Cutscene: Pater Familias

August 21, 2018:

Cutscene. Fathers mark their sons.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magneto, Wanda Maximoff

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been more than a decade since Pietro Maximoff was able to think much further than the immediate moment. After all, for him the immediate moment tends to last for hours. When the past and future alike drift far away from him, eons distant, all he has is the eternal now which imprisons him.

He fills it however he can. Lately, it's with reading about his blood father.

He went through all the available material on Magneto within the first few hours, of course. The subsequent time spent is just retreads. When you have as much time on your hands as Quicksilver, you often fall into the trap of bogging down on the same topic for hours and hours. Circling. Analyzing. Obsessing.

Some of it is material he's read before… things he's known ever since they first joined the Brotherhood. Some of it is not. But he's never read any of it with the particular gloss — the particular purpose — which he does now. Before, he was always looking at the ideology, and never the man. At the time, the ideology was what he needed. He needed something to believe in. Something to admire. He needed Magneto.

Now? He does not know what he needs. He does not know what he expects from Erik Lehnsherr, or — whatever his name is.

Strange that he should become disenchanted about Magneto and his abandonment, right before discovering the man was actually his father. It's as if the cosmos had planned it all for some elaborate joke.

Pietro learns that there is one constant about the man named Magneto: he never takes anyone's shit. Would their adoptive father have died, Pietro wonders, if he had fought back more like that? Would their adoptive mother have burned to death if he were alive to defend her?

Only Wanda might know the answers… but even then, they would be answers for universes that are not their own.

Pietro delves back into the material. Above all, he keeps stopping to look at the pictures. He never stopped long enough to really look at the man before. Perhaps that was why he never noticed it before…

He spends the next two minutes pacing in their bathroom. A long time, for him. The majority of that time is spent staring at his own reflection in the mirror. The glass is cloudy enough with age that he has a hard time seeing the small differences that distinguish him from his father.

How did he not see it before?

It unnerves him. After all he's read, all he's seen, after hearing burning buildings collapse on screaming women and children… it unnerves him. There is resistance in him against that inborn anger, a resistance he holds to as important, somehow — and it does not feel like enough resistance.

It feels like all it would take would be one thing. It only took his father one thing.

Pietro's memory has always been good, even before his powers manifested and made it virtually photographic. His recollections from his childhood are sharp and vivid. It's memories like these that help keep the fires of his grudges fed.

A memory comes to mind, unbidden. The details are vivid as if it happened five minutes ago.

Django Maximoff looked nothing like his son, and even less so after the beating he took from several of the men from the village. Wanda had to hold Pietro back by the arm to prevent him from running out the door, sped by some half-baked impulse to avenge his father. It was desire not to hurt his twin, more than her actual strength, which ultimately kept him back.

"Father, why did you not fight?" Pietro could not keep the anger out of his voice. He was sick to death of watching this happen.

"It is better not to, Pietro. It makes you the better man," Django's voice bore the kind of tired patience accumulated after centuries of hatred. It was a voice which endured oppression without retaliation, without comment, and without surprise. "It is hard not to let the anger overtake you — to be the good person — but we must be. Even though it may kill us."

"And it did kill you, miřo dat," Pietro tells that memory. "They killed you for it."

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