|şçąŗɭęţ (witchiest) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2018-07-18 21:27:00
|Entry tags:||-complete, stephen strange, wanda maximoff|
Who: Wanda & Dr. Strange
What: A new arrival and looking for mind leeches + offering lessons
Rating/Warnings: Pretty green~
|Now this was something Wanda had not expected.|
Her powers were...untamed, to say the least, she was constantly reminded of that even by just being around her teammates. The guilt on her shoulders never seemed to lessen; actually, recent events only weighed her down further - the fact that she still felt like she had to make amends for what she did to their minds, back during the fiasco with Ultron, never helped either. It just got to be too much sometimes; she yearned to truly connect with someone, a person who understood what it was truly like to have this power.
After Pietro's death, she felt so alone.
Wanda did not wish to think about the atrocities she'd endured in the Raft. Or what led up to it. Nor did she want to consider how this whole mess had started because one man's ideals were pitted against another - she'd fought by Captain America's side but both of those sides went overboard in enforcing their views and things had obviously spiraled out of control. Things went too far. The fact that her team was in shambles and she was forced to flee and take solace under the radar was proof of that, though Wanda never really felt at home in the States much anyway. She'd been trying, but it all went back to the idea that her restlessness was snowballing.
Perhaps it was her fatigue, or how hungry she was - she was the type to push herself more and more, for something to focus on rather than the storm in her troubled mind, and then it all just came to a head as she found herself in what felt like another world entirely.
New York, was it? Again? She remembered this city, the outline of its buildings and monuments. And the waves of hot air and the subway grates; the smell of coffee from the endless number of cafes because everyone was always in a hurry and caffeine helped with that. In her hotel room she paused, trying to get her wits about her before moving to the bedside table to see if there was, at the very least, a map inside the drawers.
Strange was in the Sanctum when he sensed a new arrival through the web of magic he cast over the city. Or, rather, it wasn't a brand new arrival. It was someone he knew from frequent interaction, these past few months.
Stephen closed his eyes, stretching his senses out. The answer he received was one he didn't want to lend voice to. It was a much higher and stronger vibration which usually signaled a fellow magic wielder. In his mind's eye, the signature was in a constant state of change and as red as a rose...or freshly spilled blood.
He spoke her name out loud, and hearing that confirmation didn't make the knowledge any easier. He opened his eyes to put on the sling ring, just as the cloak twirled once around him and rested upon his shoulders.
She missed their last couple mirror universe lessons to focus her magic. The first time it happened, Stephen took it as she had no further need of a mentor or she was busy, just as he was. By the second missed lesson and no answer to his phone call, he wove his usual spell to see if they were missing some of their number. He knew all of their individual aura colors and energy vibrations, every one as unique as a snowflake. Banner and Valkyrie were missing. And so was Wanda.
He kept count, at least twice a month. At times like this, he wished he didn't. Their silence was the same sort that was left behind when someone died. It was sudden and abrupt, an empty void that spoke of nothing beyond a heavy sense of loss. While many disappeared into the timeline entirely, such as Banner and Valkyrie seemed to, there were cases where the vessel might still be moving around in this world, unaware of what it once knew. That happened with Pepper Potts, before. It was a human being simply going through the usual motions of daily living, only devoid of the knowledge that they were in an alternate universe. Of what was truly happening.
Leaving those cases alone always seemed best. If they never remembered again, then ignorance was bliss. If Wanda hadn't been reabsorbed, then he only hoped that she finally found some peace.
That wasn't meant to be. Nature was unkind, and so was fate.
He honed in on her location and opened a portal into the hotel room, walking through it as she checked the tables by the bed. He didn't want to be abrupt or startle her, if she didn't already hear the faint woosh of the portal's sparks as it closed behind him. In case she hadn't, he awkwardly cleared his throat and held up both hands to show he wasn't a threat.
"Hello, Wanda." There was a note of familiarity there that couldn't be helped, gained after too many cups of tea and too much conversation about how to focus her magic. It was hard not to sound world-weary when he introduced himself once again, "I'm Doctor Strange. Master of the Mystic Arts."
The sparks caught her attention, and she’d turned, clutching what she’d already deemed largely useless - a room service menu, a list of local establishments, the television channels. Briefly, the surprise drained blood from her skin and her former feelings of grief and quiet mental anguish were suspended as that surprise cloaked her; it shattered like glass a moment later.
She willed the cogs of her brain to turn fast enough to absorb this information, this...presence. The crimson glow to her eyes dulled to sky blue, as her powers calmed themselves and were tucked away. “Hello doctor,” her accent caressed the words; she sounded cautious, though a small smile played on her lips. “You do not sound like you look.”
His voice was warmer and richer than she would expect - an odd observation, perhaps, but she was tired and confused and had insisted that she be on her own after being sprung from the Raft. Maybe the solitude was getting to her. Making her as crazy as everyone already thought she was.
“I have not been in contact with my teammates. I did not break any laws.” Any more laws.
"I get that a lot. That the voice doesn't match the face." He quieted for a moment, absorbing her last statement. It was Wanda from a different point in time. That happened before. If it was due to another infestation of mind leeches, he was going to have to snag Wong and take another turn as the astral plane pest control. "Uhh? You don't need to worry about any laws being broken now, thanks to Stark's money and showboating. This is going to be a long conversation. You might want to sit down for this."
Unsure how to approach the whole 'we've met before' conversation, he focused instead on what she was holding. He needed to approach this with more tact than he usually had, with other people. Wanda was, after all, special. Not to mention, capable of much more collateral damage if she was truly upset.
"Unless you want room service," he added, "or to catch up on anything you might've missed on HBO."
Being that this was the first time a man literally materialized in her bedroom (the Captain at least knocked first - and it was Steve, he was wholesome), Wanda was not certain how to react. She glanced down, noting the room service menu she was holding. "No - the hamburger is fifteen dollars," she deadpanned, finding that atrocious, and set the contents of the drawer down upon the surface.
HBO was the channel for the Game of Thrones though, wasn't it? Maybe she'd catch up on that later.
She was wearing a simple black, long-sleeved dress that fit her nicely but wasn't anything fancy - and since she'd toed her boots off she was barefoot, settling on the bed and sitting lotus-style. "Do you want to sit too, doctor?" She scooted back on the mattress, "For this long conversation?"
Some things didn't change. The price of a room service burger was still astronomical in both universes.
That was the reason why there was a wry smirk on his face as he sat down. It was on the edge of the bed, turned just enough so he could see her. He noted the way she was sitting, and it was the same pose he showed her before for meditation purposes. A reminder of what was lost, but also what might be regained all over again.
"This is going to be a lot to absorb," he began, slowly and patiently, careful as he chose his words. "You...either your soul, or your knowledge...is linked to another parallel universe. This universe has been splintered off from it. A mistake of mine, when I tried to save the world from a malicious dimension entity. This universe is unstable. I think that instability has messed with your memories. About a month ago, we knew one another. I don't think you remember me now. At all."
It wasn't a question. It was a statement. A cold hard fact that was reflected in the steady way that Stephen was watching her face for any outward signs of distress.
She noticed the way he seemed to be - what was the phrase? Walking on eggshells? Yes, that. Walking on eggshells around her. It didn’t matter to Wanda, whether the doctor used tact or not. She was odd enough to not even really notice if he erred on the side of ‘jerk’ on occasion, or be particularly bothered by it.
“I do not remember you, but - “ She turned her palms up, fingers twitching - the red spiraled and unfurled, hands glowing. “You feel familiar.” It was all there, waiting, like a story buried behind a wall of stone. “There is so much.”
She sensed power and strength - but pain. Her own blossomed too, and made everything turn jagged, and then she sat on her hands to stop herself from doing much of anything at all.
This time, he was striving not to be the asshole everyone thought he was. Including Tony Stark. In fact, when they were trading names like 'asshole' and 'douchebag', that was a pretty good indicator that he wasn't easy to get along with, either.
Stephen barely nodded to acknowledge that she was right, watching even as she sat on her hands. It was good that the familiarity was still there, even if it was residual. One step forward. The two steps back came when he noticed how she still doubted her powers when mixed with her emotions. Those two steps back left them at square one.
"You're all right," he reassured her. "There are other people here, your teammates too, stuck like you and I are. You can control it, Wanda. I was mentoring you, so you could better focus and control your powers. It was working. And, if you want, we can continue doing that."
“We are stuck?” she asked, frowning. “But I was running before - I do not have to run here?” Wanda knew she wasn’t even allowed to return to the United States, technically, after the debacle overseas. Where she would have gone, well, that she didn’t know - she considered backpacking across Europe, maybe returning to the devastation that was Sokovia. It was destroyed but still her homeland. Even if it happened to be a mere crater in the earth now, flattened beyond recognition.
And ironically, she was back here in the United States after all. Stark did something good for once, did he? As a result of money and ‘showboating,’ apparently. She refused to believe it - but if she was able to actually see her friends, and not have to hide, she would take the opportunity.
She would take the opportunity to study with a mentor too - the thought made her somewhat uneasy initially, but her instincts told her it was right. “And what do you get in return for teaching me, doctor?” was her next question. There wasn’t anything in this life that could be called free - she was no fool.
For once was an understatement, even if he knew that Stark was trying to do good too. Sometimes he had very skewed ways of doing it, though.
"I think his lawyers got your charges dropped and wiped out the Accords," he explained, "so you're safe in this country. If I were you, I wouldn't go outside the U.S. for a while? You're in the right place."
As for what he would get in return, his brows furrowed as he stared blank-faced back at her. He wasn't really fathoming what she might mean by...and then it hit him. She had to mean paying him with money. Of course. He blinked a couple of times as the awkward pause stretched on into what felt like infinity.
"The Masters of the Mystic Arts don't take payment in exchange for sharing knowledge or helping someone in need. It's free. You won't owe anything to anyone."
“Nothing is free,” Wanda protested, and perhaps that was her pessimism showing itself - her mind cycled through her own emotions and feelings quickly, her day to day activities a type of coping that was a thin veil for deeper trauma. Sometimes her jaded nature came through - she was cautious, and she believed she had a right to be that way.
But she was watching Dr. Strange, and he appeared to be telling the truth. She pursed her lips, a whoosh of an exhale escaping her. “And yet if you say so - then I hope I do not give you reason to believe you are wasting your time. It feels like my powers cause more harm than good.”
She certainly had the body count racked up to substantiate her claims - a shame too, because Wanda didn’t want to hurt anyone. Not anymore. She was not so angry at the world - just melancholy. “When do we start?”
"This is free," Stephen calmly reiterated, without a trace of the condescending irritation that he would usually display when repeating himself. "You will never owe any of us at the Sanctum anything. We can start now. You don't even have to stay here in this hotel, if you don't want to. We have rooms. A library. A way that you can practice, without ever having to worry about a spell going wrong. You're not going to harm any of us."
He watched her closely, wondering what it was that caused the lost memories this time. Perhaps it was some hiccup of the universe, that she was reabsorbed and spat back out like Thor had been, or that she fell prey to memory eating astral pests. He could check for those later while his body slept, before he began traveling the astral plane for more clues.
After a moment's deliberation, he drew in a deep breath and added, "You started on the path to gain better control before. I can help you get there again. But if you are not comfortable with any of this, or if you want to think about it some more? It's up to you. No pressure. I'll give you a way to get on the Avengers Network. You can contact me later."
Wanda shook her head, “I do not need to think about it. I am not uncomfortable.” She looked at the doctor, and her expression turned somewhat bleak. Not because of him, but because with her brother dead and Sokovia destroyed, with all the fighting her team had done the last of her supports were kicked out from under her; the dizzying fracture within what she'd thought of as her new place in the world had only added to her self-isolation. She'd seen the Avengers bicker and argue and even come to blows before, but this? What had recently happened? This had left her completely bereft.
So what did she have to lose, really? “I will come with you now.” One had to make their own safety and security, after all. “This is - there are things that are familiar here in America, so that is a start. Like you,” she added. “You are familiar.”
Then she slid gracefully off the bed, moving to pack up the few belongings that had made the trip with her - not that she’d unpacked much, but still. She didn’t want to leave anything behind in this room.
"All right." Stephen stood up when Wanda did, making room for to gather her belongings. There was a deep sense of sadness that fell over the room like a heavy wool blanket woven of prickly loss. It was too easy to sense it as she passed by, because he knew what it was like as well. It was being alone, disconnected from any familial or friendly connections, even when there was a sea of humanity to swim in. The will to dive into it simply wasn't there.
What he was going to have to dive into, was seeing how she was affected by this universe, and what happened to cause her to forget him and everything that happened recently. He couldn't...wouldn't...do that, without her permission. After all, he wasn't Loki. Even if the God of Mischief, Chaos, and Lies finally seemed to be learning some hard lessons about consent.
"Wanda," he began, appearing to be deep in thought, "I'd like to see what happened when we get back to the Sanctum. I want to know why you lost your memories. It won't cause you any pain." He looked right at her, his expression solemn. "I promise it won't."
The fact that she’d apparently lost memories at all was news to Wanda - everything felt normal to her. As normal as could be, considering she was anything but. And now, someone saying to her that she was, essentially, set to be an experiment again should have caused her to feel unrest. Because she’d spent most of her life as a readied fist with a weapon in it, a feral creature who bit, kicked, and clawed and who fought her hardest to stay alive.
And yet she seemed to trust Dr. Strange to some degree. She shouldered her bag and stepped closer, sensing his energy and yet still unable to really get a hold of it. “I believe you,” she said. “How are we getting back there?”
After all, he’d just appeared here. Surely there was a way to repeat that...experience.
There was trust there. Trust that Stephen did not want to break. He was never one to shy away from the bitter truth, whether it was letting someone know that they had an inoperable brain tumor or that their universe split into two pieces. It was his burden. Knowing too much, and being unable to do anything to change it back to what once was.
"Like this." He put on the sling ring and turned to one side, holding his hands up and making a circular motion with one hand. Focused on the air that was three feet in front of them, Stephen poured his intent and a mental image of the Sanctum into opening a portal with a shower of fiery sparks. It spun itself out until large enough to move through, displaying the dimly lit Sanctum in its full creepy Victorian glory, all polished wood and dusty antiques. Gratefully, the refrigerator that was still very much possessed was nowhere within view. Speaking of...
"Follow me," he said, as he began to walk through the opening, "And avoid the fridge at all costs until it gets used to you."
"The fridge is alive?" Wanda almost laughed - but alright, she took note of this. She would not go rummaging for snacks, as she was apt to do - and to hoard food, a habit from her youth since she never knew when she'd be eating again. Still, she was a surprisingly decent cook - she remembered recipes, old-world ones her parents used to make when they were all together and relatively happy.
Just...avoid the fridge. Fair enough.
Slender fingers curled around the bones of Stephen's wrist, because she was not about to go jumping into a portal without hanging onto something - specifically, the person who opened the portal in the first place. But then she stepped through and saw the house she was in, a surprised hum escaping her.
Victorian architecture was meant to impress. She liked the look of it, the stairways adorned with wood or wrought-iron and the towers and turrets and the whole castle vibe many homes like this gave off; she hoped for a functional crow’s nest where she could tuck herself away and read a book. She was drawn to one of the tall windows immediately, heading there to look at the view outside.
“It’s - “ It was beautiful, though she didn’t know how to put it into words. “There is so much energy - the same kind you give off. I can’t quite place it.”
He could tell by the tone in her voice that she was trying not to laugh. That was a common response he was used to, along with general disbelief or curiosity. Strange wasn't big on cooking, having been a surgeon on call meant he ate whatever was convenient or could be delivered. Often times, Wong gave him Hong Kong street food in what Stephen was convinced was a dare or a joke. Having a fridge that wanted to kill him, culinary skills that never went past boiling water for tea, and taste buds that were dead enough to eat stinky tofu? That meant he would eat pretty much anything. From anywhere.
"The fridge is possessed by a particularly angry demonic entity," Stephen said, as though talking about how the sky was blue and birds were prone to singing. As for the vibe of the place? It practically hummed with magic, and some parts were more ominous than others. There was enough magic contained in that one space, that it was overwhelming to those without any magical ability at all.
"A lot of people call it creepy," he explained. "I think they can sense the energy contained here, but aren't sure how to describe it. There's a few inhuman spirits in the basement, so I keep that door locked. All of the relics are upstairs. Be careful what you touch and you should be fine. You'll probably pick up what's safe and what isn't, when you're close to them."
The cloak lifted up off his shoulders, swooping away and waving at Wanda before it floated next to a rickety wooden coat rack.
The waving cloak made Wanda grin - it was so absurd, she couldn’t help but be delighted by its presence. “I would not call it creepy,” she dismissed, and she was aware how she sounded - a vampiric sort of accent, like she had any right to use such an adjective to describe anything. “It resonates with me, which means I must be creepy too.”
Of course, she already knew that she was. No hiding that fact, or getting away from it.
“I will do as you say, doctor,” and then she found the nearest surface, hoisting herself up and tucking one knee over the other. “And so you..need to get into my head?” She was eager to explore and see these relics - the magic in this place crackled, it was electric and thrilling down to her bones.
There was a wry smirk on Stephen's face at the mention of being creepy. He had been called creepy before, too. Even before he found magic, back when he could recall what year a certain song came out during a surgery, and when he remembered everything he ever read or glanced at when he was in grade school. Tests were a breeze.
As for her accent, he grew so accustomed to it during past talks about magic, that he didn't even think on it. It was simply Wanda. The inflection and cadence of her speech was known and welcome to hear again.
"You're not the only one who's been called that," he said, his voice warmed by humor. He hopped up onto nothing more than thin air, legs tucked under himself in the lotus meditation position and hands resting palm up on his knees. The floating gently moved him forward, as though he was caught in the gentle lapping waves of a lake against sandy shoreline, until he was hovering in front of her at eye level. "I'll show you where your room is, after I'm done with this. If there's anything around your astral body that needs to be dealt with, it will be a cold chill. It won't give you those recent memories back. Those are gone for good."
Wanda scooted forward, unsure where she needed to be for this...reading. Or whatever it was. She uncrossed her legs and her feet gently thrummed against the bottom of her makeshift sitting space. “I am curious about these memories I am missing,” she said with a dry sort of humor. “Perhaps they are something good? I could use a few of those.” But knowing the way her life went, they were likely just as painful as the rest of her existence - the pleasant moments peppered in here and there, nothing that dared last too long.
“Surprisingly, I do not find you creepy. Even if you are about to...study my astral body.” What did that mean? She hoped it was something she could learn - there seemed to be so much, the energy, the universe, her own surroundings in this space where she felt oddly connected.
"They weren't bad memories," he reassured her. "You helped stop a very angry Hulk once, but otherwise? Training. That's about it."
He rolled his shoulders and looked to be getting comfortable, closing his eyes while he continued speaking, the deep timbre of his voice sounded calm despite the content of what he was saying being a bit disturbing.
"This is like a psychic surgery. I used to be a neurosurgeon. I'm going to use my spiritual form to skim through your brain's medial temporal lobe and cortex. These areas house short and long term episodic memories. If I grab hold of anything that needs, you're going to feel a chill or a strong vibration. Maybe both. It won't hurt you physically. Breathe deep and try to relax."
He closed his eyes and went perfectly still. So still that it seemed as though he wasn't even breathing. It only took him seconds to push his soul out of his own body and float around, where he could very slowly reach his hand in through the back of Wanda's head, his fingers gently moving until he felt a squiggle. In the disconcerting quiet of the astral world, he let out a sigh that seemed to echo on into infinity. Mind leech. Only one, which he pinched onto and pulled on until it stretched taut like a rubber-band. With a wince, he gave it a careful tug and the leech snapped free.
The chill whooshed through her, wicking away warmth for that moment. But Wanda’s powers reacted too - a reddish aura blossomed and extended outward; her mind was like a magnet that attracted everything, raw power that she’d never really learned to control correctly. It was a book, written in Greek, thrown at her skull and that was the way it had always been.
He was in her mind and she was in his, sliding through veins and pin-balling through neurons - though she wasn’t expecting the high degree of feedback, the reverberation she felt when the leech was removed; she was built for this power but she didn’t know how to use it. Everytime she thought she did, she just ended up hurting someone - turning on the television and seeing the latest round of devastation, caused by her.
So much for try to relax. She jumped a little, tendrils of red crackling between her fingers - which she promptly snuffed, wondering, “Is it gone?”
Stephen felt that blurring between them and knew better than to tense up, physically or spiritually. He relaxed instead, and hoped that she didn't pick up on the splintered pieces of millions of possible futures. Pieces he obtained when he peered into that fractured between their reality and the next.
Seeing the red of her magic unfurling from her and noting the way her body jerked meant she felt the removal. As she should, given her propensity for magic and the deep well of power she had at her disposal. It was likely that any of them that could manipulate magic would be more deeply affected by creatures from the astral plane.
The leech wriggled and screeched before a spell set it on fire. It evaporated in a shower of dying embers, drifting away on a wind that didn't actually exist. The astral plane was nothing but a single layer of another reality, where falling snow moved at a snail's pace and sunbeams hung frozen in time. Moving through it was like floating on water. As a result, there wasn't any weather there. It was only a facsimile of actual life wrought in blurred watercolors.
There were also lurking threats of all shapes and sizes, more insidious than the mind leeches. And for that reason he quickly willed himself back into his physical body so he wasn't vulnerable to an attack.
It was just in time to hear her question and to give her an answer, "It's gone. Sorry it was so jarring. It was a deep infestation. Would you like some tea, or anything? I can conjure some."
A deep infestation. Wanda smirked a little, finding the whole thing morbidly amusing - so she had mind leeches and she hadn’t even known. That was just her luck, wasn’t it? In a way, she was sort of disappointed. She would’ve liked to have remembered the doctor especially.
But then her expression fell, a shift in her mood as she remembered what she felt when there was a brief connection, when he was performing that psychic surgery and her own powers reacted. “You have seen so much,” she added, quiet and thoughtful, almost speaking in a dreamlike trance - her words were soft, sympathetic. “You know they will blame you. That they will think they have lost. You are...lonely.”
In the sense that he had seen the future - and had to keep it to himself. He couldn’t warn them, couldn’t warn anyone - he had to let it run its course. Such inner vulnerability and a constant battle with himself...
She blinked, rubbing her arms as if to rid herself of the last of the chill. “Yes, tea,” she nodded. “That sounds nice.”
There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence, in which the very self-contained doctor stared long and hard at Wanda Maximoff. It was the sort of isolated stare that one would give if they were lost on a deserted isle for a decade, and they kept imagining that they spied a boat on the horizon. Should he light the signal fire or not? No. Better to save the gathered wood and the precious little flint left to him. Anything else seemed like a waste of time and energy. It was better to remain vigilant.
She knew enough now, too. Just as Frigga inherently knew that he had seen too much, only without telepathically seeing any of those pieces that were still jumbled and out of place. It was a burden that no one else should have to bear.
Without moving, Stephen conjured a cup of perfectly heated and sweetened tea into Wanda's hand, with no hand waving or speaking necessary.
"Wanda," he said, trying to get her to focus on him so he could ease her concerns. His voice was even lower and deeper than the norm, yet it could be easily heard throughout the ominous quiet of the Sanctum. "They blame me anyway. It's my fault that we're stuck here like this, right now. This is what it is."
In the blink of an eye he was sitting in a nearby chair as if he hadn't moved at all. Not a hair was out of place, and an earthenware cup of tea was gently cupped in both hands.
"Whatever it was you saw was from my other self. What happened there doesn't have to happen here. I believe," and he paused to weigh out how much he believed his own words, "I hope, that we can stop it. Things have changed enough here, that it won't play out the same way. Not the same way it happened, there. It's not just a gift. It's an opportunity."
He raised his cup and took a tentative sip.
Well, she did like her tea sweetened. Wanda took a sip too, testing it - and it warmed her, was the first thing of substance she’d had in awhile. If you could call tea actual substance.
“I do not see why people would blame you, when there was no other choice - “ Except to let the world be destroyed, apparently. Those who lived in it would take issue, wouldn’t they? “But humans always need to place blame, it is...in their nature. After we fought, all of us on the Avengers, it was not surprising how quickly things returned to normal. How we went back to being distrusted and feared, as if the world forgot about all the good we had done.”
Was it even worth it then, to start over? To believe in this opportunity, as the doctor said? Maybe so. She was more apt to be cynical. “We will see what happens, I suppose,” the Scarlet Witch sighed.
Wanda was right to be cynical, and Stephen gathered that was part of her survivor's instinct. It kept her alive and shielded her against disappointment. He knew, because he used his cynicism the same way. Even if their past circumstances were different.
After a long moment of contemplation, Stephen said with calm but stubborn conviction, "Yes. We will."
It was as she said, that things quickly returned to what he liked to call the new normal. It was after enduring a violently rocky ride, when the turbulence would plateau out and the dust would settle in the aftermath. Time would, inevitably, move on. There were no do-overs. Not unless someone had a way of rewinding time and staring over again...not that he would dare try that a second time.
It was times like these that he felt the weight of the Eye of Agamotto hanging from the cord around his neck.
"I can show you to your room after this. You probably want some time to put your things away and rest. We can begin meditation and focal training tomorrow, if you want to. Or any time after. It's up to you."
“Tomorrow sounds good. Thank you - “ Wanda’s hands curled around the teacup, and her fingers felt naked without her usual rings. She had all her jewelry with her, she just needed to get settled and actually rest. And she would make sure to do something nice for Dr. Strange - maybe he wouldn’t let her pay with actual cash or anything like that, but she could go to the store...
Buy food. Fill his demonic fridge. Make actual meals. Things like that. Besides, it would also give her something else to do that wasn’t flat-out worrying or brooding.
“And thank you for letting me stay, doctor.”
"You're welcome." Strange felt a certain kinship with Wanda. Not only because their circle of magic users was so small, and smaller still by superhero standards. Their number of those in the know, totalled only four people. But it was more than that. It was also out of knowing the language of loss. His entirely family was gone too. He knew she had lost her brother, found him again in this universe, and then lost him once more. That she didn't have to live with that knowledge seemed as much a blessing as it was a curse. "You'll always have a place with us. For as long as you like."
And he would always help her. As much as he was able to.