1965-10-01 - A Quaint Visit
Summary: Kai stops by Strange's place for tea.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kai strange 


Kai comes knocking. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Like an alley cat, he makes his rounds. Today brings him by the Sanctum Sanctorum with a nice blend of tea from Mrs. O'Riley and a bag of her delightful scones. He's dressed in his colorful mod clothing, such a change from the beatnik in black. He does like to stay with the times, though.

Once he's let in and the wards have given him the all clear, he offers to tea to Strange. "It's one of her new blends. She recommended it." It's a darker, broodier blend for autumn, with spicy notes.


Consider the tea taken with marked delight. "Ah, Kai, wonderful — as always, thank you. To have variety is a boon indeed," the Sorcerer says even as he leads the way to the small parlor where the tisanes are brewed and then served to each gentleman's likings. There's a fire beyond the brick hearth and the room is warm, dry, and not overly so for both aspects. Strange seems comfortable in a mundane outfit today, dress-pants and button-down in a rusty-orange — rather brave of him, but still appropriate for the season.

"And what brings you by my abode then, Master Elf?" asks the man after a sip of the autumnal blend and an appreciative hum for the taste notes. He's retired to his personal wing-backed chair now, resting an ankle upon opposite knee as he cradles his clay mug in his hands.


Kai beams as the tea is handed over. He follows into the parlor and he settles down in his visitor's chair with his cup in hand. The fire is gazed upon and appreciated. There's nothing like a nice fire on an autumn day. "It was time to pay my respects," Kai says. So that's what he calls it.

"You'll be happy to know that everyone is well. Ever since that bit at the warehouse, I've been taking it easy. I didn't get that badly injured, mind you, I just felt that I should learn to rest and relax."


The silver-templed man grins to himself. Paying respects, alright, he'll take that as explanation; his ego appreciates it too, of course. Ah, hubris. His nod is appreciative and relieved, in a small way, in regards to Kai's report. He knows the Elf isn't made of papier mache, but a cut is still a cut.

"I'm sincerely glad to hear that you're well, Kai. While I suspected that no good was to come of your…failure to arrive in a timely manner, I wasn't suspecting something as potentially disastrous as blood magic. I'm concerned that they knew of your blood's inherent usefulness, in regards to what they were attempting. How did they manage to come across that information? Surely you didn't tell them?"


Kai glances aside, not guiltly per se because guilt isn't something he concerns himself with overly much. "They were going to hurt some innocent humans," he says. "I couldn't stop them without offering them something better, and I knew I could take it. These people couldn't. So I said if they let them go, I wouldn't put up a fight."

Kai sips his tea, savors it, then says, "And I didn't. Much. Until after you got there. I figured all bets were off once the big man in charge showed up."


There's a soft sound of remonstration from Strange at the explanation. He respects it, but doesn't abide by willing handing powerful spell components over into the hands of the mad. Still, he doesn't offer up much more than the nearly-silent hum and mirrors Kai's sip of tea, still watching the Elf.

"Big man." A little snort, but he doesn't disagree. "You did well in keeping the syncophants at bay. That much, I'm grateful for. There is only so much multitasking that can be accomplish when one is fending off spells meant to…say, evaporate the blood in one's veins or transport its entire volume to another place entirely. It's a very hampering state of being, to be without one's blood volume," he comments drily with a small smirk at the understatement of the century.


"I knew you'd show up," Kai says. There's that simple faith of his, with no room for doubt. Strange would save the day, so a temporary boon to the enemy wouldn't do any lasting harm. This time, it panned out and he was right.

He shakes his head slowly. "How do humans even get the notion to do something like that? They're so much nicer when they're dancing and going to shops and other normal human things."


Strange smiles sadly to himself. "Sometimes, I believe that the world convinces people that their inadequacies are things that require great sacrifice to amend — but not personal sacrifice, no. That others are responsible for their suffering, and…perhaps, in some ways, they might be. But to cause deliberate harm for gain? No." He shakes his head, eyes gone hard. "I do not believe that is ever an option for a sane human being. Self-defense…this, I will allow as a much stickier wicket and acknowledge it as such."


Kai nods firmly. "It's fundamentally, foundationally wrong to sacrifice another for your own gain. It's cheating. And you're right about it not being the path of any sane human. People are social animals. They need each other to survive. Look at them! They don't have claws or fangs or even anything to shelter them against the cold save a cooperative effort to build a house."


The Sorcerer laughs, the sound warm and genuinely amused. "No, no, we do not have claws or fangs unless our inherent reality has been reshaped against its normal state. Or fur, again usually a symptom of more complicated effects on a person. But we're clever, resourceful, stubborn little beings, are we not?" A lift of his mug to the general hardiness of humanity and then he sips at his tea. "…I wonder if we'll deal with anything odd again in these next few weeks… I would hate to deal with another round of vampirism." A grimace. "I'll gladly accept werewolves over that breed of undead."


"You're absolutely delightful," Kai says. "You live so hard and fiercely. You're so inventive and determined. I love those qualities so much, and I just don't think other Ljosalfar understand." He smiles softly. Even after his experience with a few bad apples, he remains a fan of humanity.

He glances at Strange over the rip of his mug, those big blue eyes fathomless and lacking guile. "It's the month of strangeness," he says. "Halloween is coming, and Americans are delightful about it. I imagine if I were a spook or a monster, I'd love this time of year."


Another lift of his clay mug. "To humanity, I suppose," he murmurs, smiling again with that little note of sad wisdom. He then gives Kai more parts contemplative squint, his lips parting to showcase more teeth.

"They tend to, those things that categorize as spook or monster. The veils between the worlds are thin come the end of the month. Not only that, but so many of the creatures can walk about in full view of the public. 'My, what a convincing costume,' someone's going to invariably say to an imp or nyriad, not having any idea that they speak to the real deal. Granted…I find that amusing, but only to an extent," he clarifies, holding up one finger. "Otherwise, it's dangerous."


"If I were an imp or nyriad," Kai says, "I would use it as an excuse to get free candy. Unfortunately, I don't pass for a child anymore." Alas, the perils of growing up. He looks briefly tragic. "Of course we were in Britain when I grew up. No trick or treating like they do here."

He sighs contently, stretching out his feet. "How come the only holidays where they celebrate Elves is Christmas, and it's only as helpers to Saint Nicholas? Where's my excuse to romp around in full regalia getting free stuff?"


"You don't necessarily need an excuse to do as such, Kai," the man reminds him after another few seconds of laughter at the idea of the Elf passing as a child. He knows better on so very many levels, after all, that Alfheimians are never to be considered anything akin to human children. "Nothing stops you from knocking on someone's door and holding out one of those quaint pumpkin baskets and claiming, 'Trick or treat.' I don't know how many people would actually hand you candy, but it's worth an experimental effort, is it not?"


Kai says, "They usually say 'aren't you a little old for this?'" Of course he's tried. "In the past, I've borrowed children and split the haul, but their parents tend to get upset, and human children are highly energetic and make a lot of demands." He gazes off in the distance, remembering last Christmas, the children at the Mutant Town Community Center climbing him like a tree.

He shakes his head. He finishes his tea, then says, "I hate to cut our visits short like this, but I spent so much time picking out tea I lost track of time, and I promised I'd make dinner tonight."


"I do not have an experienced appreciation for how human children act, given my own arrived far beyond that stage. Mostly," he amends in affectionate cheek for all three of the boys. He rises to his feet with tea mug still in-hand and walks to escort Kai to the door. "I am not offended at a need to lighten someone else's life. No doubt we'll deal with my own pressing matters at some point in time." After all, the life of the Vishanti's Chosen is no nap in a hammock. "Be well, Kai," Strange is certain to wish upon him as he sends him on his way with a fond little curl of a smile.


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