Title: Ring Off
Author: Jordanna Morgan
Archive Rights: Please request the author's consent.
Characters: Wong and Stephen Strange.
Setting: During Stephen's studies of magic at Kamar-Taj.
Summary: Doctor Strange returns the astral-projection books he illicitly borrowed.
Disclaimer: They belong to Marvel. I'm just playing with them.
Notes: A gift for Yeomanrand in the 2018 Chocolate Box Exchange. It also fills the prompt of "Librarian" at Genprompt Bingo.
Two days after the disappearance of a number of books behind Wong's back, Stephen Strange came sauntering into the library with the lot of them in his arms—looking very much like the cat who had swallowed the proverbial canary.
"Hey," he greeted Wong with unabashed smugness, setting the books down on the desk with a thump. "Just dropping in to return these. I'm finished with them."
Wong was not at all surprised. At least not by the fact that Stephen had the books. That was never in question; considering that several volumes about astral projection had vanished on the same day he asked about them, he'd never even been trying to obscure the fact that he took them.
Instead, Wong was quietly disconcerted by Stephen's attire. When the librarian dutifully—and indignantly—reported the doctor's impertinent infraction to the Ancient One, she had promised to reprimand him herself. …However, he wasn't looking very reprimanded at the moment. On the contrary, he had traded the claret-red garb of an intermediate student for new clothing in shades of blue—which meant he had surpassed another level of training.
As far as Wong was concerned, that was not a reassuring sign at all.
"Is there anything else?" he ground out, planting his hands protectively on the stack of books as he glared at Stephen over top of them.
Stephen was unaffected by Wong's hostile attitude. "Actually, yes? One of those referenced another book—Zabelka's Sapphire Apex. I want to read that one."
"I think not," Wong answered curtly. "That book is definitely still beyond your skills."
"Uh-huh. As I recall, that's what you said about astral projection too." Stephen smiled winsomely. "By the way, your singing along to Beyoncé in your room last night was completely off key. The dance moves weren't bad, though.—Is that thanks to the martial-arts training, or what?"
…Wong gave him the book.
End Note: Yes, I named this ficlet after a Beyoncé song as a joke. Wong wishes Stephen would keep his sling ring off where the library is concerned!
2018 Jordanna Morgan