1965-02-10 - You're an Asshole
Summary: Morbius and Elmo are cornered into a sit down and have a fight.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
elmo morbius lindon 

This cafe isn't too far from Lindon's apartment, and it's a good place to find him if one's going out looking for him. He's warded, though, so looking for him specifically has got to be one of those deeply intentional things. Otherwise, the eye just wants to pass right over him and log him as 'someone of no interest.' Magic, folks. Lamont can't be far away, either. He rarely is, these days.

Magic, folks. Goddamn magic. The whole reason Michael tosses and turns when he sleeps. He's been a less than visible member of the world for some time now. But as Constantine very well knows, the vampire is their resident stalker, having put up for months now outside of whichever various home Lindon took residence in that evening. Because that's not properly creepy and worthy of a restraining order. Lindon knew during the first few weeks. Or, at least, there were letters about it. Morbius just never saw fit to continue confirming it, and John (aside from his constant teasing of his friend) condoned it. Especially now. Which meant that of course he was rarely stalking elsewhere and had upped his game to following in person when he could, unless tasked to go elsewhere.

Still, he cannot /always/ be there. Just the pathetic majority of the time.

Like tonight.

Fuck magic. Have I mentioned fuck magic? For all Michael's adaptation to learn more of it from various sources, it was a pain in his ass and left him to track Lindon at times by scent before he could trick his eyes into it. Out of it. /Whatever/! Still. He must be especially irritated with it tonight because as Lindon settled into his table, the vampire simply strolled up and took the seat directly to his side, grumbling as he turned his coffee cup upright in the customary 'yes, give me caffeine, woman' signal. "As clever as it is, that ward gives me a fantastic headache, my starlight."

Magic has nothing to do with why Elmo is checking the diner for Lindon. He just knows there's a decent chance of Lindon being here, and now he's—okay, he's not nearly as paranoid as Morbius, but he's got a significantly heightened awareness of the trouble their mutual boyfriend is in. So he comes in after having a struggle with the door. A waitress tells him to have a seat. He tells her that he's waiting for a friend, as he looks carefully for Lindon. It's a lot harder to see Lindon now and requires effort, and he has nothing to help. However, after a minute he spots him. Oh, and Morbius. That's great. He promised himself he wasn't going to let Morbius chase him off, though, and so he approaches, although he doesn't just sit down, instead hovering a little ways off. "Uhm, hi, guys."

Lindon looks up from his coffee when Morbius comes, and he smiles at him. "You found me," he says. "It's strange, isn't it? I looked at myself in the mirror and had to keep forcing myself to focus." It's public, so he can't do what he wants to do, which is give Morbius a kiss and curl up under one arm. Is it stalking if the recipient doesn't mind at all? He gives Morbius a long look, and he sighs softly. That soulful glance is dangerous enough, and he looks back to his coffee, failing to suppress a grin.

Which blossoms into another full smile as Elmo comes to hover. "Elmo, sit, please. I was just going to have a cup of coffee while Lamont's got some business down the street."

Morbius looks up from where he was fussing over his cup and napkin, his gaze reaching up to meet Lindon's. One of two men he's found who can hold his stare for any real period of time without practically stabbing themselves with a tack lodged in their shoe to offset the discomfort. "Of course I did." No romanticism. Purely factual. "I told you I would always find you."

Restraining. Order.

Though he doesn't share the tidbit that he cannot actually focus on Lindon to save his life right now, but found him through other means, Michael doesn't want to give the absent Lamont that satisfaction.

Glancing up as Elmo appears, there's a dismissive glance away the next moment while gloved hands rearrange condiments on the table. That's sticky, oh god. Morbius' mouth twitches as he sets the salt shaker back down. "Hello, boy." Gruff as his delicate, somewhat nasal accent will let him be.

Elmo's hands are deep in his coat pockets, like he doesn't trust them to behave. Gingerly he sits across from the other two men, poised on edge, not relaxed in any sense of the word. "Hi," he says to Lindon with a quick, shy smile. "You okay?" Then he rolls his eyes when Morbius calls him 'boy'. "I ain't answerin' to boy, Morb, come up with somethin' else." Morbius can insult him, but only on his terms!

Lindon glances between the two of them, but he doesn't get between them. Intead, he pours a little more sugar into his coffee and says, "And I will always believe you," to Morbius. Restraining order, Lindon. Just… yeah. This is healthy. To Elmo, he says, "I'm well. So far, nothing worrisome has happened. I'm settling into working from home."

Ah, to be loved fiercely by a predatory species.

"Does 'child' suit you better?" Morbius hums with that finely educated, unruffled tone that says he's been to a number of parties where thinly veiled insults at invaders and sympathizers while trying to keep your skin on were common occurrence. "Or do you prefer 'whelp'?" The man under the hat lifts his regard to look directly at Elmo, as if he hasn't done a single thing wrong in the world.

What? He said hello.

"Excellent," and he's already away from Elmo just like that. "I'm sure the cats are happy you get more time with them. They're going to be sad little nightmares when this is all over and you go back to work. Trying to cram a day's worth of attention on you at night." Light, the side of Michael's scuffed shoe taps innocently against the side of Lindon's. Present. He gestures for his cup to be filled as well, please and says nothing as the waitstaff comes and goes.

Elmo doesn't meet Morbius' eyes. He has trouble with normal eye contact. Meeting glowing red evil eyes are a no-go. "Yeah, why don't we just /not/, that sounds good," he mutters, shoulders hunched, face turned away. He looks at Lindon, just…looking at him. Taking in the fact that he's here. "Lindele. Bethy's okay. My team saw to it."

Lindon still doesn't actually say anything about the tension between his two lovers, though he does give them an imploring look, careful not to implore more from one than the other. Even if it's Morbius being the catty one, let's face it. "They do like that I'm home a lot," he says, "especially Puck. He's getting so big, I don't know if my lap can hold him for much longer." When one receives cats from Strange, one should be more suspicious of exactly what kind of cats they are. Under the table, Lindon moves is foot lightly against Morbius', all innocence.

His features become so warm when Elmo mentions Bethy is okay. "You guys are the best," he says. "Poor kid, it's about time she got a break. Hopefully they'll be safe now for awhile."

Morbius seems utterly amenable to Elmo's suggestion when neither of his seem to be agreeable. Dropping the subject entirely in favor of flat out ignoring. "I can't tell if John is terrified or intrigued by Puck," Morbius mentions with a bemused twist to his lips. "A bit of both no doubt. The cat-shaped not-cat." Humming his mild bemusement over the state of Lindon's pets while he doctors his coffee very lightly. THough he does listen to updates, of course. No reason in not.

Elmo grins, down at the table, at being complimented. "Yeah. Hope so." The grin vanishes abruptly. "They just weren't treatin' her. She's…" he takes a moment to fish around for a word. "She's obvious. Not like me or the guys." He looks up at Lindon, with a brief flash of fury glinting out amidst his anxiety and nerves. He doesn't dare look at Morbius.

"Puck likes John," Lindon says, proud of his little cat-not-cat for being so personable. Never mind the cat tends to regard others with a 'I'm on his lap and you're not so suck it' look. Lindon doesn't notice. The beast is capable of no wrongdoing. To Elmo, he says, "It's not fair for her to have to go through this, and I think I'm angrier at them exploiting her than trying to get at me. It's added incentive to stop them."

His watch chimes, and he looks at it. "Oh, oh, oh I have to make a phone call," he says. "Will you two excuse me for a moment. I'll just make it from that pay phone over there." It's visible outside the window. "It's about work. I can't not call my boss right now."

"She doesn't 'pass'," Morbius offers in a hum. Elmo doesn't need to look at him for the man to hear. Leaning back slightly in his seat, fingers touching his cup lightly, giving it a quarter turn back and forth. "Is the term I've heard most often, here." Seeming agreement over the unfairness of it all. "Those who prey on children are the laziest and most cruel humanity has to offer, as no one with a shred of conscience should be able to turn one away."

The watch chimes and Morbius nods mildly, his knee lightly tapping Lindon's as he rises and points out the pay phone. Just because Morbius doesn't give a fuck about what people think of him doesn't mean Lindon isn't at risk or vulnerable. "Of course. Take care of what you need to, asteri mou. We'll be here."

"Pass," Elmo echoes, trying it. "Like can't be passed off as a human? Yeah. That's what I mean, thanks. She can't pass. And she's six." Unseen, his hands clench in his pockets.

He adds his support to what Morbius says, looking up at Lindon. "Yeah, you gotta call in. Don't worry about it."

Lindon rises, finishes his coffee in a swallow, then says, "I adore you both," in a low tone, only when he's sure there's no waitress nearby. There's one who has been giving him goo-goo eyes lately, but she's not here at the moment. He hurries toward the door, and there he'll be at the pay phone having an uninteresting (yet fascinating to him) conversation about archiving books.

Morbius watches Lindon stand and step outside from under the brim of his hat. The spell makes him difficult to identify, but he can still keep tabs on the 'random human number 12' standing at the pay phone for a while. The silence is deafening at the table, though considering how sharp Morbius' tongue can be sometimes, perhaps that's the better option while he sips his coffee and they can ignore one another in peace.

Elmo's hand escapes, wanting to reach after Lindon. He stops and stuffs it back in his pocket. The yearning adoration in his eyes, as he watches Lindon go!

The waitress comes over to bring Elmo coffee. "You found your friend!" she says to him, smiling at him and Morbius like they're not tensely ignoring each other. "Can I get you two handsome gentlemen anything?"

Elmo tries to smile back at her, but it's a lost cause. "Nah. Thanks."

"Keep it in your pants, whelp," Morbius murmurs as pleasantly conversational as he can be while Elmo moons over Lindon.

Though for all his rude contempt for Elmo, he keeps his attention politely cutailed so as not to disturb the waitress. Nearly chuffing a bitten back sound when she calls them 'friends'. "No thank you. If you could bring my 'friend' the bill, that would be lovely, my dear." Pleasant as a spring shower.

Elmo murmurs back, "He likes it outta my pants." Morbius sticks him with the bill and he says, thoughtful, as the waitress leaves, "Out of all the things I figured ya for, a cheapskate wasn't one of 'em, Morb." He doesn't object to paying, though. "You could just ask, yannow."

"I knew you had to be of interest to him for something, and it certainly wasn't your intellect or personality," Morbius tips his chin down a bit more, the brim of his hat obscuring more of his face as he fires back. "My name is Morbius, child. I understand multiple syllables may be difficult for you, but I'm sure you can manage. And /asking/ doesn't seem to be how things are done here. Why go against the grain?"

Elmo laughs a little, startled by this weird half-compliment. "Yer a funny guy, Morb." He gets up, but lest it raise Morbius' hopes, it's only to put a couple of nickels in the jukebox. Probably they came from a parking meter, opened courtesy of one Jean-Pierre. 'Street Fighting Man' starts playing. Elmo checks through the window for Lindon, or at least Lindon's generic presence, outside at the payphone, then returns. "Yeah that's fair," he says with a kind of grim amusement. "We don't do so much askin', here, not how you like it. Make you a deal though. You call me Elmo, and I'll call you Morbius."

The younger man stands and gives Morbius a moment to close his eyes until the glowing subsides and it's safe to lift his chin back upward, peering out the window thoughtfully. "Yes, I understand that my needs for general respect in my own relationship, communication, and defense of someone under attack are charmingly antiquated." Morbius lifts to his feet again slowly and drops two quarters on the table. "It's almost like I've experience in any of these matters and might know what I'm talking about. But you wouldn't understand that or come to me after realizing how foolish and wrong you were, now would you Mister Rosencrantz?" Lifting his face to stare down hard at Elmo, composed, but it's like a sheath of silk around a knife. "Go fuck yourself, I believe is the colorful term."

Elmo pulls his hands out of his pockets in order to bury his face in them, in an expression of utter aggravation and despair. "What? /What/ is it, for crying out loud? You gotta know I'm no threat to you. Please, look at me, you're better in every single way than me." He sweeps a hand down at himself, mouth twisted. "You're smarter, you're better looking, you're educated, and you can do a million things I can't, nu? You, Lamont, Lambert, a literal angel of God, what do I have to threaten /any/ of you? Nothing! I'm on the bottom rung. So why do you act like this?"

Why? The magical question that Morbius seems to be answering a lot of lately. But to his credit, he always seems to answer. Please may be the magic word, but 'why' is right up there.

The living vampire shows zero compassion for Elmo's part in all of this for all his expressive agony over the situation. He is quiet til the end, but barely waits before answering, very quietly and tersely as he touches the cuffs of his sleeves. "I act this way because you have been an arrogant, unempathetic, disrespectful child since the moment you came storming into the tea shop and I /defended/ someone who needed it in a matter you knew nothing about and quite honestly, I don't believe we needed more to know about. You say you're on the bottom rung and act like you've no idea your place as you stumble along blindly into Lindon's life after falling into his bed, as if that grants you some sort of grace or recognition from me to excuse your behavior."

Smoothly touching the brim of his hat, obscuring most of his face, Morbius seems to hold tighter to his composure, murmuring low and articulate. "Aside from your own behavior, I act this way because you are a symptomatic reminder to everything wrong in this experimental relationship Lindon tries to pretend he understands, but does not. Your very presence is daily confirmation that Lindon respects us so little that he does not see a reason in telling his protectors or his boyfriends when he decides some fly by night trick is entertaining enough to warrant a relationship—which is problematic on a safety angle, but also on the very basis of trust and communication a relationship is built on. Is it you who were not worth the mention, or was is I who was not important enough to inform?" Morbius prints out as clearly as he can why he doesn't like Elmo. Why he treats him as he does. "That is admittedly not your fault, but you get to bear that brunt as I am not a perfect creature and my alternative is to get angry at the man I worship during a very delicate and volatile time."

"You're an asshole, and seeing your face forces me to confront everything wrong that will eventually destroy the last living relationship that I possess. Does /that/ satisfy you, Mister Rosencrantz?" He clips the last very neatly, sharply between his teeth.

Elmo doesn't even try to look at Morbius, during this speech. It could easily be translated as avoidance, even snubbing, the way he's picked up one of the quarters and is fiddling with it. Yet, it's not, if Morbius wants to perceive anything about this behavior. Instead it's intense concentration. He's paying strict attention to everything his romantic rival says, and additionally, he's thinking about the words, turning them over in his mind as he walks the quarter across his knuckles.

"Yeah," he says quietly, when Morbius has concluded. "It does satisfy me. You don't want to get mad at Lindon, even though you're mad at him for not telling you about me. Which, by the way, he shoulda done. So you're mad at me, and conveniently I happen to be a jerk you can get real mad at." He flips the quarter, turning it into a spherical blur before he catches it. "Okay." It's acceptance. Without pity, but not without compassion.

Morbius is used to people never meeting his gaze. John and Lindon, the only two men in the city he's known who can hold it reliably, even Strange struggles, visibly after a few moments. So all things considered, the sullen act of fiddling with quarters isn't itself looked down upon, or at least he doesn't attack Elmo or accuse him of not paying attention. "Yes," the word is harder than he initially intends it to be, but Morbius lets it sit anyway. "You are god damned right he should have." His words carry vigor, but at least the acid is not directed at Elmo. "You accused me of not being as 'cool' as Lamont. Lamont is half mad and /owns/ him as a relic without equivocation so he does not /care/. Lambert is a satyr who does not invest in relationships on a mortal level. Lindon had not had a relationship until Lamont, and I was the first outside of him; as much as I love him, he has /no/ idea what he is doing aside from collecting people as they cross his sheets, which is not how this is done." Morbius continues on his lecture to Elmo, finally putting the mess out there. "In an ironic twist of fate, I am the most human and experienced person in this relationship, so you will forgive me if being consistently belittled by a teenager, or being disrespected by the person I love irks me." Morbius settles his hand on the flat of the table he stands beside. His hooked fingernails chitter slightly in a telling tremble before they are silent again, pressed to the surface. "…at least he asked about Lambert. I could see then what we were getting into. /You/. Christ."

"I ain't a teenager anymore," Elmo says, rich with irony. "Now I'm twenty. You're welcome." He glances somewhere in the region of Morbius' chest, then away. "I'm sorry he didn't tell ya," he murmurs, watching the quarter, rubbing his thumb across the eagle imprint. "And I'm sorry I got in your face that day. I was scared for Lindon. And you scared me. And maybe I overreacted. Sometimes I do that." 'Sometimes.' "And I don't know what I'm doin, neither. Not that I gotta tell you that."

Morbius settles a hand over his eyes as patiently as he can possibly manage, whispering something Greek under his breath. "Well then pardon me a hundred thousand times for my grievous error." When he is able to actually manage English again and pull that hand from his face, immediately dropping it to touch the knot of his tie, then pluck some invisible thread or lint off his sleeve. 'I'm sorry' is…harder for Morbius than actually arguing. He falls silent for a period of time. "No. You don't. It's very, very apparent that you have no clue which way is up." So he grouses! Yet again. Then grunts, steels himself and presses further. "I apologize for any undue grief I've given you. I know that these problems aren't your fault, as the burden falls to Lindon and he is the one making these mistakes that you get to pay for. I know they are deeper toxic elements of the relationship structure as a whole and it isn't fair to blame you for stumbling into it blindly because you are a child and you don't know any better." Morbius tries being nice about it. I swear. "It is very. Heartbreaking. Watching it come apart. Because I know I will be the one to go. So. Yes. I apologize for taking more out on you than perhaps I should have."

Elmo just hitches a shoulder. He /is/ a child and he /doesn't/ know any better, there's no lie there. "Appreciate it," he mumbles. Neither of them are great with apologies. "I thought Lamont could show me how to do it. I mean, you're right. He owns Lindon. He's nice to me, but why shouldn't he be, I can't take Lindon away from him. Bert's real sweet but he's, well, he's Bert, and the only thing that bothers him is that /more/ of us ain't sleeping with each other. Michael—" he waves the entire idea of Michael away. We don't really need to talk about a literal angel, do we? "I got nobody to show me how to do this. I'm tryin', Morbius. I'm not doing such a good job, but I really am tryin'."

"Michael is a fly by fancy at this point and just one of Lindon's bedmates. A lover does not make a relationship. Unless I have to find a way to suddenly become angry over an angel now, but at least I recognized his scent from the apartment once I ran across him in public. I knew he existed," Morbius disregards Michael entirely. The guy's an angel. Everything is a weird experiment to him. "But who knows? Clearly none of this is up for discussion or communication any more, so it hardly seems sensible to even attempt a pretense at it. This isn't a relationship, it's become a farce." The rest of it seems absolutely logical and agreeable regarding Lamont and Lambert. Elmo isn't wrong.

Morbius taps his fingers on the table top, still standing, unwilling to sit back down. "My advice, as much as it pains me to say it, is to not follow Lindon's example. He would not tolerate the same treatment if the roles were reversed, but…bless him, he doesn't think about it. Unless you find yourself in a relationship with a Greek lust and hedonism monster, and numerous individuals who are equally not as emotionally invested, don't take what you're seeing as rote." He hesitates for a long moment, frowning to himself.

Smoothing his inky black hair over his shoulders and making sure his ears are tucked away. "There are books on the subject. Few and far between, but they exist. The late 1800s had a number of years where non-monogamy was looked at and the popularity of the subject is on the rise so there have been a few more in the last five years." He hesitates a longer moment. "You may ask me, but I can't say I'll have all the answers." Shut up. Don't get into it more than that. Morbius puts himself out there after swearing to not get into this further. "My thoughts are that the more people you attach yourself to, the more work you need to do on establishing clear an explicit communication. Relationships only work on communication, of that I am absolutely certain and I will live and die by. And it is clearly the portion of this which bothers me the absolute most." Morbius exhales a breath, looking at the pay phone and the figure by it. He squeezes his eyes shut, and shakes his head slightly. "I need to leave. Enjoy your coffee. Tell him…tell him whatever you like. Excuse me."

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