Worried for Wanda

May 17, 2015:

Cal and Pietro chat by the lake about Wanda.

Xavier's School

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's the hottest day of the year so far, hitting just over 80. Also being bright, sunny, and Sunday, hanging out by the lake is a no brainer. Cal sprawled out on a lounge chair in a swim suit and drinking the beers from the cooler on the ground next to him.

*

It was still a moment ago, but Cal gets hit with a gust of wind. Then a second. Quicksilver skids to a stop by the other man's chair. "Hey, whatcha doing out here?" He's wearing white cargo shorts and a Nirvana t-shirt. For him, that counts as an extremely subdued outfit. There's not one bit of silver on him. Well, except for his sneakers. Those are 80s style high-tops in metallic and white.

*

"Drinking beer." Cal answers. The best part first. "And enjoying the day. You're welcome to join me if you like. The water's still on the cool side but it's refreshing."

*

Quicksilver looks from the lake and back to Cal. He squints in the sunlight. "Don't really like swimming. I bathed in lakes growing up. So it doesn't really have the recreational connotations it does for others." He eyes the cooler. "I do like beer, though." He zip, zips and helps himself to a can. He cracks it and it nearly fizzes over. Moving fast with beer = bad idea.

*

"Slowly, slowly." Cal cautions, not trying to follow the other's movements. That way lies madness. He cranes his head around to look over his shoulder and one of the chairs back by the school's back patio disappears and blinks in next to his. "Where did you grow up? Somewhere in the Balkans?"

*

Quicksilver won't ask how he did that. Instead, he just takes a seat and licks some of the beer off his finger. "We moved a lot, but my passport says Transia. That's my citizenship, such as it is." He grins. "What about you? I know you have a weird story, but I've never actually heard it."

*

Cal nods at the mention of Transia. That much is the same. "Then I'll give you the quick version. I'm from here just not in this reality. I was minding my own business, being an X-Man and such, when someone kidnapped me from my reality along with several others from their own. Our job was to go from reality to reality fixing them so the multiverse didn't end. It was a dirty job but thank the gods someone else is now doing it."

*

"Yeah, cause what we do here is so chill and easy, right?" says Quicksilver with a wry grin. He slurps the bit of beer that has pooled on the top of the can, then takes a proper drink. "So like, are things pretty different where you come from?"

*

Cal smiles at the question. Or maybe at the thoughts it conjures up. "In some ways, no. In some ways, very. In my reality there was no real anti-mutant prejudice. The X-Men were public just like every other team out there. We were all regarded as near royalty which made doing what we did very satisfying. But there's also many realities were things are much, much worse. So this one really isn't all that bad."

*

The young man arches a brow and looks from the lake back to Cal. "Did you know me over there? In these…other realities? Or did I never get out of Transia?" asks Pietro.

*

At the question, Cal pauses to look over at Pietro. "You got out." he says after a moment. "In mine, you and Wanda were part of the Brotherhood. There still was a Brotherhood, despite the lack of prejudice. But they wanted rulership over humans instead of equality. You were an X-Man in at least one reality I visited though. And in another, I was the head of the Brotherhood so things vary among them."

*

Quicksilver works his jaw to the side and considers this. He apparently doesn't think it's too far-fetched, because he shrugs and swallows a mouthful of beer. "So sometimes people are good guys, sometimes they're bad guys? Must've been weird. You ever meet yourself?"

*

"The one where I led the Brotherhood." Cal answers. "So yeah, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Sometimes dead. It was confusing. And dangerous. We never knew what to expect or who to trust. That was a lesson hard to learn."

*

"I don't think I'd like to meet myself," Pietro muses. "I'd probably be really annoying. And I'd already know all the punchlines to all my own jokes." He flashes a toothy grin and then picks up a rock. His arm blurs and he flicks it out across the lake. It skips a dozen times before finally sinking.

*

"You'd probably have new ones." Cal suggests. "Fortunately, it's not likely to happen since hopping realities is hard as hell. You and your sister though were always together so I think it's just a matter of time till we solve this problem of yours."

*

"Like, did you hear the one about the subjugation of humankind?" Pietro mimes a rimshot on a drum kit. When the conversation turns to his sister, he shrugs. "I dunno. Whatever this is that's in my head, it's pretty tough. If Xavier can't bust through, then it's not psychic, it's magic."

*

"Or both. It's not something I've seen before but I'm hardly an expert. The Pietro from my reality was older than you too so lots of things can be different." Cal finishes his beer and the swaps the empty for a full one. "But we're not going to give up on helping you. If we need to find a magic user, we will."

*

"Fixing this," says Pietro as he presses a finger against his forehead. "…is only half the battle. I have to find out why this happened in the first place, and who's after me and my sister. Someone really doesn't want us together. I'm guessing they're not really nice people."

*

"Probably not." Cal agrees. "But we're here for you. Both of you. And if we can, we'll help you figure it out and put a stop to… Well, whatever it is."

*

"Was…" Pietro fights against the magic in his brain and nearly actually manages to say her name, "…my sister…with it in your realities? Sane? Or did she talk about voices in her head and demons and wander out into oncoming traffic?"

*

"She was in the Brotherhood." Cal reminds Pietro. "So I can't say I knew her well enough to answer that question. I do know she had the reputation of being a bit… erratic at times. I don't know more than that though."

*

Quicksilver shrugs and finishes the last of the beer. "Doesn't matter, I guess. Seeing as what was true for you isn't necessarily true here." He rubs the side of his neck. "I worry about her. Someone could take advantage of her."

*

Cal nods his agreement. "What happened in one reality doesn't mean it'll happen in another. And we'll try to make sure that doesn't happen. Wanda is welcome here too though I don't know what would happen if you were in the same room. It's hard enough for you to even think about her. It might be dangerous." Which is likely why it hasn't happened yet.

*

"I did run into her. I remembered everything while I was with her. Then as soon as I got a little distance from her, I got really disoriented and uh, kinda…sick." It wasn't exactly pleasant. "I'm sure she thought I ran out on her." Pietro looks at the ground. "I told her I was going to get burgers."

*

"Interesting." Cal considers what that might mean but ends up shrugging. "But what it might mean, I have no idea. We probably shouldn't take the chance that it harms you in some way. Do you know if she's been affected in some way?"

*

"Not that I know of. Bobby's been around her a bit. Some other people have told me she's okay, but hearing voices and sort of…living on the street or in flops." The thought of that does seem to bother Pietro quite a bit. "We've slept in worse. And I know she can take care of herself. But it does make me feel kind of bad about a nice, soft, safe bed."

*

"I'm sure she's been offered one herself. Maybe if you were to write her." Cal suggests. "There are other places than here she can stay where she can be safe and comfortable. If you frame it as helping you, she might agree."

*

"I'm sure she's angry at me, or she thinks I've abandoned her on purpose." Pietro bites the inside of his cheek. "I want her to come here. Then we can both be safe and we can try and figure this thing out. Writing her might be worth a shot."

*

"We can explain that you didn't abandon her and what's happened to you." Cal tells Pietro." Though I'd be surprised if someone hasn't already so there's probably no reason fo you to worry about that. I wonder if you could talk on the phone and if that would affect you the same way. Or via a video conference."

*

"Dunno," says Pietro. "It's magic, though. So it might not matter if it's technology. I…" his face scrunches up. "I know you said her name a moment ago, but I can't keep it in my head."

*

"I'll write it on a piece of paper and you can keep it with you." Cal states. "Technology might not matter but if it's a spell, what they took into account might. It's worth experimenting, right? We might find a way around it."

*

"Whoever it was, they knew we were coming here. I just barely stepped off the ship and I was ambushed. I don't know how they could have known that. I was very careful to cover our tracks." It's starting to become clear that Pietro has avoided dealing with the issues surrounding his sister and has tried not to think too much about it. But now the guilt is slamming him pretty hard.

*

"They might be tracking you somehow. We'll need to check that possibility." There's a lot of things they'll need to do and Cal's making a mental list of them. "Don't try too hard though if it's making you ill. Let us do what we can."

*

Quicksilver zips and grabs another beer. He ignores it as it fizzes and takes a few gulps from it. "I think…she has more power than she realizes. Whoever is after us realizes it more than she does."

*

"She does." While Cal wasn't going to bring it up, it won't really hurt to confirm it once it's already stated. "They might want to use her as a weapon os sorts. That would be bad for everyone."

*

"Yeah," agrees Pietro. "Yeah, it would." He takes another pull from the beer. He's drinking it down like water. "Which might mean it's not safe to bring her here, to the school. Some part of her might realize that. Maybe that's why she's refused to come."

*

"Maybe. We can still let her stay at the Red HQ. It's already public and has some good defenses. Where someone might be willing to attack a secluded school, it's another thing to attack a building in the middle of town." But again, Cal would be surprised if it wasn't already suggested. He really needs to ask around about her and see what's going on.

*

"I mean, she might think she's a danger to others. That might be why she's not accepting help. I need to see her, or someone she's come to trust needs to try and convince her." So much for a nice sunny afternoon by the lake. Must be Pietro's Nirvana t-shirt that brought the angst.

*

Cal led the X-men in his home reality. He's used to angst and having people spill it on him. "Maybe. We'll find out for sure. Write her that note at least and we'll see it gets to her."

*

Pietro disappears in a blur and reappears with a sheet of loose leaf and a pen. He writes out a note and hands it over to Cal. It's written in Transian, in sprawling, messy script. "If you could figure out how to get this to her, I'd appreciate it."

*

Cal takes the paper and then it disappears in a small burst of pinkish energy. "Consider it done. I think Lunair is in contact with her so I'll talk to her about it."

*

"Thanks," says Pietro. Then, "I should go. Thanks for the beer." He sets the second empty can aside.

*

"Sure thing, Pietro. "Cal tells him. "Let me know if you need anything else. I'll fill you in further when I know something."

*

"Thanks, man," says Pietro. He tips a salute to Call, steps a few steps, then zips away in a grayish blur.

*

Cal nods once and goes back to drinking beer and doing nothing else. Too nice a day to waste and it's just a matter of time till something bad happens to call him away.

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