1965-02-11 - Teatime At Teddy's
Summary: Billy's not home so when Dr. Strange stops by, he and Teddy talk.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
strange teddy 

Reality has been calm. Very calm. Oddly calm, in fact, and this brings to mind the fact that the Sorcerer Supreme hasn't seen one of his purported offspring in some time. Having his mother's touch, Billy is always sensed when his words get to work in rewriting reality. This silence is enough to prick a parent's interest and thus, with the falling-shut of a crackling Gate behind him, Strange arrives at the apartment shared by the erstwhile young man and his other-half.

Knock knock knock-knock-knock, comes the pattern, and ends with two deliberate tap-tap. Yep, shave-and-a-haircut, Dad's here, open up. He puts his scarred hands back into the pockets of his Belstaff coat. Dressed in mundane garb today, he's got on a dress shirt and slacks, all the better to blend in to New York proper.

It's not long before Teddy opens the door, wearing just a pair of gym shorts. normal attire for him when he's home. Though as soon as he sees who it is, a tee-shirt ripples into existence. "Oh, hi Doc. Come on in." Opening the door fully, he steps back out of the way. "Billy's not here at the moment." Why else would the man be here?

It takes Strange a moment to remember the young man's name — ah, Teddy, yes — and he nods to the young man, the motion oddly cordial and possibly outdated; yet, it still works somehow, given the gravitas that generally lingers about the Sorcerer.

"Thank you, Teddy." Upon walking across the threshold, the Sorcerer senses the wardings he set down so long ago react to him with harmonious vibrations to his own wellspring of magic. "Where is Billy, then? I intended to touch base with him." Strange turns to consider Teddy with an expression betraying mild concern.

"Shopping for dinner." Teddy answers as he closes the door. "Which might mean he went to the market down the street or the market in Hong Kong. Or maybe he got an urge for paella again and he's in Barcelona." Never can tell with that boy. Far from sounding concerned, he just sounds amused. "Can I get you something? Or just want me to tell him to call you when he gets back?"

Strange laughs softly to himself. It has the air of a parent shaking their head in fond amusement without actually doing so. Of course, it might be paella taking Billy beyond the shores of America.

"If you have tea, I'll take a cup. Wanda might be jealous to hear of his excursion. She does love a nice dish of paella." Taking a few steps deeper into the apartment, he comments, "I never noticed the staircase before. That's a nice touch. Billy must have added it?" His glance slides to Teddy once more.

Teddy shakes his head as he goes into the kitchen. "Nope, was there when we moved in. Was the selling point, actually. Goes up to the private roof. You just don't visit enough." He opens a cabinet, one shelf of which is stocked with different teas. "Which do you want?"

"Yes…things do keep me from cordially arriving more often than not," he agrees quietly, giving the layout of the living room one last consideration. Nice egg-chairs. The taller presence of the Sorcerer then joins Teddy shortly, looking into the contents of the cupboard. "The darkest blend, please. If you have honey, all the better. Otherwise, sugar will do."

He takes a few steps back to lean nonchalantly against the counter, hands still in his coat pockets. "I haven't sensed anything unusual within reality lately, which I can presume to interpret as you and Billy are well…?" He's got to ask for the sake of Mom, truly. She'd be the one asking otherwise.

Teddy turns the stove on under a tea pot then pulls out a tin and scoops some tea leaves into a infuser ball. "Yeah, we're fine. Just been busy doing normal stuff." If training with SHIELD can be considered normal. Given the talk of sensing disturbances in reality, it probably does. "How about you? No extradimensional invasions we should know about?"

"Nothing lately that needed more than a simple banishment," Strange replies, shifting in place. "There was a brief rift in Washington Square Park that let in a Siren-like Fae, but she was taken care of before she could cause much more damage than a few bums convinced that the government is slipping LSD into their leftover sandwiches."

He pauses for a second, his focused look indicative of a quick machination or two. "Teddy. Billy informed me a few months back that you are not entirely of this Earth…? I ask not because I do not trust you, but because knowledge is important to me. I cannot protect our family if I do not know what could potentially be looking to harm us."

Teddy glances out the window toward the nearby park. "Didn't hear a thing." Must have been out or at work or something. Ah, the third degree. Probably overdue. Turning, he leans back against the counter as he waits for the water to boil. "Yeah. I always thought I was a mutant but it seems likely now I'm half Skrull. One of the SH…" Wait. Who knows what? "My blood cells are very close to those of Skrulls though not exact."

"Interesting." The comment is mild and bereft of judgment; the man really is curious, not looking to threaten or coerce information. "That would explain your…ability to shift — no, not a shift." Strange wrinkles his nose thoughtfully, wondering precisely how to describe what Teddy can do, miraculous as it appears. "Camouflage? I did deal with the Skrull briefly not too long ago. They seem to be able to rearrange their entire cellular structure at will."

"More than camouflage. That implies just disguise, I think." Teddy replies, shrugging a shoulder lightly. Though he frowns after a moment. "Actually, I don't know if they can do what I can do. I don't think so?" He sounds unsure. "When we fought them on their ship, they just used regular weapons. Well, regular for them. I've only ever seen them change their shape into people. Maybe I am a mutant too. Or would have been if some Skrull didn't… umm, romance my mom."

Strange nods. "I suspect that you may have a combination of genetic traits that allow you this singular ability. Hmm. You and Billy are a good match in this," he adds with a little smile. Glancing at the stove, he considers a little spell to rush the heating of the water, but desists out of polite manners.

"So this makes your shirt a reflection of your cellular structure or an actual piece of clothing?" He squints, seeing if he can pick out the nuances of the shirt itself.

"Brains and brawn?" Teddy asks with a grin. He's well aware his talents - and interests - lie more in the physical than cerebral. "Yeah, we do." At the question, he glances down at his shirt and plucks t the 'fabric'. "No, it's all me." The shorts and tee shirt alter into pants and a polo along with sneakers, all of which becomes a tuxedo before going back to shorts and tee. "Saves time and money shopping for clothes."

Dark brows flicking high betray the Sorcerer's surprise.

"I'll be damned," he murmurs, impressed despite himself. "And with minimal expenditure of energy to accomplish the effect. You could be prepared for any social occasion that arose. I sense no Mystical forces involved. It's one hell of a parlor trick." He grins and lo and behold: the progenitor of Billy's dimples. "I have to utilize a spell to do such a thing. If you're ever short on money, consider an act as a showman. You might be surprised to hear of how many magicians are actually magicians."

"Yeah, I don't do any magic. Wouldn't even know where to start." Teddy agrees. The tea pot starts to whistle so he turns the burner off then pours some water into a mug before plopping the infuser in, hooking the end over the rim. "Probably something all Skrulls can do since it's all appearance. Getting it to actually move like normal clothes is the tricky part."

The scent of the steeping tea begins to slowly fill the small kitchen. It puts a homely spin on things and Strange relaxes minutely — at least enough to take his hands from his pockets and loosely cross his arms.

"I can imagine. It's likely akin to the minutae needed to prevent a spell from unraveling." He seems to chew on the inside of his cheek briefly before continuing. "Have you dealt with the Skrull lately?"

Teddy shakes his head. "No. Far as I know, they're all in hiding. Or maybe they left. Though the Kree are out there and supposedly they want to get the Skrull to leave the planet so they must still be here. Not really sure about all that though."

"Well…good to hear that they're thinking twice about remaining on Earth any longer. From my recent experiences with them, they seem to bode ill-will — present company excluded, I assure you." Strange tilts his head slightly as he considers Teddy in silence. It's a searching look, the distance in it indicative of more lightning-fast musings flitting about his mind. "Would you let me know if you hear of further machinations by either group? It's not entirely my purview, but…all knowledge is worth having."

"Sure, what I can." Teddy agrees. "I'm not really involved in anything about them though. I suppose I should probably look into it more but they don't seem to be doing anything. Which might be dangerous, I guess but rooting out shapechanging conspiracy is kind of beyond my skills. I can't spot them any better than anyone else can."

"Hmm. Damn. I was hoping that your abilities might give you an advantage in sussing them out." Unable to remain still any longer, he straightens and reaching past Teddy to collect up the mug of tea. "Excuse me — and honey? Or sugar, either will do," he asks, glancing to the cupboards. Still, he has manners. There will be no rifling through them.

"I appreciate your assistance in the matter, Teddy," he adds. "The more eyes looking, the better."

Teddy pulls a jar of honey from a cupboard and slides it over. "No, I can't sense them and they can't sense me. I don't know if they can sense each other. Maybe not." From a drawer, he pulls a spoon and slides that over as well. "At least they don't automatically know everything about the ones they impersonate. That's probably how they were spotted. Little things."

"Yes, thank the gods for lack of prior research," Strange agrees as he unscrews the lid to the honey. A spoonful goes in and he glances back to Teddy again as he stirs the golden syrup into the steaming tea. "That was how the small group spotted the Skrull during my most recent encounter. A slip-up. I dislike imagining what damage they could do if they were more meticulous." He sips his tea and decides on one more spoonful of honey. The spoon makes soft clinking sounds before he lets it sit in the mug and hands back the honey jar to Teddy. His scarred hand shakes the slightest. "Thank you. It seems I've been questioning you enough," and he grins slightly. "Do you have any questions or has Billy done a good-enough job of describing my…day job to you?"

Teddy didn't seem to mind and he'd been expecting something of the sort before this in fact. "You're the most powerful wizard of this dimension whose job it is to protect it from being invaded by other dimensions and make sure no one screws things up by playing with reality." Like Billy. "That pretty much sum it up?"

The summation is enough to make Strange laugh. The sound is warm and friendly in the small apartment.

"Yes, precisely. He did a good job explaining. I'll have to give him a pat on the back next I see him." Removing the spoon from the mug, he sips at the tea and sighs in appreciation. It's the simple things in life. "Anything else?"

Teddy shakes his head. "Not really. Not unless you want to tell some stories about things that you've taken care of. I don't understand magic and things like other dimensions so nothing you say about specifics would really make much sense."

Strange lifts his mug. "Cheers to knowledge — and allow me to enlighten you. It may help you to understand Billy's abilities more in turn, if you've been wondering of them. Magic itself, in my experience, is manipulation of energy. It may come from within this reality proper or from beyond it, within other realities or dimensions. Some of it can be detected by scientific instruments, most of it cannot. The energy may also come from within oneself, which grants it especial power and weakness in turn."

Lifting his free hand, the Sorcerer summons up a small werelight, nothing bigger than a golf ball, but looking as a small star, complete with miasms of excess energy flaring from it. "This came from a combination of internal energy and external energy. Since it has an aspect of my own willpower within it, I can dictate its states and actions." A toss has the ball of light arcing up and then back down towards Strange's scarred palm, where it lands in its original spot, hovering about an inch above his skin. "Light technically shouldn't bend this dramatically to gravity." He grins; from past encounters, he knows this particular trick drives the science majors nutty.

"Oh, I get that much. You want something to happen and then it does. But how and why, I have no idea." Teddy says with a shrug. "I don't know how you tap into the energy of other dimensions. I don't know how you /can/ tap into the energy of other dimensions. I especially don't know how Billy can make things happen just by repeating them three times. But it works, so it's cool."

With the half-empty mug cupped between his hands, Strange shifts his crossed legs, alternating ankles for weight on the other foot now, still leaning on the counter. The heat of the tea is delightful for his cold-sore fingers.

"Magic sometimes requires words. Billy does use words, but his influence extends from…a nearly entirely internal source, which…fascinates me, I admit it. His mother is the same. My words are as summoning, commands, a bending of the energy to my whims. Perhaps, in the end, it all boils down to willpower." He lifts and drops his broad shoulders with a nonchalance perhaps counter to the weight of what power he wields. "It took years of study and practice to gain the ability to manipulate the magic. It's rare for someone to pick it up quickly. That Billy's powers work as they do is cool, as you said. I'm glad that he exercises moderation with them." The half-smile is muted fatherly pride.

For some definitions of moderation. If they meet his dad's definition, cool. And if he's not aware of everything, Teddy's certainly not going to enlighten him. "Yeah, he takes it very seriously. And he practices in the mirror dimension so he doesn't screw anything up here."

"Good. I can rest easy knowing he's kept his promise in this. Oh — I don't know if Wanda has called or perhaps Billy's uncle Pietro has passed on word of this, but we intended to gather everyone together for dinner at…some point. At the Sanctum or elsewhere, I'm uncertain, but with Pietro's arrival back in town recently, it seems…prudent."

With a sigh, Strange takes another long sip of tea. "I have no idea when, but at least you may count yourself informed as to the matter. I will send word when I find the exact date. We've been meaning to have a gathering for a while, but things keep cropping up. Like extradimensional invasions. And beings from sidereal reality. And administering exams to potential graduates." He takes a moment to rub at his temples, fingers split over his eyes in the motion. No one said that becoming Sorcerer Supreme would involve testing apprentices.

Strange gets a strange look at the mention of exams but Teddy doesn't ask. "Yeah, finding a time that everyone can make it is going to be a pain. Maybe you should just…" He makes a 'using a magic wand' motion. "Have the dinner somewhere else that time there won't matter here. Like one of those fairie mounds in mythology."

"It's incredibly tempting to create a pocket dimension outside the flow of time within this reality," the Sorcerer agrees. "The concern would be the continual flow of time within our reality. Still…something to be considered."

He sets aside the mug of tea, its contents having been enjoyed, and gives Teddy a mild smile. "Thank you for hosting me. I won't linger. This was one of my many errands today. If you could let Billy know that I stopped by, I would appreciate it." Standing up properly, he stretches slightly to ease up a tightness in his lower back before walking towards the front door.

"I'm sure you'll figure out how to make it safe." Teddy assures him and escorts Strange to the door. "Sure, I'll let him know and have him call you. No idea when he'll be back but it shouldn't be too long. Come by any time."

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