Doctor Stephen Strange’s life has settled into a fulfilling pattern; even as Master of the New York Sanctum, he continues his studies in the mystic arts, self-training with the library that the Ancient One amassed in her years as Sorcerer Supreme. An old alliance forged by the Ancient One brings an unexpected request to him, and he is duty bound to fulfill it. Along the way he meets with some pleasant surprises–and discovers that his heart is not immune to the effects of the gentlest sorts of magic.
…he removed several books from his pack and set two of them in front of her. “Now, these texts provide an introduction to clairvoyance and divination. I want you to take some time over the next couple of days, read them through.” Teyla picked one up, and then the other, running her fingers across the titles embossed on the covers. “I’ve bookmarked some sections that I think have a direct bearing on what we’re trying to accomplish here,” he told her, “And if you feel ready, I encourage you to try what exercises you find worth your efforts.”
“I will do my best,” she nodded, “Master Salma said I will be mapping unchartered territory.” She looked down, quietly admitting, “I find it all…very…intimidating.”
“No one will be judging you, Teyla.” She met his eyes at that, searching for assurances. “I promise,” he added, “And if we’re lucky, Kamar-Taj will learn as much from you, and you from us.”
Relief dawned first in her eyes, and then spread softly across her face, “I must admit my mentors on Hadeeth were frustrated when they could not provide teaching enough for me to harness and refine my raw ability for divination. I pray that your efforts to guide me will not be a waste of your valuable time.”
“No effort to teach is wasted when the student is sincere in their desire to learn,” he assured her, his voice low and persuasive, “And that is something I’ve learned as both a student and a teacher myself—and not just of the mystics arts. My medical training was more than a decade long process.”
Strange pulled a plain, leather bound book and pen from the side pocket of his rucksack, “One of the simplest things you can do is keep a record of your dreams. The texts advise you do so nightly—or at least as often as you are able to recall your dreams upon awakening.” He slid the items across the table to her. “Whatever details you can remember without concentrating too hard—otherwise your waking mind will try to add definition to things that don’t make sense…”
Teyla nodded, growing excited, “Why yes—immediately record the images and the events of my dreams. How have I not thought of this myself! To keep a…a dream…”
“…journal,” they finished together. She grinned at him, “Your wisdom has already surpassed that of my Hadeethan teachers.”
He chuckled, “As much as I’d like to, I can’t take credit for the idea, Teyla; it’s a basic beginning in most of these texts. Keep in mind, your best results will come from writing down your first thoughts, no matter how confusing or jumbled they may be. Don’t give your mind a chance to filter or rearrange them in a search for meaning.”
“Yes, yes,” she murmured, “I understand…”
“And your feelings, Teyla. How you felt throughout the dream—and how you feel upon awakening. Even if you wake mid-dream, or in the middle of the night,” he stressed, “Write it down. This should help us see patterns in your dreaming, and eventually enable you to distinguish normal dreams from the prophetic ones.”
And there it was: that light in her eyes and upon her face that reminded him of the simple joy of having an avenue of learning open up before him. As exacting as his medical studies had been, there had always been the deep satisfaction of just knowing he was on the path to knowledge meant for him. And again as he began his studies at Kamar-Taj. As a physician, Stephen had seen that light from time to time, in his best student interns—and had forgotten it could be equally satisfying to the teacher who invoked it in their charges. From a task he’d initially dreaded, he was suddenly glad the situation had forced him to become Teyla’s mentor…
Probably not even a second after the photo was taken, Dean went “oh wow you’re tall!” and stood on his toes, then stopping the staff people and asking if he blinked (with the intention to make them redo the photo if he did).
(He hadn’t blinked)
So yeah. I’m still kinda going “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” in my head. He was so sweet! (And his panels were just awesome! :D)