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They tell me death doesn't hurt

Chapter Text

Inside the New York Sanctum Sanctorum, a lone figure was currently leaning against the banister overlooking the lobby.

“I’m not saying no, all I’m saying is you could have given me a little more notice” she said into her phone.

Rolling her eyes at the reply she got before she responded.

“No, Stark two hours isn’t giving me enough notice. I could have plans already, not to mention responsibilities that need attending too” she said with annoyance.

Shifting slightly she walked up the stairs slowly as she heard him continue until finally letting out a sigh.

“….Fine, fine I’ll come, I’ll just need to speak to Wong and then get ready….no I can meet you there” she said after sighing.

Normally she would not give in so easily, matching Tony’s stubbornness with her own, but the offer wasn’t terrible, and she hadn’t been to an event like this for quite a while, not since before her accident.

Plus she could use some time outside the sanctum.

Though glancing down at her attire, she knew she’d have to change into something more civilian.


 

After having changed out of her sorceress garb and showered, Stephanie had proceeded to go through her various outfits she’d laid out on her bed.

Following the battle against Kaecilius when she’d officially taken over as Master of the New York Sanctum, Stephanie had moved all of her remaining belongings there, which had been held in storage since she’d left for Kathmandu.

Thus she had spent close to an hour frustratingly going over her choice of outfit and shoes to wear, as well as applying some light makeup. She didn’t normally go overboard on her appearance since joining the Masters of the Mystic Arts, but this was a special occasion.

Finally she’d decided on a red button up silk shirt, a pair of high waisted black dress pants and matching heels, and a pair of earrings. She’d finished off the ensemble with a black long belted coat that went down to her knees.

Tony had told her it wasn’t strictly black tie or extremely formal, and that he would be wearing something smart and appropriate without going overboard, and encouraged her to do the same.

She had just finished applying a light layer of lipstick when she felt a tugging on her arm and turning, she saw the Cloak of Levitation having wrapped a part of itself around her wrist.

“Look, we’ve been over this. I can’t wear you to the exhibition”

The cloak raised two sections of it up in a questioning manner.

“Because you don’t exactly blend in, and I don’t want to have to transmute you into a different appearance. Not to mention I don’t want to risk you getting up to any mischief”

The cloak once again reacted, moving back in the air away from her as if it were insulted.

“Oh don’t give me that, you’ve done it before, and I don’t need to look into the future to know you’ll do it again. Besides, I know the real reason you want to go is to see Tony”

At this, the Cloak seemed to waver in the air before rushing over and making sure to knock the other clothes off the bed as it went flying out the door.

“Fine, be that way, go have your tantrum!” she called out after it before shaking her head at the cloak’s antics.

Ever since the cloak had met Stark, it seemed to be drawn to him, and would often settle itself on the man’s shoulders, at first he’d been confused over the actions, but now took it in stride, commenting on it having good taste in wearers. She’d practically had to drag it off him once when she was returning to the Sanctum.

She walked over to her bed and retrieved a small purse, opening it and checking through the contents quickly before a voice interrupted her.

“Hot date?”             

Turning around in the direction of the voice, she saw a younger girl with golden brown skin and curly hair tied in a messy ponytail, she was in her mid-teens and currently leaning against Stephanie’s doorway, her red crimson robes signifying her rank as an Apprentice of Kamar Taj.  

“Wong said you were going out, didn’t go into much detail though”

“Tony invited me along to an art exhibition, if you must know. It’s a last minute thing, and I’ll be gone for at least a few hours” Stephanie answered as she turned back to her purse.

Michelle Jones looked over to see Stephanie stash her sling ring in her purse.

“Taking that in case you need a quick exit?”

“I’m taking it just in case an emergency happens and I need to get back to the Sanctum quickly, I can’t be too careful” Stephanie replied.

“So, are you and Stark like…official now?”

“Excuse me”

“Just saying, the two of you have been spending quite a lot of time together lately” Michelle said flippantly.

“What Tony and I are, is none of your concern, you have more important things to be focusing on” Stephanie replied as she closed her purse, before looking around for the last portion of her outfit she’d almost forgotten about.

Walking over to a dressing table next to her full length mirror, she pulled out a pair of thin black gloves that went just over her wrist. Putting them on, she flexed her fingers slightly before retrieving her purse.

Michelle had noticed the way Stephanie looked down at the gloves, but hadn’t said anything aloud, she also knew the reason she was putting them on.

Stephanie would deny it if she brought up the subject, but she knew the older woman was wearing the gloves out to a social event with Tony, because she didn’t want people seeing her with him and seeing her scarred hands.

Michelle knew people would talk, they always did.

“Right” Stephanie said finally, before turning to Michelle.

“How do I look?” she said gesturing to her apparel.

Michelle gave her a quick inspection before giving her a thumbs up.

“How reassuring” Stephanie said lightly.

“You look good” Michelle said earnestly after a moment. “Really”

Stephanie gave her a small smile before picking up her purse and beginning to make her way out the door, Michelle following along as they walked.

“So, what kind of art exhibition is it?” the teen asked.

“Apparently it’s a variety of old and new art, some of the artists themselves will actually be there. Tony was invited as he has some of his personal collection being displayed, as well as the gallery receiving donations from some of his subsidiaries”

Michelle hummed slightly, and Stephanie rolled her eyes in amusement, she knew the younger girl didn’t exactly see Tony’s vast wealth and privilege in a positive light, but at the same time, knew Michelle had softened slightly after having interacted with the man when she’d met him with Peter.

“Try to finish of those last four chapters and do some revision this evening” Stephanie began before smiling with a glint in her eye. “That’s if you’re not too busy texting your boyfriend”

Michelle turned to her with a clenched jaw.

 “Peter is not my boyfriend” she replied, secretly hoping her fringe covered the slight heat emerging in her cheeks.

“Oh?” Stephanie said with an exaggerated look of shock. “But you’ve been spending so much time together” she said, echoing Michelle’s words back at her with a grin.

Michelle merely glared at her.


 

The two were now standing in the foyer of the Sanctum, Stephanie having taken off one of her gloves to slip her sling ring on and having opened a portal to a location close to the gallery.

“If you have any questions-”

“I know I know, ask Wong”

“Good, now like I said, I’ll be back in a few hours”

“Can you pick up a pizza on your way back”

“There’s plenty of food here” Stephanie replied.

“But none of its pizza”

“We’ll see” she said as she walked through the portal, stepping through and out into the fresh air, turning back she gave Michelle one last wave before the portal closed.