When The Gods Align

March 03, 2018:

Pietro and Wanda Maximoff are brought a shocking revelation by an alien visitor.

The Moon. No, really.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

There are times when the Maximoff twins go incommunicado.

The burgeoning Brotherhood ranks — gathering in numbers by the work of the twins, drawn to their polarizing call — already know this. Times when the Maximoffs, otherwise available and accessible, take brief respite from their duties and retreat to their cloistered privacy. Times where it is nearly impossible to reach them, speak to them, hear from them, unless they wish it —

— because the witch always seems to be listening. And the son of Magneto can always appear quicker than a heartbeat.

This is one of their times, taking break from work and leaving their current orders under Frenzy's watchful eye, where all trace of the Maximoffs is beyond the boundaries of New York. America. For how hard it is for some to sense them, one may even think beyond the world.

Because they are.

The sun beats violently down on the barren rock of Earth's Moon, bleached a bone white under a chitin-black sky. The starfield burns across the sky in endless points of light, brilliant as they can never be seen on Earth. The Milky Way breaks it in a knot of colour, foaming out with celestial dust over the galactic center. The cosmos spreads on in all directions, beautiful, endless, cold — time preserved in a single photograph for a rare few to ever see.

And so few ever do… astronauts, explorers, great, old, proud beings, aliens and celestials — and the Maximoff twins, now.

There is a break of green amidst all that dead, empty rock, where the great, bowed valley within a crater has been remade into an Earthly garden, a living, growing paradise untouched by the dead vacuum that waits beyond. Scarlet shimmers in a dome around the garden, holding in pressure and oxygen, and barring out the lethal radiation —

And in the center, amidst some spreading trees, their heavy branches weeping down red, blossoming flowers, Wanda sprawls along the grass, her head pillowed on her twin brother's knee.

—-

With a higher profile comes a higher notoriety, and with a higher notoriety comes a greater need to hide. Earth itself is a crowded place now, with the watchful eyes of countless heroes and organizations scanning every inch of the planet nonstop. Doubtless there are those who watch the moon as well, but not so many… and fewer with an eye to search for anything so unexpected as a little pocket dimension of greenery, hidden in the corner of one of the satellite's many dark maria.

A little pocket just out of phase enough with reality to confound most sensors. It'd take someone looking with the naked eye to easily find this place, and looking from just the correct angle.

That relative safety is, perhaps, what finally helps Pietro finally relax from his typical restless hypervigilance. He does not even seem to mind being idle — not so long as his sister is with him, at least. He's sitting still long enough for Wanda to use him for an impromptu pillow, though he still refuses any concession so great as to actually lay down. No matter how comforting this little corner of life she has generated is.

"It's strange," he muses. "But something about being here I find oddly familiar."

—-

In the blazing cold of the heavens, Kryptonians once had an Empire that none could rival. Colonies that pushed beyond the limits of even their great ability to communicate across vast distances. It was something that once assured the survival of their people, until things began to change. Old ways eroded like corpses left to rot to dust on a battlefield, but before anyone knew the battle had even started. Isolation. A new order. It had taken a two hundred thousand years to build, but only three or four generations to destroy.

Not since that time before glory was struck from them as a species had a Kryptonian walked, most literally, among the stars with such blissful impunity. And never had they been granted such ability as they had on this world, where they could walk as Rao had walked, through fire of his own creation, misery of his memory, to a new dawn in service to the people he created.

This is how Faora-Ul comes to them, drenched in the black that sits between the stars, and without the protection of a veil to keep the hostility of space at bay. But she has come for the same reason as those explorers came, for the same reason Rao helped create Krypton:

Curiosity.

In the web she has cast across the world, both technological and biological, born of superior, impossible senses, she has been looking for a particular signature beyond quantification, and if someone would ask her, she would tell them that it smells like roses, and ozone, and hope and fear. That it tastes like cinnamon on the air, and a lost love's impossible, last farewell. That it looks like everything, in the spectrum of her vision, and like nothing at all, brilliant and scillanting around the edges in a way few could appreciate, and yet wholly synced in it's purpose. It is the magic of Wanda Maximoff that draws her to the moon, and after all that searching, it was nothing but a chance, a whimsical desire, that had her look up. Even from Earth, she could see them in their quiet repose and relaxation. It was this that made her a blip of motion, one streak of black against the rest until she seems to pop into being above that protective dome.

Here blue eyes settle on this, a moment of privacy, a moment of intimacy, one that seeks to reminds her only of it's opposite. In the wake of her loss, there is only the lone existence of a warrior displaced. Though there is little atmosphere on this rock that orbits Earth like a bad decision that someone can't quite shake the thought off, her cape billows behind her none the less, feet inching closer until the mass of her will test that barrier, to see if someone or something solid can pass through.

It will be an interruption, but this cannot be avoided. Armored boots press through, and before long she is awash in the color of this world within a world, atmosphere giving her a life that the cold quiet of the stars cannot. There is a tilt of her head, a brief respite of her eyes closing before they open again, and her ears find the vibrations of Pietro's speech, breaching just as he speaks of a familiarity. Then, there is that smile of hers, so slight, but with a power to convey a genuine pleasure that she can finally speak with these perfect creatures.

She will speak before she touches the ground that Wanda has made so beautiful and whole, her strange accent tilting at every word. "Perhaps it is not familiarity, but the echo of providence. I can imagine no better place for you to look upon the whole of the world, beautiful children of the new dawn, and know that soon you will rule it."

—-

To see the stars this way, a veil of Bedouin jewels against the black expanse — no atmosphere to thin their beauty, no light to dim and dull them against a night sky — many in this sanctuary would be compelled to look up and up and be lost in it.

Wanda Maximoff, however, has no such desire. Perhaps the infinite universe is just as common to her as the rest — something she can deconstruct and rework by her will and moving hands. Perhaps her wandering soul has never felt bidden in this particular direction. Perhaps there's little she can even see, with her strange, red eyes, which beholds its universe in pockets of life and not a visible spectrum of light, and in the dead cold, there is little to hold her attention.

Or perhaps something else, as mysterious as the witch herself, who has her eyes instead fastened indulgently on a single blade of grass. Something she willed to grow from dead rock, and will survive so long as she permits it to. Eyes half-hooded, she watches it with her strange, surgical patience.

Otherwise, the witch is placid. She heaps along her garden, her red dress pooling out from her legs along the greenery, her guard down, but the rest of her mild — no smile on her face, no real outward display of emotion. Hard to say if the Scarlet Witch is ever truly happy, these days.
At least, she is peaceful. Here, in life, away from the noise. She reaches out to touch that growth of grass she watches, answering Pietro lazily, "Is that so? A dream —?"

And then, there is a third.

Wanda will never react as quickly as Pietro, but she does, shifting to sit up, drawing in her legs, her lips tugging into a frown. Her red eyes flicker, reflecting the shimmer of the force field as it is breached — Faora can pass through it without effort, and feel the change of pressure and temperate and the taste of a breathable air, sweet with chlorophyll — as scarlet awakens and warns the witch of a trespass.

It is a decorous introduction, gracious and formal, but even then Wanda doesn't know what to do; something of a wallflower, a woman who can rework the world but at the same time unsure what even to do within it, draws slightly in, between cautious and shy.

—-

In the same exact way Wanda watches that little blade of grass, Pietro watches her. His right hand tangles in her hair, petting it in an absent indulgent caress.

He's long since taken his fill of looking at the stars. Incredible a sight as they are, even they grow a little banal after a few hours: especially in the perception of Pietro Maximoff. Far more eternally interesting to him is the way his sister's dark hair curls around his long fingers. Soon enough — much sooner than Wanda — he will grow restless, and demand they be away from this silence. He always needed noise and activity much more than she did. But for now, he indulges her, and for now there is peace.

Up until a third joins them.

Pietro lacks the senses to detect the intrusion. In these things, his response is yoked to Wanda's slower reaction time… though once that disquiet spreads through her mind, he is immediately on his feet and in front of his seated sister between beats of the heart. Wanda's uncertainty is more than made up for by her brother's quick, abrasive decisiveness; within the span of a few more heartbeats, he hears out Faora's initial greeting, studies her strange bearing, contemplates her odd accent, and cross-references her face against a memory kept intensely up-to-date with all the news of the world (he gets bored).

"I didn't look to be visited here, of all places," he eventually says, a brow lifting wryly. "I fear we're in no state to properly receive a guest. You have the advantage of us…" It is an obvious prompt.

He hooks his thumbs in the belt loops at his hips. There is no defensiveness or hostility to his posture, but it leans forward slightly with an obvious readiness to leap into motion in an instant. There is a distinct arrogance to his bearing and to the lift of his jaw, an impression that only intensifies as she speaks on and says quite interesting things.

Both brows rise. "You cut to the chase quickly," he observes. "Much as I'd usually like that, this time I must ask for context."

—-

To watch them on news reports, to hear of damage in their wake, of a fight fought with the tenacity of those who have everything to lose is one thing. It bore admiration from afar, but now she can indulge in a scrutiny of these two like never before. It delights her to see things she never expected, a certain vulnerability in this woman before her who commands so much power. So frail, much like the petal she absently catches in the palm of her glove, as much marveling at the creation Wanda has made as the woman herself.

Then Pietro moves. So too, do Faora's eyes. He will see it in those moments that may often act as time standing still, the shift of her eyes following him to his place before her. Even the reaction of her pupils, fluxing in the face of such brilliant speed, happens in his tempo, until he's standing and talking with the rest of the universe in it's mired, molasses state.

Her lips part, showing a mild surprise, not so much at his motion but in the regal bearing they both share, but in different quantities and qualities. As quickly as the surprise comes, it disappears in his prompt, in a request for context, and her gaze sweeps between them both. How can she explain her purpose? How can she give context?

"I am Faora, of House Ul. The last of my house, as any survivor of a dead world might be. You ask for context, and so I will give it. On the world you call home, there is another like me. A champion of the every-man and woman, one who uses his gifts, God-like and nearly without limit, to pluck distressed animals from trees, and decry the violence necessary to restore order to the world. They call him the Man of Steel. They call him Superman. From the crest on his chest, I know his world is my world. And now you know what I am."

Her gaze dips to the ground as she begins to walk in a slow circle around them, her vision slipping past the skin, to look through muscle and bone, to see how alike and yet different they are from the others she has looked at and through, until finally shifting back to the Scarlet Witch with a curious tilt of her head, until the one who leads, the one who speaks, draws her eyes to meet his gaze. "I know little of destiny or fate, but I do know that in part or whole, it has brought me here to this place." Her head tilts up, her posture as proud and sure as Pietro's. Maybe just a little more aggressive, for how certain she is of herself, but never threatening. "It has given me the powers of a God. Powers, I will use to defend the Superior from those who would deny them their place, leading your world to greatness. Because on my world, the weak were allowed to suppress the strong. To make us, like them. And now…"

It is the first real hitch of emotion, something hard to come by for someone from the house of Ul, but it rests there in the cast of her eyes, the set of her jaw. "My world is gone."

—-

In these few, rare, unguarded moments, delivered far away from the immersion and torment of humanity, and all of their fear and anger and hatred millions of miles away, here is the most peaceful Wanda gets in some time.

Tempered by the run of Pietro's hands through her hair, reduced almost to a drowse under his attentions, Wanda closes her eyes and exhales free weeks of tension.

It is a kind moment. But as most do, it never lasts too long.

Even up here, in her grown garden hidden in a valley of the mood, the Maximoff twins are greeted by a guest. Pietro reacts first, as always, as is his birthright and his name — in the midst of his blurring reappearance before her, Wanda's reaction is glacial in comparison, bracing her hands against the green and pulling herself up nervously to sit. After a moment of staring, her red eyes up-and-down on Faora's stiff, soldier-like bearing, the witch pulls herself up to her feet, her red dress caught with blades of grass and flower petals.

She draws close to her brother's taller shoulder, though she never attempts to step beyond its boundary, the witch obedient to remain where he deigns her to stay. One of her long-fingered hands, it’s tips burning here and there with red light, reaches to hang onto the crook of his arm.

As the brother speaks, the sister watches. Her red eyes bore into Faora, slipping unfocused, her sight one that transcends flesh and bone: a deep, running scan of possibility — life and soul, past and future, and all the choices made in between. The scarlet shimmer through the air whispers around the Kryptonian, barely felt more than a sigh, gentle for now, but in it a reminder that the witch owns this territory she made. Owns it to every last atom in this redesigned reality.

Within her greeting, Faora introduces herself — tells the twins her story. Wanda tilts her head, cautious, but listening.

"She speaks the truth, brother," she soon whispers. "Within her blood sings the stars. She comes from far away. So far away, and now so alone."

Sympathy comes and goes in her red eyes. Wanda knows that feeling well.

Petals fall from so many red blossoms, the ecosystem vibrantly alive in this little biome. They mix red in Wanda's hair, seen when she dips her head slightly, eyes on Faora. "My brother is superior."

—-

The Scarlet Witch owns, and Quicksilver defends. Wanda made this small haven, and Pietro
seems to have marked it fully as his. He watches Faora with pinpoint attention, jealous and wary of every step she takes upon it. Above all — jealous and wary of the slip of a girl who comes to hover nervously just behind his shoulder. His arm tightens slightly when she reaches to cling to it.

Faora speaks in response to his request, and Pietro listens. Not directly, however; he listens through the medium of his sister, hearing her words as they filter through the sense of his twin.

Soon enough, she delivers her verdict. It is not until Wanda confirms the woman is speaking truly that Pietro's expression trades some of its hardness for faint curiosity. That look holds on his features, weighing and contemplative, even as his sister whispers he is superior. He does not react or respond to such a declaration off her lips: as if he is accustomed to it, and well-used to hearing it as immutable truth.

In fact, he even has a rote answer. "My sister is a god," he says, in an echoed response.

Sympathy flickers in Wanda's eyes. No such thing appears in Pietro's. Life made a cold, unlikeable thing of him, hardened and harsh, and whatever gentler emotions he still feels are kept well to himself. Recognition flickers in his eyes when she speaks of her fellow Kryptonian, though he evinces little interest beyond that. The affairs of such creatures do not concern him much — except where he sees potential use. And what she says causes him to glance briefly down at his sister, thoughtful.

"Did you come here to prevent ours from suffering a similar fate, then?" he surmises, glancing back up at Faora. He picks his words carefully, watching her, a thought taking form in his blue eyes. "There's more than enough risk of it happening again here. You see what my sister is capable of doing. To smother her out, the humans would have burned her years ago, if not for me."

—-

Born to be a soldier, that manner will never leave her. Straight and true and stiff in motion in all the long moments between violence, the creature she truly is stays contained in this, an awkward movement. The Son of El moves among the people of Earth so easily because he's had all the practice in the world. Faora has nothing like it, and in even her motion she shows some small vulnerability, expanded upon in the way her eyes lid against Wanda's strange power, hints of which she could only find in the wake of their deeds.

It is not often someone gets to bare her soul. but the Witch will, peeling back the layers of truth far more easily than one might expect of these creatures, who might survive a nuclear bomb or smash the moon in two with enough purpose behind a punch.

It feels like such a punch, to hear another say it out loud. To speak to the truth of how alone she is. If either of them wonder why she might so freely offer power to their cause, they might not look any deeper than that simple, almost human need. Perhaps it is a universal one, shared by all the begins on all the worlds where emotion rules.

Faora looks up to meet sympathy cast her way, unexpected, it forces her gaze away. Even on Krypton, it was not something she was familiar with. Like Pietro, hers was a cold life, wrapped in the trappings of someone who would only ever be one thing.

She forces herself to look away from Wanda when Pietro speaks of his sister as a god, and there is not a moment of doubt in her eyes as she sets her scrutiny upon him once more. In his protection of her, he has proven himself every bit the superior being Wanda has claimed. In the gathering of forces, of leading this Brotherhood, she has watches his and her legend grow day by day. They do not disappoint the legend, even with so few words passed between them.

"Clever and beautiful both. Truly the worthy heirs to your world. You are too right, I would not see this world suffer the fate of mine. Soon the threat of you will grow such that they will align champions against you. But they are not the greatest danger you face. That danger, is insidious. That danger, is microscopic."

Her arm extends, and with it, a hologram, held in the air by some emitter or another on her armor. The helix is shows is familiar to those who have stared at the human genome. The virus that attacks it, re-sequencing DNA to carve out the X-Gene as one that is dominant, all but insures that this person, whoever they are, will not have mutant children.

"They would reverse nature's course. Introduce this malady in water, food, even clothing. In ten of your years, they will have brought your entire species low. They, who meddle in secrets, who act as a glue to bring champions together." Her gaze sweeps to them, one at a time. "They, who would call themselves SHIELD, but act more like a sword."

—-

My sister is a god, speaks the brother.

Wanda bows her head to those words. Her red eyes lash shut. She says nothing, does nothing — save for the minute, barely-there way her cheek lays over Pietro's shoulder blade, just a breath of warmth and weight. She humbles herself to that statement.

It overwhelms her to consider it — consider what he thinks of her — after a lifetime of nothing. Pain, victimhood, and madness. Humanity would have burned her, if not for her brother. The weak, sick, hateful members of their sorry lot would have put her on the pyre and scoured her free from this reality.

The witch still has trouble thinking herself as a transcendent being, still believing herself only at the boundaries and faint edges when it comes to mastery of her powers — dominion over all things and its vast unknown. But if Pietro says so, she will not argue him.

His word is law.

Her hand walks down his arm to brush her fingers over his wrist. There, still shy, or still the half of the Maximoff twins who hangs as the shadow moon to her twin brother's bright sun, Wanda remains quiet. Quiet, as Faora presents the two with the offering of a gift.

Nothing in her hand, hologram flaring to life, as beautiful as she acknowledges them both to be. The image draws Wanda's cautious eye, promising within it a future —

A future for the world having purged itself of all mutants —

Wanda's hand tightens around Pietro's wrist.

Between heartbeats, her garden wilts and rots. Its red blossoms die and dust to ash. The trees thin skeletal, branches empty and barb-sharp, and among them all, their maker, their mother —

Glowing, blinding, dying-star red burns out from her eyes. Her dark hair whips and churns into the air, currented by unseen, untold force. Scarlet rises and sparks from her skin in a hundred small coronas.

IS THIS TRUE? churns through the twins' joined minds.

HOW DARE THEY! HOW DARE THEY!

—-

Most people, regarding the abilities of Quicksilver, think only of blindingly-fast movement. They think only of running: of a creature that can rip across oceans and scale mountains in blinks of the eye. But there are more subtle benefits that come with living at a far higher rate of speed than others, benefits to counteract the many drawbacks.

Benefits like the ability to pull apart the body language of Faora as she stands before them. She has a soldier's strong, rapier-straight bearing, and the rigid control of a lifelong warrior, but in between blinks there are moments where the brittleness of it all can be seen. In between blinks, Pietro can see the way Faora's eyes avert from Wanda's sympathy — from her talk of being alone.

He doesn't draw attention to it. No profit to doing so. He would rather tease out the practical reasons why Faora is here… and soon enough, the Kryptonian arrives at just that topic.

Wanda does not take it well. Her response cuts off Pietro's own surging rage, requiring his attention before he can indulge his own emotions.

Anyone would have cause for deep alarm at the way the world warps around them, the greenery withering and blowing away into ash, the trees turning skeletal and grasping. At the heart of this rotting destruction stands the well-named Scarlet Witch, power currenting off her skin and burning out from her red eyes. A terrifying sight.

Pietro turns to her as if he sees it every day. His right hand lifts to cradle her face in a soothe, and he pulls her head to his shoulder, brushing a quelling kiss to the top of her head. He reaches through the lashing power with apparent full confidence it cannot — will not — touch him. "Not here," he murmurs. "Not now. Save it for SHIELD, sister."

His eyes turn back to Faora. "I see why you came to us. How did you arrive at this information?" he asks, his voice tight with rage, twisted tense as a body on a rack. "The time we gave SHIELD to act was already running short; this cuts it off entirely. If this is true, I'll see them burned."

—-

Tension builds as the world that Faora had so enjoyed begins to crumble to the moondust it came from, but she does not take action, watching in silent evaluation as Wanda Maximoff's rage threatens to boil over. All she can think of, as this destruction capable of unmaking her as easily as any other roils before her, is how much her eyes look like the burning corona of Krypton's sun. Named after their god, Rao was a reminder of how fragile they were, and in this, so too is Wanda and her untold power.

Only the mirror to the terrible fire calm her, soothing her as if the moon were rising to push the sun from the sky. To calm it below the horizon. She does not miss the way they touch, the way comfort ebbs and flows between them at different paces. Here and now it's Pietro's to give to his other half, the savior it seems, to keeping everyone from burning.

For Faora's part, she weathers it without a reactionary response, except to step forward as the hologram dies away.

"From a man who evoked such authority that the name of SHIELD might save him from my wrath. I found him among those that call themselves Humanity First. Enemies of you, the Children of the New Dawn, they were my announcement to the world. I will kill those who would threaten the better among you. On this one who called himself SHIELD, this." Here she gives Pietro the flash drive. Burned, which explains the brief fragment of information. "My analysis tells me it is a template. Does it exist? Has SHIELD made it? To find this, we must go to the heart of them. But not simply to burn them from this world. They span the globe. Pain can be extracted as a measure of honor, to find the truth of things. In this, none other can extract the truth from their numbers better than the two of you. I will seek the core of their network. Buried somewhere in their headquarters is the information we need, and I have the technology to extract it. Should we be successful, we will know not only the truth of this weapon, but the truth of all their weapons. To know our enemy, inside and out."

Here, they will see the truth of her, steadfast in the face of adversity, a calm determination that does not give way to anything close to rage. When they are on fire, she can be the solid stability of ice.

"I ask you both, beautiful children, heralds of a world coming into it's full - will you allow me to stand beside you and extract truth from these weak creatures who so desperately fight against your inevitability? Will you stand with me, to save your world from the doom they would bring?"

—-

In a breath, every last gentle, fragile ounce of Wanda Maximoff burns in the fires of the Scarlet Witch.

The red sears the last vestige of humanity from her eyes. Light crackles dangerously over her skin, crawling leylines to pool in the cradles of her hands. She who has the power to tear reality down. She who only needs to utter few words in her fury to change it all, forever.

But Pietro reaches into the storm and takes his twin sister close. Anyone else in the world that would dare would be shredded by her ability, their very bodies shaved away atom by atom. But Pietro Maximoff stands immune, a solitary figure in the eye of the storm, and when he pulls Wanda into his body —

The red snuffs out of her. It cools off her skin, and dims from her eyes, and Wanda hangs bonelessly where Pietro holds her close. Her next breath comes shallow and too-sharp, almost convulsive, breaking out of a would-be episode, and she shudders to the familiar pressure and warmth of his kiss to her crown.

Wanda's hands creep up to cling to him. She trembles, for many moments unable to form words. There is only her silence, as her thoughts bleed through her twin's mind.

If this is true. If this is true. Pietro. We knew they were hateful, but this? They go from war to genocide. No one cares. It is up to us to save our kind from extinction.

Her head turns to Faora's proposal, the soldier of the stars extending hand to a strange kinship with Earth's mutants — a twofold attack on those who turn to eugenics to eradicate an entire race.

The woman is an unknown, a stranger all of a handful of moments, though Wanda's senses feel her intentions to be true. She is a first: a first non-mutant to care for their condition in a long, long time.

I cannot feel duplicity in her, murmurs Wanda to Pietro, her mind braiding his to feel along as she does, one with her senses. I will scry you my truth. What say your heart?

—-

For a few moments, Pietro absorbs himself in comforting his sister — though he keeps half an eye on Faora, still. One does not just take one's attention off a being of such power. His sister has always been his highest priority, the one thing he will protect over all. Her distress renders all else unimportant. He holds her quietly until she goes limp, clinging onto him for support through her half-mad trembling.

Her thoughts bring him to glance down at her. Does this still surprise you, even after so many years? is Pietro's wordless reply. I knew they had genocide in them from the moment they tried to kill us both. We were children, and they wanted to burn us. The only thing left that surprises me is how brazen they get in their lies.

Once Wanda is calmed — only then — does Pietro return his full attention to Faora. She offers forward the flash drive, and Pietro takes it, looking down at it as she speaks. The meeting with Seneschal flickers through his thoughts, half a recollection and half a wordless query to Wanda. What might he have to do with this? How might they be able to leverage him, too? Might the warehouse of which he was speaking, which contained so many of SHIELD's most guarded secrets, have some reference to this?

She cannot feel duplicity in her, Wanda reports softly. Her subsequent question is answered without pause. It says, 'Destroy them,' and this woman is the means.

He glances up, soon enough. "We stopped being children when our mother was burned," come his curt, quiet words, "and it is meaningless to ask our willingness to stand and save our kind from the shortsightedness of the weak. We have stood against it for years.

"Your first question was the pertinent one," he finishes. "And the answer is that we welcome your aid. We will allow it."

—-

It is in body language, shared looks, and far more that Faora cannot know. Connections she will never have with another. Not like this. Some part of it is her privilege to watch, observing every nuance as the conclusion finally arrives. The assertions from Pietro settle any question she might have about him, for only now, looking him in the eyes, does she understand some portion of his pain past.

For Wanda, she offers a ring etched with the symbol of House Ul, turning it over in the Moon's feeble gravity, to fall in front of her, for her to catch.

"Then you will have it. To speak to me, you need only touch the seal of my house."

Her gaze falls away from them, to the dust at her feet, so much like the ash of her ancestors. Then to the shining beacon of hope, her only refuge. Earth waits for her. She has information to gather. Plans to make. SHIELD is formidable, even for those who are better. Faora will not allow them to get the best of those she would protect. No precaution can be spared.

"When you need me…"

Her eyes lift to them once more, even as she drifts from that rock, cape billowing in a dark cascade. "I shall be at your side."

As if to erase any doubt of that possibility, the moment she is free from the atmosphere that protects them, her form blurs, sending her in a line of black back towards that shining, pale blue dot.

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