April 04, 2018:

The Twins finally find out about Lorna's wedding and ask Frenzy some pointed questions.

Hell's Kitchen, NYC


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Lorna Dane, Magneto

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The man named Wilson Fisk was as good as his word. Things moved quickly — especially once word of Jessica Jones being attacked in the street hit the news.

Within days, the nascent Brotherhood had places to live, hide, and work in Hell's Kitchen. Condemned buildings, abandoned warehouses, and businesses with legitimate front ends and shady back ends. Bought with blood, of course, but in the Twins' estimation… every metahuman needs must suffer a little, in order to ensure the good of all. If the Defenders need to bleed a bit in order for mutants and the extranormal to ultimately remain free… why, they should shed that blood gladly. It's not as if they'll be killed.

There are some lines the Twins still don't cross.

Among those businesses the Brotherhood was given license to hang about in was, as a matter of fact, the very place they first met Wilson Fisk. It's deep in the hours of night, so the actual restaurant's closed, but the back room — with its storage racks full of very nice wines — is open and playing host to a very small court: the Twins and their Acolyte lieutenant, Frenzy.

Pietro is drinking. This is somewhat unusual. He looks seriously pissed, which is markedly less unusual.

"It's been announced that Miss Lorna Dane," he says, pouring himself another full glass of red, "is having a lavish public wedding in Hammer Bay. I find this a droll state of affairs… especially as it is the first I have heard of it."

Trask Industries has been the only thought in the Scarlet Witch's mind. The collars they now hold are an infection creeping through all her thoughts.

She is furious. She is afraid. She is hateful.

And she is beginning the many of her preliminary defences.

As one Maximoff drinks red, the other is consumed with it, scarlet fire licking up from her skin, running currents around her limbs and veining power into a sphere that crackles between her hands. Her long fingers shape it with careful, weaving twitches and pinches of her long fingers, and silently, her mouth murmurs words that are lost on the air.

Her eyes shine scarlet, then shutter, as the witch disperses the hex with an opening of both her palms. The walls sheen over with living red, running every inch of the perimeter of the entire restaurant, pulsing once, then fading away.

A ward, like many others she's cast: a way Wanda will be able to watch — close and afar — of every safe place the Brotherhood inhabit. With enough time, and conservation of her power, she dreams of having her eyes on all of New York City. There will be no surprises.

The red fades from her, and the woman exhales, the labour of her task leaning her against the backroom's table. Dressed in one of her red dresses, her headdress shining scarlet beads through her dark hair — they click on each other as she bends slightly, tiredly beginning to unknot the elaborate laces of one of her heels.

Her blue eyes are on Pietro; when he drinks, she does not. Not that Wanda must be anything but careful with psychotropics. A woman who can rewrite and unwrite reality must keep a sound mind.

Sound as Wanda's mind can be, these days. Pietro's words compel her to a too-long silence.

"Joanna," she calls, voice soft — a decision made. "As an Acolyte, it's past time we asked for your insight. About Genosha."

The room where it all began. Where there was a shift in their respective fortunes.

After all, fortune favors the bold.

While the Twins converse and respectively work magic, Frenzy is silent. She's a living sentinel, a guard, a presence that might give the impression of being unshakable and unmovable, in both spirit and physicality.

Whether the Twins sit or stand, Frenzy stays upon her feet. She keeps her form between the door and her respective charges, always conscious of just where she is to them, and they to her.

It's only when Pietro speaks that Frenzy's gaze turns to the elder Twin. There's a flare of her eyebrows, signifying her surprise, when Pietro mentions this being the first time they've heard of the wedding. Something could be said, but for now the woman says nothing. She simply shifts her attention to Wanda as those red strands reach out to the walls, the building, warding the room against unseen dangers. When Wanda softly calls her name the woman turns her attention away from the walls and returns to the Twins, this time the youngest.

To be asked her insight - surprise once more touches her features. In all her time as an Acolyte /rarely/ did Magneto ask for her insights. Especially in the beginning.

There's perhaps a pause as the woman marshals her thoughts, but eventually she does speak, her words chosen carefully. "Which part specifically? I can tell you Genosha was to be freed, to become something more than just another land that enslaved and oppressed mutants."

Wanda's fury has been a constant beating tattoo in the back of Pietro's own mind. The twins' mutual anger feeds one another, like wind on flames. Usually brother would be watching sister carefully when she is this lit with scarlet flames, ever mindful when he might need to step in, to calm.

This time, he does not even watch her work. His gaze rests instead on the glass in his hand. Pietro contemplates it, and then drains half of it, letting the taste run his tongue before swallowing. At the rate he burns alcohol, it's only ever for taste anyway.

He only turns his head to his sister when that tired sound escapes her. His blue eyes take note of what she's doing, and he immediately sets his glass aside to lean down and brush aside her slow efforts, pulling her feet up into his lap to undo the laces of her heels for her. His fingertips are careful as they move along her calves, and though his eyes are initially on his work, his attention flicks up to Frenzy when Wanda begins her inquiry.

He doesn't miss the surprise when he mentions it's the first they've heard of any wedding. His mouth thins, but he returns to undoing the laces. What would take Wanda a laborious amount of time he has done in a flickering few seconds, and before Frenzy even finishes speaking he is letting Wanda have her feet back, shuttling them out of his lap and putting her heels to one side.

"Yes," he says. "'A homeland for mutants, where they can be safe, where my baby can be safe, et cetera.' Blah blah blah. I've already had quite an earful of that from Lorna. More of it than I ever wanted to hear. I don't need another earful from you, Joanna." The sharpness in his voice is not for her.

He reclaims his half-filled glass. "You seem surprised we didn't know about this unconscionable extravagance. Why is that?" He leans back, but does not yet drink again. "In all the conversations I've had with her, she's carefully never once mentioned such a thing. Only all the hard work she does in bringing Genosha up as a great haven for mutantkind… being diplomatic, quelling unrest, feeding the people…"

His eyes narrow. "But not stopping the collar technology from leaking out."

He drains the rest of the glass, and sets it aside. "But not sparing any expense for this wedding. I want to know how she's really conducted herself on that godforsaken island. How she's lived. What she's done."

Old habits rule like coded law, and both Maximoff twins fall seamlessly into their first and truest roles.

Pietro absolves his sister of any need to care for herself, and reflexively assumes his duty; Wanda yields, knowing no life but to obey her brother's better authority. She slips up to find a seat on the edge of the table, and lets him have her feet.

Her eyes hood, and she watches her brother through her lashes, holding patiently still, docile to any sort of claim he invokes on her. Even as he is gentle with her, careful with her, and patient with his own work — it still only takes a heartbeat for his deft hands to unravel tedious minutes of work.

Wanda sighs with relief to have freedom for her sore feet. Her eyes darken with gratitude and love. Content with her perch, she crosses her legs, one ankle hooked comfortably at her brother's knee.

Hands twined in her lap, the witch listens, looking down on her shining collection of rings. One she twists, a silver band set with a red stone on her left ring finger, turning it to let the burning-bulb light catch its shine.

Which part? asks Frenzy.

"The frivolous parts," adds Wanda to Pietro's reply. "The wasteful parts. The ridiculous parts. On our visit, we were given a night's stay in their Spire. Were those cut crystal chandeliers sculpted by mutant hands? Made by slaves before they traded hands to the new dynasty? How much blood has bought that wedding?"

Wanda's blue eyes cut back up on Pietro, burning on his, though her voice is raised that she speaks to both comrades here. "Do they really sit on gilded thrones while our people still feel the weight of chains?"

While the sharpness of Pietro's words aren't meant for her there's a flicker in the Bruiser's eyes, a hint of something upon her features, then it's carefully swept behind the mask of professionalism. That initial question of his, why her surprise, brings another look to her features, but she does answer. "You're family." A simple answer really, but one that perhaps explains that surprise of hers. "I assumed she had told you."

And while she was ready to settle back into the role often prescribed to her - seen, but not heard - Pietro once again shatters the divisions between the trio. And then Wanda likewise cuts through the typical rank of Acolyte. For a moment Frenzy's gaze flicks between Pietro and Wanda before the woman inhales quietly.

A muscle jumps in her jaw, as Joanna considers what the two have asked of her and also her answers to those all too important questions. "There is a level of luxury there for her that most can't obtain. Will never be able to obtain. She sleeps in a soft bed every night. Her belly is always full -" And those words, for some reason, bring a twist to her lips as she grimaces. "- The differences between you both and her are like night and day."

You're family, Frenzy says. Pietro laughs into his wine. "'Family' isn't simply a matter of whelping from the same sire and dam," he says.

He doesn't seem troubled by Wanda leaving her feet in his lap. What he does seem troubled by are the additions that she makes onto his demanding questions. The waste they saw, the indulgence and decadence in which their 'sister' lived while injured refugees shivered in tents for want of medicine, shelter, and food. The news that resources and attention were being dumped into the planning of some sort of extravagant wedding, instead of being focused wholesale on the destruction of the Genoshan defectors.

"A wedding of mutant terrorists to mutant criminals, in celebration of a handful of mutants overturning an entire country in weeks," Pietro drawls. "A compelling sell to the international community. And it seems no expense is being spared. Well, I imagine the wedding photography will not include the humanitarian crisis that is the rest of the island."

Then, Frenzy confirms the life of privilege, luxury, and softness that Lorna accepts in Genosha.

Pietro picks up the bottle of wine, as if to refill his glass. He even gets so far as to tilt it. Then, his expression twitches. So quickly that it blurs, he flips it in his hand and sends it hurtling across the room. It shatters, the wine drooling down the white wall like a spreading smear of blood.

His features are a mask of fury. "I held my tongue about the opulence," he seethes. "I had assumed it was a relic of the previous rulership, which would be torn down and sold off. That she accepts it for her own comfort while her people go without, in Genosha and here, is at best childish and at worst willfully indifferent. If the princess wanted medicine and food for her people, perhaps she ought to have sold her crown and wedding gowns to buy and smuggle it in, rather than risking YOUR life — " a point at Wanda, " — and the lives of our people on stealing from the likes of SHIELD. Particularly given the ineptitude with which they covered their own tracks regarding that information leak."

He sits back. "She had the audacity to twit me about where WE place our focus. Did she expect us to clean up all her failures and loose ends for her while she fitted herself for wedding gowns?"

The remark on 'family' similarly chills Wanda's expression. As the brother laughs with bitter dismissal, the sister draws in on herself, dangerously quiet.

"There is a bloodline," speaks the witch, her blue eyes turned to Frenzy, "but we are not family. Lorna has entitled herself to the word, and she may even believe it so, but she is not kin. Family is sacrifice."

Her gaze falls back on Pietro. "Family is suffering. My brother and I transcend bloodline; our blood has been bleed into each other's wounds. He held me so many times, when humanity… pulled me open. Years, I've bled into him. Years, he's bled into me. They know nothing of family. What we have done for each other. What we would do."

And that is all she has to say on the topic of family.

Wanda goes quiet, tense and agitated, as Frenzy fulfils their request — speaks what was true of her time on Genosha. Speaks to all of Pietro's and her own fears.

Through their braided thoughts, she feels the violent urge catch like fire through Pietro's mind; she does not jump in surprise to the sharp, riotous smash of glass against cement. Wanda only turns her head, taking in a moment's watch of Pietro, before she reaches to steal one of his hands between both of hers.

Gently, tenderly, she opens his fingers, and bows her head to lay a calming kiss over his knuckles. The gesture is particular and specific: a soothe, but not a bridle. Not a restraint to pull him down from his rage.

He is allowed this. She feels it too.

"No," answers Wanda. "I believe she expected to clean up all ours. Why else would her royal highness pass an edict to stay our hands from murder? Why else trust two strangers you've only known for minutes, if not to yoke them? Though she did not anticipate that we would gift ourselves with SHIELD's treasures, did she? When I opened her mind and looked in, she felt like a child. Reaching with sticky hands. Even swollen with child, she still wants like one."

The witch is quiet a moment. She exhales. "I hoped something of Genosha. We learned long ago that promises spoken so sweetly cannot be true: all things come with a price. Still, I hoped it would be a refuge for our kind. The truth of the matter is that Lorna Dane needs Genosha far more than do our people. As she slept in her feather beds, dressed in her silks, and groomed her pet human's coat, she let those collars slip through her hands."

The bitterness from the Twins concerning family earns a faint nod from the Bruiser of the Brotherhood. She understands a portion of their feelings thanks to her own childhood - though her childhood was by no means as terrible as their own.

But it's something she can still empathize with.

The shattering of the bottle against the wall earns a lengthy silence from Frenzy, as her eyes track to the spreading stain of blood-red wine. She considers that show of anger for a moment before she flicks her gaze back to Pietro and Wanda. While her expression still holds a note of professionalism to it, there's now a slight bend to her mouth. A frisson of a frown at what Pietro has to say.

It's only as Wanda places a kiss upon Pietro's knuckles that Frenzy drops her gaze away, her focus elsewhere until it's called back by Wanda.

"She is immature, yes." Agrees the woman, "Charitably there were perhaps times she showed a glimmer of something more, but always her inexperience showed." Her lips twist to something akin a grimace, though darker, "Never once did your father ever send us - his Acolytes - to fetch and carry like servants for him."

And with those last words there's a bite to them; a caustic tone to her voice now. It's only at the mention of Wanda's hope that Frenzy's expression sobers again, "We all had that same hope, but now it seems that hope is lost. That's why here, what you both are doing right now, is so important." Continues Frenzy, as she steps a pace closer to the twins, her expression equal parts fanaticism and fury, "We must secure a place for our people. We must destroy the collars and that burden is with us now."

Pietro's temper, touchy even at the best of times, snaps and spells the death of the wine bottle. He might have done worse if not for his sister's touch. It seems they are symbiotic, in that way: as he calms her out of her mad fits, she calms him out of his intense rages. He quiets almost instantly, letting her keep his hand, though he can tell the difference between her soothes and her restraints. The rage does not leave his eyes.

Wanda speaks of family, and Pietro watches her the entire time. He has little to add, because she says it all, save for this: "Words are words. The only thing with any weight is action. Within moments of meeting, she tried to claim you were 'her sister, now, too.' Not just mine, but hers now as well."

Pietro turns his glass moodily by its stem. Empty. He seems to regret having decorated the wall with the bottle in his fit of anger. "Did she spend twenty-six years caring for you? I don't think so."

For all Wanda does not bridle his anger, it still abates eventually, dwindling into a blacker, more brooding mood. He listens as his sister speaks, his mouth pulling into a frown. "She attempted to manipulate us," he says. "It was plain, early on, she wanted to keep us from pursuing the fight against registration. Would she have everyone give up and hide on an island, as she has? She cares nothing for mutantkind. Only for herself and her baby. 'Some place it can live safe.' That's all she wants, and the rest can go to hell. Her wants are those of a child, and her attempts to manage her elders are more childish still."

What Frenzy speaks of only reinforced that impression fro Pietro, it seems… though the last straw for him — "She what?" His head swivels towards Frenzy. "She uses people who would die for her, people who have already suffered too much trivialization and insult, as servants? For someone who does not want to be a princess, she accepts the benefits quite readily."

His jaw grits. I had hopes for Genosha, Wanda says. "I had hopes for Lorna," Pietro admits, and there is some regret in his voice despite the anger. "Inexperience only excuses so much. She hid too much from me about these extravagant things on which she's spent her time. This ill-considered farce of a wedding… for every citizen foolish enough to be distracted by it, another will see it for what it is: a wasteful indulgence, financed with money better spent elsewhere, to congratulate themselves while their people still face threats spawned from their failures."

He leans back, as Frenzy draws her conclusions. "Every minute of time our father and sister spent on this ridiculous wedding should have been spent hunting the defectors from the island. Now it falls to us to clean this up, before our people end in chains."

For a long time, Wanda is silent. Her blue eyes stare a weight down into Pietro's captured hand. Her face is a lock.

"Words can be very powerful," she eventually confesses — what else would the witch believe, she with powers who can reshape reality with a careless sentence. In a world where everyone can be so liberal with their words, Wanda must always be careful of her own. Too careful. Earlier in her years, she would force on herself a sentence of silence that would go for weeks — too afraid to say anything that could trigger another curse.

The negligence of others around her, aimless talk with little care and no end… it hurts.

Gently, she releases Pietro's hand. She does not miss that longing look he imparts his empty glass, and obedient, Wanda's eyes flicker red. The light comes back to one of her hands, and she flicks a hex towards the mess of wine that drools and shines down one concrete wall. In a moment, it's gone — simply erased — and in its place, the unbroken, still-open, and half-filled bottle sits on the table, beside her brother's glass.

The red leaves her, and she folds her small hands into her lap.

Wanda remains silent, eyes downcast, though there is certainty she is listening; passively absorbing Pietro's dark, venomous words — and then Frenzy's further confession. The treatment of Magneto's Acolytes.

Wanda's head jerks up. Her eyes widen. She neither reacts nor responds, struck mute, shocked into an incredulous silence. The look on her face is someone whose unnatural eyes can see through the very seams of this world, there is little of reality left to truly surprise her — but this? This?

She thinks back, years ago, when both she and Pietro were children, and they were hungry. Before she had control of her ability, of her powers — before the day she was able to create resources for them without complication, and everything changed. In their darkest days, Pietro stole to keep them both alive, and in the denouements after being driven away from human population, he had to hunt to feed them.

She knows how it feels to be hungry — truly hungry. She knows how it feels to starve. He would sacrifice to make sure she ate first, though Wanda knew Pietro needed the calories even more. It was the only time in her life she ever wilfully lied to him, when she said she was sick from her powers, or still full. He needed strength far more than she did.

And this? "They are soldiers," she says thickly, fiercely, with a dangerous shine to her eyes, "and they live for the cause. They die for the cause. We come to the cause from nothing. We join because everything was taken from us. We join to become our own masters. And she makes you servants. AGAIN."

Wanda's hands are so tightly twined that they tremble against her legs.

Her eyes are red again. They flicker, like a recoil, when Pietro says 'father' and especially 'sister' aloud; the witch uncomfortable with those words. She swallows thickly. "What has befallen our people."

Her fervent words said Frenzy lapses back to silence. Back to what all Acolytes do well; listening and watching. Truly, the Acolytes are witnesses to the line of Magnus.

As such, Frenzy settles back into her stoic and attentive pose. She listens to what Pietro says and when he brings up Magneto and Lorna in the same breath as the wedding, the Acolyte frowns. A shadow flits across her features, darkens her eyes, but whatever thoughts flicker in her head the woman stays silent. She waits, dutiful in that silence, as her gaze turns to Wanda to see what the Witch has to say.

The reassembling of the wine bottle is seen, but it's Wanda's words that causes Joanna Cargill's head to bow -

They are soldiers. They do live for the cause and die for the cause, knowing that their life has helped forward the momentum of mutant kind. To bring a balance to the power humans so cruelly wield all because they find differences frightening.

"They've grown careless from what comfort they've found within the world." Is Frenzy's response to Wanda and Pietro's words, "Those that have power, that have wealth, have willingly bound themselves in the chains of what creature comfort they can afford. The rest they sleep, they hide, they wait." Frenzy continues, her voice heavy, "It is up to us to carry the torch - to remind all what still needs to be done. To make sure none of us forget the responsibility we each have to one another."

Pietro blinks up at Wanda's quiet confession about the power of words. He turns a quiet glance on her, the character of his gaze a sorry-I-forgot-again, and his hand turns to take both of hers into his palm for an apologetic squeeze. The twins are so similar in most respects — except this one. He always forgets that Wanda has much a different relationship with words and their power than he does.

He himself has heard too many empty promises and outright lies to put much stock in them, anymore. Now, it seems Lorna has stumbled into this one sticking point of his; he cannot abide being manipulated or lied to, even just by omission. It's ironic how he shares with his father that stiff-necked, proud tendency to swift outrage at any hint of being left in the dark on anything.

It's enough to make him regret his temper… though his sister is quick to fix it, red light flickering through the air to reconstruct that bottle where it stood before. Perhaps others would hesitate to drink hexed wine, but Pietro? He just lifts her hands to his mouth to kiss their backs, before he lets her go to pour himself another glass.

He nurses it through Wanda's outrage at the treatment of the Acolytes. He shares her anger — he shares her memories which source that anger. Years of privation leave their mark; their fantastical powers were not always so refined, and many was the night they bedded in an alley, hungry, their tattered clothes a poor defense against the cold. They know very intimately the kind of pains the refugees suffered in Genosha. To know that there is ANY money being spent on empty gestures of splendor, instead of on the people…

He holds his silence as Frenzy speaks. "That is well said," he concludes when she finishes. "Causes like these demand all of a person. There can be no distractions. No grandiose self-indulgences. If she had true commitment to make a political move, she would refuse this insane waste, marry a former mutate slave, and truly make herself part of the country. I trusted Genosha to her, thinking that…" There is a brief, bitter look in his eyes to think of that last conversation they had. He had… opened up, if only a little.

He finishes his glass and sets it aside. "Should she ever see fit to broach the matter, I will not withhold any of what I have said here. But we have infinitely more pressing matters to attend."

The brother's paler hand swallows both of hers.

The touch lifts Wanda's eyes, first searching, and then gentling under that unspoken apology. She defers to him, tilting her head and shuttering her eyes peacefully to his courtly kisses on the backs of her hands. In the times of those touches, he holds all of her attention — twins slavishly devoted to each other.

When let go, she reaches out briefly with her left hand: a passing ghost of her fingertips to Pietro's face. The contact transcends absolution for his earlier attrition; no offence taken, no apology needed.

But in the wake of that moment, the Scarlet Witch cooks in her own anger: rage that burns enough to sting her blue eyes scarlet. Only years of diligent self-control keep the red light from igniting her hands; sour, poisonous words make her mouth bitter, and she longs to vent that taste free in her own harsh words. That, too, she holds in, breathing carefully through it — living a life where she cannot loosen her fetters or let down her inhibitions.

It is sometimes a life of little catharsis.

"Thank you, Pietro," Wanda says of his declaration. "Perhaps, we can then re-evaluate whether we will warn the subsequent refugees away from Genosha. Especially those who live here and think the island a paradise. I want to be done with that place — for good. If it is left to us, let us make a paradise here."

Her red eyes then find Frenzy. Wanda considers the woman a moment, then slips off from the table, determining to stand to speak her next words. On bare feet, she ghosts closer, tiny in comparison to her — but with fierce purpose in her eyes.

"Joanna," she says, "let it be known you will always have a place here with us. And the sacrifices you make will always be honoured. Thank you."

There are subtleties to be read within the room and within this very conversations. Some are seen, some are lost, and others pushed aside.

For Joanna, she has been around long enough to hear some of those unspoken words. It's what brings her gaze to the Twins, what causes her to straighten some when Wanda finds her way closer.

The thanks that Wanda gives to Joanna causes the woman to inhale sharply - surprise clear in that quiet noise. Soldier she may be, Acolyte as well, a servant to those that often hold the real power, but that doesn't mean she doesn't appreciate what the much smaller woman has to say.

Her darker eyes meets those redden eyes, before her gaze breaks off as Frenzy does the only she can in this situation. She offers a deep bow at her waist, to Wanda, and to Pietro, and as she straightens she says solemnly, "It is I who should thank you."

And lastly, because Frenzy hears the dismissal heard from both Twins, "I shall leave you both to your peace. Call me when you require my strength."

Pietro's expression does not flicker to the brush of Wanda's delicate fingertips across his face, but his gaze does track to one side to look at her. Affection sits warmly in that half-lidded look.

By the time his gaze returns to Frenzy, it has regained its typical brisk coolness. He watches carefully as his sister leaves him — he lets go her hands only at the last moment — to step lightly towards the Acolyte. Beside Joanna, she is tiny, a little wisp of a thing lost in the towering woman's shadow.

"My sister speaks for us both," he adds, in the wake of his twin's words and Frenzy's solemn response. "We'll move soon. You will be the first we call."

A brief silence descends, after the Acolyte takes her leave. It's always brief where Pietro is involved.

Soon enough, it is broken by the sound of Pietro rising. Some wine remains in the bottle; he carefully replaces it in its spot to finish later, long since accustomed to abhor waste. The glass he leaves where it is, Pietro accustomed also to Wanda taking care of such things with the snap of her fingers. Taking up his sister's heels, he dangles them from one hand while his other slips in to its usual spot at her waist: both as a guide for her, and a reassurance for himself that she is still here. It rests a little more heavily against her back when he leans down to seal their regained solitude with a brief kiss.

"I have some messages to compose," he says, straightening. "But I think it can wait."

That returned thank-you, ensconced by a bow to both Maximoffs — when, in all their low, painful lives, has anyone willingly lowered their head to them?

Wanda's eyes gentle. Between blinks, they slip from red back to blue. She says nothing more, but in their place is something far more rare: the witch smiles, brief, sincere, and humbled.

Hands twined together, posture formal, she turns her head to bid Frenzy's exit with her watchful eyes — before Pietro stands, his tall, lean line taking her eyes and dominating her attention. In her own reflexive habits, she sees to cleaning after him, a lick of red fire through her fingers cleaning his mark from the room: the glass disappears and reorients back, untouched, with its brothers. The chair pushes in, neatly, to its table, without a grind of sound.

The red snuffs free from her the instant his leading hand finds her waist. She folds close, her head tilted back to meet their matching blue eyes. Wanda's hood peacefully as she reaches up, her hand wandering up her twin's cheekbone, to carefully smooth back a fallen lock of his silvery hair.

Only for her fingers to tighten down, erasing her efforts, lost the moment he kisses her. It closes Wanda's eyes.

When they open again, they reflect his image back to him, before it is lost under her lashes. "Since when do you wait for anything, brother?"

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