Chapter 25: "Keep her busy for a while, I've got a plan."

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You've got no place to hide

And I'm feeling like a villain, got a hunger inside

One look in my eyes

And you're running 'cause I'm coming

Stephen Strange

I'm fucking done, Stephen thought, with being thrown into solid objects. Fucking done.

Iris was not done, however, with tossing him into them herself. Seconds ago, she'd backhanded him into a structure climbing into the sky. He managed to create shields to block falling debris and came out with only a few scratches, but more was to come.

Stark, both Peters, and the rest of the Guardians were still on the ground, Stephen caught a glance of them, and it looked to him as though they were planning something. Good god, he hoped so, he couldn't keep this up for forever.

Stephen flew out of the building, cloak billowing, and lunged with magic crackling in the form of a sword and shield. He learned, rather quickly, that he couldn't afford to go easy on Iris. He'd tried to talk her out of killing him, but almost nothing got through to her.

Even though Stephen knew how this would end, it was still hard to keep up with her power. Combined with the gauntlet and her own powers (he was still confused on how those came to be) she was nearly unstoppable. 

Stephen finally managed to land a significant hit to his girlfriend (?) now tossing her into a rock outcropping. Would it be bad for him to say it was satisfying? Probably.

He raced after her, watching as on impact, she created a cloud of dust, clouding her. Stephen, against his better judgment, flew straight into it, preparing to pin to the rock, but was shocked when he instead was bound to the outcropping with a steel grip.


"Iris please, please look at me." She did, face pulled into a snarl, hair wild, and eyes alight. There was something wrong with her eyes, like looking at a clone of them through a filter. They looked... off. He couldn't find a proper word to describe them.

She reached for the Eye of Agamotto, tied around his neck with a gold chain, and hissed with his protective magic spells burned her fingers. Iris pulled back, and without a warning, straight up threw him out of the dust cloud and to the ground.

Stephen yelped, he couldn't help it. The cloak, loyal as ever, slowed him down so his feet hit the floor with a dull thud.

Stark stood off to the side, muttering to either himself or someone else. Parker paced nearby, keeping an eye on the Guardians, who all huddled in a circle, talking to each other. Stephen wondered if Stark told them to stay put, or if they just decided to not intervene.

Stark finally noticed Stephen, standing exhausted, bruised, bloodied, and grimy. Tony's mask slid off, and Stephen glared at him. 

"Glad to see your helping."

"Keep her busy for a while, I've got a plan." Stephen threw up his hands, frustrated.

"That's all I've been doing!"

"Well do it some more," Stephen muttered a few choice names under his breath and flew up again to meet Iris. She was hovering in the air, head cocked to the side like she had all the time in the world.

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