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Study Break - Christian Verglas - 12-23-2017

They were in Steve's world. Which was also Wanda and Tony's world, if not the same time. But Wanda's teacher. Agatha, was still alive (she had totally been the lady sorceress with the cat, too) and had been fairly willing to help them by teaching Christian what he needed to know.

Thank God for small miracles and endless wonders.

They hadn't told Agatha everything; like that she was dead in Wanda’s current time, or that Christian was from a completely different universe, or at least, they hadn't yet.

Most of Christian's time was spent with the older magician, learning from her and practicing what he learned but even Christian, so willing to work hard, needed a break every now and then to relax and process everything that he had learned so far. So today, Agatha had told him they both needed to take time away from their work, leaving Christian in a world he didn't exactly know with nothing to focus on.

What did he do? Chris went looking for his friend, of course. “Steve.” he called to the super soldier brightly, a Large smile spreading across his face. “So I have the day off... Do you have some time?" That the smaller man was hoping for a positive answer was evident in the bright smile and wide eyes he turned on Steve.

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 12-29-2017

Steve was home, at least sort of. It was still hard to think of this new world as home. Still he enjoyed walking the streets of Brooklyn, and looking at the familiar old buildings. Still that got rather lonely with nobody to reminisce with.

That is why when Christian comes to him, smiling brightly, and announces that he has the day off, Steve is eager to show him around town.

"Of course. I was just about to get some lunch. Care to join me?" Steve asks, "I know a great little diner."

The diner has been around since the early 30s, and Steve has memories of eating there with his Ma on the rare occasion that they had extra money.

RE: Study Break - Christian Verglas - 01-03-2018

There was a part of Christian, a large part even, that wished that he could easily open up a portal and take Steve home, to his real time, to let him live out the life he dreamed of, to save Bucky Barnes from the train, from Hydra, to bring him home to his family… But Chris knew that couldn’t happen, and there was another part of him, a small but loud part, that was glad that they couldn’t, that they shouldn’t do exactly that. Because history had to play out a certain way, and playing god with the timeline would change more than just Steve’s and Bucky’s lives. It could destroy the entire world they stood in right now. It could ruin the lives of countless people. Chris wished he could say that those very altruistic reasons were the only ones he had for being glad that they couldn’t bring Steve to his home time period, but he couldn’t. No, Chris selfishly wanted Steve to stay because he liked having the bigger man around. Because Steve was his friend, and he didn’t want him to leave. Selfish reasons…

Still, all of that aside, Christian was happy about being here, now. He had Wanda and Steve for moral support, Wanda and Agatha for magical support, and Agatha was teaching him a whole lot more than just how to help Castiel with his curse. Wanda said she could get them back to more or less around when they’d left, within a few days, and Christian believed her, so… why not learn as much as he could? He worked hard, both to learn as much as he could absorb and to impress Agatha so she’d teach him even more.

But even the hardest working student needed breaks from studying, and Agatha had told Chris to take the day away from magical learning. The best option for having a bit of fun and relaxing was to find Steve or Wanda, and as much as Christian liked Wanda, her abilities (and her history) were just a touch...unsettling to the young magician. So he sought out Steve.

Lunch? “Sure, I can definitely eat.” A little diner, of course Steve would be taking him somewhere like that, and Chris grinned, “Sounds good. I just hope they have good pie.” No one’s pie could compare to Belle’s, but some places could come close, and Chris missed pie. Chris followed Steve to the diner, “I feel a little bit guilty for being so happy about having earned a break… But if Wanda can bring us back to almost when we left, then hopefully it won’t make too much difference, having a day off. Right?”

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-04-2018

Christian had been working so hard the past few days, and Steve had watched as he pushed himself to work even harder. While Steve understood the value of hard work, he also understood the toll it took on the body when one worked without rest. Ma had practically worked herself to the grave, taking days off from work only when she was too weak to stand. Watching him made Steve worry that Christian was overworking himself. So when Christian seeks him out on his rare day off, and better yet, agrees to have lunch with him Steve feels himself relax slightly. He's going to make this the most relaxing stress free day possible.

"Some of the best pie in Brooklyn, assuming they haven't changed the old recipe," Steve grins.

They get to the diner and Steve holds the door open for Christian and thinks about what Christian said.

"Don't feel guilty. Even during the war people got furloughs from the front line. Nobody can work at 100% capacity 100% of the time." Steve says as they take their seats in a corner booth, far away from the lunch time rush.

RE: Study Break - Christian Verglas - 01-07-2018

Christian had always been a hard worker, putting everything he had into his studies, into his work, into his magic, and into his creations. He was perfectly capable of falling into a book or project and not coming up until his stomach demanded food, or his eyes couldn’t stay open any longer, and then finally he’d take a break. He’d never made himself sick, though. He’d never felt weak the way Steve was thinking. Still, he didn’t like to stop, not when it was something important like this was.

But Wanda could bring them back to roughly the same time as they’d left, just a couple of days. Castiel would be okay for a few days, Christian knew that. He knew that Castiel wouldn’t want him to overwork himself. So when Agatha had told him to take the day off, to rest and recover and enjoy the day, Christian hadn’t argued, he’d simple nodded and smiled and left to go find Steve and see if the man wanted to do something or just spend some time together.

“I love pie.” Chris grinned widely at Steve’s assurance, “Belle, my sister, she makes the best pie ever. She could open a bakery, you know? But she’s away on a quest with some of her friends, to help a lady make things right in her world.” He paused, and then laughed, “Sort of like we are right now! Only she can’t come back to just a couple of days from when she left, so I miss her a little bit.” Christian spoke with the quiet acknowledgement of someone who knew the world (and other worlds) was a dangerous place, but had faith that he’d see his loved one again.

Chris beamed Steve another smile when he held the door open, slipping into the diner and taking a look around. It was a lovely little place, exactly the sort of diner that he could imagine Steve coming to, actually. “Well, no, of course not. But I’m… I feel like I’m gaining a whole lot here, studying under Agatha, more than just how to cure Castiel’s curse… And I’m… I’m happy. I like learning, studying magic. I guess mostly I just think that this is supposed to be serious work, not just me getting to learn things I find interesting or useful for myself.”

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-08-2018

"A quest?" Steve asks with interest, "Is she a superhero too?"
Steve gives Christian a sympathetic smile. He knows what it's like to miss someone who's off fighting for the forces of good. It's never easy to be left on the home front.

"I think you're allowed to enjoy yourself. This is an amazing opportunity for you." Steve says. "Besides I find that I learn better when I'm interested in the material. What is she teaching you now?"

RE: Study Break - Christian Verglas - 01-09-2018

Christian started out nodding, and then quickly began to shake his head. “She went on a quest with a group of other people. But no, she’s not a superhero. She’s just…” He paused, trying to find the right words, “Very brave.” His sister was special, she was brave and true, and she knew how to take care of people. Christian hoped she was okay. He prayed for her safety every night, along with the rest of the people he cared the most about.

Allowed to enjoy himself. Christian considered Steve’s words before nodding slowly. Yes, he was enjoying learning, and he was happy to be able to improve enough that maybe he really would be able to help Castiel get rid of his curse. And maybe Steve was right; it was fine to be happy about it. He could be allowed to enjoy his improvement, even if he wasn’t doing it for himself.

“Well, right now we’re focusing on how to hold onto a spell, how to keep one going for longer, and how to better control magical energy expenditure when I’m making things. I should be able to make things last longer now, on purpose. When I made Jonah, I wasn’t sure what I had done, how I did it. Now I do. I’m learning a lot of things I didn’t know before… New ways to use my magic. It’s… A lot.” He glanced down at the table where they sat for a moment before looking back up for Steve, "Thank you. For coming. I wasn't sure I could face doing this by myself."

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-11-2018

"sometimes being brave is all it takes to be a superhero," Steve says. He can think of several soldiers he served with who were superheroes in their own right, even if they never got the proper recognition for their heroism.

Steve listens to Christian talk with interest. He's seen magic used, by both sides, during the war. Usually it was to kill or destroy as much as possible. It was a welcome change to hear about all the good things magic can do as well.

"Yes, you could have. You're amazing," Steve says sincerely

RE: Study Break - Christian Verglas - 01-12-2018

Chris gave Steve a smile at his words, and nodded slowly, just a small nod, but it was a show of agreement, “Belle might not have super abilities, but she’s a hero to me. Growing up, she was… Everything.” He sighed, then shrugged, “I was smaller than most of the kids my age, and I was quiet. Belle, even after she was adopted, she was my best friend, my sister, maybe not by blood, but in all of the important ways, you know? Now she’s off on this quest, and I worry about her.” He hadn’t stopped sending healing and strengthening energy and magic into the figurine he’d made for her, hoping that it would help her even just a little bit wherever she was now.

Talking about the magic he was learning helped. It was both a reminder of what he was doing here, what his goal was; to help Castiel, and it was almost like studying. Talking about it made him remember what he’d learned, and thus reinforced those lessons. Christian had spoken with Agatha about the ideas he had on how to perhaps end the curse on Castiel, and some of those ideas seemed to hold water with the more experienced magic user. First, though, Christian had to study and learn before he’d be skilled enough to do what would be necessary to see any of those ideas through. It was exciting, to know he was learning, and learning quickly, and frightening to realize how little he actually did know.

Amazing? Christian blinked at the statement. His uncertainty about just how amazing he was was clear on his face. “It’s… A lot. And it’s scary, Steve. Miss Zatana, when she found me and told me about magic in the first place, helped me, but she told me it was a long, difficult thing, to learn magic. And I’m learning so much here, so quickly… I…” How could you tell a hero, one of your heroes, and friends, that what you could do sort of terrified you? What would Steve think? “It’s a lot of responsibility…”

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-15-2018

"she sounds like my pal Arnie. He kept me out of a lot of trouble growing up," Steve says, "does she have magic like you?"

Christian gives him a doubtful look and Steve wishes he knew what to say to convince him that he is amazing. He just doesn't know how to put something so obvious into words.

 “It’s a lot of responsibility…”

Steve wants to laugh, but he doesn't want Christian to think he's laughing at him, so instead he settles on a fond smile.

"Of course being a hero is a lot of responsibility, but I wouldn't trust anybody with the responsibility, who didn't fully appreciate that fact...and I definitely trust you." Steve says.

RE: Study Break - Christian Verglas - 01-17-2018

Steve compared Belle to his friend growing up, and Christian grinned. “Belle is amazing in a whole lot of ways,” he agreed with Steve about that, “But magic is somewhat uncommon in our world, I think. I’m a bit new to it, kind of, so I’m not sure, but no, Belle doesn’t use magic.” He smiled fondly and even proudly when he considered his sister, “She doesn’t need it.”

Christian viewed himself as a lot of things, but amazing wasn’t one of them. He disliked being labeled most of the time, being told ‘this is who and what you are’ bothered him, primarily because people used words like ‘small’ and ‘weak’ to describe him fairly often. But amazing? Chris fidgeted and blushed and just couldn’t wrap his head around it. Competent, he did think he was competent. But that was nothing all that special; lots of people were capable.

It was a lot of responsibility. It was almost daunting, how much there was to learn, to know, to keep track of, to be responsible for. Magic was powerful, and Christian was small. But Steve’s smiling at him like that, and Chris blinked and looked down at the table even as his cheeks grew warm. Sometimes he hated how often he blushed. “I’m not a hero.” Chris looked back up at Steve, blinking, “I’m not like you or Iron Man or Safi.” Maybe his eyes were just a tiny bit watery, because… A hero? Not him. He was just a PA at Lexcorp who could plan one hell of a party. There was nothing heroic about him. He couldn’t even bring himself to hit someone, even in his own defense!

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-19-2018

"how long have you been doing magic?" Steve asks curiously. He realizes he doesn't know much about Christian's world or life, "Is your magic like Wanda's?"

Christian's cheeks take on a pink glow. Steve doesn't mean to embarrass his friend; he just doesn't understand how anyone can see what Christian can do and not come to the conclusion that Christian is amazing. It was more than just his skill in magic, it was how good and kind he was. Steve had seen a lot of people who had incredible powers, but used them in the worst possible ways.

Steve frowns, were those tears in Christian's eyes?

"You jumped into another universe to learn advanced magic so you could save the life of one person. If that's not heroic, than I don't know what is," Steve says, "you don't have to be like me or Iron Man, or Safi. There is more than one way to be a hero."

RE: Study Break - Christian Verglas - 01-21-2018

How long had he been doing magic? Christian’s gaze dropped to the table, and he winced as he best considered how to answer the question. Wrinkling his nose, he breathed out a long, uncertain breath, “It depends on how you’re looking at it? I made my first magical toy when I was twelve… But I’ve only started to really learn how to use it for… Six months? Since March, when Miss Zatana noticed I had the ability for it and took me aside.” Safi had hated that, of course, but what was Christian supposed to do? Turn down her offer to help him when he was putting himself in danger by not knowing anything?

Since then, Safi had even taught him things, like how to make his shields. Which had become his most used spell, amazingly enough. Even though it was possible that it might hurt the person who was trying to hurt whoever Christian was shielding; he tried to warn people about it, so that maybe they wouldn’t try to hit or hurt him or whoever he was shielding, but thus far those warnings had gone unheeded. But at least he had tried. “Sort of, but...not really? We use our magic differently, and for different ends, but in the end, the magic isn’t all that different.” It wasn’t all that easy to explain.

Yeah, when you didn’t think that you were anything special, being called amazing was going to get a response. In Christian’s case, being told by Steve, who was a very good person, a friend, and also happened to be Captain America, well, he blushed. Still, the idea that Steve thought that he was amazing brought a small smile to his lips.

But while he might have magic, and he might try to help people, Chris knew he wasn’t a hero. He couldn’t even go to Gotham alone without coming home with bruised ribs or a black eye. Safi hadn’t really been overreacting when he’d said that he would go to Gotham with Chris from now on… Even if Christian tried to do things on his own, he knew he was being foolish in doing so. Still… He just wanted to prove, at least to himself, that he was capable of looking after himself! “It’s doing the right thing, Steve. That’s… That’s what everyone should do. Besides, it’s not just the life of one person, Castiel is… Do you know what Castiel is? That’s… That’s not just a person, that’s something so much more. His life should be saved, and if I can do it, then what right do I have not to?”

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-22-2018

"Miss Zatana, she's your teacher back in your universe, right? Could she help fix Cas too?" Steve asks.

Christian's smile was so small and still so full of doubt, like he honestly didn't believe Steve when he called him a hero. It hurt to think about everything Christian had to go through to doubt himself that much. Steve knows all to well how bullying sticks with someone long after the bullies get bored and wander away.

"You're right, everyone should do the right thing, unfortunately we both know that not everyone does. It's easy to stand by and do nothing, to let it be someone else's problem. People who help, even when they don't have to, just because it's the right thing to do are heroes in my book," Steve says, "and everyone's life does deserve to be saved; angel and human."

A waitress with a high ponytail comes to their table.

"What can I get you boys?" She asks.

RE: Study Break - Christian Verglas - 01-23-2018

Steve’s question was a fair one, but it earned a small, annoyed frown from Christian. Not annoyance with Steve, that much was clear, but annoyance nonetheless. “Miss Zatana has… She’s very busy.” She didn’t have the time to sit down and teach him, he understood that. “She told me about my magic, and got me started on how to learn more about it. Even gave me books to read and learn from. But she hasn’t taught me all that much directly since. And that’s okay.” He shrugged, “But she also has a very specific order she thinks magic should be learned in, and that order means there’s a lot I don’t know, or don’t know about, yet. Mr. Constantine,” Chris grinned, though there was an edge of discomfort to the expression, “He jumped me ahead and helped me learn how to create portals. Pretty sure she would have been angry with him if she found out.” Constantine was… Almost scary, and very exciting. Christian ignored how that made him feel.

Looking in a mirror, Christian only saw an orphan kid whose parents had died when he was still too small to remember them, who had grown up reading comic books instead of having friends, and who was just a PA (albeit an amazing one) at Lexcorp. His life was small and insignificant. Still, Steve’s words, they resonated with Chris, if not for the reasons that Steve might expect or, for that matter, like. “You and Safi have that in common, you know. He thinks it’s cowardice to stand by and do nothing instead of doing something to help. When we had first met, he pulled me aside because he saw I was hurt. When he found out that I’m a pacifist, he wasn’t happy about it, not at first. He thought I was a coward, that I wouldn’t or couldn’t be bothered to help someone else. He was...disappointed in me… I had to tell him how I had bruised my ribs, he had misunderstood, but I think he was happy to realize he had misunderstood.” Christian would throw himself into harm’s way to save someone else, even while refusing to harm another person in the process. “He believes that everyone should help and protect those who need it. Pretty sure that’s why he’s a bodyguard.”

Gods creatures, that’s what Safi had told him, and Chris… Yeah. Chris was pretty sure that Steve probably felt much the same way. It was weird, how sometimes the two were so much alike, and in other ways so, so much different. They were both gorgeous, though.

“Um, I’d like a Coney dog and the soup of the day, please.” The prices were… Shockingly low. Chris had known that things were less expensive in the sixties, but he hadn’t realize just how less expensive...

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-24-2018

"Mr. Constantine?" Steve asks thoughtfully, "is he in the hub?" Mr. Constantine must be pretty skilled at magic to be able to create portals. Perhaps even more powerful than Wanda. Maybe he could send Steve home? It was certainly worth looking into.

Steve frowns at the comparison. He's managed to get over his initial dislike of the man, for the most part, but he is still having trouble accepting that the other man is some other universal equivalent to himself. Safi made Steve uncomfortable in a way that the other Steve Rogers did not.

"There is nothing the matter with pacifists. Some of our greatest advocates have been pacifists. Trust me, a world of only soldiers would be a sad world indeed." Steve says passionately. Growing up, Brooklyn had been full of pacifists vowing that the Great War would be the last. It was a sad day indeed when Steve realized that their dream wouldn't be achieved just yet.

Steve orders a cheeseburger and coke. The waitress gives them both a smile and leaves with their order.

RE: Study Break - Christian Verglas - 01-26-2018

Constantine, in Hub. Christian’s eyes went wide, and he shook his head, “No. And I… Don’t get me wrong, Steve, he’s… Um… Nice enough? But…” But the man’s way of looking at him had made Chris uncomfortable. It was… He wished Safi would look at him like that… That wouldn’t be nearly as uncomfortable. Or at least, it wouldn’t be uncomfortable in the same way… And he really needed to stop thinking about this, because it wasn’t going to lead to anything good, that was for sure.

Of course Christian caught the frown, and he understood that Safi and Steve didn’t seem to like each other all that much, even if he couldn’t begin to fathom why; they were both remarkably good and amazing people! Still, Christian’s comparison died down and he began to fidget, unable to sit idle for any real length of time before his hands began to move on their own. Today, he was playing with a piece of string instead of his usual copper wiring, but he twisted and knotted it as he toyed with it.

“No, I know. But there’s a difference between being a pacifist and watching someone else get hurt and saying that you don’t have to do anything about it. Call the police, or at least try to help the person getting hurt after it’s over. Something.” He looked up at Steve, “You wouldn’t just leave someone to get hurt or picked on, even if you were small, so what makes it okay for someone else to do it?”

Christian gave the waitress a smile back, friendly and warm, and then looked back to Steve, “So, are you happy to be back here? Even if you can’t go back and live your life like normal?”

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-27-2018

The way Christian's eyes go wide and he stumbles over his words makes Steve worried. This Constantine fellow wasn't dangerous was he? And if he were, he knew better than to touch Christian, right?

Christian immediately quiets down and begins fidgeting. Guilt begins to creep in. Steve knows what Safi means to Christian, and although he may not be fond of the man, he should try to give him the benefit of the doubt more, at least for Christian's sake.

"True, everyone can help in their own way," Steve says.

Steve thinks about Christian's question. He shrugs. "It's not the same of being back in the forties, but I really had grown to love it here. It's nice to go back, even if it's only temporary." Steve says.

RE: Study Break - Christian Verglas - 01-29-2018

Was Constantine dangerous? Oh, incredibly so, and Christian knew it. But the man had been willing to help him, both with the demon and when Christian had called him a second time for help making the portal to Hub. And he hadn’t really required all that much of an explanation, so there was that. But while Constantine was dangerous, he wasn’t an enemy. He wasn’t precisely a friend, but Chris felt he was on pretty good terms with the more knowledgeable magician. Still, the man made Chris uncomfortable.

Steve is a really good guy. And so is Safi. They are both great people, and Chris is at a loss at why they don’t get along. Steve looked guilty, and Chris sighed, looking at his friend, “Steve? Can I ask… And you don’t have to answer… But… Why don’t you and Safi get along? Did something happen?” He couldn’t imagine either of them doing something bad, but sometimes things bothered a person that others weren’t bothered by. Or a person just rubbed you the wrong way.. And Chris couldn’t help but to wonder.

“Exactly. Can’t get back up or stay on your feet without cooks and medics, right?”

Not the same as being in the forties. Hell, Christian doubted it was the same as it had been before Steve had come to Hub. He couldn’t tell anyone what he’d learned, what he knew… Chris felt bad about it. Not guilty, but sad. “I’m sorry you can’t stay. I wonder why some worlds get portals and others don’t. It’s weird, you’d think there’d be some sort of consistency.” Or maybe not. Magic could be… Wonky.

RE: Study Break - 616 Steve Rogers - 02-01-2018

Steve thinks about Christian's question. His meeting of Safi hadn't been great and Safi had done nothing to really change his first impression of him. Steve had been assured by Christian that Safi was kind and good and Steve trusted Christian's judgement. Although, Christian was admittedly biased and sleeping with your best friends childhood hero when it's pretty obvious that it upsets him is a bit messed up, in Steve's opinion. But Christian's and Safi's friendship are their own and not for him to meddle in.

"Some people just don't click. Plus it's a little disconcerting for me and him to know that we are different versions of the same person," Steve says, and it's true. Thinking about that fact for too long does make him uncomfortable.

"It is very odd. Perhaps Agatha knows?" Steve suggests, "and maybe it is possible to keep one open so I can go home, but still you do."