Stephen looked surprised, his own hands gently cupped around the cup of hot tea, not enough to touch but still able to enjoy the warmth. The Ancient One sent him through many realms when they first met, when he was arrogant and cocky, and needed to be put in check. One of them he knew to be the Quantum Realm. It was a glimpse into more than he ever thought possible and here was someone who studied it.
"I've seen the Quantum Realm. Only once," he admitted, his gaze lowered to watch the steam rise from the cup. There were plenty of mysteries that science had yet to delve into, so it was good to hear of someone who actually held a scientific interest in some of the things he had seen. "As for the others we've left....we were, essentially, here already. They're still there. We're a copy, of infinite copies, of our own selves. They aren't even aware of our absence. If I wanted to, I could go into every available future, from this point, and see how many times this universe might branch off into other ones. It's possible that some of our future selves might not miss...or even know...their counterparts, either."
Universes splitting off, multiverses, loops, ripple effects, multiple realms....time was more of a burden or a curse, than it was a blessing. And with the way that time fractured along the seams, there were overlaps of people overwriting their counterparts here, coming from other places (even from outer space), or from earlier points in the joined timeline. Stephen swore he didn't just break the timeline, but he nearly obliterated it and could have wiped out everything. And that wouldn't have been fun.
He cleared his throat and his thoughts, as he took a first tentative sip of the tea. He nodded his approval. Hope certainly knew what she was talking about.