Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Tigra, Captain America, Doctor Strange
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 77: East
Word Count: 877
Date Written: 26 August 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
Her tiger striped fur is on the rise, her teeth snapped shut together to keep the instinctive growl rising in the bottom of her throat from escaping. Her long tail slashes angrily at the air. She unsheathes her claws but then sheathes them again.
The Captain sighs before her. “Look, Tigra,” Steve tries to explain gently, “I know you’re from California. I know things are different out there, but things like this just don’t fly here in the East. I have to make sure you’re able to help us and be a team member at any moment. We can be attacked, our country can be attacked, at any given second.”
She tries to snatch the small, plastic bag out of his hands, but Captain America deftly pulls her own possession away from her. “What I do on my time,” she growls, her wild, green eyes flashing dangerously, “is my business -- “
“If it affects your behavior on the team, it’s everyone’s business.”
“Well, then, maybe I don’t need to be on this team!” This time, she succeeds in snatching her bag away from him.
He lets her keep it but shakes his head as he looks at her sadly. “I’m sorry to hear that. Truly I am.”
“You must not be,” she snarls, her tail whipping, “if you’re going to treat me as a child!”
A new hand plucks her bag from her. She whirls toward the newcomer but stops in surprise as Doctor Strange smiles pleasantly at her. His smile seems to radiate calmness, and she immediately feels herself responding. Her heartbeat slows; her fur soothes. Her tail curves around her long, furry legs. “Strange -- “ She’s never noticed before how beautiful his smile can look.
“Thank you for holding this for me, Tigra, and keeping it fresh and clean. This is a very important spell. I’ve just finished collecting the other ingredients. Would you like to assist me further?” Stephen looks to Tigra’s right, as though only now seeing the other man standing there. “Oh, Captain, what a pleasant surprise.”
“She was holding that for you, Strange?”
“Indeed.” His empty hand smooths his mustache. “I had to make certain the catnip was in top condition when I was ready to use it. As I mentioned, it’s a very important spell, meant to assist our Environment. Few would have understood the necessity of protecting its chief ingredient as Tigra here did, and I couldn’t very well watch it while I fought my way through the Hindian Realm to collect the remaining ingredients. I certainly do owe you a debt of gratitude, Tigra,” he says, looking back at the almost blushing catwoman.
Tigra’s whiskers bristle, and she barely manages to keep from grinning at Captain America’s obvious confusion. “Well, in that case,” Steve muses aloud, “I suppose congratulations are in order.”
She folds her arms before her chest. “More like an apology, Captain.” The tip of her tail twists.
“You’re right,” he says humbly. “I’m sorry. So many things are just different now than in my time -- “
“Like they are from the West Coast to the East.”
Tigra catches Strange’s mustache twitching out of the corner of her green eyes. Her bottom teeth bite her top lip to withhold her own grin.
Steve nods. “Quite. Again, I do apologize. Hum, good work.”
The words to dismiss him are on the tip of her tongue, but she holds them back. “Thank you.” Quickly grabbing a hold of the Sorcerer’s arm, she pulls Strange along with her down the hallway. “So tell me more about this spell . . . “
She waits, her ears twitching as Stephen mumbles some mumbo jumbo, until the Captain is well enough away from them that they can converse without risk of being overheard. Then she snatches her catnip away from Strange and slides the little, plastic bag into the top of her bikini. “Thank you,” she says with both quickness and truthfulness. “That was quick thinking.”
Stephen smiles, his graying mustache twitching again. “You have to think quick around here, my dear. Speaking of which, have you had lunch yet?”
She smiles. “Is that an invitation?”
“I may be a gentleman, but I’d be a fool to let such a grand opportunity as your gratitude escape me.”
“Well, in that case . . . “ She smiles. “No, I haven’t.”
“Perhaps you would like to dine with me? I know a wonderful little, seafood place down by the Bay.”
Her tail whisks at the thought of fish. Her stomach grumbles though she hadn’t even realized she was getting hungry until just now. “I’d love to,” she says sincerely, placing a quick kiss on his cheek. “And purrhaps, after dinner, I can share with you the best attributes of this particular herb?”
Strange’s smile widens. It won’t be the first time he’s gotten high on catnip, but he won’t admit that to her. “I look forward to,” he answers instead and releases her arm with a bow. “I shall call on you in thirty.”
“I’ll be ready,” she says and purrs the rest of the way to her room.
Beaming, Strange turns to prepare himself for the impromptu dinner date. It always serves, he thinks, beginning to whistle happily, to play a Knight to a woman in distress.