1963-10-02 - The Supreme Truth
Summary: Peggy Carter comes to visit the Sorcerer Supreme, after learning his secret, to work on an alliance against the Hellmouth.
Related: All the Once Upon a Hellsmouth Logs
Theme Song: None
strange peggy 

You wouldn't think that the Sorcerer Supreme would need to keep records of sales from his little shop. Would the government really notice if he didn't list the payment for the rather-singular shrunken head collection he'd sold yesterday to a museum collector? Eh…probably not, but…habits died hard. So there he stands, behind the small desk located centrally along the back wall of the shop. He'd slowly reading over the lines of numbers on the crisp sheets of paper and mutters to himself, making mental notes of popular items or reminding himself to never carry a certain item ever again.

The fung-shui of the shop remains, some unspoken and soothing sort of organization to its myriad of less-than-mundane artifacts (t-shirts remain a staple, tye-die especially). He's removed the little placard that used to stand beside the register, proclaiming FORTUNE TELLING. Too much trouble with that service lately and not worth his worries. Reaching up, he scratches at the collar of his white dress shirt and glances up towards the shop doors. No one had stopped by for many hours now and he's tempted to close things early. His focus returns to the numbers and he lets out a slow sigh. The air is redolent with incense, an autumnal blend that brings to mind home-sweet-home and apple pies.

And then, the sound of inquisitive disturbance - KNOCK, KNOCK.


It's Peggy outside. She's driven tonight, on her way home from work, so her Aston Martin is parked on the street corner. The day brings some miserable, drizzling rain of autumn outside and a fairly chill wind, so she's in a long, proper London trench coat across her suit and heels. The coat's been pulled tight shut and the belt cinched across her still *mostly* slender waist, just not quite as slender as the last they met. Damp rain is doing nothing for her now slightly flattened curls, so she only knocks a few times as a polite warning before gently popping open the door and sticking her head in.

"…Evening. I… I was hoping to catch you before you left… " She clips out to the elegant gentleman across the store. Her smile is perfectly British and polite, though with a touch of determination behind her eyes that marks this as a woman who is here for a reason, not just a friendly visit. "…Do I intrude? I can pay you for your time again, if you please…"


Strange looks up from his paperwork and immediately offers the woman the blandest, most professional, and masking smile he can muster.

"Ah, Ms. Carter, please - come in," he calls across the shop as he lifts and taps the papers into alignment within his grip. They are filed away and then locked, with an enchanted charm of protection, in the file cabinet beneath the counter. The lean gentleman then comes out from behind the desk and crosses the floor to her. "You're not intruding in the least. If you'll come in, I can flip the sign and no one shall disturb us. And please," he waves a dismissive hand before him and his smile gains some warmth and chagrin. "No payment whatsoever."

Why in Agamotto's name is she here? I gave her my card… Does my telephone not work? His steel-blue gaze shifts to the phone sitting in a nook in the wall behind the counter and he vows to check on its functionary status once Peggy has left.


"That sounds lovely, thank you, Dr. Strange." Peggy at least well remembers the odd name that he gave her, that first time they met. Her smile is equally neutral and bland, but her eyes are alive, studying him close and clear, every single little motion he makes in putting things away. She barely takes her gaze off of him to even flip the sign and shut the door behind her. Once that is done, her high heels carry her in gentle clicks across the floor towards him.

"I am curious, Dr. Strange…what would you know about a position called the 'Sorcerer Supreme?'" That's the first reaction she's trying to get out of him, and probably the reason she didn't call. She can't study his body language over the phone, and with her new bit of information, she very much would prefer to visibly see his reactions to this knowledge.


Once the sign is flipped, yet another spell switches to life. It's a subtle one that makes the curious folk with uncertain reasons for entering his shop suddenly remember that they have something to do at home and about-on-their-heels they turn to walk away down the sidewalk. It's been handy these last few weeks. There's been an influx of customers looking for means to repel various demonic forces and Strange has been nearly at his wits end with dispensing the aid he's allowed to per the godly rules of his bestowed mantle.

Speaking of his mantle…

And he has the moment of burst-adrenaline-clarity: he has been unmasked. His cover has been blown.

Strange schools his face as best he can into mild interest; behind this mask, a storm begins to brew and the hurricane of betrayal-fueled rage simmers at a low, potent heat. Perhaps there's a manifestation of it within his irises; should Peggy note it, it shows as silvery bleaching that rings his pupils.

"Sorcerer Supreme," he echoes, voice low and thoughtful. His posture shifts to resting his weight to one side, arms folded across his chest, and he gives her a pensive squint. Who told you?! "I've come across the title before, yes, in various tomes on the Mystical Arts of far Tibet. The position is largely ceremonial and centered in ancient beliefs that the bearer of this title has some sort of cosmic ability to divine with the gods." And he gives a careless shrug. "I have some books on the matter, if you're looking to read about this position. They're old, mind you, and I can't have you take them from the Sanctum."

No mention as to precisely which books he means and what curses may or may not be attached to them.


Ah, she has hit on *something*, absolutely. Even if he's schooled his face not even a heartbeat after the initial reaction, she caught the fluster of something there. And though his eyes are calm, there is something more behind those eyes. That slight silver in his gaze, the controlled focus of someone who is holding back their own emotions. If Peggy got close enough, she might even be able to count his pulse at his temple in the right light. She's almost certain she's hit on something.

"…Really now? I… well, yes. I'd be most interested to read said books. I have reasons to believe that this position isn't simply… ancient, or out dated, but is quite current in our city. And… someone whom the city could use right now, considering the Hellsmouth that has managed to open itself in Central Park." Peggy explains calmly, even as she walks closer. He might notice other things now, he not being the only one hiding something. While she's done well to school her walk, she's favouring her right leg enough that she can't entirely hide it when she tries. She'd probably be limping if she wasn't taking actual care not to. And her right arm holds a bit stiff against her frame. She's carrying injuries beneath that long, elegant coat.


The mention of 'Hellmouth', right down to the correct Mystical terminology, shortens the suspect list for Strange dramatically. His gaze narrows at her - he's completely unable to stop it from happening at this point and yes, no doubt Peggy will be able to see the rapid pulse rate even perhaps in the shadowed lines of his neck if she's close enough.

He also notes, with a surgeon's eye, that she's limping. Wordlessly, he strides away with intent. The purpose: to retrieve the stool from behind the counter. The impact of the stool on the wooden floor is a sharp resounding CLUNK as he puts it down beside her. "Please, sit," he says curtly. She will be seated in the exact center of the room, a point of protection, in case the wards begin to respond to his ill temper that he struggles to keep in check. Right now, the wisps of magic have crept into the shop, subtle sentience ascertaining whether their master or the property is in need of protection. They swirl over and around Peggy once, an unexpected rush of icy air, before returning to linger behind Strange. If Peggy senses their otherwordly not-quite-stare, it's an eerie feeling of being watched from the shadows.

He takes a stance quite similar to earlier, closed-off and irritation tempered by intrigue. "I doubt you need to read any sort of book on the matter, Ms. Carter. You use a name for that mess in Central Park that is known to few in this city and I would relish," he rolls the first consonant of the word in a growl, "knowing who informed you of this."


While Peggy Carter (Sousa) isn't one to really take orders from *anyone*, not these days at least, there is something in the forcefulness of his voice, the way he sets that stool down, and the tension in the now somewhat icy air which tells her *that* is not a battle worth fighting right now. So, Peggy crosses the last few feet and sinks herself down onto the stool, still doing all she can to look uninjured, because letting a more powerful being see weakness is often an unwise idea. She takes a deep, slow, calming breath. The sort of breath meant to assist her companion in calming, almost mentally coaching by leading by example.

"Dr. Strange… I am sorry if my words seemed… Abrupt. But I am simply concerned with ensuring the protection of this city and it's people. The issues in the park, and now Hell's Kitchen, it seems, are only getting worse. People have been killed. Kidnapped. We are operating a perimeter there, keeping civilians out as best we can, but… I'd rather seal up this breach between realities than let a gaping hole remain open. A… new ally informed me that you might be able to assist in that. I would not wish to harm my relations with this ally by revealing their identity. It's simply respectful, you understand." Despite the icy air, the pounding of his pulse, the tension all around her, Peggy keeps her complete calm and cool.


Good, she's sitting. At the very least, the voice of medical sense can now be fettered away and Strange can focus entirely on discussing this new development of events.

Wonderful that Ms. Carter is running that perimeter; it's kept many innocents from approaching too close to the demonic reachings of the gap in reality. Fabulous that she's aware of its ability to be closed and not coming to him on her very last limb of sanity; it speaks volumes to her fortitude and ability to see beyond the normalcy of this world. She's gained much ground by offering an apology…but then loses a good majority of it by choosing to keep the identity of the one who unmasked him a secret. The good doctor offers her an exquisitely-arched eyebrow and his words drip disdain.

"Simply respectful. I see." A looonnng beat of silence. "And this ally informed you that I may have information regarding the closure of this Hellmouth? Did they describe you precisely how I would be able to assist you in the manner?"

Oof. He's been prickled something good by this.


Even sitting, Peggy has a strength and poise about her that most people don't manage standing at full height. She's a woman who can command an entire room — or an entire military — from poised behind a desk. This is no different, especially when she's dealing with an immensely powerful entity she needs to be on her side but also to consider her some sort of equal, not a child whom he needs to pander to. So, she watches him, letting him get through those emotions and the disdainful words he speaks.

"They informed me that you… as the current 'Sorcerer Supreme', would probably be the only one actually capable of assisting me in closing this matter. That it was more your purview than their's So, here I am. I normally don't actually make a habit of stepping on the toes of immensely powerful individuals — I far prefer to make allies and prove trust before you panic over such trust being broken — but the situation in the park has only grown more severe and I do not exactly have the time for a long courtship process in this relationship. So. Here I am. You could turn your back on the matter and myself — I certainly cannot stop you from doing so — or you could help protect this place you've decided to call home. I will be there, on the front lines, protecting it, no matter your choice."


"Rest assured, Ms. Carter, that your barricade stands and your uniformed comrades do not lie broken and bleeding simply due to my active involvement in this matter," he replies coolly. There, she's not stupid, he's all but admitted to holding the mantle. The wards behind him sneak closer still, much like a predator actively stalking potential prey, and he glances over his shoulder. "Begone," he snaps, seeming to talk at nothing. But…

…the chilly air withdraws, as if sucked away by the opening of a giant door, and if the ambient light of the room does seem brighter, it's not a trick of the eyes. With an irritated tsk of his tongue, he turns his gaze back to Peggy. A final 'hmph' escapes him before he brings both scarred hands into view.

A sign is formed by his right and he rolls his wrist in a fluid gesture, seeming to caress the air before his person. The white dress shirt, black pants - they melt into something else entirely. The imagery is like a swirl of watercolor left in the rain and then, the Sorcerer Supreme stands before her, crimson Cloak and stormy-blue battle leathers and citrine-glint of the Eye of Agamotto about his neck on its golden chain.

Standing in the garb of his mantle seems to check Strange's irritation and he offers her a curt nod of his head. "Ms. Carter, I could not ignore the Hellmouth and its minions any more than a watch dog could ignore a wolf amongst its sheep. Day and night, that blight screams discordance and I toil endlessly to find a way to erase it and its spawn from this Earth." He folds his arms once again, but his thunderous look is directed beyond her and at a far point of the shop's wall, unerringly in alignment towards the Hellmouth in distant Central Park. "Would I the power to close it with a simple thought. But no…it is based in ritual and ritual shall close it entirely."


As the chill suddenly actually disappears, Peggy having almost gotten used to it with a note at the back of her mind about it's constant presence, her own brow arches. Part of his doing, then. She looks behind him for a heartbeat, as if she could see the things which brought and disbanded that feeling. It doesn't last long, he is far more interesting than anything behind him. And then he is changing and Peggy's calm, emotionless expression finally does flicker.

I mean, it really is a miracle to see these things sometimes. Even when the woman has spent her entire life watching the impossible.

She lets him finish before clearing her throat softly. While he told her to sit, the transformation of him into his entire title and form is enough to draw her respectfully back to her feet. "…*The* Sorcerer Supreme, then, I presume? It is…an honor to officially make your acquaintance." She is respectful and knowledgeable enough to treat him with the formal honors of a diplomat, wolf-wounded calf or not. Her head bows respectfully to him. "…And…I am sorry to hear of your own… difficulties with this. I don't suppose we can work together to help each other? It does seem we have similar intentions."


"Yes, Ms. Carter, we will need to work together." His focus shifts back to her and he's tamped down on the turmoil within himself; the faint lambent light is no longer about his pupils, leaving them standard steel-grey, if not still shadowed by resentful anger. "Please, remain sitting. I am not royalty and you are recovering." He makes a short wave towards the stool. "Your men and women who guard that barricade must remain constantly on their guard. If you have noticed a distinct lack of recent escapees, it is because I have instilled wards about the Hellmouth."

That right hand, the one had gestured his day-clothes away, is stretched out before him and a neon-green sheen seems to wisp about it, swirling up from his wrist and eddying about it like controlled, luminescent auroral light. "The wards trigger when something attempts to cross them. Whatever has escaped into Hell's Kitchen likely did so before I was able to instill them."

No mention of his brief period of convalescence, after the devastating psychic attack that leaves him waking from nightmares in clammy sweat and scrambling summoning of protective spells.

"To hear that the neighborhood is still under attack is new to me." The wards do not chime for Hell's Kitchen, no, just for the Park proper. He knows that he's not the only one out there fighting the first wave of minions and Illyana, his apprentice, has done her fair share of gleefully slicing them into bloody ribbons. "Research of the proper ritual to close it will unfortunately need to remain my prerogative; after all, I have been collecting archaic and eldritch books for many years now. I know that I shall find a method soon." A slow sigh that leaves his chest deflating by increments. "I am sorry to hear that people have been killed. This should never have happened. I intend to find the one who caused this and bring them to justice."

Justice meted out by the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth - and it wasn't going to be kind.


As he motions for her to sit again, and mentions her recovery, a slight frown crosses her lips. She'd done her best to hide it, never wishing to look weak, but she also doesn't protest. The damage those wolves did to her calf — really attempting to take a fairly large chunk out of her — wasn't pleasant. It could have been so much worse, though. So, she settles back and listens to his words, taking mental notes of everything. A sigh escapes her lips once he finishes speaking.

"My…recovery… was from my own interaction with the perimeter. A pack of… immensely powerful wolves came from, what I can only assume, is that Hellmouth. I managed to put most of them down, but it was a fight. A moment later their 'owner'… a woman who called herself Lily Drake, came along. She did not seem too hurt over their deaths, I cannot help but think it was some sort of… Test. She also mentioned a wish to see whatever has escaped to Hell's Kitchen put down." Peggy shares her own information completely freely, not a single omission from her, if he can read such things. A show of good faith and how much she does wish to assist in this. "If there are any other resources to which I can give you access for your research, Doctor, simply ask. I have access to nearly all the information contained in this entire country."


Strange nods his head slowly, weighing the option presented to him. Unlimited access to information within this country's libraries is the most tempting morsel placed before him yet. The slightest quirk of one corner of his lips is betrayed by the disloyal line of his goatee, no longer straight. With a quick curling of his fingers, the auroral light is once again gone, like smoke in the wind.

"I may have to do so," he hedges, now turning to pace back and forth across the space before the counter, the wooden floor covered here by a finely-woven rug of dyed sheep's wool in vibrant colors more common in the Far East. Each turn sends the Cloak's edges swirling with unnatural grace about his shin and it never seems to consider tripping him up.

"I don't know this Lily Drake, but have no doubt that I will pursue her further. I make a point of following up, at the very least, with every being with magical powers within New York City proper. Don't hesitate to compare names with me, not even for a moment now that this Hellmouth is active. We both can use all the information we can get."

He stops, mid-step, and turns to face her. There's a softening to his expression in some subtle way. "You know, I do have the means to accelerate your healing. Bites from any sort of canine are not simple things and they do seem to linger, don't they?"


The slight twitch of his lips and the line of his goatee actually draws an earnest touch of a smile from her. So he *was* still human under there, or still had some human emotions. Even if those emotions were over information. "The offer is on the table. You still have my card, I suspect. If there is access you need, simply ask, I shall secure it for you." It seems this woman may have *far* more power than he initially might have considered, even with that strangely deep reading he gave her the first time they met. She tilts her head in affirmation about contacting him with names. "As we meet others, and more information, I will bring it to you, I promise."

Then he's offering that softer look and the healing. Peggy's expression shifts almost awkwardly, a brush of embarrassment and strange obstinance across her face. Saying yes to such things would mean admitting to actually being hurt. It's not something she's comfortable doing, even if the logical part of her brain knows she should take his offer. It'd be safer for the child she still carries, better for her to get back into the field, and just all around good to build relationships. Still, she hesitates. Pride is an awful thing. "… It's… not so bad… I wouldn't wish to take your attention when you have more important things on which to focus. The Hellmouth is our primary goal now." Peggy offers almost stiffly, not quite meeting his eyes.


"We are within the Sanctum Sanctorum, Ms. Carter, and the Hellmouth has no sway here. It is no waste of time or energy on my part to grant a lessening in pain. After all, I was Doctor before I was Sorcerer. One does not take on the mantra of 'first, do no harm' lightly."

He understands the expression of reticence on her face, perhaps more than she knows. Stephen Strange does not get hurt, not during times of crisis.

"It's a simple enough thing to do and please, consider it a gift of goodwill on my part. After all, I know that you are a guardian before all else, even if others consider you…rather stubborn," and now it's his turn to avoid her eyes for a moment or two. He knows it's a hypocritical statement.

With a few strides, he's within reach of her but still keeps a respectful distance, not wanting to scare her with a sudden showing of his Arts. "I'll need to lay hands on your arm and leg in order to impose my will on the spell. Are you comfortable with this?"


His comment about being within a 'Santcum Sanctorum' — no THE Sanctum Santorum — makes Peggy arch a brow. She mentally notes the title, but doesn't push it right now. She's just learning bits and pieces as they go, carrying on. It's sometimes the best way a spy *can* work. She does slightly smile, though, as he recalls his previous oaths, "There are many doctors who don't practice medicine. I did not care to presume." And her pride was doing it's best to pretend nothing was wrong.

But then he is there, she has awkwardly agreed, and his commenting about her stubbornness even gets a slight scrunch of her nose. She doesn't protest, he really is right. Instead, she gives a deeper sigh and a gentle tilt of her head, reaching up to undo the belt of her trench coat so she can shrug out of it to expose her suit clad frame, stockinged legs, and the bandages beneath.

"…Fine, fine. I will endeavor to not be.. needlessly stubborn. Sometimes it's a difficult habit to break. Do as you need. Do… the stockings need to come off? I think my husband might have something to say about that." Peggy teases gently. She does shrug out of her suit coat as well, though. At least it leaves her arm bare. And all of her, without those layers, noticeably softer and a touch round about the middle. It's harder to hide without structured tailoring.


Her wry sense of humor - that he remembers. Very British. It draws a little laugh from him and a shake of his head.

"No, no need to bother your husband. Fabric hasn't stopped a healing spell from working just yet." Who knows? Maybe one day, it'll ricochet back at him and won't that grant interesting results in a completely-hale being? "It might feel a bit cold, though everyone does experience it differently," he explains softly, in a calming tone of voice, in case she begins to feel anxious about the sudden wreathing of both his hands in sky-blue magic. It's a gentle-looking spell, seeming part water and part dandelion-fluff; to run one's hand through it would be like touching the most velvety of smokes.

Strange first leans in a bit closer, experienced eyes checking over the bandaging and its state. The smallest small, drawn by the memory of his 'telling' of the subtle rounding of her stomach, crosses his lips. "Healing you will put much less stress on the child as well," he adds.

With confidently-controlled pressure, meant for contact area and not causing of pain, he pushes a hand on each set of bandages - one on her arm and one on her leg. There's the momentary sensation of living warmth and then the undulating spell overtakes the general feeling against his skin. "Changa," he murmurs, the spell momentarily reflecting in his eyes and lightening them to summer-dawn-blue. The spell seems to soak through the bandages and begin its work.


"Ah, a doctor warning me something might feel cold. I think I have only heard that several hundred times in my life." That wry sense of humor seems to only get *worse* as the low level background anxiety gets worse. Not that it will stop her from doing this, or she even really lets it show, but never having actually experienced any magic really directly being worked on her person, it's still those low level nerves of any new experience. She gives him a half smile, takes in a deep breath, and lets him being.

The comment about the child gets a flicker of her eyes for a moment, from him to her not quite slender waist, back to him. "Yes… my doctor was… Quite off put that I found myself in a scuffle. She'll be happy to see this settled." Especially at Peggy's age. Even from his time as a doctor, he'd probably know what she's doing now, in her middle aged years, is practically unheard of. And she's still *working* through it.

As that healing presses through bandages, into her skin, she does shiver a bit. The low levels of pain she'd just gotten accustomed to handling slowly begin to melt away, a quite reminder as to what it actually feels like to be whole again. She breathes a bi easier, despite the odd tingling and yes that fresh, cold sensation, like newly wet skin in a breeze, but internally. It was quite odd. Maybe that is what all healing felt, but it was so slow no one ever noticed. "…That is… intriguing. The pain is gone, at least… but cold is… accurate."


Her words are noted from a far distance; he catches more of the tone than the actual consonants and vowels. Strange is a conduit for this spell, and while his gaze rests somewhere along her hip, he's decidedly rather far away in the moment.

It's delicate work, with this particular patient - no need to imbue her with too much healing and cause suspicion in her family as well as work-mates - and once he gauges that she'll be able to move with no amount of pain and no longer need to actively bandage, he pulls his hands from touching her.

As he releases the sigh he'd been half-holding in stern concentration, the sky-blue spell is dismissed from about his fingertips and evaporates away into the air as easily as steam.

"Hopefully you're not dismayed that I've left the wounds to scar," he murmurs as he blinks a few times. His vision completely clears and he seems to come back from that distant place of focus. "I didn't want you to need to explain things away in terms of 'Mutant powers'. That being said…" and he tilts his head minutely in momentary thought; "Perhaps you'll want to keep the bandages on for now, until you judge the timing correct to reveal the wounds."

Wriggling his fingers gets the rest of the tingling residual magic from his digits and he then folds his arms once again, albeit loosely, once he's taken a few steps back. The comfortable and respectful distance stands once more. "Unless you like a good joke? Perhaps whip off the bandages for your husband and watch his facial expressions." A rare moment of humor, borne of personal delight in his own work, and a twinkle in his eyes that Peggy has seen before.


As he delves deeper into the spell, Peggy seems to realize he's not quite mentally here. She takes the chance to study him deeper. Not just the feeling of the spell, but the odd color around his hands, the way his eyes focus (or don't focus). Once more, she takes in every last detail. It puts the slightest of thoughtful smiles on her lips, her head tilting a hint to the side, dark eyes not straying from him in the least.

Then he's pulling back and she takes the time to stretch out her arm, flexing fingertips and working the muscle with a bending before she stands and tries the same on her leg. The pain, most certainly, was gone. She'd be curious to see what was left of the wounds, but the stitches could, no doubt, come out. "That is… most remarkable, truly. And I might just shock Daniel, he could use a happy surprise or two." She admits with a half wry smile.

She then leans down, neatly scooping up her jacket and sliding back into it before she pulls on her trench coat as well. The range of motion in her arm is *far* better now, it's like there was barely a wound at all. "…I…do thank you, Dr. Strange. I owe you for this, not something I often say… lightly. But I do. The offer of what information I can get for you remains on the table. You know how to contact me, yes?"


With the delightful (and likely-familiar) sense of stage drama, Strange holds up his right hand. He shows her the palm, and then its back, with the lacing of scars, and then, from nowhere near his sleeve, he thumbs into view the very same card that she handed to him so many weeks ago. Little, black, block-type writing, SHIELD and all.

"Of course, Ms. Carter. You would prefer a phone call rather than a drop-by visit then, I presume?" He asks the question with an undertone of reproach; she still never answered his initial question as to who blew his cover and he isn't about to forgive her for it. It shows in the cooling of his smile, in the waning of the good humor in his gaze. But…he won't burn bridges. Not just yet. What he will do is offer a warning.

"Be mindful that nothing stays hidden from me for long. If you choose not to tell me of who shared my title, that is…fine," and he forces the word out as neutrally as he can. "But be very, very careful as to whom you owe and what you say aloud. I have no reason to force my hand in regards to your perceived debt to me. I do not conduct Mystical business in that manner. Others will not be as honorable."

And that applies to every future encounter that could occur with any magic user.


An arched brow is given in turn to the shown card, her smile slightly widening. She bows her head in approval at the little show, "Well, I suppose considering my dropping by tonight, should you wish to come in person, you would be more than welcome. But a phone call is fine also. Considering the threat to this city? I will simply be happy to be in touch with you at all, Dr. Strange." Those words have the gravity of truth behind them. He might be miffed, but she is thankful and hoping to work on repairing any relations she may have damaged.

Sensing his deepening coolness and the added distance of his words, she takes in a slower breath, expression softening. "…I hope you will forgive my withholding that information at… some point in the future. I do generally have quite a care, which is part of the reason I cannot speak the individual's name. But… I also do not say things I don't mean. If you need me, you know how to find me." She affirms, the offer of debt still on the table.

With that, she cinches her coat at her waist once more, head bowing in his direction and then she steps forward to offer her hand for the shaking. "I…shan't keep you longer, I imagine you have a busy evening without my being in your hair. I… do hope we get to speak again soon. Maybe we can make quicker progress than we have already."


A slow, centering sigh, something Peggy may get very used to hearing in the future. "You will receive a phone call first, Ms. Carter, though expect no delay between my hanging-up and my arrival," he adds as he takes her hand and shakes it with just the right amount of strength. Strange lets none of his frustration show in his grip, merely professional respect, from one person of power to another. The Ancient One would be proud. Releasing her hand, he continues, "Don't be incredibly surprised if you receive a visit from me sooner than later. I intend to discuss whatever conversation you had with this individual once their identity is known to me." His stare is level, imbued with utter sincerity. There are very few things that can stand between the Sorcerer Supreme and her office.

He then walks over to the shop door and opens it to look outside. It seems that the rain has stopped, or perhaps lessened, at least momentarily. "Do remind your men to stay alert around the Hellmouth," he says over his shoulder before leaning up against the open door, allowing ample room for her to pass by him. "Rest assured that I remain on the hunt for the ritual needed to remove it from the Park. I still have many tomes to read yet in my own collection, but I shall contact you immediately if I need further information." He grants her a friendly, if not reserved smile.


The handshake is returned just as smooth and strong as it's given. A bow of her head follows, something of both respect to him and to his power. Then her warm fingertips leave his and she follows him over to the door. "It has been… an honor, Sorcerer Supreme. I'm glad we can, at least, work together in the future." With those words and a professional, somewhat distant smile, Peggy gives a look to the outside as well and steps beyond the door, back into the busy, now dark world.

"I shall remind my men. But they are, in general, quite good at keeping alert. It is not just their jobs, but their lives too. I wish you luck in your research. We will all need it." With that, she gives him one final look, a slight smile, and turns on the ball of her foot, heading over to her elegant Aston Martin and sinking inside the driver's seat with far less pain than she originally entered the car.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License