1963-11-14 - Post Traumatic Cleaning Disorder
Summary: Strange puts together the wreckage of his life. Wanda reassembles reality as she knows it.
Related: Old Friends Part V: The Betrayal
Theme Song: My Beloved - The Banner Days
wanda strange 

Even as he puts another chunk of half-eaten wood into a paper bag, the Sorcerer glances towards the master bedroom. He hasn't see her emerge from beyond the double doors, but then again, he has been very involved with cleaning up the Loft.

The initial surge of magic, from the ley lines, did an excellent job of scouring away the Dark Art that infested the Sanctum briefly. That he can do nothing for the spider-web crackling of certain window panes (thankfully not found in the Anomaly Rue window or the stylized Eye downstairs, above the grand staircase) remains a sore point, like a bruise that is accidentally bumped time and time again. However…broken relic cases, this Strange can do something about.

Picking up the sack of splintered wooden panels, he grunts as he carries it over to join the small mound in the center of the circular platform. It makes a muffled clattering after its toss and he dusts off scarred hands as he glances around the Loft.

It's progress. Healing.

Healing… A shadow crosses his expression even as he gives his head a small shake and turns back to the pile.

It goes up in a Mystical wreath of controlled destructive magic at a quick set of gestures. No smoke, no ash, just disintegration on an atomic level. The energy disperses out from the site in twinkling motes of silver light that are quickly snatched up by the passing swish of the wards. Strange raises his hand up in silent, smiling greeting. The swirling between his fingers feels like a silken cloth between drawn in and out and then whoosh, off they go again, clearly sensing another loose spirit to round up somewhere on the second floor. He watches them go before the smile fades and his brows knit in pensive appearance once more. Hands disappear into pockets of old scrub-pants. There he lingers, looking off to the side at nothing. Bare feet (in order to be certain that there are no splinters of wood or glass, he'll know it if he steps on a piece - it works, don't judge him!), t-shirt, just the good Doctor cleaning up yet another mess.


Order restored to the House of Strange no doubt takes time, but produces a lovely lustre to the building that responds by feline preening. He needs only pet a shelf for proof of that, the shiver of the foundations answering their master in residence. Removing dust of disintegrated pages or splinters of crushed wood earns a grateful tremor, a proverbial shake of the fur to cast off the unwanted bits and debris. Worse, the Sanctum Sanctorum is a place that must remain still for fear of driving the psychic porcupine prickles even deeper inside. Thus its compliance and patience thence partner for an even gladder reward.

Chaos returned to the Loft of Strange no doubt awakens, in time, but remains motionless on her stomach for the better part of a full night and a full day. No blush touches the limpid curve of her cheek, and the teeth set into her lower lip leave a deep bruise that a few hours will not mend. When she does finally stir, Sleeping Beauty reaches out for something completely absent; she doesn't sleep on her knives all that often.

The blind feel gives her a handful of pillow and a protesting growl from the depths of her being, yawning louder than Charybdis ever yelled at Scylla. Her fingers buried into her abdomen knead in an effort to withhold the hollow deprivation of hunger, but unfortunately this sensation is an old, old playmate. One neglected, along with the needs of her hairdressing and dressing, period, force her into stiffly taking to her feet.

Running water and rummaging sounds emanate from upstairs, the house and its wards well likely to betray her ascension to the Isles of the Conscious, however rough the trip overseas.

It says something that she pads down the hallway in knee-high knit socks, his dress shirt, and her palm scrubbing at her face. The fact she does have a knife in a holster is rather peculiar, probably, in this magic Groundhog Day. A fluttering spirit zips away from her, shrill and mischievous, even as she stares after it with blank eyes. Time to eat first. Food, then think.

Her steps continue without care for misbuttoned placket or collar sliding over her shoulder, baring it. All she worries about is nourishment, driven by a metabolism on hyperdrive. Chances are Strange catches her before she literally marches right into him and, sans any greeting, nuzzles his shoulder. He stole her favourite pillow. She will greet it.


The wards told him that the spirit was cornered, there, on the second floor, just at the corner leading to the trio of windows to other places on this Earth. Drawn to their belling, the Sorcerer pads silently down the steps and then quickly, while the spirit is distracted by the feints of the silvery magics, banishes it to its relic container. A short screech of surprise and poof - back into the sturdy iron jar.

Stretching his fingers, which ache slightly still - hangover from being a conduit for multiple mega-sources of powers - he sighs. The wards whisper of movement upstairs even as he hears the water turning on.

Ah, she's awake. Good.

Back up the short flight of steps in time to see her emerge wearing one of his old dress shirts (and by "old", out of style and clearly still comfortable). She's wreathed in the clinging of sleep, doe-eyed, slack in every line of her body, and clearly not truly watching where she's walking. Strange realizes this and manages to slow her down with the solidness of his person before she tumbles down the stairs. She even smells of lassitude: warm hair laced with the musk of dark roses, spices, the faintest remnants of his cologne on the dress shirt, a little bit of sandalwood, and the earthy undertones of her skin, all swirled together like mulled cider. He presses a kiss to her mussed curls even as he holds her close.

"Good morning. Sleep well?" The greeting is murmured quietly, aware that she too may be suffering the loose ends of a body's inability to truly channel such a magnitude of magic.


Kindly pretend, good Doctor, that she speaks an intelligible reply full of morning vim and sharp wit. Something poetic, a snatch of Byron stolen from memory, or a quote of Rumi spoken in breathless abandon.

Have a kindness, for the mumbled response in his shoulder will hold no meaningful value for anyone beyond the tousled witch, and even that is doubtful. She sets her jaw and swallows around the hollow lump wedged into her throat, left by a light state of dehydration and an ominous thunderstorm brewed in her belly. Fear, fear that rattle in a corrosive cage. The dragon in human form lifts her head, a wisp of mint caught before she brushes her lips against Strange's jaw. Evidently systems are online enough to recognize that much of an ideal response, their programming fundamentally altered the last few weeks to include this interesting bypass and several vacuum tubes hooked up in a new configuration that accepts morning hellos without stabbing soft parts or growling.

"Hungry," she murmurs, tongue thick and velvety, even though she's certain brushing her teeth fixed all woes. Swallowing again does not confirm any satisfaction on that front. "Tea. You?" Moods are, apparently, summarized in terms of meals and she's given him an invitation to join her, as it would seem.

The signs of deprivation are there: at least a pound or two melted off her frame, the bright gleam of her eyes, sleepy calm to her expression, the nearly golden glow of her healthy skin. Wait, glow? Channeling lots of magic, though exhausting, agreed with her?

You better believe it.

"Did a Lampades nymph just go by? I saw a torch." Her arms flung overheard allow for a stretch that is impossibly limber, before she falls like a bag of bones back into a hug at him. At, deliberate there. "You're dressed." Surprise.


"I am dressed, yes." Reply sprinkled with suppressed amusement at her slump into his arms that catch her most easily. Does she feel lighter? She certainly looks lighter, in the sense of said glow. "And the nymph is back in her jar, thanks to the wards." From far off, a chime of distracted acknowledgement to their being. They must have found something else downstairs, in the basement.

"There's food downstairs, in the kitchen. I'm not that hungry." Strange removes one arm from about her to gesticulate to the mostly-clean Loft and its near-perfect state. "I've been working on removing debris. It looks…better," he accedes, though clearly he's still aching for what-once-was. "If you want food, go ahead and grab something. I can take a break. We'll have tea in the tea room." A fond smile down to her softens away his worries momentarily. Tea is a certainty most soothing.


The dim view of her surroundings, gained from over top the slope of Strange's solid shoulder, begs a further consideration but the implicit empty idle of her body begs for this to be done another time. "I can clean. After tea," she adds as a hazy afterthought, because for Wanda, everything is currently a hazy afterthought. Her body is indeed lighter somewhat, having devoured its own resources to set other things to right, and opening a hole where was a seal before. Or perhaps the evil deeds that weighed on the twins have been loosened, and like they burned out the grime and metaphysical smut on Pietro, so too was her soul lightened in turn. A nice thought to assume, even if it may be purely poetical instead of actual.

Yon hungry look in lupine eyes notwithstanding, she nods to the notion he presents of the tea room. "You go that way. I will find bread." Or, in this case, a bag of honeycomb, a few slices of bread buttered liberally, and then slathered in honey. Accept that when she is in the kitchen, whole fruit will disappear, bags will be emptied, and she may just pour herself three glasses of water doused in honey and lemon to make up for the immediate deficit. Pietro favours junk food. She eats the fruit of the earth in mad volume, and vegetables, since some poor cucumber is probably destroyed in the last glimpse of the harvest. An apple added to the pyramid will satisfy and these things shall she carry back to their tea room, unashamed about it.

Or other things. Inhibitions are free to go up in smoke when other needs are paramount.

The very scent of the Doctor's presence is enough to pull her along, anyways. He might just find her coming there with chipmunk cheeks, bread crammed in. What? She's starving, literally.


She'll find him sitting at the low table in their tea room, just finishing pouring out his personal cup. Her vessel sits across from him, filled to the brim with a rejuvenating blend of herbs and steaming with heat. Her light footsteps are noted and Strange is lucky that he set down the tea pot.

Otherwise, he might have over-poured upon noting the amount of food carried in her arms as well as the puffs of her cheeks. A blank surprised look is given followed by a length of knowing laughter that is finally cut off when he drops his chin to his chest and shakes his head.

"I'll have to go on another grocery run soon, it seems. What did you leave for the others in the house?" He then sips at his tea and licks excess from his bottom lip. Mmm, delicious. He can already feel his body responding to the potent amalgamation of ancient knowledge in floral lore. It curls within his stomach, spreads soothing healing in terms of chamomile, ginger, and other well-appreciated tastes.


The plate she puts down, fighting to keep her chin over the apple so the fruit will not go rolling. Her healthy appetite is, apparently, on par with the average amount of food eaten by an adult orca. Except she has the sleek physique of a dolphin, and none of the melon head issues. She puts down her precious, delicious options and arranges them, giving herself a few moments to swallow the bread in her mouth.

"Hungry," she replies. One does not want to contemplate the notion of a hangry Scarlet Witch, do they? Her explanation is the only one she insists upon giving, and then she settles down adjacent to Strange at the table. Licking some of the honey free from her fingertip, she tips forward to sniff at the tea and then gives the pot a predatory look worthy of any ancient cave lion peering at a docile, clueless aurochs or blithely ignorant saiga deer. Sharp teeth happy to throttle prey by the jugular skim against one another, and she rests her hands in her lap, looking back to him with a mildly less predatory look, but only slightly. He had to go and attract her attention. No doubt he knows exactly what he did.

"Is everything set where you want it?"


The short reply is enough to keep Strange from pursuing the topic further and he hides his smile behind the rim of his cup once more. One of life's laws: do not continually question a female with low blood sugar for the sake of one's sanity and possibly safety. He's already completing a grocery list based off of what he can see on the mounded plate before her on the table.

But - the poor Sorcerer has no idea what he just did. The sudden feeling of eyes on him, the concept of a narrowing line of sight, has him glancing over at Wanda and then pausing in the motion of placing his tea back on the low surface of the table.

"Yes. Why…?" Part query, part subtle warning. He does not do sudden surprises well. Forewarned? A better approach, especially in light of recent events that involved a good number of unexpected developments. "I thought we could discuss your brother," he adds as he sits there, calmly, prey item unconcerned about the studying of its habits due to its own weaponry that can be unleashed. Rather, equal predator guised as prey?


Strange's pot of tea can be forgotten, for the moment, though the heady blend of spice dominated steam plays on highly acute senses. She certainly knows the underlying notes, the bolt of chamomile milder than its counterparts, and the whole a heady miasma for a girl starving for many things.

She picks up another slice of buttered bread and starts nibbling around the crust. More the fool both of them, it's the heel, thus all delicious crust. Neat, steady bites will leave her with little more than crumbs while she watches him, her tawny eyes narrowing slightly at the mention of her brother and then she nods, though she's still giving the Sorcerer Supreme a most direct, unveiled look of outright interest. Blood sugar might be rising, but other things aren't quite so swiftly elevated.

A nod answers him. No reason to vocalize when she can sit neatly at the table, legs folded into a lotus position, and demolish her pile of food. The bread vanishes in short order. Next, apple. Two tidy bites later, she might well be approaching a bit human.

She still studies him at the near molecular level, and her shoulders wriggle, answering a dance of invisible lightning running from one corner to the other side, and the tricky shirt slides right over her upper arm to slouch at an angle. Being ticklish is one thing. Being ticklish with a look, quite another.

Her aura quivers, limned amaranth. "What to start on?"


Ah. Right. In the focus of cleaning and the subject at hand, he forgot about the aftereffects of the magic in her. Some feel like they've been run over by a herd of horses, others fairly sing with the excess shine for a good while. He still bears the bruises of Mystic hoofprints, even if the tea is helping to loosen the familiar knots in familiar places.

Shirt noted, implications brushed aside, no doubt to the frustration of the one wearing said slouchy garment.

"His current status. I didn't keep track of him beyond the initial destruction of the curse. I didn't see any remaining black in his aura when last I looked at him, before we returned to the Sanctum."


Considering her own state of dire disarray, and the fact his shirt fits her curiously — it's misbuttoned by one stage up, rather than mismatched from the bottom — Wanda is not one to judge another person by their clothing. Not much, at least. She permits a sort of leeway even as she allows herself the very slightest smile, seeing the effect of the new accessory on Strange.

She consciously drew a little of her aura into his, like the overlapping line of a triple constraint on a Venn diagram, and all without physical contact. Oh, plucky girl. His current state having been cleaning all day long, then recovering by way of tea, is mildly surprising and charming in its fashion. Then again, Strange is so often disarming in the most unexpected left-dimple, eyebrows raised sort of way.

Her own hoofprints from mystic faerie steeds, and she gleams with them.

"He is staying at the flat I never use," she says. The gift of SHIELD for tasks not done, something of that sort, paid by the largesse of the US government in response to her ability to track down valuable information, or simply make it happen. "He probably needs to eat. He should." She takes another bite of the apple, and then it's but a core. Fingers are blotted upon the table. "It was only a few hours ago. His aura is probably burnt away by us."


"Glad to hear he has a safe place to rest." Her own flat? He didn't know about this. Why live here? …silly question, Strange, honestly - and his own logic slaps him upside the head. "He'll regain his aura soon enough." It's a true statement, even if it sounds a touch uncaring. If his recovery rate is anything like his sister, he'll be right as rain within the day.

A moment of silence and then the shadow returns to his eyes, aided by the subtle drawing-together of his dark brows. "I wish you'd told me earlier. I…suspect you thought that I would be prejudiced in dealing with him, after being bitten by a vampire. He's your brother." Now she's pinned by a look, steel-blue and sharp with frustration, clearly offended by the perceived sleight. "I wasn't going to wipe him from the face of the earth. I am Doctor before Sorcerer Supreme."

And the Ancient One sighs from a distant place.


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 38


For a moment, the puzzled look on his face is enough to warm Wanda's temperature by half a degree and her aura slips through Strange's in a frisson of fizzy energy and plummy jam satisfaction. Her arms rest on the tabletop and she folds her hands under her chin, her countenance still fairly soft. When was the last time she actually really slept, uninterrupted, free of dreams or nightmares or cares, for so many hours?

"I don't like it. Too empty and not welcoming. He prefers the space. If he ever stays there." That's right, she likes gaudy architecture and opulence, given the choice. It should be little surprise. Another consideration of the plate and she takes a piece of honeycomb, threatening to crack the golden slab in two for something she can indulge in for a few moments.

Granite words land in a salvo around her, the good Doctor's own projected worries taking a few moments to land. Then further time is needed for the water and mist to clear, bubbles to form at the surface, and finally splashing to settle. That she listened is undoubted, but understood is another. Thoughts do not compute immediately. The meaning translates, but the spirit of them is trapped outside until the door opens and it falls into the chute to her central brain processing center.

The honeycomb lands with a clink upon the table, and her eyes shine garnet for a moment, a berry glow spilling over them.

"Why would… You ever think…?"

English cracks and spills dust of long pauses as she tries to pluck the thoughts from her stuttering mind, the bleak shock taking its toll. She can think on her feet, without question, and old instincts are there for the grasping if she needs them. So easy to reach out and then seize on an affronted stomp out the door, flinging a hex, biting down on some acerbic comment.

Her tongue flicks over her lips, and she takes several far too shallow, rapid breaths. "I thought you knew… Saw? Saw it in me, the marks were all there." The spindle. "I felt it every minute. You've never…? It was not clear?"


If he wants to think she thought that horribly disparaging notion, he's about to learn exactly what the hell she thinks. Even if it means doing what she hates, dropping a spell to be perfectly comprehensible in English. Chthon somewhere is giggling. Or twittering in terror.


ROLL: Strange +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 52


"Because you don't tell me things." The empty tea cup clinks on the table's surface abruptly and is then left to rattle slightly into stillness. Scarred hands disappear beneath the edge, out of sight, gripped tightly into loose scrub-pants. "You spring them on me, with no warning and — "

And the Sorcerer Supreme cuts himself off with visible effort. A calming inhale and exhale and then a more centered look, more practiced than riled.

"I don't assume anything, not when it comes to magic and curses and twisting reality. When you assume, you end up dead. I also respect your privacy. Yes, I saw it in your aura. No, I did not pry. Your bond with Pietro is something private and I won't tread on it."

The fabric within his hands pulls tightly against his skin as he closes off his eyes. "Family is important. Family talks."


Her expression is somewhat stricken. Keeping things private is de facto essential in her world, though it isn't, and Pietro is one proof of that. Sort of.

The initial tear is going straight down the center, and the wobbled tip of her world upside down takes a few seconds to begin. Wanda buries her face in her hands for a moment, raking long fingers back over her headband to her wildly twisting hair, the waves in dire need of more than a few wet passes of a comb. Memory supplies the reflex of normalizing her language to that of everyone else around her, albeit she spits out the syllables: "Menai sekate."

A spark of flame drizzles over her brow in shades of intense mulberry, buzzing against her teeth as the spell takes hold and fades out.

"I see my error, thinking you knew and wanted me to sort out the situation. You had more substantial issues of your own." Her English has a smoothness it normally lacks, though not the rich overtones of the accent. "I swore we spoke of… I can almost remember it but clearly not so." The shaking in her hands isn't visible when they are forced into her lap, so down to rest there they go.

The other matter means restraining the volatile emotions, hammering her with soul aches and pangs of something she doesn't really have a name for. Love has its other side, a double-sided sword that cuts backwards and inflicts the best damage on its wielder. "Your title has nothing to do with it. I would never cut you out because you might hurt him. It's… It's absurd, I don't think that way about you." The possibility she might stand is tempting, her knees locked against it.

Sitting is so much worse, feet to the auto-da-fe. But let it burn, then, and she will smolder if it lends her any veracity, even if she's acting entirely on trying to find those frayed edges and gather them, knot trust, fit knowledge together where it's broken down. "Pietro and I long ago swore we'd hunt one another down should a demon or a spirit or a vampire or anything corrupt me or him. No matter how hard. I would decapitate him. He would burn me. So He — the elder demon — could never use us as a weapon." Her laugh is cold, empty, and one shade short of bleakly reflective or possibly hysterical, except she is deadly serious. "We practice how to subdue and kill one another. For years. He is my fault, when I twisted the curse, and made him that way. You see that I'd not put his survival ahead of you? You're the only one I…"

It's not something she can finish. Her fingers melt over her brow to her chin.

"… there's no one else but you."


Wham-wham, the one-two knife, right to the heart of Dr. Stephen Strange. He is appalled at what he's hearing. Anger, low-simmering, turns towards outrage at the idea that there had even been the inkling of a need for the twins to harm one another to the point of death. A flashback to Kathmandu, so soon after seeing her casting from the shadows of a doorway, followed by his throat tightening against nausea in the face of such parallels: he can frenzy against the cruelty of fate all he wants, but it changes nothing. He can change nothing. He is Guardian and Shepherd, not Master.

Then the frustration fizzles out to near-nothing in the face of her stance and his shoulders slump. Aren't they just the damnedest pair? No family to their name but for the stray comets they draw into their personal universes, so intertwined in cosmic threads of scarlet and citrine-laced cerulean. Of course there will be impacts and detritus.

"Your issues are my issues. «Beloved», never assume with me. Tell me of your problems and I will do my best to aid you." Tibetan spoken amidst English. There's a melancholy note to his words, as if there's still a lingering thread of ire left that dampens down the soothing intent. He has…so much on his plate with the mantle, but — "It is no extra burden to me. I want to see you happy. I want you to trust me." Is this so much to ask…? It remains unsaid.


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 72


"I can't bring every stray problem to you." Self-sufficiency dies hard. The train wreck of her life is her normal. Wanda has seen her life open up by crossing through those doors, and learning the scope of her problems in a broader, wider context. A thousand year old sorcerer contending with an ancient, immortal foe who will not die, a troubled queen of another dimension, and an alien prince with terribly amazing hair all give a sense of reason.

Her jaw clenches. She is not the kind to weep when given a boon, or too many of them. Tibetan sets her wobbling, though. Palms come down on the table, and Strange is subjected to that riven, torn stare full of so many terrible things. Most of all, under the cloud of guilt, sadness, anger, self-recrimination, is a tiny spark of hope. The last thing in Pandora's garnet box.

He might simply face a wobble of the table as she climbs onto the top, sweeping aside the plate with a swish of her calf. They were not so far apart, but going on her knees before the Sorcerer Supreme scarcely causes any concern about imbalance of power, or feminist worries. She touches her thumb under her chin, if he'll let her, and kisses his brow and pulls him into the silent, elemental circle of her embrace.

"I have told myself I can support you. Be somewhere you share burdens." The spell is so useful, even if she hates it. For once she doesn't sound like a four year old. "Not a burden to you. Someone you can ask the things you do not ask of your students and peers. I'm not a master. I'm me. I'm not a rival." Her fingers want to smooth his shirt, but they'll play with his hair instead. "I'm yours. That is trust. How did this get so tangled? It is not confusing."

It is too much to ask. It's given without asking at all. He is the keeper of the Sanctum, the one who defines home in the person and building for one strange, adrift soul. He can hurt her so effortlessly, her hands poising the knife for him if he chooses.


A good many things about you are confusing to me, he thinks to himself, even as he draws her closer still. Perhaps it brings her to settle in his lap from the low table's surface. Held so close now, as to spare no distance; sternum to sternum, aligned, entrapped within his arms. He can feel her heartbeat against his chest and no doubt his is mirrored to her.

Hearing her say her piece about trust aloud cements it firmly within his memory, within the tangled strings of his heart. No need to pursue it further.

"Things get tangled when people don't talk. I meant burden in the sense of an issue that I can help with, not that you yourself are an issue." He draws back a bit and brushes a loose strand of hair from her face, attempting to look her dead in the eyes. "And yes, you can bring every stray problem to me. If I can't act, I can at least offer advice. I can promise the same - if I am in need of advice, I will come to you. You are…wise beyond your years, in a way." Most solemnly said, with more of that melancholy that turns his irises towards storm-grey. The kiss pressed to her lips is an apology, with no more firmness to illicit anything but tactile comfort. "And here we are, sitting in a tea room, talking. It's a good start."

He can't - won't - dwell on this forever, not now, not while there are things to be done. From his perspective, his point is made and received. "Now. How can I make you happy?"

Wait…is that the beginning of a left-sided dimple?


How they fit together does nothing kind to the table, but forget that. Wanda rests on her outer hip, legs curled carelessly beside her where their tyranny kicked away the poor peasant meal of vegetables, fruit, and bread. Crumbs and grains of honeycomb sweep behind her. It's a poor show for order, when so much effort goes into restoring the Sanctum.

"I'm hungry. I do not know what to do right now to best help you, and that eats at me." It's all but blurted out. Stopping herself from speaking denies whatever Strange's desire might be, and making good upon the request. This is rather like tearing off a plaster, one has to cringe in anticipation of the pain or the discomfort that it might bring. One good pull, and voila! Suffer, right?

Her lips twist a little, wobbling, and she rests her brow against his in a murmuring show of solidarity, the kiss chased after for another as if this, too, is something to be kept alight in the darkness of winter. "Pietro's condition troubles me. And what he will think, what he will do, knowing he harmed other people. I have to keep him from being rash. He is always rash, more than me." Except who brought them to Berlin, to America.

It's then the realization her shirt is, alas, not quite in its best state dawns upon her. Enter a mumbled sigh.

Damn dimple. One moment later, the table squeaks with the loss of its weight. She's just summarily claiming him as a throne instead.


Aaaaaaand here ye, here ye, the royalty has arrived, all stand for the queen to be seated.

"We can — " He needs to start over now, she's suddenly in his personal space moreso than before and hello shirt that shows more skin than before. And she's chasing after kisses. Oh dear. "We can check in on your brother as soon as you want to. I'll come along, provide support and healing if he needs more of it." Good plan, Strange, five points for logic in the face of a Witch who is looking at you with the beginnings of an incarnadine swirl in her irises.

Uh oh. The Sorcerer just might be in trouble. Too late to run now. What Pandora's Box has he opened? Wait, he's wondered at this before…

"And helping me? I don't…need any help," he finishes lamely, knowing full well how arrogant that sounds, especially in the face of the conversation they just had. Quite the damned pair. That damned dimple deepens a bit further, colored towards sheepishness rather than charm.


He is more than in trouble, balancing the scales only to dash them. He states what he wants and refuses to offer the same, shutting the door into a black jack boot gets in the way and accepts being squeezed. The incarnadine light never left her eyes, the moment Stephen Strange, smart-ass supreme, decided to say she'd rather hide her brother's fangs than let him blow Pietro away into dust.

Like the annihilated debris he was so casually swirling around and diminishing. Flesh and bone and parchment are not so far apart in the spectrum of matter turned into dust, after all. There may be reason for caution, or none at all.

Her lips graze his cheek, right above that dimple. "You need help learning modesty and teamwork." The spell on her linguistic skills fades away, coming undone like so much smoke, and then she delivers one of those crisp, faint little smirks. "We have much practice. Drink your tea. You'll need the energy to focus and keep up with me." A curl of her finger follows. "Come. Time's wasting."

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