Breaking Bread

September 09, 2018:

Pietro, Wanda, and Lorna meet to discuss where things stand. There is food.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It has been over a week since the raid on the Extremis beta site and the attack on Tony Stark which capped it off, and as might be expected — since then, there has been no sight of the Maximoff twins. No word from them. No word from any of the Brotherhood left behind in New York, which keeps its tight-lipped secrets under the watchful oversight of Frenzy. The most they would say about the twins is that they are safe, but off the grid for a while.

As of yesterday, however, there has been a renewed energy among Lorna's contacts in the Brotherhood that suggests her errant half-siblings have returned. They are flying very low under the radar — hitting someone as high-profile as Stark makes moving about in New York a dangerous proposition — but they would not let this keep them away from the Brotherhood for very long.

Still, very few are told where to find them. The fact that Lorna is one of the few is likely a good indicator of how the relationship between her and the twins has slowly shifted over the past many months since their relation came to light.

The location she is given is the fifth and top floor of a weathered and weary tenement building in one of the oldest parts of Mutant Town, not far from the East River. The stairs creak, the windows are drafty, but Pietro and Wanda have both lived in much worse. There are other mutants in occupancy in the building, ostensibly going about their own business and their own lives, though the watchful look to their eyes and the on-guard readiness to their stances suggests they too are Brotherhood. They give way to Lorna, however: they know who she is.


Lorna had left the mansion early to search through the various contacts she'd used previously to find her siblings and finally pin down their location for a visit. She'd planned to try to talk to them as soon as she'd been able, but with the chaos.. she hadn't expected to get any answers. The change in when she'd gotten answers had been abrupt, but she hadn't wasted time in gathering what she needed before heading there. Her green hair was carefully tucked up under a wide brimmed hat, and a battered looking jean jacket, ripped jeans and steel toed boots. It was all meant to help her blend in.

The new blazers and expensive shoes and the alike that their father had paid for wouldn't fit into the scene that was Mutant Town, much less the derelict building that housed her half siblings. Her shoes tapped lighter than most as she walked up the stairs, magnetic currents lightening her weight into the air to keep away any chances that she might break a step or two.

As she came to the top of the stairs, green eyes flickering over each of the mutant guards that crept through the halls, she let her weight settle more firmly onto the old, dust and stain covered floor. She shifted her grip on the backpack over her shoulder, hefting it higher as she came around the corner where she'd hoped to find Pietro and Wanda. "Hey, so, I brought a bunch of food? Some brisket, rye bread, some pickles and things…" She drawled. Food was good, right?


On that long, rickety path up the building, every now and then, filaments of scarlet slither over the walls — passing by in brief, transient moments of visibility, like the way moving dust motes catch light. Wanda Maximoff's familiar power, far-reaching and alive, is ever-watchful. The twins may know about their own visiting half-sister far before their Brotherhood comrades do.

Despite the quiet, a tension hangs over those cramped, cagey rooms — tight like old tenement housing used to be — reminiscent of the calm before a torrential storm. No weapons are out in the open, no plans being discussed among the loyal mutants milling about, but among them is a collective restlessness. Soldiers on the brink of their next forward assault.

Allowed passage through those watchful ranks, Lorna enters a back room. There are no windows here, and the only light comes indirectly from other rooms. The creaking furniture is similarly sparse and minimal —

— and Wanda, among it, does not even use furniture at all. The aptly-called Scarlet Witch sits on the hardwood floor, her curled-in legs hidden under her pooling skirts, her face turned up and unfocused eyes distant, lost in her own little world. Perhaps communing?

So lost in her other sight, she does not react even in those few moments Lorna comes into sight, until their half-sister speaks, and between blinks, Wanda reclaims clarity.

She looks up on Lorna, for a moment neutral, before a slow sadness seems to infect her face, perhaps bidden by memory — memory, or the things the witch alone sees. "Lorna," she greets, some of her surprise gentling at the mention of food. Gifts of food to twins who spent years starving is a particular treasure, even now, and seems to touch her. "That is kind of you. Does anyone know you're here?"


The Witch knows. Because she knows, it is a guarantee her watchful caretaker of a brother knows.

The sisters are not left alone for very long before Pietro is there with his characteristic quickness. It is telling that he allowed Wanda to be alone with anyone at all. He comes in the door a moment after Lorna does, and the mutants bustling about — as if on some unspoken cue — disperse to afford the conversation some privacy.

There is a militant air to them all that didn't exist with this much intensity before. Something subtle changed after that strike on Stark Tower. There has been a change in Pietro too. Much about him seems harsher and harder, his gaze focused with the sort of singleminded directness that would not have been out of place on their father's face. It is enough to make one wonder if the young man of before is gone entirely — well, up until he hears there's food.

That makes him look more his age again. Old habits are hard to break, and after years of privation, Pietro still has a tendency to excitedly hoard any food he finds. He steps forward.

"Let me take that," he says of the backpack Lorna is carrying. Wanda asks the question of immediate importance — does anyone know she is here? — though as Pietro awaits the answer he can't help a small aside: "Wanda, I've told you there's a perfectly good chair."

There is a brief pause, before he adds, "Those who were injured are recovering?" He clearly means her fellow X-Men, and not Stark, who obviously is not.


A smile warmed Lorna's features as Wanda turned her gaze to her and greets her gently. She came toward her red hued half-sister, stepping with more surety. "No, no one knows I'm here. I made sure of it." Her brows furrowed worriedly as she looked over the brunette, "Are you alright?" Anything further broke off as Pietro entered behind her, and swiped at her backpack. A sigh, and Lorna allowed the speedster to do as he desired.

Instead the backpack was a massive amount of food. All carefully wrapped in aluminium foil, fresh and hot. Several bottles of juice, water, and even a handful of random tea bags were shoved into other pockets. The zippers were pushed to the edges of their ability to zipper close, as a testament to just how much the youngest sibling had tried to shove into the backpack. She knew the two were in hiding and that good food, warm, food would be difficult to come by.

She made her way closer to Wanda, plopping down onto the dusty floor beside her in a show of solidarity against Pietro's gently chiding about the chair nearby. Green eyes tracked his movements and she nodded, "Yeah, everyone was taken to the med bay immediately, a few were out pretty badly." Her lips twisted into a grimace. "Who was that that flew in like that? Like seriously.." She took off her hat, letting green hair spill down her back and shoulders.

"The video was false, someone set us up."


"As well as I can be," answers Wanda, in her usual choice of vagaries. But does anyone ever get a straight answer from the Scarlet Witch?

Though not quite peaceful, the woman at least seems to be tempered — enough so that she tilts her head curiously, but seems to permit Lorna to come closer. Perhaps with time, and her own growing fascination with her blood family, have done well to mollify her guardedness. Pietro's nearby presence, of course, helps Wanda let down some of her walls. Even when she commonly cannot trust herself, she knows she can trust him to control them both.

Her twin brother's arrival comes with a slight pinch of her eyes — a wordless greeting — as well as her customary expectation of his fussiness at both of them. Speak of the chair, however —

— and Wanda gives the dusty piece of furniture a suspicious look. "I cannot condone its energy," she says of it, a little critically. "It is all wrong."

Oh, Wanda.

But in a show of force against the elder brother's fuss, Lorna joins her on the floor, and though Wanda does not smile — her smiles are usually saved for their enemies, their rivals, their opponents, and not those who are closer — amusement momentarily crosses her blue eyes. They look on Lorna a moment longer, somewhat searching. "Are you well?" she asks in turn.

She can see it all over their half-sister. The stains of separation and surrender.

"That was an ally of ours," she answers, briefly, patiently — and then Lorna remarks in so little words everything that's been dogging them. The video.

The witch says nothing. Her eyes lift up onto Pietro.


Pietro seems very content to be allowed to do as he pleases; in fact, there is a gloss of something rather old-world about the way he insists to relieve the lady of her burdens. In that gesture is a hint, also, of what Wanda has had to grow up with all these years. Clearly Pietro does not think sisters, half or not, should trouble themselves with anything that he can simply do FOR them.

He peers through the backpack, taking a mental accounting of its contents, and that too is a hint of their past. One can practically see him counting out how much there is and dividing it up over the next however many days… an old habit locked in from when they had very little, and had to make their few things stretch out over days or even weeks.

He seems to remember after a few moments, however, that they can now afford the politeness not to go digging through the offering right away, and he carefully reseals the bag and sets it aside. His attention returns in time to find sister and half-sister already uniting in floor solidarity against his admonishments to use furniture like civilized people. Pietro's brows attack each other in a familiar expression of annoyance. "I see you both are determined to be difficult — "

But he mollifies as Wanda criticizes the chair. "Oh," he says, as if chair energy were just a matter of course. "Did it say anything to you?" Life with the Maximoffs.

He falls silent as Wanda and Lorna trade a few remarks — as Lorna answers his question about the wounded. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he remains standing, and midway through the conversation unconsciously begins to pace. Back and forth, in taut little inscribed circles, as if therew ere an invisible cage he was treading the boundaries of. The video was false, Lorna says. They were all set up.

Pietro stops. He looks at Lorna. He didn't look like their father while he was moving or talking, for Magneto was not a pacer, nor inclined to any sort of visible restlessness, nor one to audibly fuss… but once he stops, that impression comes back like a punch. Perhaps the most surprising part is that nowhere in his expression does he look surprised at the revelation.

"That's the problem, isn't it?" he says. "Someone set us up." He looks away, lapsing back into that pacing, and he's Pietro again, their restless brother. His gaze flicks over to his twin. "In the moment, we already knew there was a chance it was a lie."


Lorna glanced down at her hands as they settled to fold together on her lap, her legs crossed beneath her. Wanda's question hit to a pang in her chest. The greeenette wasn't doing well, plain and simply. She was an emotion wreck trying to pass as 'fine'. Her daughter was hidden away, being raised by other people, strangers. Her marriage was crumbling. And their father was asking her to betray the people she'd been raised by.

The question was still one that was rarely asked. 'Are you well?'

She swallowed hard and shook her head, her fingers twitching. "I'm alive, and healthy." She mumbled, her voice sticking at the back of her throat. Her green eyed gaze flickered back toward the chair briefly, and she shrugged lightly, as if to say 'Whatever-Wanda-said'.

The chair was ceremoniously shoved back by the metal pegs and staples that connected bits and pieces together, much like a cat tipping over picture frames on a mantle piece.

A huff of breath followed and Lorna turned her attention back to Pietro, watching him pace and then come to a halt. Her lips pressed into a thin line as she considered him. She didn't like that mirror image standing there, the picture it made that reminded her of their father. Tall and cold.

"I can confirm it, it was meant to set us up. The reports that came through said it wasn't necessarily meant for us but the public. We just happened to push their plans forward.. Whoever it was.." She shrugged, "They used our people." Her voice was soft and she nodded to the backpack.

"Are you hungry at all Wanda? I wasn't sure what you might want.."


"It is contrary," Wanda says of the chair, her voice thinning a bit with derision. "There is little rest in being lied to."

Definitely life with the Maximoffs, when one half of them can, does, and will have strange communications with reality itself, including inanimate objects. Wanda hoists her jaw judgmentally as Pietro focuses an absolutely sincere annoyance on a chair. Who knows how many stray forks and lamps he had to dispatch over the years that were insulting his twin too callously.

This time, it's Lorna who shows that chair what's up. The furniture tilts and creaks, and the witch answers it with a quiet look of surprise. Too used to being ridiculed for her sight, it's not often anyone but Pietro takes her at face value.

Though, even if she were to return the favour, Wanda can see face value is nothing what Lorna feels at this moment. Without her daughter, and her personal life in its own ruin — her half-sister looks over on her, pensive, but able to see between the lines.

Even without her second sight, she knows what suffering looks like.

One of her hands move — she is always careful of them, too careful, terrified of them, even — and after a moment of deliberation, reaches to touch her half-sister's shoulder. Wanda's hand is light and cold, and the contact is so carefully light, but it is there. She is sorry.

And then, the video. Wanda's eyes are immediately on her brother, perhaps to communicate their silent, twin language to each other, and she looks on in silence as his restless, pacing form goes eerily still. Like Lorna, she also considers Pietro, but there is no reticence in her eyes. Whatever change crystallized in him has done the same in her.

"They did," Wanda confirms Lorna. "And they will again. We are objects to them. We are not permitted in their world, but we may serve as their things. Toys, to some. Weapons, to others. Labratory animals, to the rest. Do you understand why we did it?"

Her expression, however, eases only to mention of food. Never of a grand appetite, Wanda, however, likes to ensure Pietro eats. Usually, this is done by admitting hunger she may or may not feel. Otherwise, he may pace a hole in the floor. "I am, a little. Usually something light. And sweet."


Pietro's eyes turn to Lorna at her brief silence, subsequent to Wanda's inquiry on how she is. Wanda has her own ways of seeing the truth between the lines; Pietro has his. For him, that brief quiet isn't so brief: he has a long time to consider the subtle nuances of Lorna's expression, as her thoughts stray to the things that trouble her mind.

That momentary ghost of their father, which temporarily turned Pietro's features so cold, exorcises totally from him to be replaced by a marginally softer look. It softens further when Lorna takes Wanda's side against the errant chair. It always pleases him to see someone take Wanda seriously instead of mocking her odd mannerisms and the slight madnesses her sight has inflicted upon her.

There is a question to be asked, here, but he doesn't ask it of Lorna now. He just lets Wanda's touch say what needs to immediately be said. You are better than him, Lorna had told them both. And that much is very obvious in these moments — these small hints that the twins still know empathy, and gentleness, and connection.

But the fact remains what happened in Stark Tower changed both twins, and nowhere is that more evident in the way they both go still to those words. 'They used our people.' "We were pieces on a board to them," he adds, after his twin's words. "They play with our hopes and fears, make mock of the pain of our lives, and ultimately… they make us pay with our souls." Pietro knows what he gave up when he decided what he did. He gave up one more degree of separation between himself and their father. He let himself slide further down that slope.

Do you understand why we did it? Wanda asks, and Pietro lets the question hang in the air to be answered.

His attention shifts immediately when Wanda admits she may be hungry. It is a calculated move, and works quite well. That remark triggers an instinct in him much deeper than any of his recent darker impulses, and he immediately flicks out of the room, gone with a whisk of speed. He's back before either of them could finish a blink, carrying a jar of honey, which he sets aside as he starts to dig through the backpack. He pulls out some bread, spreads the honey on it, hands the piece to Wanda, and immediately moves on to making two sandwiches, because evidently this 'feeding sister' trigger now includes Lorna who is right there.


It might be strange that Lorna was falling into that middle ground, not overly protective, but still learning bits and pieces of how the twins interacted. Wanda said the chair was a problem. So she made it go away. Simple as that. Lorna had seen Wanda's powers, for good or ill, and had come to respect whatever her half-sister had to say in regards to the world around her. It was quickly, simply, becoming an accepted fact to her.

The hand however, gentle and soft at her shoulder was a surprise. Lorna had come to expect a gentle pat or a ruffle if Pietro was feeling particularly kind, but this was the first gentle touch from Wanda. A pinched smile tugged at Lorna's lips, though she didn't move beyond that. Too concerned that she might break the moment otherwise. She inhaled slowly through her nose and out her mouth, her eyes squeezing shut as she tilted her head toward Wanda, sending green curls spilling over Wanda's hand.

"Yeah, I do. I defended your actions.. and I can say at least, none in the X-men argued with me on that point. They made a threat to you, to us all. You reacted… in a very understandable way. I.. I've been doing everything I can to try to stop the Genoshan scientists that the government hired.. Tried to help get Genosha allies… and I hadn't felt quite so…angry and frustrated and scared.. as when I saw that video and thought it might've been true." She whispered, and chewed away at a dried piece of skin on her bottom lip.

Her shoulders rose and fell in a sigh, tired and drawn. But her gaze swung back toward Pietro as he moved, not quite getting what Wanda did to ensure that Pietro ate as well. She blinked as he returned, and she noted the softening in his expression, however slight it might be as he set about putting together food for not just Wanda, but herself included. Her mouth opened in a slight 'o' of surprise, and she shifted on the dusty floor.

"You don't have to make me anything. I brought it for you two." She swallowed, green eyebrows furrowing slightly as she looked to Wanda.


And for Wanda Maximoff, who touches so rarely, there's a bit of stiffness in her hand — colder than how others usually feel, and a little too-hesitant. Even then, something genuine wants to impart from that moment of contact, to someone who hurts from someone who, in her way, understands.

In a note of detachment, she looks down on those green curls lain over her knuckles, making a sharp contrast against Wanda's own, dark skin. She railed so hard against bonds she, for years, did not know she had — did everything she could to cloister herself from the shadow of a father she did not even want.

But even as she could refuse, or wilfully blind herself, there is no denying their blood. It is as it is, and Wanda's own hurts and bitterness against Magneto cannot close her heart forever. Refuse even as she tries, he still made all three of his children. And as the days go, Wanda finds herself wondering more how she, her twin, and her half-sister may wield his blood in their own ways. Perhaps on a course that sets her far beyond the shadow of her missing mother.

Eventually, she lets go, the witch not one who can trust her own hands for long. She pulls it back to the safety of her lap, her eyes returned back on Pietro — drawn by his remark on souls. His, in particular, and the steep price it had to pay if just for them both to survive…

She looks on him silently, meaningfully, in a long, measured look. Twin to twin, in their conversations they can have in single glances.

"True or not," she says to Lorna, "that it happened at all was too much for us to bear. Its veracity should no longer dictate our own actions to us. Their truths, their lies — we, alone, must decide our future. They can no longer use us. We are not their things." She is silent a moment. "We heard of deaths of the Magistrate collaborators. Natural causes, some, but so many that — were you involved with that?"

But, as Pietro has near thirty years in certified Wanda Management, she has her own — developed purely in the caring for fussy, authoritarian brothers. You cannot simply tell a caretaking Pietro to eat, but to feign just enough hunger that he feels content in his brothering duties, and then… insidiously trick him to eat in the process.

"Pietro makes the best sandwiches," Wanda remarks on Lorna's resistance — one should not pass up the gift of her twin's culinary skills — accepting the honeyed bread with an appreciative gentling of her eyes. She takes dainty bites of it, then — "Can you finish the rest for me, brother?"


It is perhaps not what most would at first expect — how much more easily the brother takes to physical contact than the sister — but in the context of their powers and their roles towards one another, perhaps it is not so surprising at all. For all his eloquence when it comes to proselytization (or scolding), Pietro is not… good with talking about emotion, has never been, has always found it much easier to communicate whatever needed to be said in those respects via a touch. Touch was usually what calmed Wanda down when nothing else would work, too.

It's slightly different when you're Wanda, and your unstable powers can make things disappear out of reality if you touch them wrong.

He glances up when Lorna demurs about the food. There is a brief 'you sure?' pause, but after a moment Pietro decides — in that case — to award himself both the sandwiches. Brothers — never let them have the food if you aren't totally sure you don't want it. He doesn't eat immediately, however, the topic of conversation enough to deter even his appetite: if temporarily. He does not miss that long look from Wanda, and for a long silent moment he looks back. She knows what he has done for her.

He doesn't seem to have noticed that he just got manipulated into eating, though.

His gaze lingers on her even as she speaks to their half-sibling. He only looks to Lorna once Wanda finishes speaking. "We are all afraid," Pietro adds. "Even the X-Men cannot deny that. We are all angry and frustrated. Wanda and I, we decided — enough. We are tired of having to wonder if things are true or false. Tired of relying on humans we don't know we can trust. We are tired of having to give them the benefit of the doubt when they use us in return."

His head lowers. "Maybe father was right. He — talked to us recently. He said… when we are weak, that is when they move to take what we have." He closes the backpack up again, plainly resisting the urge to immediately start secreting its contents in various hiding spots. "I was weak after Hell's Kitchen," he says roughly, self-recrimination in his voice. "And then…"

That question Wanda levels about the scientists, however… Pietro lapses into silence, waiting for the answer. He does automatically reach to take Wanda's unfinished bread almost before she can even ask him to, long experience having given him a sort of timer on how long it'll be — after giving her food — he'll have to take it back to finish it.


The meat and bread were still warm when Pietro unpacked them from the backpack. All of the food inside of the highest quality that money could buy— the sort that came from restaurants and foodies alike. All bought with their father's blood money. Lorna thought it fitting, to spend it on the twins, when Magneto had certainly never spent a dime on any of his children during the years when they'd grown up. When they'd needed it desperately.

In a way, it was her own silent pay back, however fruitless and pointless it may be.

A glance was spared toward Wanda only when she'd pulled her hand back, and Lorna didn't remark on just how much that simple gesture had meant to her. She'd understood on some level how much the gesture must have cost Wanda in control, in years spent keeping her hands to herself. A faint smile tugging at the corners of her lips at the mention that Pietro made the best of sandwiches.

"Maybe next time.. I'll bring more." The youngest of the trio desperately squirreled away the feeling, even as the conversation shifted toward the missing scientists.

Lorna shifted and dragged her hands through the tumble of green hair around her shoulders. "I.. needed something to do that felt productive. The first one was messy… but it got passed off as a robbery gone wrong. The past few.. I have a small team I guess." She hadn't spoken of it to anyone outside of those that had helped her. That small mixture of those on the edge of the X-men. Some with shady pasts and knew the price of taking a life.

"I didn't ask what they put into their heads. But yeah.. it looks natural or like suicide. I didn't kill any of them, though I'd been prepared to. I just.. You'd said you were handling them, but there were so many. I asked the technomancers in Genosha for the data points that they had.." A wince and green eyes flickered toward Pietro, falling silent as he as he spoke of their father contacting them. "He told me. And he told me he didn't trust you, either of you. He claimed he needed. Needed me for support and how much he just 'trusted' me. A whole bunch of bullshit, going on about how I'm more of an asset than just a mole in the X-men for him. He asked me to betray them. But wouldn't tell how or why, or anything. That he didn't want me as a spy, or to kill or harm them. He went on and on about how I needed to 'prove' myself to him." Her teeth ground together as she spoke, her voice taking on a heated edge the more she spoke of that conversation.

"He's been nothing but cryptic, sending me credit cards with crazy amounts of funds. Telling me to dress the part. And messages about going out to clubs and making friends with the rich there. I don't get it the point. Other than he's playing us all. Divide and conqueror shit. Using you two as heralds of the Brotherhood and the hammer to strike. While he's trying to use me in some political bullshit." Her lips thinned and she reached up, pressing her hands against her features and inhaling sharply.

"But what else can I do? I can't tell anyone else what I've done. They'd throw me out. And my daughter—" Her voice trembled and her jaw worked hard to seal off the emotion.

Magneto had called her a murderer. And she'd known in some part of his mind.. he'd forever hold her accountable for her motherhis lover's death.


"You were not weak," Wanda tells Pietro, her voice measured — firm. She dispells the idea as if it has no place in her reality. "You are never weak."

But she does not argue with anything her twin has to confide — his reasons, his actions. His resolve is her resolve. It is as she promised him: whatever comes to pass, let them bear it together.

In these moments, however, comes the first hint of difference between the otherwise-synonymous Maximoffs, rhyming in principle and decision in any other way. Pietro has begun to linger toward the looming spectre of their father, while Wanda — despite her curiousity — still paces at the boundary, the untamed wolf that still does not trust mankind's warm fires.

As Lorna speaks — confesses, in secret, what she's been doing, and for what reasons — Wanda listens in perfect silence. There is no trace of judgment on her face, her expression a cool neutral, eyes soft with that timeless patience of hers. She looks on Pietro, perhaps pensively, perhaps as a habitual anchor point, as she takes in Magneto's recent wants of his third-born daughter.

"You must take care if you wish more deaths of the collaborators," Wanda advises, after a pause. "They would not wish Xavier's message of peace to be confused, if that was ever made public. Perhaps Miss Grey would understand, in her way. I sense many possibilities in and of her. If there are other murderers you've found that worked with the Magistrates, we can take care of that for you."

As for their father?

Wanda exhales, her blue eyes turned on Pietro. "Neither do we know what we wants. We only know what we want. He can choose to believe that he graciously gifted us with the Brotherhood. We choose to believe we took it for ourselves — saved it from its neglect. You can choose to believe what suits you, and the future you want for yourself. If you are in a position to learn things, then you should learn. We must become powerful for ourselves."


You are not weak, Wanda declares, with all the firmness she might speak a hex to change reality. Pietro's gaze turns to her, and after a moment he inclines his head. It is a rare moment between twins who otherwise step perfectly in sync, this half-second where they seem to stand in different places regarding their father. It doesn't last.

The quality of the food doesn't escape Pietro. If he has a guess how Lorna obtained it, he doesn't comment on it. He and his sister have been stealing from the wealthy for their own use or for redistribution to others for a long time. If it's long overdue child support then hey — so much the better. Sometimes the gesture matters, even if it has no objective purpose and Magneto himself may never even notice.

He does regard Lorna thoughtfully as she speaks about the scientists. Like Wanda, there is no particular judgment in his eyes for her admission that she's got a team going around cleaning up the loose ends. Perhaps months ago he might have looked uncomfortable; today, he just looks like their father again, tall and remote, for a few cold-eyed moments. He exchanges that glance with his sister.

He lets Wanda speak her words of caution, and her offer. "Genosha has a lot of sins for which to answer," he agrees, returning his attention to the food. He can't seem to help himself: he's already parceling it out, sifting based on perishable status and type. He looks like he's done this a lot. "We have had our… disagreements about it in the past, but I think the time has passed for anything but a shared duty to see these crimes cleaned from the earth. Do what you will with them; if you need us, then send the information by."

And their father?

Pietro holds another gaze with his twin. "I have no doubt he wishes to use us all," he follows Wanda's advice. "I have no doubt that he is, and that he believes we dance to the tunes he assigns to us." He rises, and as he did once months before, he offers Lorna his hand to help her rise. "Take his advice, take what he offers to you… and prove him wrong."

He sighs. "We should not stay long. I am sure we have already been reported to be sighted in New York again." He glances to Wanda again, before his eyes return to Lorna. Happily, there is nothing of their father in them anymore — for now. "But if you look for us again, you will find us."


The lack of judgement, the lack of anything beyond the soft and gentle advice from Wanda's consideration. The agreement from Pietro.. it was as if a great and terrible weight eased a knot from inside her chest and she could breathe a least a little easier. Another bond between the three, that Wanda and Pietro knew things that she'd done beyond the X-men's approval. It was beyond what her husband knew, what her friends and chosen family knew.. And having that support, even simply offered support and words of caution mattered.

The green haired mutant nodded, watching Pietro go over the food from her spot opposite of him, tracing her fingers against the patterns of dust against the grains of the floor idly. "I know, it's why I've been extremely cautious in making sure it doesn't look like mutant hands had anything to do with it." She murmured, looking back to Wanda briefly and then Pietro as he stood and offered her a hand to help her up.

Another brief moment stolen for the three of them had come to an end. What kind of world would they live in if they' had had the fortune, the luxury to sit and talk for hours? What would their lives look like? The thoughts came and went as she took her older sibling's hand to stand, a faint twist of her lips half smile, half grimace pulled at the corners. "And I doubt he cares or thinks much of us talking either." Her voice soft as Pietro's words.. to prove their father wrong, settled more firmly in her mind. The grimace pulled into more of a smile, warm and sharp at the same time. There was an agreement there, a vindication in that shared sentiment.

Prove him wrong.

But the moment was over, and she sighed, stepping away. "Well, if you need anything let me know. I can get you more of whatever kinds of food next time, if you have any preferences." She looked back to Wanda and there was an emotion there. A worried care that hadn't been present as much before. The sight of having seen Wanda collapse previously had added a weight to her mind. Lorna cared.

"Take care of yourselves."

Another glance, and Lorna bundled up her lengthy curls into the hat she'd worn before, tucking away the tell tale sign of who she was out of sight. She lingered a beat, before reaching out to make an awkward attempt at a hug to Pietro before she made to depart. Her movements haltingly, as if she wasn't sure it would be welcomed, but wanting to try just the same.


Wanda meets all of Pietro's glances, patient and pensive. Her matching blue eyes are a perfect mirror to his.

As he speaks, dispensing his firm advice to Lorna, she is silent; twins passing their shared voice, back-and-forth, to each other. By the look on her face, the closest the tormented witch ever comes to peace, she absolutely agrees.

As Pietro helps Lorna to her feet, Wanda remains seated, looking small amidst her pooling red and black. It would be far more polite of her to stand as well, at least play the duties of a careful hostess, but she seems to have little energy to keep up those airs — perhaps still lingeringly tired from the clash of chaos against chaos.

But not so tired that Wanda does not add, in her quiet, meandering way: "In those dark moments, when all is silent and we have nothing but our own thoughts — that is when our possibilities whisper the loudest. Try to listen to them, Lorna. You have so many that reach to you. They want you to choose."

The words end with a slight softening of her eyes. If there is some concrete meaning Wanda can express of her vagaries, she does not offer them. Perhaps it is her contract with her sight, her reality — to only say so much. Perhaps she knows the danger not to say more than the world permits the soul to hear.

Perhaps Wanda knows no answers, either.

Her eyebrows raise slightly when her half-sister speaks back, wishing her well — always a surprise to hear it, when you've been hated all your life — and she bows her head silently in a demure gesture of acknowledgment.

When Lorna then reaches to hug Pietro, Wanda is silent. Definitely, absolutely, many months ago, the witch would have stiffened up — knotted up — with possessive outrage, not ready to have her cloistered world invaded by others, not willing to conceive of a world where she'd have to share her twin brother with anyone… much less a second sister, who may be less burdensome for him in every way. Jealousy, insecurity, fear.

Now, Wanda remains quiet, without outrage, without terror — a silent witness who does not want to interrupt, or take away, from such a moment. Her eyes stay gentle.


It would be polite for Wanda to stand also. But Pietro does not expect it of her — in fact, the look he gives her bids her to stay still, to take her deserved rest. His twin has so little energy left to give the world as it is, after all the chaos she must ward away from her heart and mind on a daily basis; Pietro will not make her suffer even a drop more expenditure of energy than she must.

He takes it on himself to see their half-sister to her feet. "We know what the X-Men mean to you," he says, of the necessity for Lorna's 'extracurriculars' never to come to light. "Even if we do not agree with their naivete that any human system will ever work in their favor, or that any human will ever accept their extended hands. If you find a mark you cannot strike without maintaining your secrecy from them… then call us."

His gaze briefly flints as blue as cold steel. "The Brotherhood will do what they cannot and will not. And we will lead it to do this because it is our decision to do so — not because our father put it in our hands and told us what to do." His eyes meet hers. "If you play those political games, do it for yourself. Not for him. Use what he gives you, and make it your own." He shrugs. "I doubt it even occurs to Father that we speak. Perhaps if he thought of us as a family… but I doubt he does. We are his children, to use and to expect the obedience of."

And yet despite these brave words… the allure of 'father' is a strong thing in all their blood. It snares each of them, in turn, in their own separate ways. Magneto knows this. He is not above leveraging it. For now, however, he seems content to let his children find their way along the paths he has quietly set each of them. The time has not yet come for him to lean in and move their pieces in different directions.

You have so many possibilities, and they want you to choose, Wanda whispers, and though the words are meant for Lorna, a shudder traces down Pietro's spine too. But if he feels the weight of his father's expectations, he hides it well.

He hides less well the surprise that crosses his face when Lorna reaches to hug him. He balks at first, as Lorna might expect, a cagey young man not used to nonviolent contact, and in her arms he's unyielding as… well, steel. His gaze flicks over to Wanda, over Lorna's shoulder.

Then he gentles. His right hand lifts, crossing her back to pat at her right shoulder a little awkwardly, before his right arm briefly rests in place around her like he isn't quite sure how far to commit to this — or how. "Yes, well," he says, because it wouldn't be Pietro if he could accept anything graciously, "go on, get out of here." From him that's practically indulgent.

He lets her go a moment later, and his gaze returns to Wanda as their half-sibling takes her leave. There is a truth about her twin she can see at the core of his being. For all he seems to have slipped closer towards the orbit of their father in recent days, for all his soul has taken a different shape after the choice they made over Tony Stark… its most basic essence remains the same. There is no competition over a limited resource here, nor any threat of being obsoleted by something newer. There is no limit to the protective affection Pietro has as a brother; the more is needed, the more he seems to have.

For he isn't his father. Not yet — maybe not ever, if this reality is kind. Magneto lost his center as a father a long time ago, but Pietro is still — above all — a brother.

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