1963-10-31 - Strange Providence
Summary: Even Doctor Strange needs to trick-or-treat. At an 18th century lighthouse, no less.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: All Hallow's Eve Ball - Alan Silvestri
strange wanda 

The night is falling. All around Greenwich Village, the brave and foolhardy take to the streets dressed in all manner of disguises. Grim, grinning ghosts come out to socialize, goblins dance about with devils, mummies masquerade alongside fairies and royalty.

The Sorcerer Supreme stands at the Window on the World, looking down at the street below with a faint frown of jaded amusement. Trust in the people of Greenwich Village to thumb their noses in the face of Morgan's steady advance into the city with her hoards of undead. His chest rises and falls in a slow sigh. That will end - tonight.

He can't bring himself to relax, which is unnatural for him. It helped to be in his battle-leathers and crimson Cloak; it gives the impression of readiness in the face of potential disaster. Pacing around the Loft didn't help. He's basically memorized all of the last-minute details regarding the casting of the warded pentacle. Even tea hasn't helped; the moderate levels of adrenaline in his blood neutralized the calming effects of the herbs within minutes of metabolizing them.

Strange hangs his head, chin nearly touching his chest, and closes his eyes. His form, with hands folded behind his back, is statuesque in the faint starlight that falls in through the glass panes.


In her part of the world, trick-or-treating does not exist. Ancient harvest festivals still rule the calendar in the rural upcountry, performed by peasants much in the fashion of their ancestors two centuries earlier. Occasional rites to drive out spooks and spectres survive under the gimlet watch of comrades wise enough to turn the other cheek for extra portions of socks, bread, or sugar. But nothing equals putting on a mask and going door-to-door.

The very notion of banging on strangers' houses and requesting candy to avert childish revenge or more calculated pranks surely has the wards writhing in abject discomfort. Wanda shakes her head, focusing on stitching a spell into one of her vambraces with the assistance of a book from the library. Its methods differ entirely from her own, but the imprinting of sigils into the fabric of clothing or armour is not alien, and effective. Still, the final component she needs is only found by a window: moonlight, a neutral source to set the spell.

He gives her that impressive view almost by chance, limned in light before the burning gaze of the city turned upwards in staring hope towards the bearer of the Eye of Agamotto. Stephen Strange, limned in the halogen fires imprinted on a pane of glass, arrests her step such she could nearly trip over a chair that somehow ended up four feet from where she last remembered it.

Questions fall to the wayside. Her tongue cleaves to her palate. And in that place, where he blazes with all the hopes of countless people, he is alien and unfathomable and terrifying. Much like everything she has ever known in her life. The witch drifts closer and stops. Naught defines what should be done, experience a poor substitute.

She goes to her knees.


The faint thud of impact nearby him makes Strange open his eyes and glance over his shoulder. At first, he's searching for the cause of the sound in the near distance of the Loft, but then realizes that there's someone kneeling on the floor.

"Wanda?" he asks quietly in the silence, turning and disengaging from his dark musings in posture as well as mind. "What is it? Are you alright?"

It's easy enough to drop down to one knee himself, his expression concerned as he reaches out to place a comforting hand on her nearest forearm.


Wanda extends her hands towards the thin sliver of moonlight puddling upon the floor, slanted through the windowpane and uninterrupted by an arm, a curtain, a restless flit of the Cloak. She spreads her fingers to their utmost extent, fanning them out palm-down to expose the elegant lines of her wrist and forearm to the bathing effect of the light. His touch only gives tactile vibrations to what she is doing. Fizzing energies spread out in thin beams as the pale radiance spreads through the waiting channels embedded into her leather sleeve, and she bites her lower lip at the equivalent low-grade charge surging through her limbs.

Neat, tidy glyphs, each no larger than the yellow button eye of a daisy, catch in seven different places, casting a widening net of begonia-red filaments as far as her elbows. They band and latch, hardening into overlapping scales of force, fading almost entirely from view. It's not a lorica, entirely, but it will serve its purpose.

"Well as one can be in wartime," she murmurs, subjecting her other wrist to the same process. The disadvantage of writing with her off hand is a weaker web of magic, and the care to balance the effect shows in the glow. Both her hands are elevated by nature of the component, but it very well looks like she's almost praying to him. To the city. To the gods they share, those they do not. A flip of her wrist allows her to grip his arm like old comrades, almost tenderly exchanging a smile in the darkness thrown over her face.

In German, she says, "You have a pensive air about you, on a night of portents." English she isn't sufficiently schooled in to weave such images. It's back to standard fare though, after that. "I have faith in you. The rest will settle."


Strange realizes just a little too late that he has the potential to interrupt her process of charging the glyphs tooled into her leather gauntlets. However, he knows better than to knock her arm askew when in the middle of a casting, so his touch remains present, light, nondistracting - mayhaps she even feels a subtle surge that joins in the tickling of moonlight's draw into her sleeves. Intentional? Even he's not certain. It almost plainly happened, in an odd sense.

Poor Doctor, being unfamiliar with German. She's given an arched brow that might be hidden in shadow, but then she explains herself in that roundabout, unusually-accurate way. His immediate response is a settling onto his one heel and a wry smile.

Then the spoken reply: "If I didn't know better, you are prescient, Wanda Maximoff." As he stands, their shared grip draws her to stand upright as well. A shifting and now he holds her hand instead, giving her a fond look that slowly darkens. His light gaze slides away and then off to the Window again, to beyond it and into the semi-clear night sky. "You are brave to have faith in me." His murmur is spoken as if partially to himself. Shaking his head as if to dispel the worries lurking about his shoulders, he focuses back on her again. "I can't stand to wait. I know, it's weird of me, since I'm supposed to be the epitome of patience—" A scoff, as if there's a memory connected to that statement, "but this is…ridiculous," he grinds out. As he glances back to the moonlit panes of glass, a shadow flashes by - a barn owl, rarity in this part of town. The passing bird is a blur of creamy feathers and two quick flaps of muffled wings.

The question is sudden, impulsive. "Want to go for a flight?"


"Yes. Let's go."

How like Strange, offering enlightenment upon a worthy petitioner. Somewhere, the Ancient One nods knowingly and in her subconscious mind, the Scarlet Witch smiles.

They have an understanding between them, sorcerer and witch, man and younger woman. His help standing she accepts without any visible tug to assert her independence, though her knees tuck easily underneath to allow for an upward shuttle of minimal fuss. Claret rendered nearly charcoal in the low-lit conditions unfurls from the ramparts of her shoulders, saturated in shadowy abandon upon the curve of her hipbones.

"Brave? Practical." Correcting the good Doctor is not beyond her, though. Her gaze follows his briefly out the window, corrected for angle to ascertain whatever inspires his interest and holds it. "You care to right the balance. This alone makes you worth following." Her words are barely a murmur, forcing the ear to bend to truly hear everything her accented voice conveys in sharp collisions of syllables with a penchant to lean sharp. "Despite the risk you want to halt the spread of corruption while you still can. For that, I am willing to share the risk."

Her gloved fingers stay curled around his, unless released, a pulse that vibrates the overlapping plates of magic a few atoms thick.

Wanda glances back to his face, rather than the window. "So much danger around us makes patience too expensive. A patient man is a frightened man on a night like tonight, and I will not follow a coward in his den."


Sometimes, her honesty grates a little too close to the sensitive center of his psyche. However, he can forgive her. It is in his nature, especially after gaining his mantle.

"Hold on then," Strange murmurs, meaning for her to keep her grasp about his wrist. The Sanctum's ceiling does a bizarre thing - the shadowed heights seem to bend, flex, draw together as if liquid and then melt away with edging of lime-green. Above, the vast sky, with its scattering of grey clouds and winking stars just visible this late at night.

The crimson Cloak kicks in and both practitioners rise with moderate speed up towards and then through the hole. The Sorcerer Supreme glances down, both to ascertain that Wanda still exists without discomfort at the end of his hold and that the roof of the Sanctum is closed up once more.

In a lark, he offers the witch a flashing grin and then comes to an abrupt halt. With a grunt, he draws her up - past him - above him and releases her into a toss that leaves her hanging in the air above him, like a scarlet hunting bird tossed to flight.


Forgiveness cuts both ways. See also: the late mourned teapot.

Wanda tips her head back to regard the changing formations of the sanctum's ceiling, well and truly used to the seductive configurations of the building under magical Sight. That it chooses to behave according to the imaginations of the Mad Hatter and a certain piratical soul in Stardust does not entirely confound her, allowing enough mental latitude to bask in curiosity and wonder instead.

Through the eye, the pair dance on their celestial waltz, and a rate not too exorbitant certainly leaves the witch a touch breathless but otherwise fine. Her spindrift hair buoyed up around her shoulders whips the tawny oval of her face, streaming off her unmarked brow. The best she can do is blow it away, shaking her head about to ease the umber storm threatening to entangle her in a dizzying whirlwind.

An apt point to send her hurtling into the night, eyes blood-gilded, and her hands suddenly rimed in starlight of a vast, blood-wrought Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion. Freefall kicks in as the incantation strikes her lips, an alarm clashing in rapid warning. She dips a moment, and then needles up twenty feet, afloat in a sea of faintly stirred mist.

"I should have brought a broomstick. Or given myself wings, yes?"


Maybe she caught the quiet clearly-guilty laugh from him, where he hovers nearly two dozen feet below her and looks up with argent-touched eyes. Whoops - he should have warned her before releasing her into the starry sky.

"I think you're doing just fine," Strange calls as he flits up to hang before her. The night wind dances through any loose dark hair and drags the Cloak lightly to one side. The play of the breeze has no bearing on the garment's ability to keep him hovering at such a height. "You're far too bewitching to need a broom, Miss Maximoff," he says with zipping enunciation and a smile clearly meant to charm her. It twinkles in his eyes in turn. "Not a bad night for flying," he adds, glancing around him. The rooftops of the surrounding buildings are clear of lingering stargazers and even the clouds seem to want to scuttle on by briskly, as if fatefully aligning to his wishes for a presentation of the stars and moon. "Anyplace you wish to go?"

After all, to two casters unchained on the night of thinnest veils, the world and its limitations are for naught.


The girl is painted against the stars, the city giving perilously little radiance to brighten the dark aspect of Hecate standing on high. Or perhaps she is Zorya Vechernaja, the evening star, suspended closer to earth with Strange to be clarissima mundi lumina, the tutelary and secret sources of light in a realm gone unnaturally dark beneath terrible auspices.

Her form-fitting garments protect her from the chill, though she latches the collar closer to shield her bare throat. Theirs becomes a mirror in likeness, the way the cloak secures at Strange's neck given parallel. The oval of her face alone holds brighter definition, partly illuminated by her starry garnet eyes, bleeding starlight away in rose petals motes. In profile, she gazes towards the midnight blight staining Central Park. Their destination, in but a few hours. To the east, the sea shines beyond Long Island's barrier of beach and low houses, still invisible.

"I, too, am impatient to be done with this threat," she says. Shadows lurk in the hollows of her cheekbones, painting dramatic melodies across that drawn magnitude. They may not see the day's coming, and perhaps that gives cause for her to hold out her hands to him. "I want to see the city. I want to see what you fight for, Trishul."

Her thoughts resolve on the impulse. "We draw a circle around it," and she paints the motion with her finger, slashing a bar through the orbit. "Show me your favourite place. Or places. This will give some release for all that excess energy."


The Sorcerer nods as he listens. Already, he's categorizing the places that he knows — think-think-think.

His lightened eyes first turn to the west, towards the distant edges of the state of New York itself, but…that is far and they do not have time. Closer things first. "Follow me," he murmurs, even as he interlaces his fingers within hers, right to her left.

Their travel is silent, with the rustle of the passing night wind in their ears. There are many little pauses on his part, where he draws up and hovers, gesticulating and explaining, oftentimes with a broad grin in fond memory or a more wry smile as he acknowledges that trespassing in this place got him in trouble.

"Of course we had ID, but the security guard wasn't impressed with us. Still…I'd like to get back into the tunnels once more," Strange adds, referencing the underground labyrinth beneath Columbia University. "They have a draw to them. I wouldn't be surprised if there is something living in them."

Another stop, the unfinished and abandoned Highline Section 3, just off of 34th street. Like a gentleman escorting a lady from her carriage, the good Doctor lands first on the overgrown path, with its bisecting rusted train tracks, and then gently allows her to touch the earth. "This is a beautiful walk during the day. You can see the city around you and off towards the ocean." He kicks a rock and it bounces from one of the train tracks with a hollow ring of impact. "Actually…come on." The decorative railing, also rusted brown from the weather and age, is what he mounts and stands upon. He takes Wanda's hand once more, draws her up to stand beside him, and then whisks onwards, towards the east and the sparkling of moonlight from water.

They fly over the island of Manhattan for some time, passing by houses where the world lies asleep and only few lights burn late into the night. The wind becomes colder still, tasting of sea salt and the frisson of the far north, and then they've arrived: the Montauk Lighthouse. There's no squall coming in, naught but the brisk wind as he brings them to land on the pathway that encircles the still-functioning beacon. Releasing her to her devices, Strange leans on the edge of the sturdy barrier and looks out at the expanse of sea before him. A slow inhale and a sigh.


The revetment speckled in grey and white above the bluffs overlooking the turbulent Atlantic warn her of a destination. Trees encroach towards the gentle slopes that fall away into endless black waters thrashed by lacy fringes of foam, the proof beauty can be found even in the clash of continents against the sea. Grasses shiver this close to the shore, tumbling over as leaves are driven to join the kelp massed up along the ragged battlefront.

Her gaze, naturally, flows along the exterior of the building towards the tower standing proudly above the low house, its caged flame perpetually turned out to sea. Glowing windows provide a promise as old as Pharos, holding out hope in the darkest of storms, marking where souls might land and weather against all cares.

Strange the Lighthouse Keeper. She looks to him for a moment, then back upon the 80 foot promontory setting a lantern to glow as it has since the era of Washington, Jefferson, and other beacons in their own way. "It is not so solitary a life as meets the eye," she says, apropos of nothing.

"Who keeps the lonely vigil, above these hungry seas?" A bit of prose for the sorcerer to chew upon as the witch walks the periphery clockwise, her hands tucked deep into the reserve of her pockets. It doesn't stop her coat from flying around her, the angled slice of each front tongue lapping harshly over her thighs and the back vent giving a wilder ballooning and compression effect. Her hair too rises in a wild cloud following the winds any headland gains, especially as she rounds the front. It won't matter how much she holds fast; the movement is always there.

Then she twirls about on her toes, when the building blocks her from being fully seen, dancing with the streamers of air. If this is to be an end, she will not meet it anything less than the dynamo to the blazing stars and fates that she is. All things burn out in the end, and burn bright she shall.

Colour sings in her cheeks and stamps her chapped lips with a fresh sheen when she returns to him, tawny earthen eyes heavy-lidded. Are words necessary here? They might be. His cares cannot be hers, the voice of the gods upon him in eloquent whispers that deafen lesser entreaties. Agamotto may be jealous and singular, but he cannot give embraces freely as she can. Chew on that, Eye.


If she thinks that she's completely unseen around the curve of the wall when she does her little dance of silent joy for the purity of existence, Wanda is not quite right. Strange's eyes settled on her after she murmured her little line regarding 'lonely vigils' and haven't deviated. His Sight washes over his view in time for him to see the corona of incarnadine energy whisks about and outline her form through the building's design. He smiles a ghost of a smile, a sad wisp, melancholy clearly directing the majority of his thoughts with concern keeping tempo.

He'll allow her privacy, however, and turns his attention back to the distant moonlight waves. They break continually with lulling roars and soothing hisses, rhythmic and never-ending from their brush with the northerly winds. It's a rather depressing consideration, when he makes the metaphorical connection between the ever-rolling crests and himself - battering away, year after year after year, against the eternal presence of immovable obstacles. There will always be evil. Always.

So withdrawn is the Sorcerer that he doesn't notice her approach and inhales in quiet surprise when she slinks her arms around the base of his ribs. The crimson Cloak flutters its collar, which makes its master glare down at it before slowly turning around to face Wanda. He now leans back on the railing, arms outstretched to either side, and looks down at her thoughtfully.

"What do you think of this whole mess, Miss Maximoff? Why would fate allow such a thing to happen?" He grinds his teeth behind thinned lips as he awaits her reply, an intensity within his light eyes that no longer glow silver about their centers.


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 98


Such bitter tidings for a man holding life in his hands. Such hardships his to bear through all his years, divorced from the span of a mortal end, and the guarantee of eternal rest when his lengthy service is done. Merlin — or Myrddin, more appropriately — gives proof one who bears the mantle does not retire quietly into that good night. Death does not wait with calm, pale hand for the astral self to depart its vacated mortal frame, and partake the fruits of deplorable labours one last time.

She is ignorant of these mental struggles, perhaps a touch entangled within internal cares. Guilt and shame in the personage of a lanky youth topped in a field of dandelion fluff floats just beyond sight whenever she shuts her eyes, until the blue-white fire consumes thoughts and vision in a speckled cascade. To dance at least pays respect for her own needs, somewhere lower on the pyramid, and recalls times before in the breathless heights of the Tibetan Plateau when the twins faced a gauntlet to run, or the certain death awaiting them when racing through poppy fields in Kashmir, pursued by gunfire and golden knives in the dark.

"Fate," she whispers from her place on low, chin resting against the back of Strange's shoulders. "Fate is. Like knowledge, neither good nor bad, except in how the purpose is put. Why does the world fall to misery? Why do we fight with great powers who will not leave us be?" Questions put before her lead her to a point, eventually, though the imperfections of English are met.

Her arms disengage his side, only to allow her to rotate in time, two stars circling around one another with the center of their orbits buried about an inch behind her navel. The moon and stars light the way across the breaking waves, their hissing retreat against the high stone reveture a drowning man's demise. "Maybe to give meaning to life. You would not be yourself and have a quiet life. Not as your title. Not like a hermit. Too much given to caring, fixing things. Have you not seen this could be a chance for you to come into your element? Maybe, Stephen, you were created to be here on this night, to come at the hour of summons, because no one else could do what is necessary. Perhaps this, right now, is one stone in a path to lead you to your destiny because you must experience it for greater things to come? You could think that."

Then she stands on tiptoe, brushing her nose against his cheek. "But… I think I love you."


No, no, she's right. She thinks awfully like the Ancient One at times and he's in the middle of giving her a bemused smile, lips opened in readiness to offer some tart rejoinder (who could blame Strange, it's a rather heavy topic of conversation and anything to lighten the mood will do, in his mind), when she adds that particular statement.

Perhaps she feels the slack of his jaw as it draws along her nose and then the Sorcerer Supreme pulls back a little to look her full in the face. His expression says it all: he's flabbergasted.

"Oh," is all he can manage at first - and then he gives in to a little stammer and half-grin of disbelief. "I - uh, er - You…think?"

Emphasis on the verb.


A motion of her hand draws an errant shape in the air. "You ask what I think of all this." He might not even see the gesture, and certainly she is in no position to check whilst averting her gaze through the abundance of sooted lashes painted against her cheekbone, downswept, a moment of introspection. "I tell you, Stephen Strange, what I think. That I…" The paranoid pressure drives in with the sea, carrying out pieces of her, returning the bits already stolen. "That I love you."

Again, said. Twice, and once more? Everyone knows thrice is binding, thrice is the sacred number and the invocation of a pledge and a vow.

Wanda stiffens her knees, that they might not seek to rattle against one another, her toes turned mildly inwards. Two clicks of her heels and will her faerie godmother carry her away? Not likely. Garnets dappling her temples shimmer, embedded in the only thing of real value she wears, her headband. All the wealth on her person; the lone mark of Roma ways. So few others persist, surviving Transia, Tibet, Berlin.

"It is soon. I know. It is not my upset over Pietro that makes me say this. Just tonight." Her hand pauses, and might as well go for broke, she whom ever shifts the odds to her favour. Fingers thread over his jaw, teasing his goatee, a reminder to Strange where he is. "You are not alone. No hermit on a vigil, no man locked up in his tower. Read your tea leaves, draw your cards, consult with your gods. Divine how you will. Real, yes? So real it scares me."


The movement of her hand is entirely missed, with how his focus is hyper-narrowed to her in this moment. Even the chill of the salt-laden winds, which have been slithering beneath the collar of his battle-vest, become null and void. Strange has to continue wrenching his snarled-up thoughts back to her repeatedly. Challenge him to repeat what Wanda said to him? He'd fail, utterly, even as the words are being emblazoned within his memory.

Again, the Three Words repeatedly with gentle insistence, and he can feel his innards squiggling about in a maelstrom of sentiments. Behold, the Sorcerer Supreme, stripped of all canny retorts and leery habits, staring into the face of something denied to him for nearly a decade. Something he's denied himself and even the entertaining of the thought pertaining to it.

Can she blame him for the slight frown, the hesitance to immediately respond to her delicate tracing of the lines of his goatee.

"It scares me too," he finally breathes and then gives the micro-tells of a flinch. Not quite what he meant to say. But was it an untruth? Perhaps not.

"They'll know." It seems a warning of sorts, even as his hands rise to cover hers, to enfold them and hold them captive before his sternum, where the Eye of Agamotto hangs silent and lackluster. 'They'? Anyone with a grudge against him and his mantle.

Ever want to make the Sorcerer Supreme bleed? Make his Rakshasi bleed.

Ever want to suffer at his hands? Try it.

The conveying of all of these sentiments is attempted in how he holds her dark-amber eyes, in how his own bleed silvery as his aura flares up around him, in how it insistently seeks to meld with her own.


"I am already a danger to you." Liability is the code word she wants, but the Scarlet Witch does not possess the perfect fluency of English without tapping into the resonance of the city's many dreamers and thinkers. This far from the city, the spells accessible to her require more energy, something they must spend as thriftily as Ebenezer Scrooge 'ere the night is done. Her hands nonetheless are his hostages, willingly negotiated into their captivity, escorted before the unhappy shape that ascertains what their casual conversation portends.

The corner of her mouth lifts, tight against her drawn features. "But you called me god-marked. A new danger, but I have never been safe or sheltered." Strange's perturbed reaction for reasons all his own give her reason for pause, a rapid reassessment performed in light of current information and the reactive heat puddled where their fingers entwine as naturally as they were meant to do so. "Until here, now."

That Wanda would say this hours before they must face an unknown quantity carved into the bedrock, blooded by an immortal sorceress and draped in the veils of great darkness from a power beyond fathoming, is something. Something noteworthy in the flaws of her character, anyways.

Hard to reckon with the enormity when already juggling a truth as vast as a blue hypergiant like this.

Maybe a galaxy full. He exudes that much gravity and pulls her gaze into the impossible depths of his silver-sheened regard. "What comes," she whispers, "it will. It does not change my feeling for you. I'm quite and truly certain."


The silver-sheened regard closes off for a moment, but not in retreat: in an effort to stabilize himself. This is another new (albeit heel click-inducing) development on top of the slippery mess Strange already stands upon. King of the Rock when the pile beneath your feet constantly shifts and attempts to not only drag you down, but pull you inwards to crush you?

Fine and dandy, that. A little stability will never go remiss in his life.

"I'll keep you safe and sheltered for as long as I can, Rakshasi," he says back, voice pitched just as quietly. Not quite nose-to-nose now, but he needs to lean in close to hear her after all. The distance between them seems undecided - why be this close without contact? - and so he leans his forehead against hers, closing off his eyes again. "What comes will not change my feelings either. You are…"

The Sorcerer is silent. The pound and hiss of the waves, along with the ever-blowing breeze, take over once more in ambient sound.

He releases her hands in order to take her face within his palms. "Nga khyed rang la brtse gdung byed kyi yod," he finally whispers in the one other language they can share, so rarely heard here in America, so private through this fated circumstance of their criss-crossed paths: «I love you so, with such great affection.»

His lips grace the outer edge of each of her eyes as he cups her jaw in his lightly-shivering hands, bestowing proof of his statement, before they mold to her mouth with pressure established in the surety of things. "Don't do anything stupid." It's a plea of sorts that he breathes against her lips and one he's nearly completely certain that she'll summarily ignore given the opportunity to turn the tides in their favor at the Hellmouth.


Worlds have ended for a kiss. Empires wiped off the map because of a star-crossed love, others birthed from desert and jungle from a chance encounter that leads to this. Nothing so dramatic applies on the shores of the headland where a doughty old matron looks out to sea, her burning eyes guiding all to shelter.

Even two very different people finding safe harbour in one another can be thankful for Jefferson's stroke of a pen that affirmed Washington's request, made in the person of one Alexander Hamilton. Sorcerer and witch have waited in the wings for this moment for a very long time, perhaps.

Her cheeks flush at the sentiment, but it's the way Strange lowers his head and claims her mouth that seals the deal to set her shivering. The enormity is not lost on her, the emotional consequences finally melting the last shard of steel remaining in her bearing. Maybe he can forgive her for wobbling, a hand put on the crimson-clad slope of his shoulder for balance lest they both topple over the rail and bounce into the freezing waves.

Banked the hunger finally given freedom for expression leaps up, her teeth grazing his fleshy lower lip and imparting one of those ghostly impressions of a bite. The lash of her tongue cools stinging flame, even as they are heedless to the rest of the world and separated by the need for breath.

"We support one another," she murmurs, about an hour after reason slinks in from getting a croissant and a copy of Weekly Occult Times.

Only because it's cold is she blushing. And the strobing light funneled over the sea is purely the reason why her tawny eyes shine, lustrous as the deepest amber.

There should be something more to say, but that will have to be enough, given her mind is reeling at a thousand miles a second, and encroaching past the speed of light, leaving a curious lightness in its wake. "No pointless risks." Needful, on the other hand…

A promise sealed in iron dust.


"None," he repeats. It's an attempt to be stern, but that intent goes all to pieces at his acknowledgment that she is near-literally glowing in his hands. Drawing back, his eyes flicker over her once more before aligning with her lambent gaze. Even as Strange holds those ochre irises, he can see them growing limpid and knows, on an instinctive level, that he's mirroring her precisely. His throat wobbles just as her body had earlier. The cling of her hand on his shoulder is noted, expanded in sensing to include the heat that reaches his skin through his battle-leathers.

"Wanda, we should be careful not to show this just yet, not while-"

CRASH-HISS-FLASH. He's utilizing the Sight and so the message reaches him, blocking out everything before him - her, the amaranthine glow of their auras that is coalescing in a cloud about them, the lighthouse, even the crashing of the waves.

Hoards of undead. Shambling corpses in row upon rows, like bloodied redcoats. All stand between him and the distant glow of the Hellmouth. «Time's up, Sorcerer.» The woman's voice echoes, fading out only to redouble in laughter as the pale, flesh-stripped hands reach for him and—

With a gasp, Strange comes back and blinks at the fading image before him. Whatever he had done, however his hands had frozen, he brings them up to scrub at his face and grimace.

"A message, from Morgan. We need to get back."

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