In Another Life
Stephen Strange x Reader
( Strange Supreme from What If…? )
Chapter 4 of 4. | Read part 1 | read part 3
Summary: When all is said and done, you couldn’t help but feel pity for the man who lost it all. Despite the risks, what shall you do with the growing desire to stay in a universe you don’t belong in?
Warnings: Spoilers for MoM and What if…? 18+ themes. Angst, Cheating (?), Hurt/Comfort, Violence, Gore, Manipulation, Imprisonment, Non-con.
Strong hands shook you from your deep slumber. Groggily, you slowly opened your eyes to see who was waking you up this time. When you saw Stephen’s face, you immediately remembered what happened before you blacked out and you let out a scream, scooting away from the intruder as much as possible.
“N-No, get away from me!” you cried out. You tried to run, but you soon felt the painful tug of the metallic chains against your skin. You looked around and not only realized that you were in a glass cell, but your wrists were chained down, special chains decorated in runes so you could not use any of your magic. You let out a sob and struggled against its hold on you, trying to get out. “Let me go! Please, let me go. I don’t wanna be here—”
“(Y/n), it’s me!” the other man shouted and gripped your arm so you could look at him. When you finally looked up, you started to sob but for a completely new reason: the man before you was your Stephen. Your husband. He came back.
When he heard your sobs, he immediately rushed to help you out, golden sparks flying around you as he mimicked a chain that could cut you free. You stayed obediently still and looked down at your position on the ground. Only then did you notice the chains on your ankles too. What the hell did the other Stephen do to you while you were unconscious? You started to hyperventilate while you thought about all the horrifying scenarios the other Stephen could have done to you. It took your husband shaking you to go back to reality and look at him in confusion. “What the hell are you doing here?” He didn’t answer you for a while, moving instead to hug you tight. “God, I thought he killed you,” he murmured into your ear, finally letting himself release some tension in his body. He finally found you and you were finally going home.
After he hugged you, he helped you stand up and gently put your sling ring onto your fingers as spoke. “We don’t have much time. I managed to put him in a pocket of the mirror dimension to keep him busy for a while. America will be meeting us upstairs.” Ah. So you were in the basement this entire time. At this point, there was no chance of the other Stephen ever redeeming himself in your eyes. This was traumatizing, to say the least, and you’ll never let him gain control over you again.
With newfound resilience, you persevered through the large basement with your husband supporting your body as much as he could, You used some of your magic to help you both teleport to the main room, not wanting to waste energy walking up the long flight of stairs. He let out a sigh of relief and flashed you a small smile before he rushed you over to where American stood in front of the star-shaped hole.
“It’s so good to see you, (y/n),” she said quickly before hugging you close. You could tell from her behavior that she had been worried sick, just as much as Stephen was when he tried to find ways to get back to you. You were glad they came. It was dangerous, but they loved you too much to let you stay here forever. You were lucky that you could consider them like family to you. Stephen sighed and tugged on your arm. “As much as I would like to have a reunion party right now, we need to get back to our dimension before--!”
Stephen suddenly let out a piercing scream before blood spluttered from his mouth. America cried out in fear as she made her way towards his collapsing form. She took one scan of his body before noticing the giant spear piercing through his side. Her eyes widened at the horrific sight. “He’s awake, (y/n)! We need to get out of here!” You nodded and put up a shield of defense, not wanting any more onslaughts that could prevent you all from going back. You both dragged Stephen towards the portal, only to be met with the terrifying variant walking from the portal and towards you both. Screaming, America dragged Stephen’s body back while you lowered your shields and instead wrapped the shield around all of you. You all retreated back while the intimidating creature slowly made his way towards you.
“I see you’ve woken up from your sleep, my rose,” he cooed out to you, but it sounded like multiple creatures were speaking through him. The horns on his head and the tentacles surrounding his body were much larger and more present than during your own confrontation with him. You needed to be on full guard now. You don’t think he will spare you at all this time. Taking out your golden sword with your sling ring, you stood your ground once more. Though your sword was slightly fazing in and out due to your weakened state, you did not let it deter you from your one mission: keep your family safe. When Strange saw your sword faze in and out, he chuckled, giving you a patronizing look. “Darling, you know it’s futile to fight against me, right? You’re too weak.” He paused and then calmed himself down, the creatures moving back inside him when he morphed into the man that imitated the look of your husband. Not your lover, an imposter. You narrowed your eyes as he extended out his hand in compassion.
“Darling, I... really don’t want to kill you. Please, come back to bed?” Even despite everything, you were still curious as to whether or not he would actually hurt you enough to kill you. He almost did it before when you tried to rebel against his wishes. He continued. “Please, I cannot live without you. He,” he emphasized and pointed to your injured husband. “cannot give you the love and adoration that you want; that you deserve.” You knew what he was doing. He was trying to calm you down while appealing to your love of romance. He knew that your husband would never give you undying professions of love, never dedicate poems and music to you, never make you feel like the queen of the universe. You eyes wavered, only paying attention to him while keeping your shield strong. His gaze softened when he closed his hand slowly and put it to his side. It was as if he wanted you to feel pity for him. How ridiculous.
But your contempt for him didn’t last long when he spoke again. “I can give you everything I have within me. I can give up my desire to destroy other universes and give up my lust for power if it means having you by my side again.” He kneeled down, holding his hand out once more to you. This time, you almost had your walls down. “I would humble myself before you if I could see the look of love you have blessed me with during our short time together.” His words were told much for you to process all at once. You couldn’t say anything to deny his words because the worst part about his speech was that you could confirm all of it to be true. He worshipped your body and made you feel like a queen when he knew you held love for him too. You could make out the tears in his eyes as he approached your strong stance. He lowered his gaze down to the floor. “Please, (y/n). I don’t want to be alone again,” he whispered pathetically to you before he silenced himself so you could make a decision.
This was tempting. Not because you wanted the love Strange was offering, but because it was your chance to prevent this Strange from destroying the multiverse. You could protect your husband and America from the destruction this variant was capable of causing. You couldn’t let your husband die again.
You looked back at your family behind you. America was struggling to control her powers enough to open another portal while hyperventilating in fear of the variant’s violence. She needed to get her new family home and safe. You knew she couldn’t forgive herself for not being able to save you and your husband. Your husband was fighting to stay awake, one hand strengthening your shield despite his severe injury. Your eyes watered at the sight and you knew you had to make the most difficult choice in your entire life. You lowered your shields slowly as you walked over to where the variant was kneeling. His body was shaking from the tears he’s shed for your clear unreciprocated love, but he had to try. He had to beg you to stay. If you stayed, then maybe he could help you learn to love him for who he is. He was your Stephen. You only needed to give him another chance.
When you finally reached him, you looked down at him, your own tears falling gracefully down your cheeks. Even in pain, you looked as beautiful as the day he first met you. His eyes were filled with hope as you hesitated to speak. “If I agree to stay with you here forever, do you promise that you’ll keep the multiverse safe?” you asked tiredly, your emotions leaving your body in defeat. You could hear America scream at you to get back and come home with her, but you didn’t care. This was the only way for you to keep your husband safe. Your Stephen... you only hope he could forgive you for your sacrifice.
Meanwhile, the variant in front of you gasped in happiness, immediately reaching out to take your hand and kiss the fingertips. “I promise with my entire life, (y/n). I only want you. I don’t want anything else in the entire world except you,” he spoke earnestly, looking at you with that sickening adoration that you’ve grown to hate. Despite your disgust, you leaned down to his level and cupped his cheek. His gaze was solely on you and only you now. Knowing what to do, you nodded, sealing your fate. At your agreement, he let out a sob, resting your foreheads together. Finally, he had you.
The celebration was short lived as you saw this Stephen gasp, his eyes wide in shock. You felt something drip onto your pants and you looked down to see the sight of blood. You screamed, immediately pulling away from his embrace. You were just in time to catch the look of shock and defeat on his face before collapsing on the floor. Blood seeped out from underneath him while you finally saw what killed him. Your Stephen stood behind him, the spear that was once in his side now stabbed straight through the variant’s heart. He looked at the dead body with disgust and satisfaction before he looked at you with love in his eyes. He soon collapsed, holding onto his bloody wound. You shot up and collected him in your arms, tears in your eyes. When you finally looked into his eyes, it was only filled with love. It wasn’t intense, like Strange’s, but gentle. The soothing swirls in his eyes, though dull, helped you calm down again. The faint smile on his face told you that he still loved you and respected your actions. He knew you were trying to protect him. So much thoughts and emotions were conveyed between the two of you when looking at each other. This was more beautiful than any poem and song could describe. “You saved me,” you whimpered out, tears now falling onto his cheek. He chuckled brokenly, reaching up to caress the side of your head. “I love you, you idiot. I wasn’t going to let him take my partner away from me,” he choked out lightheartedly.
He coughed up more blood and you panicked. You looked back at America who was opening up the portal successfully. You sighed in gratitude as you helped your husband get up. As you went through the portal, you looked back at the dead body in the middle of the messy room. At the end of the day, you couldn’t help but feel bad for him anyways. He was and will always be a lonely man. Noticing where your gaze led, Stephen rubbed your side and kissed your forehead. “He did it to himself, (y/n).” You processed his words and nodded, helping him through the portal entirely. When the portal closed, you made peace in your mind with what you’ve experienced and now focused on getting Stephen to a hospital bed. Thankfully, America teleported you all to a hospital.
Letting the doctors take him away from you, you held onto America beside you, only hoping that he would be okay.
Knocking on the wooden door, you opened it to find your husband sitting up on the bed. He was shirtless, the bandages on his body serving as the only reminder to you that all you experienced wasn’t a dream. Two weeks ago, you finally made it back to your reality, but in the time that you were gone, the Sanctum became a mess. Papers strewn everywhere and books misplaced, you called up Wong and asked him what had happened. He explained to you that there was a fight and that the Sanctum’s contents were all safe. The Sanctum was something to handle later. When you set Stephen down on the bed after he was discharged a week ago, you finally realized how little sleep you had gotten in the past few weeks. The next few days were spent recovering with sleep. These events led you to the present with you now relishing the safety within the Sanctum’s walls and the love of your life alive and recovering.
“Hellooooo, earth to (y/n),” Stephen said teasingly. The familiar phrase snapped you out of your thoughts and made you panic, your step faltering backwards against the door. He blinked and tilted his head, silently wondering what had caused you to react to an innocent phrase like that. You just remembered the variant Strange saying that to you before, which caused you to panic. Remembering where you are now caused you to relax a little and shake your head as you made your way towards the bed. “Sorry, just got a flashback to when he said the exact same thing.” He saddened at your words and took the tray of food into his hands. He made a mental note to ask you to go to therapy for your trauma from the other Stephen, but right now, he needed to comfort you and remind you that he wasn’t like the other man that tried to hurt you.
“Hey. Eat breakfast with me?” he offered, tugging your hand down gently. You smiled at him and settled into the bed with him. You fed some food to him with his teasing insistence and talked with him about funny stories with Wong and the Avengers. You couldn’t tell Stephen yet about his variant’s voice talking to you inside your head, but you knew that he would always be there for you no matter what. You both laughed with each other as he kissed your hand lovingly while the birds chirped in the distance. Sirens blared in the distance and you could hear the hotdog vendor across the street arguing with a customer. You smiled to yourself.
You were home.
A/n: Here you go, guys! Last chapter! I hope you all enjoyed this series and I cannot wait for you all to read my next series “Bridgerton x Marvel: The Race Against Time.”