what we was feelin' and stuff because he was strugglin' with bein' able to tell."

John let the rambling go. He was a succinct man and just waited for the parts of note to show up plucking those out of the ephemeral to note later. Tirely he offered in an effort to just help Jeb out again, "I told you, lad, just John is fine." It wasn't mutants. It was when he got to the part of Doug and language that something snapped with john. "Christ on a bloody Vanilla Wafer." He turned to Morbius and filled him in, "You remember that inter I told you about? The Ramsey chap? This is the one." A weathered hand rubbed across his face. Taking a deep breath he said to no one, "If Loki's behind this shiny pile of shite by giving out books with no instruction to see wht bloody happens I'm going to take turns with Strange banishing him like a ping pong match." His jaw tightened and said, "Right. Onward then?"

Morbius's brows twitch together slightly when Jeb mentions that Doug said his powers were acting up, looking across the table to John when he puts together the pieces of how he knows Doug. "/He/ was your intern? Well that opens possibilities up. I worked with Douglas on a couple small matters as well. I was also arranging a time for him to speak to the Professor's 'companion', to see if we could help translate so we could come to a peaceful arrangement with it. He seemed to have his head on straight, though he /did/ however mistake my origin by accent the last time we spoke. I thought it was odd, but dismissed it. He said he was tired. That was weeks ago."

Doug sure seems to get around in some odd circles.

But oh, Morbius is enjoying how Jeb can't say John's last name. That'll come up later.

"So this young man, who understands everything, has been exposed to, what then?" Morbius' brows arch. "Alchemy, magic, archaic script, he was asking me about an encounter he was having with a mythological creature. Is there anything else that may have happened to him, Jebediah? It may have been months ago. We need to understand the point of exposure to…his…'future self' who rewrote him, as you said."

"Well, Jay and Cabbage found a bunch of books he was keepin' hidden. And he wasn't sleepin' very well neither. He was readin' books about the brain and how it works, about.. neu.. neural pathways? And there was a weird magic book with symbols Ah ain't never seen before. And.. Ah think they is called 'glyphs'?" Jeb tries to explain. "In his journal, he was writin' that he felt bad about my brother seein' Elmo too. Ah don't know if that triggered all of it."

Jeb pulls in another deep breath and thinks back to what Doug said. "He said that he came from Limbo and someone named Nasty Tereth or something showed his future self to his current self and his future self rewrote his mind." Jeb tries to make sense of the words. "Like.. erasing words in a book, I think. Writing new ones. If he can rewrite it once, we can write it back the way it was."

John winced at the utter butchery of half the words but remained patiently enduring of it all. He was no nurturer by any nature. He was the battering ram you called when lock picks fail. He ran the addition in his head giving Morbius the short context, "N'Astirh . Demon, now in limbo, trying to scrape its way to the top of their little food chain. Soooounds as if he's trying to inspire someone to take actions they think are their own while his hands are tied maybe? I mean wouldn't surpise me. Most of them do that. Saminga, Nurgal, Chthon, Belseeth, Ba'al. This isn't new. They generally hold very tightly to word of contract which we maaaay be able to use. Best thing we can do for the lad is see who he's trying to get leverage on. Trade out different leverage?"

The demonologist sighed and rolled his eyes back and forth muttering to himself looking for current information he remembers. "Your friend is a prime example why we don't like to let people talk to a strain of a future self. Makes things go cock up quickly. Can you bring us the book? Eh then we might be able to bring you an answer."

Morbius focuses on being the rock for Jebediah to lean on, trusted and familiar, patting the young man's hand and whatnot, though he is keenly watching John's reaction to new information as it comes in. That unearthly attention resting very comfortably on the exorcist, Morbius still manages to murmur in an undercurrent to the conversation, "That entire entanglement brings nothing but ruin on anyone who passes into it. Why should this be any different?"

Fuck Elmo Rosencrantz, for no particular reason

"The book? Which one, it seems like he was reading quite a bit. Or did you mean the man's journal?" Michael asks John for specificity's sake. "So what we're looking at is a demon who exposed someone to themselves and is using it to try to usher existence in the direction they'd like? Charming. At least we know who we're dealing with, now."

With each moment he spends pressed up against Morbius' side, Jeb seems to relax more visibly, the young man is still incredibly shaken but he can breathe between his words, make intelligible sentences. His trembling subsides for the most part but he keeps pressed right up against the vampire's side. When most people ought to be terrified of him, Jeb was here, practically on his knee, clinging to him for dear life.

"Ah can bring you any book you want so long as my brother doesn't have them and Ah'm sure if Ah told him Ah knew someone that could help Doug, he'd surrender them. Dougie was hidin' them and Ah know where the journal is too." Jeb assures John. He thinks to tell Morbius that nothing is truly Elmo's fault at all but thinks better of it since he's currently seeking comfort in the older man and he knows how much Morbius dislikes Elmo and also, he wants Morbius' help, saying that Elmo isn't the bringer of ruin may not assist him at all. "Yeah, Doug kept sayin' that there was a reason he was doin' this, that he was makin' the world a better place and we weren't gonna thank him, so you probably right about that, about N-Nastery. That he's usin' Doug to do his biddin', reset somethin', his own plans."

Constantine drank his drink eyeing Morbius, "That entanglement isn't even intrusive on you and you're still letting it bother-" He paused and nodded with full understanding. "The cuneiform. Nevermind. Carry on." He waved a hand as to usher in round three. He sighed and looked to the Guthrie, "Jeb…idiah is it? You have to get him back at the end of the catharsis. The Doctor is only on loan. Also, anything with glyphs, scribblings. Journals could be useful. Also? Eeeeh I don't know I'd jump to use the word possession so much as coersion? We see if we candecipher the plan from whatever mad ravings he wishes to proselytize on us. Then I say we find the man himself and see if we can't find the chap a better offer."

In a single, poignant moment, Morbius' stark black eyebrow, in all it's bizarely sharp glory, ticks upward at John.

There it is

Morbius doesn't so much nod as he hums mellowly to himself in satisfaction and reaches his arm around Jeb's shoulders, rubbing slowly at his opposite shoulder as if he were a boy much younger than he actually is and might catch a cold. Drinking his tea in the other hand.

"Mad ravings as in you want to find the demon, or from the journal? That would certainly cut out the middle man, I suppose. So your friend is a mad raving lunatic, thinking he's improving the world and jealousy trying to kill people. That's not ideal. Especially for such a sharp mind. I did like him." Michael offers thoughtfully to John for confirmation, then to Jebediah. "Do you have all of his books in one place for John to get a look at?" Curious, Morbius looks across the table to the mage and tilts his head with a quizzical angle. "I know how you like puzzles, and bad ideas. Would you want to go tonight?"

"The doctor is on loan?" Jeb says, confused, looking up at Morbius who has wrapped him in a one armed hug. "Mis- Doctor Morbius is my friend, Mister Contangerine. Ah ain't gonna steal him nowhere… he's my friend. Ah don't think Ah'm takin' him?"

He swallows and nods. "If Jay put them back in their hidin' place then Ah know where they is. If they anywhere in the apartment, Ah can find them. Jay probably left them out somewhere easy for him to find if they aren't in the hidin' place because he's been readin' them, tryin' to figure out what Doug did to hisself. Ah can pay you, Ah can pay you both. Ah got money." Jeb says and digs out his wallet from his pocket, offering it to John. "You can take everythin' in there. It ain't much, since Ah'm in college now, Ah don't have much left over no more but Ah'll get you more. Ah can get you more. You'll be safe at the club, Ah'll keep it closed tonight, give everyone the night off."

It was enough of a confirmation when the eyebrow went up for John Constantine to keep his toes off the tracks when the grudge train came rolling through. Righto.

Questions of mad ravings got a shrug from the Magus. "Eh dunno. They do all like to carry on these days. Mad ravings are quite fashionable when one has a demon as a benefactor. Be a right dredge if I said I haven't fancied myself to pontificate in my younger years. It happens."

He let Jeb answer , though he paused and looked at the wallet with no physical motion, Jeb. Wallet. Jeb. "You said you have a bar, mate? We'll sort something out." Likely in liquor.

As for now? A heavy sigh filled his chest and there was that rakish grin that turned back to Morbius. "What's that you said? Something like we can't have us a dinner and step out without possession and demons and whatnot? Well… I guess it's a date then after all." Yes, now works fine as any. He stood and took his tan trench coat back up. His own wallet was pulled out and he pulled out several bills, turned them over in hand and left also one silver coin on top that was neither in wallet nor hand a moment ago. "Shall we off then?"

The tightly held lips pulled over his too many teeth press into a tiny smile as Morbius looks to John again, confirming that this is indeed their luck. "I'll try to make it up to you later and likely fail miserably again. But it'll never be boring."

"Mister Ramsey owns the bar. Jebediah manages it for him. So, yes." Morbius squeezes Jeb's shoulder again and releases him, slowly standing up. "I'll get them to pack this up and catch up with you both."

"Yes, right now Ah'm just managin' it for him but Ah'll bet if we get him fixed he can hook you up with like… free drinks for life or somethin'. And if he don't, then you can still have free drinks, just.. Ah'll pay for them on my own. Ah also do art work, Ah've done a couple complicated pieces for Mis-Doctor Morbius here and Ah can also make you somethin', that's what Ah'm in college for, Ah'm tryin' out all art forms but right now, Ah'm gifted in wood burnin'." Jeb stands up as well and reluctantly releases his hold on Morbius at long last.

Jeb looks to John in his cool trenchcoat like he's looking up at a god. Wow, Morbius had really cool lovers. Jeb moves his hand instead to John's wrist to gently lead him from the restaurant. Clearly, Jeb wasn't through with this hand holding thing, he just turned that attention to John. If Morbius liked to pantsless kiss the guy, he's probably safe to hold hands with. "Come on, Ah'll take you to the club." Jeb doesn't let go.

John flashed Jeb a cheeky grin, "I approve of the way you negotiate, lad. We can-" His hand was oddly very warm to the touch. He was caught mid-word looking like a worm with a fish now attached as if what are you doing. He looked to Michael. Gone. Oooohkay. Well then. He took the hand and clamped it to his sleeve noting, "Let's not get us arrested by the constabulary for all number of things we managed not t'do, yeah? There we are. Cheers." John lived pretty damn aware of how he came off to the world. He didn't care but he was carefully aware and getting arrested for 'consorting' would really detain the acquisition of alcohol and oh yeah, helping and negotiating with said demon. Fun.

Gone, indeed. Michael vanishes inside to grab a doggy bag of their left overs and whatnot while John maneuvers the careful business of sweet lil Jebediah 'I'll zap the shit out of you (literally)' guthrie. He will indeed catch up on his own.

Jeb, if he notices the way Constantine stops talking, doesn't make it known. His fingers are easily moved, like a frightened child to John's arm instead as he leads John to the club in the heart of Mutant Town. The only time he releases the older man is to unlock the club. "Ah haven't gotten to bring Doctor Morbius here yet. Ah always wanted to but on a much better occasion." Jeb says solemnly as he holds the door open for John and turns on the lights, making the club pop with electricity, the stage swims with light. "Do you want me to make you a drink while Ah find the books and we wait for Doctor Morbius?"

He's Doctor again. Let the skies part and the birds- Shit. He could have given himself a fancy title and didn't. Woulda been a thing to be an Earl for an evening. Everyone British was at least knighted to these Americans right? They can't tell. Ah well. Eyes scanned around the place and he offered, "Bet this join is jumpin come Friday. I'll have to keep that in mind." Not quite the ordinary human though was he? "We'll save time. I'll fix the drinks, you find the books. Gets to both faster. Well it's not burned down. Congratulations on finding your calling in middle management."

Not much to wait for, it turns out. Gone one moment and simply there the next, Morbius walks in after John while Jeb holds the door open with a quietly murmured, "Thank you.".

Yes, he has a paper bag that smells like greek food hanging from one clawed hand.

Morbius follows John down the staircase from the building's topside entrance, the enclosed space a touch claustrophobic before it splits off oddly toward the apartment and down to the club. "Are you thinking for our next attempt, or for something else entirely? Just so I can prepare for how much trouble to expect." His attention flickers over the space in entirety when they hit to floor, walking around the perimeter curiously. "I'm impressed. I didn't honestly understand why Mister Ramsey would have a club, or how one would exist in this neighborhood, but I am honestly impressed."

Jeb laughs a little at Constantine's comment on it not being burnt down. "Now you don't barely know me none and Ah feel like that's an attack on my managin' skills. Doug left me in charge before once, when he took my brother on vacation. Ah have experience." Jeb teases with a wink and waves his hand towards the bar as he shuts and locks the door behind Morbius. "It does real well, havin' a club that's just for us, you know, mutants and it puts another place on the market for mutants to apply to without having to worry about prejudice if they've got a visible mutation. Help yourself to whatever ya want, alcohol wise. Ah'll go get the books."

He hops up the stairs to the apartment to find the book up on the bed, the journal too, both open, like Jay has been studying them because he definitely has. Desperate to find clues on how to put Doug right. "Got ya." Jeb says and hops back down the stairs with them.

John waved the concern off assuring, "I'm more caustic than tile cleaner. Ask anyone whose dated me. It's not you." Looking to Michael he shrugged, "Not wrong. Question is you want to see it on fire, infested by undead teenagers, or possessed?" Eyebrow went up as he invited himself back behind the bar and started pulling glasses out. He… knew flare? Of course the charlatan did. "If not I recommend we keep our business here strictly professional." Solemn nod that. Taking his drink the free hand flapped for the books as he dropped into the stool. Unceremoniously planted "There is a bright lad. Nicely done.* All with the same air of 'now that we have all the chairs for brunch where we want them(tm)'. That's John for you. Arranging them he started to to go through them pulling a stone out of his pocket with a hole in it. He looked ridiculous but informed, "Faerie Stones. Excellent at helping us see what we want… to see that doesn't want to be found. Michael, second set of eyes incase?" He was arrogant but he wasn't too proud. Jebediah that second drink is for you. I should think… you'll want it."

Morbius continues his circuit around the place. His fingers drift along the dark juke box when he passes it by, staring at the listing of songs for a short while before moving on, leaving it unmolested. "You raise a good point," Morbius sighs and strolls back toward the bar while John is entertaining himself. "Oh, so you /do/ know how to do that with more than my lab chemicals. Fun." Watching after John for a while, he plants himself on a barstool and the bag beside him when Jeb comes back and drops the books.

"Excellent. Thank you, Jebediah," polite, but immediately all hands as he swiftly sorts the titles by general class, then subject. With the same formal air about him, Morbius hums helpfully. "Of course." They may not exactly collaborate on very much, but the two work together like a well-oiled clockwork toy. "Jebediah, would you please get me a scotch and soda as well? This might be the dull part for a moment, but you did very well."

Jeb smiles as both men tell him he's done a good job even though all he did was go up some stairs and grab some books and bring them back down but it feels like he is actually doing something to help Doug instead of just trying to keep the club from falling apart and crying about it. "Ah can certainly do that, Doctor Morbius and Ah wanna apologize for always gettin' your name wrong until now."

Jeb makes Morbius his drink and as all of Jeb's drinks go, it's a little strong. He's sure when Doug becomes Doug again, he'll bust Jeb for giving away too much alcohol. He sets it down in front of Morbius and takes the drink John has set out for him. "Thank you, Mister Congregation. Ah appreciate it."

John just rolled his eyes and patiently, tersely said in the quietest, calmest voice, "Just… John… is fine. Don't hurt yourself, lad." He polished off this drink and set it aside, eyes locked on the folios as he and Michael started sorting them by their taxonomy. They were used to how they research. Sorting piles with a quick flip he looked for things that seemed systemic of experiences with glyphs and the 'message'

"N'Astirh, N'Astirh, N'Astirh… what are yooooou up to… C'mon Tell us a story here, Ramsey." The eyepiece wore like a monocle still picking up unidentified astral presence, things imbued, the traces of an unseen path in case. Absently he assured Jeb, "Not… a problem. Well this chap certainly has a few feelings about things doesn't he?"

It can be hard to tell, because Cypher's journals are written in multiple languages, sometimes from paragraph to paragraph, and some of THOSE are… well, cyphered. This book would spawn countless conspiracy theories if you showed it to someone and he might just be talking about what he ate. Though at one point in plain English he does talk about how he's read the Voynich Manuscript… doesn't say what it's about, though.

The later entries are as padlocked as the prior, though he occasionally talks about mad dreams, stray thoughts, bits of 'corrupted language' entering his dialogue. And finally he starts talking about how he's trying to fix the problem, but something is stopping him from seeking help — the last words in the journal are the phrase, underlined, 'Siege Perilous'.

"If I were overly concerned about the name, I would have corrected you," Morbius forgives Jebediah easily, then pauses in the shuffle of books to look directly at the young man, tilting his head forward so long bits of rich black hair fall forward. "But thank you for the apology."

Thanks, Kentucky: where they beat manners into them.

Turning back to the work at hand, Morbius takes it upon himself to start through the other books that Doug was actively reading which Jay had pulled aside. Medical texts are what he goes to, first. Looking for any dog-eared or underlined passages. Just to get into the man's headspace while John takes a more direct path. "He seemed a very balanced young man when I spoke to him. Does he seem different internally?"

"He wrote a lot about how bad he was feelin' about the situation with Elmo and Ah think he coulda just told my damn brother about all of that and it would have been fixed." Jeb mentions, leaning on the counter, taking a sip of the drink John made him before he takes John's empty glass and refills it with a rum and coke, placing it back in front of John.

"Internally, Doctor Morbius? He was off, yes. He couldn't sleep. And I know he was gettin' headaches and his emotions were off. Ah think Elmo told me that when they fought, he couldn't… or he didn't anticipate Elmo's move." Jeb says, trying to put it into words that are more intelligible. "When Elmo defended himself, Dougie should have been able to know what he was doing, you know? Because he can read body language, but he either read it and didn't care meaning he wanted to get hurt or he couldn't read him. Which would be weird since he insists he's stronger like this."

"Or… maybe there's a coded message in there?" A voide from the man whose face was currently deciphering Proto-Quechua. Let's not even get into why John knows the languages he does. He paused and looked at the glass and looked at Jeb. "Keep the glass full and you cna keep runnin my name through the wood chipper." Looking back to Morbs he added the notation, "He gets to be my other favourite today." Back to the liquor and the notes in teh book. ""Michael start looking for anything that's sounding Arthurian. If he's brain is… having a schizm of sorts it could be teh now beta personality trying to get a message out like … eh like being trapped in teh boot of a car and kicking a tail light out to let other motorists know your'e trapped inside." Said withteh ease of someone too familiar with that situation.

"You say that with entirely too much firsthand experience," Morbius hums softly to John while he quickly scans medical books regarding brain synapses and whatnot. "Most of these are rather dry, intellectual texts. Some parts have fascinating theories, but nothing storybook or demonic, yet." The good doctor hums.

Jeb's grouse about couple's communication makes him grumble gently. "That sounds familiar. Nobody in this city seems to understand the importance of communication. Ironic, considering his specialty. Though, if his powers are still shorting out, that could possibly signify that this 'beta' personality hasn't yet taken secure footing." morbius shoots in the dark, putting pieces together from data. "If a misalignment causes his powers to glitch, then I would imagine that as long as he continues to show signs of them faltering, it may mean that the conflict still exists."

Red eyes blink and he looks back to Jeb, simplifying. "He may not have been completely over-written. That's only a theory, though. I havent seen the man, myself."

"Runnin' it through the wood chipper? Ain't it Constantly? Mister Constanlatrine?" Jeb asks as if those aren't two completely different names right there. He reaches over to catch John's hand though, shaking it excitedly. "Elmo! Elmo said something about Arthur too! Somethin' Dougie quoted!! Ah think it was the Sage Pearlicious thing!" He puts John's hand down and pats the top of it.

He then reaches over to tug lightly on Morbius' shoulder. "If he hasn't been rewritten then we can try to get through to the old Dougie? Maybe?"

John flipped the page with the deadpan only the British can really pull off, "Well if things exponentially go well we should never portmanteau our last named. Our lad here may implode from the effort." He looked up and cleared his throat, "Short version? Towards the end of the Round Table they left a seat open for the one member that was destined to succeed in finding the thing that would change the landscape of Camelot to become verdent again." He looked to Jeb and said "Grows things."

He continued wobbling his head, "Your… friend here is looking for an arcane matrix. Sort of a …portal of sorts. GO through it. Change your stars. Rumors vary if it wrecks the area it is connecting to or if it's left stand alone. Either way? I'm really 50/50 on unlabeled portals and jumping reality. Best to deal with the devil you know. Which-" He blinked and sat upright looking over Jeb's head and blinked. That was an epiphany face.

Without missing a beat, Morbius neatly reaches up to Jeb's hand planted on his shoulder and replaces it on his elbow just where he had settled Jeb's hand previously. "It's only a theory, Jebediah. I don't want to build false hope. Especially when dealing with demons and Arthurian-themed matrices. It's all a bit out of my depth, but luckily for us, John is here.". How often does John ever hear that?

"A portal?" Michael glances up from the medical book he's been perusing. "Sounds risky, but in times of desperation." He trails off, leaving the rest unspoken. Largely because John has that face on. That stupid face where he's about to try to dig his way out of a hole by digging to China.

Morbius' eyebrows lift upward slightly, attention queued on John. "Oh…" he sighs and closes the book he was looking through. "Is that your 'I am about to summon a demon' look?"

Jeb's face crumples a little. He really just wants Doug to be fixed. He wants Doug to be okay, to be their Doug again. The Doug he can go to for advice. The Doug that doesn't say rude things to him. The Doug who teaches him how to mix drinks. The Doug he loved. The Doug his brother loves because Jay can't be okay until Doug is. Jeb wants Jay to be okay. Jeb doesn't want Jay to hurt anymore. He releases Morbius and stares down at his glass while they talk about things he doesn't understand.

Until they talk about summoning a demon. That's when his head pops up and Jeb wipes at his eyes, shaking his head. "No summoning a demon in the club. You can do it outside." He insists. "And only if you can keep it from hurtin' anybody else."

John waved a hand. "Wrong things for it here. And you don't want to summon a demon indoors where you'll miss the floors.." He paused and wobbled his head looking to Morbius, "We may end up needing to call that cat who can get his hands on that cow's blood. Oh, and to get the blood of a priest. Sadly… mine's temporarily out but, I think I can find us another. If you got one willing to hit the red cross for us? Better." Grocery shopping with Constantine was fun. Oh boy.

Flipping through the journals more he made a face. Looking up he looked to Jeb first, then to Michael, and back to Jeb. "Might not feel like a lot, mate, but you might have accidently found the people with the strange information you need." First thing is first, figure out if 'She' still has it. And to do that we'll need to go for… a bit of a tracel. Which means the house which means bringing the leftovers."

Jeb pops up like a jack-in-the-box and Morbius' attention veers back in that direction. He is not the cuddliest of individuals. Ask John. But knowing that the young man is distressed, disheartened and overall exhausted by the ordeal, a clawed hand reaches back out to settle squarely between Jebediah's shoulders as some form of physical comforting. "We aren't going to summon it here."

Red eyes quickly swish to John as if to double check. Right? Right. Good then.

And back to Jeb.

"We have a space for things like this. Long story short is that you've found the right people with the right set of skills to help your friend, Jebediah." morbius explains evenly, looking back to John. "With a moderate bit of investment in the outcome as well. Mister Ramsey is an acquaintance. A fellow intellectual. I'd hate to leave him in a spot like this."

Cookies for Jeb. And a curious look to John.

"A trip down the hall?"

"Ah knew that Ah had because Ah knew if anyone was gonna be able to help me, Doctor Morbius, it was gonna be you. You're the smartest person Ah know." Jeb says, and it doesn't sound like flirting or like flattery, just like Jeb thinks this to be gospel truth. The clawed hand moving to settle between his shoulders seems to make him relax a little. He smiles, somewhat nervously at Morbius. "Do you want me to come with you? Ah can help any way that you want me to. Ah don't know much about them but Mr. Lin..Lin.., his name is Halgrim. He had me make some runes for him, like burn them into animal bones. Do you need something like that? He let me keep the ones that Ah didn't think were good enough."

John looked to Morbius and nodded slowly, "A trip down the hallway." Looking back to Jeb he squint, "You are the artist he spoke of? Good. If we fid what we fid? I'm going to have need of you doing that. For this/ No. The House of Secrets… jsut… is its own pain i teh ass and we have an understanding." Eyes flashed up to Morbius. "We should do this there. LIkely ot find more um… is he…" He indicated with a gesture of eyebrows towards Jeb, "He mortal?"

Morbius' hand remains there in the center of Jeb's back, accepting the compliment as fact since…well, he's not going to say it isn't fact. Eventually his fingers curl and he rubs Jeb's back mildly with the backs of his fingers to lessen the chances of snagging on anything. He definitely defers to John in the case of things they need, nodding slowly his understanding. "He's a very talented artist, yes."

The question of Jeb's mortality has Morbius affirming with a subtle nod to Constantine. "Quite."

He asides to Jebediah just afterward. "We need to go diving into a place that doesn't exactly like visitors, but it's the most likely place to have answers to the questions that we've uncovered. The good news here is that we'll be able to come back with some solutions to your problem, or at least a direction that you can bring back to your brother and the other concerned parties."

Looking over the journals he sniffed and finished his drink nodding. "We'll go to visit an old acquaintance. We'll see what favours we can negotiate from them and taht means," He looked to Michael, "We need to make sure we don't arrive empty handed." Looking back to Jeb he offered, "If I gave you something to look at can you promise me you won't show anyone? Not your brother. Not Ramsey? Could complicate things for people that seem to be a right bit busy already and don't really need things chasing them around for knowing too much, yeah? Short of it? Strange was right to tell you no he won't help you. Good thing for you? I lack his moral fiber. So. You give me your word, we'll see what we can do to the best of our ability, yeah?" A sympathetic tone from the wizard known as the Laughing Mage. That name given to him for turning his nose up at warnings, danger, and even Hell itself. He had a plan…it just wasn't a nice one. "Michael ," His jaw tightened and the conflict was difficult. "Michael you don't have to go." To that end John was giving him an out from a dangerous and unpredictable madcap trip.

Jeb has enough of his bearings to blush when Morbius mentions that he's a talented artist, he leans closer to Morbius when the older man says he's a talented artist. He ducks his head and smiles. "Kind of. Ah've been tryin' to get better. Ah'm in college for it right now. Halgrim really liked what Ah did though. And Ah made a few things for Doctor Morbius because he was my first friend out here in New York that Ah made all on my own." John definitely didn't ask for Jeb's life story but here he was getting it anyway.

Morbius confirms far before Jeb gets to that he's quite squishy. "Yes sir. Ah'm really mortal." He wonders what on earth John could give him to look at but he nods. "Ah swear to you Ah won't show anyone, not even Jay and definitely not Doug. What is it you want me to look at?" He doesn't know how his artistic ability was going to help him here, but anything to fix Doug

The suggestion that John would give something to Jebediah makes Michael take pause. Lifting his chin and turning his head to look at the gutter mage from a slightly sidelong vantage; Morbius is a hands-off foster parent, but he is still a vampire, still a predator, and he /still/ gets possessive after what he considers 'his'. Jeb included. Which put him in an uncomfortable position considering who he is squaring with.

Still looking at John that way when the mage turns back to him, the good doctor turns to face him squarely again. Answering simply, "I know." But he's going to, anyway, given a choice. "What sort of gifts do you suppose we need to bring?"

John endured the whole story with a nod. "I'm going to give you a series of things to write. You'll want to use white chalk, some form of conte or pastel will pass. Chalk or mica preferably. Someone asks? Tell them Mr. Crenshaw-… Constantine told you to put it there and leave it there." He sighed. He wasn't going to live that one down Still he drew a series of shames that looked like a veve with a variation of the Cross of St. benedict with it: a sort of plus sign with runes evenly laid out and the veve in the middle. Ooooh Jon was taking his time here. "This you want to be as even… as possible. The circle… should be round. About 4" is fine. Draw this on the back of your door. The inside." He tore the page out of Doug's book and passed it to Jeb.

The magus stared at Jeb for a while and took a deep breath. "Should keep you safe from… the things we're most concerned about. I give you teh word you're going to be drawing this a lot to get a thing going where we need it to go. I can't be everywhere at once. I'm terrible company. No one needs this trust me. but people know you know that well then they will actively seek you and that's no good. But you may help keep yourself, your brother and the whelp safe for the time being from the demon working with Doug, yeah?"

He patted Jeb on the shoulder and looked back to Michael. That was a hard, long look. He accepted he was going though and said drily, "The in flight entertainment is terrible. Warning. But I will suggest bringing her something…she will want and that we might have at the house." He paused and sighed, "I can't jsut gift her Kent so, thought number two. I'll show you when we get there. It won't involve a turkey baster this time though."

Jeb listens to Constantine talk and watches the series of shapes being drawn. He is studying them with the eye of the artist, memorizing them. This looks like a lot of witchcraft to him but… hell, maybe witchcraft is what they need. He folds his hands together and bows his head to send a quick prayer up to whoever happens to be listening. "Dear God or whoever is up there. Ah promise Ah'm just tryin' to help heal Dougie and Ah'm trying to keep myself and my kitten safe and help keep my brother sane and you like my brother because you gave him wings." He whispers.

He opens his eyes and studies the characters again, taking the paper when Constantine hands it to him. "Thank you, Mister… John." He says gratefully.

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