1964-10-19 - Mother and Son
Summary: Vic and Wanda have tea.
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Theme Song: None
vic wanda 

Vic has done his best, bringing all the knowledge he's brought to bear on both food and his mother's likes and dislikes, to arrange the loveliest tea he's capable of. There's baklava, a sampler of honeys for the tea, little cubes of honey almond fudge, and lavender shortbread. The tea is itself a fine blend from Mrs. O'Riley's. One Dr. Strange buys frequently, just to cover one's bases.

He's dressed nicely. A little too nicely for hanging out at home, but not so overboard as to require a tie and coat. He's tamed his curls down and has dabbed a little cologne. He's damned presentable. Especially since the last time he saw his mother, he was drenched in his own blood.

He's there to answer the door all straight posture and an adolescent's attempt at formality. Part son, part butler, all sincerity.

It would help, no doubt, that Doctor Strange possesses a physician's eye for detail and a fairly thorough accounting of what they eat in his sanctum. After all, he can just ask the building. Wanda's propensity for anything derived from nectar and other high-energy caloric sources is not particularly a secret. In the days of smoothies and sugar-rich shakes to come, she has her name written all over a loyalty card for Jamba Juice or Tropical Smoothie World.

For the moment, though, anything not derived from meat will do just fine. Given her own relationship with Mrs. O'Riley, the witch's supply of blackberry-infused white teas and various other greens is undoubtedly a common point of conversation beyond Strange himself. They have their fondness.

She looks much like herself, always in black and scarlet, the long coat sealed up the front and her leggings heavier. Nights are cool. Boots are tall to kick the tar out of trouble as it comes, and the whispery shadows of nightfall gather at her throat ad pulse points, the resins and deep spice wrapped around the black roses that are her signature. Presentable; and she's not blood-drenched. Albeit there's a different air around her, paranoid and watchful.

The look of a hunting cat.

Her kitten, grown but still gawkish, smiles broadly. In black and scarlet, tall boots, and those heady resins, he sees the most beautiful woman in the universe. It's just as well he's with a gentleman; there isn't a woman alive who could ever live up to her. Mother. "I'm so glad you could make it," he says. "I just threw a little something together for us." Laid out in porcelain and silver. Is that tea service new? Or really, really old? Or both?

The baklava is from Saganaki's, the fudge from a chocolatier the valet recommended, but there are still a few dishes in the sink that might hint at the shortbread being a handmade endeavor. The blends he asked for from Mrs. O'Riley were the ones Strange doesn't drink, that his mother favors, and it's steaming in the pot. Can't overbrew those delicate whites. He asked all about it. Because things have to be as perfect as possible for the woman who is, as far as he's concerned, perfection personified.

"Would you like a seat? It's the best in the house, and I can take your coat. The twins are out for the day, and I have no idea where Jay is, but someday you'll meet them all." Possibly feast on them, and this is something he accepts.

Such a kitten, rangy and growing into those big paws, takes after his father for the feet through genetics and her for preferences of shade. Mother is a title she wears relatively easily, endowed with the three of them, though it still defies sense and reality that she's barely older than them. It's not altogether comforting, likely, to see the timeworn wisdom of suffering ages in eyes so, so old compared to the rest of her youth. "Your uncle sends his regards," she says in her heavily accented English. Transian, like its sister Romanian, straddles the Slavic and Romantic worlds. Music of the Romani is already infused there, but she gets by at a limp. "He is resting. The Doctor had work."

It's actually the truth of it, and she rubs at the back of her neck as though missing the garrotte someone left there. Be very, very glad that one James Barnes isn't in sight. She doesn't shake off that sense of wakeful acuity pushed to a breaking point, but talking and not surveying the place with a knife in hand helps. It's about as social as one gets, these days. It counts for something.

"The house is very good." Talk to a woman who didn't have a roof for twenty-three years, she hasn't a great yardstick on this. "You have tried hard. I see this." A nod from her grinds into the disused avenue of conversation that isn't half in the mind, interrupted by her garrulous twin. Chatty moon, she is the harsh and unforgiving sun. He doesn't deserve this, Vic, but oh, to be the satellite between her and the great cosmos of her lover. Well.

"Oh, that's so nice," Vic says. "Tell him I said thank you and hello, and tell Dad I said hi, too. Um, if you want. I can't really tell you what to do." Because she is Mother, and Mother doesn't get given orders, even when they're requests within the social norm. Looking around the place, he says, "This is a neat place to live. The twins are great housemates. I mean Kellan's Kellan, and Kaleb's teaching me important things like how to tip the valet." OldVic never lived this well, and NewVic is still a babe in the woods among the wealthy.

The thing is, it's okay if Mother isn't chatty, because a chatty mom isn't the mom Vic wants. He wants her. He pours them both tea, then settles into a seat not quite as nice as the one he's offered. "Did Dad tell you we sparred? I got him good once, but only once." Then he got thrown and slammed, but still: best day ever.

The baklava will eventually end up in her belly and not that soon. Time is relative for Wanda. In all time she'll get around to consuming something worthwhile to fuel her particular powers. The urgency does not lie so close to the surface, a tide rippling under her body and out of sight.

She nods, not wasting words when it comes to confirming her participation in making all things right. Dad will come to know things like that. "They live well." The twins live better than she ever did in all her years, except the most recent. Great digs go along with being the guardian of a sanctum and her partner in life. "No. He did not. You will learn he adapts fast."

"Their folks are rich," Vic says as he looks around the place. His home, but the opulence always throws him. "They've got enough money to get whatever they want, but their folks are distant. I think I got the better deal." He smiles at his mother, that big dimpled grin with straight white teeth. He's a cherub to look upon, too sweet for this world. No need for praise and saccharine words. Death has shown him he never need doubt his parents' devotion.

"I don't think I'll ever beat him again," Vic says, and there's nota lick of frustration in his voice over it. Throwing himself at his father and ending up on his ass every time teaches him something, every time. "I'm doing Tai Chi now," he says. "Trying to calm my mind and see what's inside my soul. I like the quiet."

Hard to say the witch's opinion on that. Money belongs to other people. Lucre is a weakness to exploit, something that assures a roof but not the wisdom to keep it or hard-won talent to make a difference in the world. "We are not the best," she says, a bit crisp around the edges, the remnants of her Transian accent never very far. Meet Slavic and Romantic tongues in a fickle embrace, and they sound as her.

"You may. Study. Change your ways. He does not use the same means always." These small pieces of wisdom can be obtained from some direction, assuredly, and applied one way or the other. She's no expert in matters of defeating Strange deliberately. Then again, holding the power to shift reality around to her liking helps, though the Vishanti take a dim view on mother and child doing that too often. "What is inside your soul? Mine is not good food."

We are not the best. An immediate urge to deny the words rises in Victor, but so too the need to listen to his mother. He's a good boy, he is. He falters over the dual desires, then smiles softly as he says, "You're mine." It is enough. He ducks his head and toys with a piece of shortbread before he nibbles on it. Hunger is never far away. The energy it takes to keep this body from the entropy it was snatched from could put a serious dent in the world's supply of shortbread. But he nibbles. No scoffing food down in the presence of Mom.

He thinks about the contents of his soul. He's only touched upon the barest sense of his nature, a sense of being he returns to without, so far, delving deeper. His lips form a small moue but only briefly. "There is light," he says, "and this overwhelming feeling I get sometimes that puts tears in my eyes. That everything has such possibility, and it's humbling to get to be a part of it."

Best can be defined in multiple different facets, of course. Let someone make of that as they will. Strange's pride may smart and Pietro may roll his eyes, but the duskiest sun moves between her lunar twin and her celestial counterpart. Her path is her own. She does not even so much as raise her black eyebrows, scarce countenancing defiance. They are defiance incarnate, the rebellion and the revolution in the flesh, the Maximoff twins. She knows something about those considering different paths of thought. "Your?" Curious, that, though she still wears her caution on her sleeve like a knife turned to her forearm.

"That is a good soul. You are happy?"

"My mom," Vic says, as easily a breathing, "and my dad. You gave me life, and you're my family." Let there be better parents out there, he wants nothing to do with them because these flawed and powerful beings are his flawed and powerful beings. And he's theirs, unplanned but present.

The nibbling of the shortbread wears it down to a small bite he pops in his mouth, washing it down with a swig of tea. He nods then and says, not having to think about it at all, "I'm happy almost all the time. Even when I'm not happy, I'm grateful. Life is great, Mom."

His brow pinches a little. "I remember power, like I filled up a universe, but it was an empty place. I was so lonely that, even though I couldn't really feel hurt, it hurt somehow. Then I woke up where there's people, and my family, and a body that let me move within a world that's got so much neat stuff." His smile returns, softer and more contemplative. "There's not a day goes by I'm not in awe of you and dad for giving me life."

"It is odd sometimes to hear." Wanda isn't accusatory, more reflecting that the Eiffel Tower is pointy and the Yangtze River is deep, forests smell good and baklava may be tasty. Her matter of factness comes with the characteristic laconic nature few save those closest to her orbit, erratic though it may be.

Baklava begs her to consume something, though she will get around to it. Tea, oh? She finally recalls the cooling cup and brings that to her lips, swallowing a healthy amount over small, feline sips that wouldn't constitute rude in any calibre of reality. Agatha Harkness raised her, after all. Manners fifteen thousand and more years old and refined in Atlantis do not leave her particularly rude. "Better than my path. Stay to it."

She doesn't muse deeply upon that.

Vic nods as he listens. He's not going to get all schmoopy and sugarcoat Mom's path in an attempt to comfort. "I will," he tells her. After mulling over his thoughts, he confesses, "I've been reading a lot about the War. I can't wrap my mind around what little I know." Of her, from tidbits gleaned here and there, watchful creature that he is. He shakes his head, and there's hurt in his eyes that people could do this to each other on such a scale.

Bowing his head, he says, "I want you to know that I love you. No matter what's happened. It doesn't matter. It might not mean much on a cosmic scale, but you'll always have my love and my faith." He wants to touch her, a pat on the hand, something, but he recognizes the gesture as selfish, and he refrains. He even glances at his tea to spare her the pressure of his gaze in the moment.

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