2019-06-04 - Weird and Unsanitary


Kai goes to visit an old friend, and Lady Sif joins them.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jun 4 07:38:44 2019
Location: Sanctum Sanctorum

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Theme Song




Evening around the Sanctum on Bleeker Street is quiet as it tends to be more often than not. Movement seen through the third floor window, emblazoned with the Anomaly Rue in gracefully-sculpted and enchanted metal, proves to be the good Doctor himself passing through. He descends the short steps to the hallway and then travels out of the residental section to the foyer itself. His measured steps can be heard as he travels down the grand staircase, muttering to himself. In his mantle-blues, sans Cloak for now, he strides across the foyer and into the kitchen. What on earth is he looking for?

The fridge opens.

The fridge closes sharply.

"…gods below, so that's what mayonnaise acts like after it travels through the dimension of X'ir."

Anyone arriving at the Sanctum's stoop will be noted through the whisper of the slip-silvery wards informing their master.


Kai has been meaning to come by. The only reason he hasn't bounded up to that door already is a petty act of defiance. Grandmother said to give her regards. She didn't say when he had to give them!

But it has occurred to the Elf that the only one being bereft of friendship here is himself. "Goodnes, the place hasn't changed one bit," he murmurs. He knocks on the door, then whispers to the magic, "Tell him it's Kai."

He has with him a small silver box decorated with Elvish filigree resembling grape vines. No doubt a token of friendship from dear old meemaw.


The sylph-like wards swirl around Stephen in the kitchen, where he's now spreading the mayonnaise in question on what appears to be a sandwich. It's maybe a sandwich. Pretend it's a sandwich. He pauses in bringing the silver butterknife across the slice of bread and glances obliquely before entirely back towards the door. Wearing a small smirk, he puts the sandwich within a plastic baggie and back into the questionable fridge. The wards escort him — or does he them? — to the front door and it opens inwards to reveal the Sorcerer.

"You'll have me expecting visitors from each World on the Tree at this point," he comments, still wearing the enigmatic little smile. "Asgardian, now Alfheimian… I'll need to prepare more tea." Stephen steps back from the door in silent communication for Kai to enter the abode. The wards will swirl around him in thin wisps of nosy chill before dispersing away into the wooden structure of the Sanctum.


Kai steps in and asks, "Is there an Asgardian here? I can come back. Not that I'm avoiding Asgardians, not at all." He brandishes the box. "Lady Lastrial Miriondottir sends her regards." He wrinkles his nose a little at that. Having to be formal if he must. Inside the box is a small brooch with a charm upon it, one that conceals, should one have something on their person that wants concealment.

Kai smiles as the wards sweep over him, like they were old friends saying hello. He follows Stephen into the home, himself dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, nothing formal nor fancy. "How have you been? You look great."


"Does she now…?" The Sorcerer's voice curls in curiosity as he taks the beautifully-decorated box from Kai. Upon opening it, he looks down at its contents with his storm-blue eyes taking on the cheating tell of the Sight in frosted-lavender about their centers. "Hmm. Do send my regards to her when you get the chance," he adds, giving the Elf another not-quite smile. He remembers how much the young Alfheimian detests the courtly manners required in Lastrial's presence.

"I've been…content, I suppose." The thoughtful pause is then followed by Strange leading the way into the side parlor. Already, a banked fire is burning and the tea kettle, ever-heated, is ready to pour across loose tea leaves. "The world spins on and reality remains currently undisturbed but for a tremor here and there. Now, if the gods would keep to their realms and not instigate a turf war here upon Midgard? I would sleep all the sounder." He sets the small box on one of the chair-side tables before walking over to the tea stands. "Your usual?" he asks, glancing over at Kai even as he begins making his own cuppa.


"I'll tell her you said what's up," Kai says. It's the best he'll give on this front. He looks around the parlor with a warm grin. In a world that has changed so much, some things being familiar is nice. "Oh, right. The war with the gods. I've been staying out of it. I even moved out of the Embassy.

Then, with little warning, he wraps his arms around Stephen and hugs him. "I missed you!" he says. "And everything has changed so much! I would love my usual, yes!" The Elf is serious about his hugging, damn it.


The Sorcerer jostles in place at the sudden hugging and a splat of hot water spills off to one side on the fireplace's stone hearth when he has to juggle the teapot, but his sharp look softens after a second…or two. Kai gets a moderated pat-pat on the back, between his shoulderblades, given Stephen has to finish pouring the water over the Elf's own cuppa.

"I missed your sudden lunges," he replies a bit dryly, but there's still a note of friendliness in the words. "Take a seat, you'll have your tea shortly." Taking up a silver spoon, he stirs at the brews once before setting it aside on the tray.


Kai beams at the pat-pat. The things he wants out of life are so simple, really. He sits in the chair, like he has so many times before, not looking like he's aged a day. "I've missed our teas," he says, "and catching up about everything going on. I was in Alfheim after… well, after the whole incident where I died. It was peaceful, but I started getting the itch to come back to Midgard. I'm glad I did."

He looks around with such enthusiasm. Maybe there's a little age on him now. A touch. He's a hair calmer, perhaps, or more refined. He's been playing the proper lord for fifty years. Some of it is bound to stick. "Do you have an opinion on the god war? Aside from wishing it would happen somewhere else?"


Kai's tea is delivered to the side-table tucked against his own chair, deeply-red and velveteen by upholstery. Strange's seat is still to the right when looking upon the paired pieces of furniture, and he takes his place in it with his usual archaic regality, almost as if he were royalty. He cups his tea within his palms and as always, appreciates the soothing relaxation that comes of warmth seeping into bones sporting their metal rods.

"My overarcing opinion is indeed that the gods should butt out," Strange says flatly, his mouth equally one horizontal line. "Otherwise, I am biding my time in my involvement. I have been approached as neutral mediation between the pantheons. Reputations have been maligned, according to those who spoke with me." He keeps these true identities behind his teeth for now despite mentioning the Asgardians earlier in the foyer.


Kai takes his teacup, and despite his jeans and t-shirt, he sits as properly as any well-trained lord. It's the chair that inspires him, with that high back and classic style. "I totally understand your impartiality. I of course must side with Asgard. There are allegiances to consider, and as much as I hate to say it, I do represent my House while I'm here."

He takes a small sip, then adds, "But unofficially I moved out of the Embassy because I had a crush on a guy, and now we're dating, so that's great. Plus, the place has such a great view of Central Park. And I'm, like, ninety-nine percent sure this one isn't evil."


An impartial sound comes from Stephen at hearing of where the chips fall in regards to allegiances. He too sips at his tea before wrinkling his lips. "More honey," he murmurs to himself before he rises to his feet. The firelight winks off of the bronze at his belt and the silvering at his temples as he makes his way back to the tea stand. The honey itself is spooned, thick and golden, twice into his tea-mug. The act has the essence of zen and the Sorcerer's wrist bends fluidly in its direction of the utensil despite the red lines of scarring upon it.

"I will note that you're missing a critical one percent in your calculations," the man comments, giving Kai a wry smirk. "But perhaps it will bring excitement to your lives…and hopefully not anything more muderous than, say, forgetting to turn over the wet laundry for more than a day." Because seriously: that's grounds for a talking-to.

A series of light bounding sounds can be heard from two levels above the parlor and Strange glances up at it. His smile deepens briefly before he dismisses the occurance save for, "I believe you liked Aralune - the Malk? - last I checked. She has matured. I believe she weighs…" The Sorcerer pauses to settle himself in his chair again. "…nearly 130lbs now."

News flash: that's as much as a Great Dane.


It's been several minutes since Sif spotted Kai just as he was entering this unusual building. She can almost FEEL the magical energies around it, and it's honestly a little bit worrying. She'd been led to believe that true mages and sorcerers were exceedingly rare on Midgard. This combination — the magic sensation and the fact that Kai went in there — sets her to worrying. She dithers outside of the building for a solid ten minutes before making up her mind, but once that's done her path is clear.

She marches right up to the front door and knocks. Like an Aesir. Which means she pounds her fist against the door rather harshly.

Kai says wryly, "Given my track record with paramours, I'm just being cautious. He's a great guy, though. He works for SHIELD, he's a doctor. If he wasn't mortal, Grandmother might even be impressed. We get along really well, and the only real point of contention is the rock I brought him from Hell. I think it's obsessed with him."

He perks up. "You still have Aralune? That's great! Wow, she's huge." He glances up toward the sound of the bounding. "I only had Kevin for about ten years, but he was a good little dog."

Then there's a knock on the door, and he sets his tea aside "Ooh, let me get it. That'll freak out whoever's expecting you." Because that's a fine reason to do anything, apparently. He bounds to the door and opens it with a hearty, "Hello!" Then he perks up. "Lady Sif! What a delight."


"…you brought back a rock from Hell." Of course that's what Strange focuses upon out of all of the information presented to him. A dark brow arches high in disapproval. "I'm not surprised at all to hear of this," he reveals before indulging himself in a deep sip of his tea. Yes, enough honey this time. "Aralune may live another half a century yet unless she continues her idiotic interest in playing with power cords. The creature hasn't yet learned that biting through them only — "

The knocking interrupts his thought. Glancing imperiously towards the door, as if he could see through the walls of the Sanctum itself, he sighs. "By all means."

The silvery wards, unseen by anyone without the Sight, wisp about Kai and ruffle his hair the slightest. They cavort about Sif herself in the feeling of an opened fridge door pouring cool before they disappear back to tattle to their master. Indeed, it is Sif, and the confirmation makes Stephen smile to himself.


While Sif knew that Kai was here, she was NOT expecting him to be answering the door. "Hello, Kai. I…" She felt the brief wash of magical cold, but it was gone quickly enough that she's not sure what to make of it. Thus, for the moment she dismisses it but mentally resolves to stay alert. "I saw you enter this building, but you'd not stepped back out and I was, unsure."

That's about as close as her warrior training will allow her to get to 'worried'.

Kai steps aside and says, "Please come in. I just sat down to tea with an old friend. I'll introduce you."

He calls back to the sitting room, "Stephen? My friend Lady Sif is at the door." Then he gestures for Sif to come with him. Surely, the Sorcerer Supreme won't mind him inviting someone in. Especially when he's totally willing to vouch for her.


"She's perfectly allowed to join us. I don't bite." By the unseen man's tone, he's allowing himself some mild amusement at the statement. When the Elf and Asgardian enter the parlor, he's still seated in his chair. With a lidded gaze, content and confident in his domain, the Sorcerer considers them both with fingers steepled before his chest.

"Welcome to my home, Lady Sif." Rising to his feet in controlled grace, the silver-templed man walks over with a glint of interest in his storm-blue eyes. "Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme of Midgard and reality proper." A gesture towards the tea stand is conducted without dropping his attention from his guests. "Would you like some tea?"

And somehow, the markedly innocent manner of the question already reveals a hazarding as to the answer.


Sif does indeed step inside when Kai invites her, her eyes taking in everything possible about the foyer as she follows Kai toward the sitting room, her sword and shield as always at her back.

What does this sorcerer mean by 'he doesn't bite'?

She offers him a warrior's bow in respectful response to Strange's introducing himself, and then her eyes flick toward the tea service for a very brief moment. "I would be honored to share in a beverage and news, Sorcerer Stephen."

With his magical aptitude, Strange can likely see as clear as day that she's been magically marked as an Oathbreaker — someone who has violated the rules of Hospitality.

"I'll get some tea for the lady," Kai says, "no need to get up." He talks to Sorcerer Stephen as though they're old friends, and he's quite at home in his manor. He pours a cup of tea and offers it to Sif as he says, "There's honey if you like."

Then he gestures to a chair for Lady Sif before he takes his own. One must stand in the presence of a lady after all, even a lady who could cut him in half before he realized she'd drawn steel. "Lady Sif has been keeping me out of trouble, not a job I'd wish on anyone."


"Doctor Strange, please," the man corrects Lady Sif in a manner brusque without ire. He leaves Kai to brew the tea, trusting the Elf to know his way around the tea stand — he's been served from it often enough. As Strange seats himself in his personal chair again, his irises can be seen to take on the frosted-lilac candle's-worth of glow about their pupils, proof of him using the Sight.

Sif herself glows with Asgardian life and her aura is robust. Within it, the Sorcerer can see the proclaimation of Oathbreaker. His eyes rise to Sif's face and linger, a series of distant calculations reflected within them despite their contemplative lidding again.

"Is it true, your claim of the Elf as your ward? Or is it more a friendly protection you've offered?" he asks Sif, though Kai as well by slant. Taking up his mug of tea, he sips at it again and leans back into the plush of his chair.

A section of the chair's upholstery seems to shift minutely. A sharp eye might catch it. The Sorcerer seems either unaware or used to the odd animation of the fabric. He pays it no attention.


Sif moves to sit in one of the available chairs, more perching on the edge of the upholstered seat with her back straight than sitting back and relaxing. This posture doesn't seem entirely due to the sword and shield at her back.

Studying Dr. Strange alertly, she mentally parses his question about Kai before answering as precisely as she can. She seems to have gotten the impression from this Midgardian that he can and will use her words against her should be speak rashly and without prior consideration.

"If I am understanding the meaning of the word 'ward'," that last word said in accented English instead of being rendered through AllSpeak, "then no, I do not claim him as such. I have, however, pledged my sword and shield to his safety for as long as is necessary."

Her eyes flick toward the shift in the upholstery and she studies the fabric as if trying to figure out what moved there.

Kai in contrast is at ease in the Sorcerer Supreme's presence. He takes a sip of his tea and sighs in contentment. "It's been ages," he says, "and they still make this blend. It brings me back. Do you know what I miss? All the people in the park with guitars. This neighborhood in its bohemian days was living, breathing art."

Inclining his head to Lady Sif, he says, "You do me far more honor than I deserve with your pledge, dear Lady, and I will endeavor to stay out of trouble so as not to take undue advantage of your kindness."

Then, drawing upon a previous thread of conversation, he tells Strange, "I had to bring home a souvenir, and do you know how little there is in Hell to bring back? I figured a rock would be an interesting conversation piece. Anyway, it's harmless. It just shows up where it isn't wanted sometimes. This morning it was in Beau's coffee cup."


"A noble pledge, and one I am grateful for in my own manner, Lady Sif." Strange glances over at Kai and the line of his goatee breaks for another one of those dimpled knowing smiles. A minute nod on his part is accolade for the Elf claiming no abuse of the pledge itself. His dark eyebrows lift as his mouth disappears behind his mug of tea and he listens.

"I know you well enough that you meant well by taking such an object, but you also knew that I would not approve of such an action." The Sorcerer levels a narrow look at Kai, heedless of the Elf's glimmer or glamour. "Should it become more than a nuisance, inform me immediately. Such an item can act as an anchor for more malevolent forces."

The fabric on the chair behind him ripples again and Stephen can be seen to roll his eyes. "Fine…up, go, be free." Having blended beautifully into the back of the plush wing-backed chair, the crimson Cloak of Levitation suddenly pulls away like the dust-cover from an antique. Swishing in a fluid series of tornadic turns, it ends up hovering by the open side of Strange's chair. The Sorcerer seems ruefully accepting of the relic's actions and side-eyes it again. The Cloak's pointed collars wiggle like insect antennae and then it lifts a hem to wave in a human-like fashion at the guests.


Sif bows her head in response to Strange's appreciation of her pledge to defend Kai, and she can only look at the elf squarely as the Midgardian sorcerer (an actual one, this time) warns him about the stone and offers to assist if it becomes unruly.

The cloak suddenly copping an attitude like a cat trapped between its human and the back of a chair startles her into staring at the now floating garment that's … waving hello.

Honestly baffled, she can only raise one hand to wave back at the garment.

Kai waves at the cloak amiably, like he's waving at an old friend. "I'll let you know if it causes too much trouble," Kai says. "The other day, it flattened Beau's wheelchair tire, but it was mad at him for throwing it out the window the night before. Usually it hangs around on his desk. Sometimes it ends up in his coffee cup. It got underfoot one night and I stepped on it. Not really top shelf evil stuff. Whenever it misbehaves, I threaten to paint rainbows on it for Pride."

He takes a sip of his tea, then perks up and says, "Oh! I brought him a gift from all of my travels. A giant spider fang, and an emerald leaf. Neither of those seem to be cursed. I just like to bring him things. He said I'm like a cat, only it's not dead animals."


The animated garment is thrilled by having the motions mirrored back at it and continues waving for a bit longer. Stephen, on the other hand, has returned attention back to the Asgardian and Alfheimian. He shifts in the chair to rest an ankle on his knee, lifting and dropping his boot-toe a few times to a piece of music only he can hear.

"It doesn't bite," he comments to Sif, giving her a knowing little smile. "The Cloak of Levitation." The relic gives a final hem-fluttering wave at her before falling to hovering stillness next to the chair.

"I'm certain the appreciation of a lack of corpses is deeply felt by this Beau. If you begin collecting dead bodies, I believe we'll need to have a discussion." Strange sips at his tea again. "Such things are frowned upon in this day and age," he deadpans, dry humor twinkling through his storm-blue eyes.


Strange's comment to Kai, even given jokingly, has her focusing on him again. It helps that the Cloak decided to chill out back there. "In /this/ day and age, Sorcerer? Does this mean collecting corpses was acceptable at some point on Midgard?" She seems honestly disturbed by this, to the point that she's completely forgotten about the tea the Kai brought her.

Kai laughs lightly and says, "I won't be bringing him bodies, of animals or otherwise. Just little souvenirs from the places I go. I should have given some thought to the rock from Hell, but now it's kind of growing on us. It harasses him more than it does me. I think it's obsessed with him."

He tells Sif as an aside, "I don't recall any time since the 1600s where corpses were an acceptable gift, but human history is broad and expansive and weird. Wait! The 1800s, England. Mummies. Like I said, weird."


"Bear in mind that its interest in your Beau may not be amusing if its actions become indicative of intent to harm. Keep track of it." Stephen's head can be seen to shift on the horizontal a few more times as he sighs, accepting that the rock from hell will be up to hijinks unless his aid is requested.

"Kai is not incorrect, however, Lady Sif, as the 1800s did showcase a period of time wherein the mummified remains of non-Anglo cultures were considered acceptable gifts. We are blessed that this act did not continue on into present times. It is extremely unsanitary at best, crude and intolerable at worst." A beat and he asides, "I was jesting about it as a whole."


Kai shakes his head. "Weird. Weird and unsanitary. I'm not sorry I missed a lot of the 1800s. Grandmother yanked me back to Alfheim for awhile." He finishes his tea and sets the cup aside. "I would love to spend more time, but I should be getting home. I promised I wouldn't be too long."

He gets to his feet, and this once he doesn't hug Strange. Not in front of the Asgardian. "Lady Sif, it's such a pleasure to see you. Do you want to share a Lyft back to the East Side?"

Sif can only agree with the sentiment of 'weird and unsanitary'. Midgardians are truly strange, but at least that is one practice they've not maintained.

Then Kai moves to take his leave so she does the same. "Thank you for your hospitality, Sorcerer." She's even more appreciative considering the Oathbreaker curse still on her. She offers Strange a warrior's bow, then turns to follow Kai out.

"What is a 'Lyft', Kai? I usually request Taxis."

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