4861/Wanderers and Stags

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Wanderers and Stags
Date of Scene: 24 January 2021
Location: Sanctum Santorum
Synopsis: A dance is had between friends.
Cast of Characters: Stephen Strange, Wanda Maximoff

Stephen Strange has posed:
    It's another cool night in the heart of The City and yet the idea of lights turning off and everyone simultaneously going to sleep is an ideal that has been forgotten ages ago. And one of those many dinezins find themselves with a scarred hand reaching out towards the other soul in this night's show.

    The sorcerer stands in a modest and yet formal attire, something with broad shoulders, as he tends to require, and vibrant with the idea of hope in the colors and the pocket square neatly folded and tucked away. Even a shimmering red boutonniere secured to his lapel shows that the man not only has class, but has plans for the evening if allowed.

    Stephen repeats. "Wanda, would you care to join me in a grand celebration. The likes neither of us have experienced and yet, a wonderful time we both could very much use to get a respite from our worldly worries?" Stephen asks, that coy sort of hubris flashing across his face as he waits for an answer before revealing his dastardly plans.

Wanda Maximoff has posed:
Out in the Avengers Mansion, the fireplace within Wanda's room is aglow, having been lit against the chill of the evening earlier. Candles are dotted around her room, the flames bringing something of a soft glow, allowing the witch for forego the lights of the room. It's cozy, it's comfortable, and calming, giving her something of a peace as she reads some bit of fiction. (Even she needs down time!)

The request that comes through, yes by magic, gains Wanda's attention (obviously), and looking up from her reading, there's a ghost of a smile that plays upon her face in initial response. After that? She slides off her bed, setting her book down on the side table as she does so, and with a brush of her hand, her outfit changes from the 'relaxed' to something a little fancier. A red dress, sequined such that it catches the light, midlength, with not too much decolletage. Necklace, subtle earrings finish the piece. A glance in the mirror is given, complete with the turn and spin, pose.. and a huff of indecision. Her hair is set back, curls added for good measure, cascading down the center of her back.

"No..." Pause. "Yes?" There is a moment that passes again, her brows creasing, "Too much?" All the questions are asked into the aether only to find no immediate response.

Perhaps it's the non-answer that is granted that makes up her mind, because in the next moment, there is something of a disturbance, and it is a dressed-up Wanda that steps through a portal, a red caped jacket tossed over her shoulders. And, because it's a mode of transport that is quite familiar to her, there is no need for recovery on the other side. Instead?

A hand is put out in gesture, as if to just 'steady her' on the exit. It's more theatric, 'old world', but there it is.

"Do you promise there will be no worry?" Her lilted words are softly spoken, as her usual, green eyes looking up to the Supreme Sorceror's. "Trouble does find me." Us. As a rule.

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "Wow." Stephen says, his eyes upon Wanda as she enters the sanctum via a portal of either of their creations and yet, Stephen almost seems to forget himself as he catches himself staring. "Wow." He repeats and offers his hand again before doubling down on his explination.

    "I can confirm that our locale will not provide any exterior concern. The only worry will be the worry we bring with us, the baggage we can not allow ourselves to release." Stephen says with a near sorrowful glint to pass his gaze and yet, his hand is still out towards Wanda, damaged as it is, he's no longer reserved about his injuries. The aid of his magic has reduced the pain to a bearable level.

    Behind him a new portal is beginning to grow, from a pinpoint in reality to something more viable for two humans to pass through, and yet there's a sort of membrane between the two that rarely is there when Stephen creates his portals. This, even the layman could tell, is to somewhere special and untainted.

Wanda Maximoff has posed:

If there was any doubt in her mind as to whether or not she chose wisely, it is dispelled in the utterance. Twice. Wanda's tentative smile brightens, showing off sculpted cheek bones, the expression easily reaching green eyes. Still, deep within, there is always trouble as windows to her soul, but for the moment? She's happy, if not suddenly a little self-conscious.

"Not too much?" There's a touch of dubious humour within, but when he takes her hand, the need for that added reassurance is gone.

"That suit becomes you," is given in response. The hand, though... as she takes it, is obviously noted.

Her manner shifts, and turning to face him, she puts her other hand upon it, and looks into his eyes, back and forth from hand to face. "Stephen," her tones sound a concerned note, "What happened? What did this to you?"

The worry, then, is settled upon her slender shoulders, even while the new portal opens to reveal at least a feeling of peace. "We will speak of this." It's a promise and perhaps a threat?

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "We will, but let us allow our worries to wash away." Stephen says as he pulls Wanda through with him, a smiling brushing at his lips, warping the way his goatee rests, in a sharp but pleasant maner. The wizards go through the membrane and the world smells... almost fresher as they cross the threashhold into a different place, and quickly, a feeling of euphoria washes over the two as the people around them aren't awash in sorrow, but an elation and rapture that few humans have revelled in, and never on this grand a scale.

    All around them are people dancing with a still modestly restrained joy, but with abandon that they are allowing themselves to feel at the moment of great triumph and joy. The globe itself feels a sigh of incredible relief.

    "May I have this dance, Wanda?" Stephen asks, as a live band plays near the stage and it's high energy, with a fantastic rhythm, and alcohol seems to flow freely around, but not an over abundance, but a celebration.

Wanda Maximoff has posed:
It's difficult, it really is, for Wanda to remove the worry, the weight felt upon her shoulders. It's a constant companion, and while there are days that it is easier to bear than others, it is always present.

All that is dispelled as they step through, her hand upon his.

On the other side, it is as if she is bathed in peace, in sheer joy. Her features light to a warm glow to feel the excitement of the locale, and it's almost as if that other world, the one they'd left behind, no longer exists. It's a reality shift, and it's one that Wanda can fully embrace.

She lets out a soft but ebullient laugh, the weight lifted and forgotten. The dancing that surrounds them causes her to spin around in wonder, green eyes wide open before she looks back, barely hearing the request. She does catch the end of it, however, and with the smile that lingers from her joyful laugh, nods her head in prelude to the answer,

"Yes. I would enjoy that very much."

With that, Wanda settles her hands to take a light hold of Stephen, and the music has already started to move her.

Stephen Strange has posed:
    It's not a waltz, though, it's more jubilant and still from a restrained culture, a modest people at heart. It's wholesome and comfortable as it's genuine and not a put on. This world, this time, is infectous and even Stephen is smiling bright and shiney, the hint at the weight of the world(s) he bears as the Sorcerer Supreme seem to be lost in the moment of relief that both their souls might not have been screaming out for, but both really needed.

    Stephen is a well practiced and trained dancer with his hands being nothing but respectful, though not afraid to lift Wanda, and even dip her while they move atop the hardwood floors with grace and ease. Moving with the other couples that don't seem to give them a second glance. We're all happy and celebrating the end of the hardest periods of their lives. The ballroom doesn't have any windows to let in the booming joys and confetti and streamers that fly all across the city, but that heartbeat of praise and release is felt even as remote as the ballroom is meant to be.

    Stephen, has nothing to say, than to smile towards Wanda when their faces meet and share in this exuberant slice of life.

Wanda Maximoff has posed:
With each lift, 'fling' and dip, a surprised laugh escapes Wanda, not so much 'surprise' but in pleased happenstance. The cape overcoat is gone, disappeared, leaving her red sequened party dress in the fore.

She isn't quite as accomplished a dancer; it's more natural, more channeling her Roma culture where they get something of an ecstatic, living in the moment of the music dance. For each step he offers, she has something of a counter, and green eyes don't truly fall from her partner's face as they dance. There really isn't much that can be said, or should, really, as lost in the moment as two powerful magic wielders can be, anyway.

With each passing step, however, the redhead is getting a touch winded, and in a lull, her shoulders roll slightly as she cants her head sideways before speaking over the music in mirthful but bemused tones, "Can we sit for moment? Drink would be lovely." And catch her breath!

Stephen Strange has posed:
    With beads of sweat starting to kiss his brow and forehead, Stephen lifts his chest as he takes a deep breath as the music swells to a crescendo before ending with a bang from the drums. Stephen reaches for Wanda and leads her towards a table near the back of the room, up a shallow flight of steps that slowly rise in the back of the room towards a large table, dark enough that no one will be able to make out their faces, as it's that kind of a club. A real 40's vibe and a happening place.

    Stephen leads Wanda with a hand on the small of her back and parts when they make it to a table before he orders, "A Whiskey and Cokeacolafor me, and a cocktail with 2 gin, half vermouth, quarter absinthe, and a lemon twist shaken through ice, for the lady." Stephen says with a look back towards Wanda and then back to the waiter, "And some water for both of us too." Stephen remarks before the waiter is gone, hopefully they can fullfil Stephen's request.

    Stephen allows himself to take a breath before looking back at Wanda fully and smiles, "Are you enjoying yourself?"

Wanda Maximoff has posed:
Wanda allows herself to be led, a half step behind as she's not entirely certain about the lay of the land. She is quite entrenched in this reality, however; a malleable soul, as it were, and the deep seated belief that there is an anchor that wouldn't allow her to drift too far out to sea. Not that it's a conscious thought, but it plays upon her manner, her mien.. in every step and every glance.

There is a lightness to her step, an airy feeling as she continues to move to the beat of the music even though they're away from the main dance floor. Up and away from prying eyes, Wanda slides into her seat with a graceful move. The order, thus given, is accented with a nod of approval from the redhead, and she follows the progress of the waiter as he departs before turning her attention fully upon her companion.

"Is lovely," is breathed, the undertones filled with warmth. "I do not remember a time when I felt so..." the pause is obviously a search for the proper word, the one that could encompass all the feeling in the moment. She fails, and her statement fades, though the sentiment most certainly does not. "It would be so easy to remain." To hide from the world of Hydra, from the shadows.. and the thought flickers behind those eyes before being pushed out once more. The worry lines shouldn't become her this evening.

Wanda lays her hand upon the table in an attempt to take Stephen's for the moment, "Thank you."

Of course, she has to ask, "And you? How long has it been since you have had break like this?"

Stephen Strange has posed:
    Stephen reaches across the table towards Wanda's reaching hand and takes her fingers in his own, and rubs his thumb across the back of her knucles softly, as he can't grip as tightly as most people without causing severe pains through his hands. "I-It's been a very long time." Stephen answers solemnly but truthfully as he finds the words to his truths but truths he feels could make him appear vulnerable, weak. Lesser.

    The wizard takes a moment in silence to breath in the fresh air and savor in his own humanity and Wanda's as well, even as they are surrounded in the highs of humanity, they seem to be almost the literal sore thumbs in this reality, though even in the backs of their minds, they must know, they can't be the only sufferers left.

    A few minutes pass before the drinks arrived, a Jack and Coke, though not called that for Stephen, and a Third Degree for Wanda, though again, it hasn't been named in just yet. Stephen doesn't break their physical connection but takes his free hand to lift his drink and toasts, "To the past. To our futures."

Wanda Maximoff has posed:
If there is anyone who could begin to understand, it might actually be Wanda. It's difficult, having to concentrate, to focus on life rather than magic lines, auras, comings and goings of things that no one else could possibly see, and it does take its toll. She gives him a smile, and it's tentatively.. supportive. She gets it, and perhaps it's expressed in a quick, gentle squeeze, taking care of pressures.

The moment of silence between them isn't awkward, not for her. Wanda does look away, searching the crowds below for who knows what, she certainly doesn't know. It simply was. It's a strange balance here; she's aware of her own reality, but this one is drawing her in. It's so carefree, so lively, so everything that her life isn't and probably never will be.

As the drinks arrive, Wanda is brought back to the more 'here and now', and she looks up at the waiter as he sets the drinks down. She does notice the fact that Stephen hasn't yet released the contact, and it's fine.. and she lifts her own glass to offer her own toast, a memory of home in Sokovia coming to the fore. For a second, she's distant, looking into the middle distance before she rights herself once more, murmuring, "Our futures."

Stephen Strange has posed:
A distance that Stephen doesn't fully understand, but one he falls into often when a slow moment crawls before him and takes a breath before being slain by the next moment of need and horror that fills his and her lives. And yet... this is the first time they have even gotten so close as to maybe share in that loneliness and discomfort, and the words, they aren't there to be spoken. Not here. Not to taint this time and place.

    Stephen brings his glass to his lips and takes a small pull of the drink after the toast and he lowers it back to the table and then he realizes he hasn't let go of her hand. "I-... Sorry." Stephen says, stammering as if he's no longer that same self assured man, but little in the moment of a hint of togetherness and being vulnerable to another person emotionally. He tries to take his hand away slowly, but there's not a lot of force or strength in his movement.

Wanda Maximoff has posed:
It really is a moment shared, even with the pair setting one opposite the other. Oddly enough, it's a comfort to Wanda, knowing that it is something common shared between them. And yet, it's something borne alone simply because there is no other that //can// help with it. In that, Wanda shifts in her seat and doesn't even try to speak after the toast. Instead, she lifts the glass to her lips and takes a sip in answer.

Once the heat and the cold of the liquid passes her lips, she sits forward, straight, and at the awkwardness of Stephen's moment, Wanda offers a ghosted smile as the world around her begins to fall silent. Right now, it's literally just him and her in her bit of reality. "Stephen," her voice is soft, "it is too long since you have been out." Wanda is making sure her lilted words aren't chiding, but there is the tone that sounds as if it's a fond reminder being given, "Your house is large, and you hide away. Please, come out.." The last words are said such that it could mean many, many different things, and the red-headed witch means them all.

"I am not far."

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "You aren't, but I fear, sometimes, I am." Stephen says, still rubbing his thumb against her soft skin and not exactly feeling it, a small tear welling in his eye, but never falling. His one hand still there fidgets with his drink, spinning the glass in circles, watching the liquid and ice within stay stationary. The wizard's grey eyes don't quite meet Wanda's and almost echoing the lack of din from the great ballroom atmosphere that has faded into the shadows around the two, it's still there, but they are drinking in their loneliness and hardships at the moment, allowing some of those demons out with likely the only other person who can truly understand their woes.

    He finally does look up after hearing her words not through his ears but through his being, and in a show of vulnerability, "I want to seek you Wanda, but, I fear I need someone to seek me more, and to almost anchor me..." The wizard notes, a hint of sorrow lacing his words.

Wanda Maximoff has posed:
It's as if Wanda has created a bubble of reality around them, even around Stephen's own. It's quiet, and there are no faces beyond their table. It is subtly decorated in soft hues of green in the form of spidering plants and soft lights of candle flames. It's nothing that Wanda did specifically, but more.. her mindset. It's a search for peace, for that centering when she's not got her anchors in the storm, that is, Pietro or Clint, the archer that has done more for her than perhaps he's realized.

Wanda does hold Stephen's hand still, and putting down the drink, reaches with her other hand, her expression sad, tinged with a hint of despair for him. She understands, and fears for him to the depths of her soul. "I.. I cannot," is whispered. "There is so much.." and she shakes her head, green eyes bright and a touch moist. Her words soften to a whisper, "I wish I could.."

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "I know you can't." Stephen whispers his response out while looking down into his drink and not into Wanda's eyes. Afraid of what he'll find there. Afraid of what he wants to find there. His hand falls limp against hers, the nerves start to ache and that sense is dread that encroaches only in the still moments of life, begins to swell in his core.

    "I shouldn't have..." Stephen trails of not sure of the words but filling them with a new thought. "I shouldn't have, here, of all places." The sorcerer whispers not needing to raise his voice to be heard even in the spirit of celebrating around them and their dual bubbles.

Wanda Maximoff has posed:
Wanda can feel it, she can feel herself sliding into that place where she simply doesn't want anyone to hurt, anyone to feel that pain and despair that does roll over her in the worst of her storms. She wants to hide it, to banish all thoughts like this away so there can be something resembling that bubbling happiness that they'd felt only moments earlier. It was lovely, that freshness, the strangeness that was carefree celebration; parties for lack of any other reason but that they could.

That they deserve.

It's as if something suddenly comes over Wanda, and she rises from her seat, the candle lights flickering and blinking out as she does. The music from the distant reach grows louder once more, and she stands before Stephen, her expression warm and open. Her hand rises to offer, and the question is asked,

"Dance with me again?"