August 08, 2018:

Wanda and Pietro bring Frenzy 'home' for judgement.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Days have passed since Faora pried open an unexpected awkwardness between the Twins and their Acolyte. Words were exchanged at the time, though not nearly enough to fully cover the topic that would now need to be addressed.

Frenzy might expect to be immediately called and questioned. Pietro had, after all, demanded to speak of it later. But days pass, days in which the Twins keep largely to themselves in one of their occasional seclusions. They let Frenzy know where they are, of course, but they do not seem interested in hovering at this precise moment.

Abruptly, one evening, they tell her they are moving again.

For a change, they leave Manhattan. Far from Hell's Kitchen — far even from Mutant Town, though the momentary lapse in the work they have been doing in the neighborhood chafes at them all. Their newest roost is in Queens, in Hunters Point, where the land juts far enough into the East River for a good glimpse of Manhattan to still be seen.

Pietro is not in the small apartment with Wanda at the moment, which is unusual in and of itself, and probably part of the reason Frenzy has finally been called. He probably would not have left at all if not for the significant wards that have been laid down. Restless as ever — and perhaps a bit in the doghouse for reasons known only to him and his sister — Pietro decided to stretch his legs and make a quick run to Paris to pick Wanda up a few macarons — well-packaged, to survive the salt spray on the trip back across the Atlantic.

He's expected back any moment, about the time Frenzy arrives. Crossing the Atlantic is a half-hour affair for him.

There was an expectation to be called immediately after Faora left.

It's what Magneto would have done, though truth be told Frenzy has learned that the Twins themselves rarely do what Magneto would have done.

Which is almost always good, but for this case it was also bad. Or perhaps worrisome. It allowed Frenzy more time to think on what would happen, what the trio might discuss and the thoughts she entertained had her reaching for the bottle, many times.

The move from one safe house to another isn't necessarily startling to the Acolyte. It's something they did before and will likely continue to do so. Safety, after all, is paramount for Frenzy when it comes to the Twins whether abruptly done or not.

Now though comes the time she has been both dreading and anticipating. Where explanations can be given and perhaps absolution received.

Her heavy steps might be heard, or felt, as the tall woman makes her way to the inner sanctum of the Twins. There's a perfunctory knock upon the door and then the door opens and Frenzy steps inside. Over one arm is a red folded bundle draped neatly so.

The usual greetings seem too relaxed for Joanna Cargill and instead she offers something more formal. "I am here."

"Come in," directs a familiar woman's voice — Wanda's voice, empty of its usual patience and pleasantries.

Gentrification is a snail's crawl all through Queens, and it particularly missed this block in Hunters Point — the brownstones are ancient, three-floor walk-ups, many chewed up by the decades and forgotten in nebulous states of disrepair and decay. The Maximoffs' newly-chosen apartment is not the most glamourous of environs.

The step out into the main room shows its cramped space mainly empty, spartan with its few furniture — the centerpiece that of the Scarlet Witch, herself, draped discontently along the couch, her turned eyes narrowed out the window, the corner of her mouth leaned against the knuckles of two curled fingers.

Ever the receptive hostess, it is customary for Wanda to receive Frenzy in person, with her usual smiles and small talk. Today, there is only a gulf between them, a silent void, and not even a turn of the witch's eyes to see the Brotherhood lieutenant. It would almost feel dismissive, if not for the witch's presence — that, even without eyes, she always seems to be watching.

The mood is stifling, suffocating. Even worse as Wanda lets the moments go by without speaking, no desire, no rush, to fill it with noise. Her eyes burn out the window. She does not care for Queens.

"Pietro shall return shortly," Wanda finally speaks, voice low, careful — almost guarded. "Not much longer."

Pietro shall return shortly, Wanda says.

A moment later, the familiar sound of something moving far beyond the sound barrier cracks in the distance. A sharp wind gusts in from off the river, there and gone, churned up in the wake of something that darts too quickly to be seen.

Another half beat passes, and Quicksilver is there just as promised, entering the room and stepping lightly to a smooth halt. He stops behind Frenzy, the Twins positioned such that she is pincered between them both. He is carrying a bag, though he sets it aside for now.

"Frenzy," he acknowledges, curt as ever. At least this is not out of character for him. "You had things to discuss with us. Now is the time."

The gulf is seen, heard, felt even. It's also on both women's side, though perhaps for different reasonings.

Whereas others might try to fill that silence with chatter, Frenzy doesn't. She simply allows the silence to envelope her and the room, even as she settles into position near the Scarlet Witch. Neither too far nor too close. Then she waits. Dutifully. Silently. The touch of censure felt all around her.

The Bruiser of the Brotherhood only stirs when Wanda finally deigns to speak and with her words Frenzy shifts her brown eyes to the woman. "Of course." Comes her polite response and then once more, silence and stillness reigns.

Up until the crack of the sound barrier being broken is heard. Like a dog reacting to a sonic whistle Frenzy's head tilts. A crease forms between her eyebrows as she begins to frown, but that expression doesn't quite have enough time to fully form before Pietro is there behind her. Automatically now the woman pivots upon heel to split her attention between Brother and Sister.

"Of course." She echoes again to Pietro's demand and here Frenzy straightens her back, pulls her shoulders back as she pulls together her thoughts. Considers what to stay and then goes for the simplicity of truth.

"I was summoned before Magneto shortly after the fall of Hell's Kitchen. After your response was sent to the news stations concerning the bombs that caused the destruction within the neighborhood."

"He -" She continues, forgoing any usage of 'your father', "- was not pleased with that response. Nor is he pleased with how the Brotherhood fairs, or the guidance I have offered to you during my tenure here."

There's something more to be said by Frenzy, but for the moment her own internal struggle keeps the words locked behind her lips.

So used to the sound it is practically her second heartbeat, Wanda does not flutter a lash against the distant sonic boom. Even far away, it rattles the windows and stirs the buildings on their old, concrete foundations. Queens' residents will spend the next day assured a military plane flew too far down, too close, too fast.

But the witch knows better. That same gust of wind moves her dark hair, and finally, only for him, Wanda deigns to turn her eyes. She takes in Pietro, facelessly and without any sort of emotion, no doubt conveying something in that silent, psychic way the Maximoff twins do often.

Then Wanda pillows her head back down on the arm of the couch, eyes back out the window, her gaze miles away. She seems to wander, in her way, as Frenzy meticulously arranges herself and speaks to them both.

Reveals where she's been. Whom she's been with. And relays a certain blood father's disapproval from beyond the sea, throned on his kingly seat of Genosha.

For a beat, Wanda is silent. Her expression darkens. She says nothing, but red begins to play along her hands, sparking to brief motes of life between her fingers.

"Sometimes," she says, "I forget you are still his Acolyte." There is something open-ended in Wanda's words, a destination, though she does not provide a guide to get there.

The first look Pietro has as he enters is, as always, towards his sister. He takes her in — her condition, her mood — and listens in silence to whatever wordless communique she has to give him. He blinks once.

Then the sister lays her head back down and recedes, and the brother steps forward. His head lifts as he regards Frenzy, his blue eyes cool in a familiar way. In these moments, as he moves to stand between Wanda and Joanna in a way he has not done in months, he is very much a young, slight shadow of his father. They both looked at her in this same assessing way, from the same blue eyes.

Pietro watches Frenzy neutrally as she debates how to answer his demand. He can take in the nuances of her expression as they happen, in detailed slow motion, though whatever he deduces from what he sees he keeps to himself — and to his sister.

Joanna finishes, presently. Pietro holds his stare a moment more, and then he looks away. He stares east, out the window. Wanda's fingers start to spark with red, and he does not take notice nor stop it from happening. Sometimes I forget you are still his Acolyte, his sister observes.

"If he has opinions on how to conduct the Brotherhood," Pietro finally says, "let him leave his island and enact them himself. Until then, it is mine. I conduct it how I wish. Is this his conception of how to be a father, after all these years?" His expression briefly twitches with something like hurt. "He told me he had no complaint until Hell's Kitchen."

He turns on Frenzy. "How long have you been speaking to him? The whole time? What guidance were you supposed to give?"

The red that flares around and between Wanda's fingertips calls Frenzy's attention back to the Witch. There her gaze lingers as the Scarlet Witch breaks her silence with those last words of hers.

Almost Frenzy answers, but her words stall when Pietro likewise speaks his own thoughts. Again it's those last words that strike to the core of the woman.

"No, our meeting some weeks ago was the first time we had spoken since I was given this post." She states resolutely to Pietro's question, then with an inhale she says, "He gave me two tasks - protect you both and make certain you properly fight for our kind. The first I have fulfilled with all that I am, all that I have, and will continue until you no longer wish or need me."

"The second I have not." She says heavily, eyes dropping to the floor momentarily, "In this I have failed him." Only after that pronouncement is made does Frenzy lift her eyes back up and then over to Wanda. "I owe Magneto much. He saved me when I was lost. He showed me there's a different path to be taken, that life can be worth living. For that I accepted the title of Acolyte and he accepted my loyalty in return."

Her words grow slower now, ponderous, "It's only now, with my time spent here, that I have come to the realization that I am repeating past mistakes with him. That my trust is misplaced. That I cannot use him as a surrogate to absolve my own father of the mistakes he made with me."

Those words are painful for her to admit and it's enough to bring her gaze momentarily away from the two. "I was his Acolyte." And then, "But I am yours now, even with the broken trust that sits between us."

Brother moves to stand in front of sister.

Wanda submits to this, deferring to Pietro in all ways; she remains where she reclines along the couch, her troubled red eyes leeched out the window.

A marble-sized sphere of scarlet rolls down the back of her finger, curling and uncurling, in a constant fidget. She plays with it to rivulet along her knuckles the way someone would play with a bead of water.

Until then, it is mine, declares Pietro of the Brotherhood. Always the vanguard of the two, the sun of the Maximoff twins, the brother makes his proclamation known. The shadow moon, Wanda, half-shutters her eyes in silent agreement, approving of his claim, but says nothing.

But his words hook into a question — a demand — that comes with the expectation that Frenzy must answer. Wanda still says nothing. She turns her wrist, and lets that little red sphere wind through her fingers, catching it on the spade of her nail.

Frenzy speaks. The Scarlet Witch listens, even if she does not look. Red fans through her lashes.

I was his Acolyte, she says.

And Wanda looks up. She banishes the scarlet from her fingers. After a moment of thought, she rises, taking the three steps forward to close on Pietro's shoulder, reaching without looking to take his hand in hers.

Her eyes are on Frenzy only, watchful. "You have seen us both, Joanna. We hide nothing from you. You have seen our hopes for this world. For our kind. They may never align with his. Will you defend our claim?"

Pietro listens in silence as Joanna states that her meeting with Magneto, weeks ago, was the first since her post. As she elucidates the tasks she was given: to protect them, and to make certain they fight in the way their father approves. His features harden just to picture it. Even now, it seems, Magneto seeks to oversee his children's 'development.' From a distance, through proxies — but he has decided to take a hand nonetheless.

Pietro cannot honestly pinpoint how he feels about that.

He knows how to feel about Wanda coming to his side, however. He leans instinctively towards her as he draws near, letting her have his hand without a second thought or glance. His fingers twine with hers, and this time brother holds his silence as sister speaks.

Their way may never align with their father. Who will Joanna choose?

"I will not do as he did, so you may expect to continue failing in that second task," he adds in a frank, wry warning, his voice low. "I will show him much better. He has been no father to us — thus far. His own blood. He would be no father to you."


She chooses them.

"I will defend you and your ideals and this way of life you've shown me. I am yours to command." An echo of words said earlier in their relationship, but this time with something less feverish and more honest.%r%rHer head dips low and only at Pietro's warning tone does Joanna Cargill lift her gaze back up.

"Yes, I understand this now." Though what she specifically. understands is up for grabs; that he is no father to her, to Pietro or Wanda, or that the Twins will show the world (and Magneto) a better way.

"I see that there is more than just yoke, lash and censure. There is hope too."

Again she ducks her head low in respect, in apology and in hope. Only after she straightens does her expression tighten, her lips thin. "But he will not take lightly our defection. You must decide whether you want to disobey him outright, or be more subtle. I would counsel subtly." She looks between the two, "And you should both know, before I left our last meeting he tasked me with learning more about you both, specifically your past. If he were a father I would say he is curious to know of his children, but … he is not." A father. "There are undertones we must be wary of."

Through Frenzy's words, Wanda stays quiet.

The witch is a tacet, from face to form, her presence like still, undisturbed waters — her eyes watchful, but reflecting nothing. Some things stay still not because they are at peace, but because they wait for something.

Finally, something in her blue eyes seems to mollify — something slight, subtle, and never allowed to manifest into something greater. Perhaps the fetters of a leader, who accepts at one point, whether by bloodline or bold claim, that there can no longer be an outward weakness to make her equal with the rest —

Perhaps just the witch being careful, and knowing she must restrain herself to even the smallest of things — like the approval she feels with Joanna declares her allegiance.

Wanda turns a silent, pensive look to Pietro.

"For us to defect," she remarks, "we would have to plead fealty. I recall us doing no such thing. Nothing beyond reclaiming the bones of something he abandoned, and rightfully lost."

She considers. "I am curious: what is it you think he wants of us, Frenzy?"

Pietro is quiet to Wanda's sidelong glance, for once, though not inactive. He never quite stays fully still, not the way his sister does. His hand twines hers, his weight shifts from foot to foot, his gaze flicks constantly from point to point with restless energy. A creature in a cage constantly yearning to run to something new and better.

But her approval of Joanna's declaration does find a mirror in her brother's heart, if she looks.

Frenzy's re-affirmation comes with some cautions, however. The sister speaks first to say what crosses both their minds, at that. "He claimed to give us the Brotherhood," Pietro adds. "But can he give what he left behind? We took it. We swore nothing to him, yet he clearly thinks of us as his already." The thought both repels and attracts him, despite his own advice. He pushes down the brief emotion. "I believe that he will take it as a defection, as you say. But there is no disobedience, where no subordinate status was ever acknowledged to begin with. We will continue to do as we have been doing: what we think is best."

As far as Magneto's desire to learn of his estranged children, and the motives behind it? Pietro's hand tightens a little on Wanda's, who turns the question back on Frenzy. What does she think Magneto wants?

"Some part of him may truly be curious," he grumbles, "but with him I sense there are always layers upon layers beyond the sincere."

Frenzy's dark gaze turns to back to Wanda as she speaks and with that last question of hers, Frenzy's own expression turns pensive. Thoughtful.

Before she can say any of what rolls in her head Pietro speaks up and the strong arm of the Brotherhood shifts her gaze to him.

"I can't say specifically what he truly wants with you both, but I will tell you what I believe -"

Here she takes a breath, marshaling her thoughts, "In his eyes we are all chess pieces upon a chess board. His board. He is the hand that guides us, decides for us, saves us, punishes us, or supports us. There is always some purpose behind everything he does; whether a person is related by blood, honor or devotion. While there is likely a part of him that does wish to know some of what has made you both who you are today the majority of what pushes him in this is something else. A test that none of us know the questions to and then, once you make a mistake, he will come in and bring you both back to Genosha. It doesn't matter if you are willing or not, the choice, in his mind, is no longer yours."

"I don't believe he would kill you, you are his blood, but that won't spare you completely from his wraith."

"It also doesn't even matter whether he gave you the Brotherhood, or not, whether you've sworn fealty to him, or not. You are his by blood and for him that gives him the right to control you both."

Where the twin son undertows with curiousity for his missing father, compelled towards some thought that he would be wanted —

— the twin daughter is absent of it, empty, closed and locked and on guard. Not quite cold, but something far more dangerous even than that. Cold waters cannot stay cold for long, poisoned by the heat of other things. Tepid waters are immovable.

Frenzy's words play against Wanda's features. She listens very carefully, absorbing it all — an insight into a man who is her blood, but still a stranger. Someone, past a conversation, she does not know.

Pietro's hand tightens on hers; Wanda replies with a sweep of her thumb over his knuckles.

"The right," Wanda finally says, echoing Frenzy's words with equal parts agitation and derision. "If that is his wish, he can try."

For a moment, she looks as if she would say more — but, in her own coda, she decides not. The witch's blue eyes darken, some private decision made — some vow never to let herself be owned by a man who was never there.

"Thank you for your insight," she says to Frenzy, though with her eyes turned on Pietro.

In silence, Pietro listens to Frenzy's explanation of Magneto, as she has come to know him. As it unfolds, he turns unconsciously towards Wanda, his hand disentangling from hers to rest on her arm and slide upwards, towards her shoulder. His other arm crosses to pull her close, his presence mantling her as if to physically block her away from the predations of the world.

To shield her from the kind of man who takes shape from Frenzy's descriptions. I don't believe he would kill you, Frenzy muses, and Pietro has to laugh. The idea of a father exercising the charity not to kill his blood…

She goes on to describe a man who seems to consider himself a god: or at the very least, a great savior-general with a thousand disposable pieces at hand. An archetypal father, exercising the right of discipline — of life or death — over his many children. "Yes," he says. "I could have guessed that the majority of his motive was not a wish for us in specific. Not as children, anyway," he says. "He chose his war over his wife and over us, a long time ago."

Pietro leans his head against Wanda's. He thinks he can come take them for reprimands at will, like wayward children? That he has the right to control them, by blood? He can try, Wanda hisses. "He wasn't there for us before," Pietro echoes her thoughts aloud. "He can't decide to own us now."

He kisses Wanda's hair, as if to seal the statement, and finally turns more fully back towards Frenzy. Wanda offers thanks; Pietro offers a short nod. He considers the conversation closed. "Whatever comes," he says, "we will face it together."

He pauses a moment, considering. "Stay tonight," he decides. He has not asked for this since before the revelation of her contact back to Genosha. It is telling he asks for it now.

So many things could be said at this juncture of the conversation. Further insights upon Magneto, or more questions concerning next steps, but all those thoughts are lost when Wanda offers her thanks and Pietro cements her allegiance with the Twins once more. Instead of words Frenzy can only bow her head mutely as emotion momentarily overtakes her.

It's only with those last two words of his that Frenzy looks up once more. She looks between Brother and Sister and says, "Of course.", and relief can be heard within her voice and seen upon her face.

While not said the words 'my life for yours' weighs heavily upon Frenzy's tongue with the absolute truth behind it.

She would die to protect the Twins.

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