Sibling Resolutions

October 25, 2018:

On the last day in Genosha, Lorna and Pietro finally get a chance to talk. Pietro plans to kill Illyana. Lorna plans to save her.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

few days have passed since Lorna and Exodus first brought Pietro back from his imprisonment. Some of that time was taken up by Wanda exorcising her brother of Illyana's influence, a process which seemed to go rather smoothly. The rest was occupied in resting from their ordeal, and their father speaking individually to each of them about the ever-important What He Expects of Them Next.

As time passed, there came the growing awareness that soon it would be time to leave and face the situation back in New York. Genosha is no 'home' in the way a child might usually regard their parent's residence as a home, and at no point is there any particular encouragement to ever feel casual or entitled about their presence. Magneto is not a man to suffer idleness, and he has given his directives.

He is also a paranoid man, and the idea of all three of his children being in one place for too long, beaconing as a giant target begging to be struck — even if that place should be Genosha — goes against all his careful instincts.

Such it is that on this particular day, a time was set at which the final portal would be made available for the various children of Magneto to use to return to New York. No way back to Genosha would be offered to them, until such time as their father saw fit to ask their presence again. He seems quite intent to start already on avoiding them, considering that it is an Acolyte which delivers them the news, and not Magneto himself. He has returned to his reclusive ways. Perhaps something upset him.

Irrespective of how his sisters might be feeling, Pietro at least seems as anxious to leave the island as his father is to be rid of him. He is already standing in the specific courtyard of the Spire where they are slated to be provided the portal home, in fact, though closer inspection reveals it's just because he is still talking to someone. Amelia Voght, it looks like, though the conversation does not last long before she is striding away.

Wanda is not in sight, which is a little unusual, but if there is anywhere Pietro can probably leave Wanda alone for a short amount of time, it is here in the heart of their father's power.

*

Sleep had been a crashing sort for the youngest of Magneto's children. The suite that she had had before was merely a shadow of dreams. Once those dreams had been for a family, her husband. Her daughter. Now that luxurious set of rooms at the top of the Spire was a stark reminder at was not meant to be. Haunted by empty rooms that would never be filled, closets stuffed with expensive presents from her wedding that went otherwise untouched.. Lorna had spent as much time outside of the Spire as she could.

The beach had been a favorite, as had been the growing streets. She met and talked to mutates, to mutant refugees that thanked her and treated her with no small amount of awe.

But the entire time she spent there was a struggle. A struggle not to trace the lingering electrostatic in the air that just might prove to be a link to her daughter. A small part of her wondered if her father ever felt that tug when she'd been a child. He'd have to had sensed her as the blocks on her powers faded. As she learned and grew up in Xavier's mansion. Had that bond ever haunted him the same way?

Such thoughts kept her awake at night, until she'd found the bottles of champagne that had been meant for her wedding. Several hundred dollars of drinks was how she managed sleep finally. When the news came for her to leave the sunshine, the people and the haunting memories of the Spire, it came none too soon. The green haired mutant came out from her last walk through the Genoshan streets toward the Spire, to where they were to meet for departure. A backpack slung over her shoulder, her clothes looking far too tropical for the chill of fall in New York, much less for demonic New York. Still, her steps slowed as she spotted Pietro, her gaze swung around once, noting Wanda's absence as she approached. "Hey.."

*

Perhaps Magneto did. Perhaps as the years passed, and the threads of magnetic power streaming through the Institute grew stronger with each passing year, he turned his head once in a while and listened to that small echo of his own powers as it bloomed. But the one thing that has always governed him, all his life, has been Necessity. She was safe where she was, and others needed him.

Well. Two things. Necessity… and his past. That second part made it hard to look into the faces of his children for too long. It was why, even though he had set out to draw them all closer into his influence and control, he still recoiled when they wound up trying to come too close.

Perhaps that is the reason for his absence now.

In his place is Pietro, a younger slighter shadow of him… a young man with the restless energy of someone who yet has something to prove. Even alone, lost in thought, his weight tends to shift from foot to foot, as if he were perpetually on the verge of movement — of action. The first thing she might notice is there is something different about him in her magnetic senses. There is the vague shape of what reads like a necklace hung about his throat, though whatever it is is worn concealed under his clothing. It feels like a twisted bullet, like the iron of blood.

Lorna's call lifts his head. He turns immediately to come towards her. "I was just asking about you," he admits. He's more subdued than she's ever seen him in her presence. His eyes move immediately to her throat, the gloss of guilt to them betraying immediately why. "You look well," he says, awkward. "That is to say…"

He stops. "I was told how you looked after things while Wanda and I were… indisposed," he says. He's really not good at this.

*

Lorna curled her magnetic senses over her older brother, a gentle ruffling of power that beyond her father, typically went unnoticed and unanswered. But she picked up those little changes, the little additions down to the very alloys that made up the bullet shaped object connected to his necklace. Her gaze softened, and she reached up to adjust the grip on her backpack as he came toward her and admitted to asking after her.

Green eyebrows furrowed, her head tilting slightly to the side, noting the odd way that his presence seemed somehow lessened. Less intense. More reserved. It nearly brought a frown to her lips, particularly the way that he stared at her and guilt flashed to life in his expression.

She made a decision then and there, reaching out to try to grasp his arm gently. "Hey, don't beat yourself up." She murmured, her voice low so as to not carry beyond them as she stepped closer to him.

"I know what it's like to not be in control of what you do and hurt people you love. It's not your fault." She would let her hand fall away after a moment, after a light squeeze of her fingers.

*

Most people do not notice. Her brother's head lifts slightly. He has a certain sensitivity to magnetic fields, if nothing else. It helps him navigate when moving at 'insane speeds.'

It's her voice which gets the actual reaction, however, her brother turning and coming towards her. It's immediately evident he remembers everything, judging by the way he looks for the injuries he inflicted. Much of his usual bravado and arrogance is missing, leaving him somewhat… depleted, almost. So much of his personality is tied up in his high-handed assertiveness that he only seems half of his usual self without it.

He doesn't pull away, either, when she reaches for his arm. It's not your fault, she says, and he shakes his head. "I'm not so sure of that," he says. "I had a chance to stop her, and did not. You, Exodus, Frenzy… all of you suffered for it." He does not even need to say Wanda. Wanda's suffering for his weakness goes without saying.

Her hand falls away presently, but before it can pull all the way back, Pietro has taken it in his own. It's the closest contact he has ever initiated with her. His hand is rough, its strong fingers callused; the hand of a young man who has brought both himself and his twin to this point in their lives by working his hands to the bone to support them both.

"Lorna," he begins, looking at their hands and not her, "Wanda and I have always been alone. No one has ever looked out for either our safety or our happiness. That makes it more important that I thank you for what you did. For Wanda, in particular…"

He finally lets her go. "Now I am going to fix my error."

*

A look of surprise flitted over her features as he grasped her hand in his. A lifting of her eyebrows, and her eyes widening slightly as she watched him with an increasingly worried tilt to her mien. She didn't pull away, not even as he dropped her hand. She watched him, noting the downward slant to his gaze. The youngest of Magneto's children was perhaps the most affectionate, or at least the most open at expressing it. She had no qualms like her father did with showing she cared for others at least.

"Stop that. I would've done anything to bring you home. Both of you. You're my family. I set out to do two things while you were gone. Bring you home safe, to Wanda, and to protect what you'd both left behind. I would've paid any price to do that." She murmured, not so much as giving Pietro back an inch of personal space.

"I've been trapped in my own head while someone else ran around hurting people I cared about, Pietro. I know what it's like to remember that. No one deserves that. And it's not your fault."

*

Pietro's eyes finally lift to meet Lorna's as she speaks. "Family," Pietro repeats when she is finished, as if trying the word out to see how it sounds. "It comes with the good and the bad, it seems." At least he's starting to sound a little more wry now, a little more like himself. He pushes a lock of her green hair, a bit fussily, back from her face; he might not be as demonstrative as Lorna, but he's still much more so than Wanda. "Let me thank you, Lorna, for doing both of those things. Give me at least that. I am trying to be nice. It's very hard for me."

A flicker of anger passes through his eyes as Lorna explains she went through such a thing too, though he does not pry. "No one deserves that," he says instead. "But it happens anyway. And Father was unequivocal about the result."

He pulls the chain around his neck. Just enough that the bullet slips into view, just above the collar of his shirt.

"It will not happen again," he says, with the weight of a promise, as he lets the chain go again. "Illyana will be dealt with."

*

A flicker of amusement came to life in her eyes as Pietro finally met her gaze to find a faint smile pulling at the corners of her lips. Warm and not in the least unkind. His fussing with the stray stands of green that curled about stubbornly around her face, earned a flash of a grin and a stifled laugh as he admitted to trying to thank her and trying to be nice. The humor remained for only a beat, before it faded at the flicker of his anger and as he pulled free the chain that hung around his neck. She hadn't needed to see it with her eyes to know what it was. But all the same her gaze lingered on it until it disappeared beneath the confines of his shirt.

"Yes, family. And you're welcome. I told you before, that I'm here for you. For both of you. I wasn't entirely sure if leaving Wanda with Magneto was the right choice.. but it was the only one I could come up with." Sure there was the X-men, but with the sour feelings between her siblings and them, small wonder she'd chosen her father. Her hands shoved into her pockets as she dropped her gaze for a beat, a thoughtful expression twisting her lips into a faint frown.

"We'll get New York freed, and stop the invasion. Together. Plenty of people want to help. And considering the scope of it.. I wouldn't be against the extra hands." She didn't comment on the strangeness of saying that out loud. Of wanting to plan to do something with both of her siblings. To fight at their sides and not against them. Never mind what the X-men would say or think or do if they saw it.

Just having lived together under the same roof with her family, all of her blood-related family, had been just as bizarre a feeling. To know that just down the hall her older siblings rested. That her father was awake, doing whatever he did, at all hours above her when she'd slept, or at least tried to.

She shook her head, pushing away the thoughts and odd feelings they generated.

*

"Before this, I would have questioned it myself," Pietro says, of leaving Wanda with Magneto. "But he did for her what she needed. Wanda is…" He hesitates, and for a moment his eyes are distant, gazing across the memory of so many years spent caring for his twin. "Wanda is not someone who can be left with just anyone."

He shakes his head. "Besides, there are too many who would be tempted to make use of her and her power — or to suppress her." From the way he talks, he seems to suspect the X-Men would have done the latter.

Whatever amusement or affection he might have displayed quickly fades, however, as Lorna speaks of the invasion and how they will stop it. Together. He is tellingly silent at first, his expression as blank as their father's can be on his worse days.

"There is a very simple way to stop this. Illyana is the key," he says, after a time, his voice cool. "Cut off the head, and the rest will wither. She had mercy from me once. Not again."

The look on his face is familiar. Lorna has seen that same coldness on their father's features often enough. "For what she has done to Wanda, I am going to destroy her."

*

Magneto and his children had never been so close in one place before for so long. Perhaps that odd closeness would've erupted if they all stayed as they were into something violent. Too similar in some ways, and too different in others. Trust had been limited, and for better or worse, at least for now, Lorna had developed a greater measure of trust for her father. His care for Wanda, had been proven in that her half-sister was moving under her own power these days. Magneto had kept his word.

But that mirror hadn't been seen her brother, though their expressions were often one in the same. Particularly when he frowned or closed off his expression to the outside world. Lorna's eyebrows furrowed as he spoke, his voice achingly cool to her ears compared to the warmth and wry humor from before.

The chill increased as he spoke of destroying Illyana, her breath caught at the ice in his gaze to match their father's. Magneto's words haunting her about Pietro's kindness being a fatal flaw.

"What? Pietro, we don't.. we don't know for certain that she.. that she's in control of herself. The Illyana I know, who I've known for years, was never like this. Would never do the things she's done. She was one of my bridesmaids! We can't just.. just kill her. What if she's being controlled, or used like you were? Like I was at sometime? I didn't give up on you!" Her voice rose in pitch, and whatever attempts she'd had before at whispering were gone as she stared in a stunned look of utter disbelief.

"You agreed that no one deserves to be used and controlled.. trapped in their own body. How can you be so certain she isn't?!"

*

Their father had clear ideas of what the flaws of all his children were. He had told Lorna what he thought those of her siblings were. Pietro's was his persistent gentleness beneath the abrasive arrogant harshness, his inclination to kindness, that spark of mercy in him that kept him from taking advantage of the Hell's Kitchen bombings. That kept him from killing Tony Stark. That kept him from going for the kill when he had Illyana under his knife.

To Magneto, such softheartedness could never be anything but weakness. One always did what had to be done.

It looks as if their father finally found a way to take this terrible situation, twist it, and use it to convince his son to destroy that part of himself.

He says nothing as Lorna makes her explosive counterargument. He lets her finish it. His features are set in stone, cool as the twisted bullet around his neck. "If you had had to kill me to stop me, then I would not have blamed you. These things happen to us," he says, his voice tight, "when we are weak." He closes his eyes. "I was weak. I didn't do what had to be done, and I was compromised for it. Wanda nearly died for it. You haven't seen the way Rasputina hates her."

His eyes open, cool and decided. "I am not going to leave things to hope and chance any longer."

He steps back. "Perhaps I won't kill her," he finally allows. "But I am going to ensure she can never and will never do this again. If you can find some other way to fix it before we do, very well. But make no mistake that we will ensure she can never threaten us again."

*

Lorna knew what her father found fault with when it came to her brother, but her own faults? It seemed their father was content to let them rest. He never lectured her about her weaknesses. Never chided her or forced her hand with who she kept ties to. He nudged. He cajoled. He waited. It seemed, at least to her, that their father was unfairly positioning them about the chess board he'd laid out for them. Unfairly leaving her the freedom to explore who and what she was, while pushing her older siblings all the more.

Pietro's cold expression had Lorna lurching forward, reaching to try to grasp her older sibling's hands with both of her own. At least, if he let her.. she could hardly stop him if he didn't. "You might not have blamed me, because you'd be dead Pietro. Don't be stupid. I would never have forgiven myself. I promised Wanda I'd do anything to save you, or that I'd end it.. but I don't think I could ever have done it." She gritted her teeth, her heart in her throat as she stared up at those icy blue eyes as he stepped back.

"You are not weak." Her voice was sharp, and full of vehement denial. "You and Wanda have been through so much. You're some of the strongest people I know. I can help. We can work together, we can do this, save New York, everyone.. Together. We can stop this. All of us. You, me, Wanda."

*

Magneto's words are coming out of his son's mouth. It is obvious all the ways in which he must have been browbeating his eldest child for his failure; they have now been internalized and made part of Pietro's own mental landscape. Why Pietro in particular? Perhaps it is the expectation of a parent for his eldest, or the expectation of a father for his only son. Perhaps it is simply that Pietro was the most overtly aggressive and hostile towards him: a young lion snarling unacceptably at the old. Whatever the reason, Magneto went to work on him with a few truths:

He was weak.
His mercy was taken advantage of.
His twin suffered for it.
He must never let this happen again.

Pietro lets Lorna take his hands in hers, and his eyes turn down to look into hers, but his expression stays implacable. "You should have been prepared to," he says, his expression finally softening a little to show a hint of sadness. "Wanda was serious about that request, and so would I have been. It's not a way to live."

His thumbs brush her hands reassuringly, a universal gesture of a brother comforting a younger sibling, but he disentangles gently all the same to step back. His face hardens again. "We were strong," he says, "but not in the way we needed to be. I'm not going to second-guess any longer. You know what we intend to do. Whatever you do with that knowledge is your choice."

*

The X-men wondered why Lorna had bothered to try to save her siblings. Wondered why she'd risk so much to save Pietro. Some had openly asked her, others had quietly kept their judgement to themselves, but had said as much with their expressions. With their lack of offers to help when she'd expressed how fruitless her seemingly endless searches had been. Lorna herself had settled that on the concept that no one deserved to be a puppet. To be trapped in their own bodies and used by demons or anything.

But it was more than that. Pietro and Wanda represented a link to a family she'd never had a chance to know. A chance to have someone to share the burdens and struggles of having Magneto as their father, or rather his lack of being a father. Her past was littered with the bodies of those that should have been her family. Her mother. Step-father. Even the possible sister Zala… They were a chance, perhaps the only chance, she'd have for that sort of relationship that she'd grown up seeing everywhere. Scott and Alex. Illyana and Piotr…

They were so close, and yet still so far out of her reach. The thought rattled about in her mind as Pietro grasped her hands back gently, his thumbs brushing against her hands. Her own hands cool, and lacking any of the major callouses Pietro's own bore. Even as Pietro pulled back once more, that tender glimpse of her sibling vanishing as their father's coldness stole over his voice and expression once more. Lorna was quickly coming to resent it.

It was wrong.

"That's what dad said. Isn't it?" She breathed, her lips pursing into a line. A challenge in her voice and in the tilt of her chin. "He told me, you know. That your mercy was a weakness. That's bullshit." She muttered, adjusting the grip on her backpack as she struggled not to stamp her feet in frustration and rip apart something metal. It was like talking to a wall. No, it was like talking to their father.

Green eyes snapped back toward Pietro. "Then let me come with you, let me try." She hissed through gritted teeth. "Together. All of us. It's not second guessing if its your intent. Your plan. Death as a secondary option, if we can't save her. Just like you. She has a brother that loves her, Pietro."

A rough exhale escaped her, "Because if you won't, then I'll go on my own, and I'm pretty sure we both know how poorly that'll go."

*

In that moment of contact, Lorna experiences a glimpse of her brother as he must have been to Wanda all of her life: gentle, tender, and protective. It is no wonder she loves and needs her twin so deeply. He has been not just a twin to her, not just an older brother, but has also assumed a paternal role towards her over the years. It was necessary once their adoptive parents died and left him to raise her alone.

It is brief. Their father infects everything eventually. It seems he has finally gotten to his son.

The young man who stands in front of Lorna now, reclaiming his hands quietly, seems little more than a younger version of their father as he makes his cool declarations on his intentions for Illyana Rasputina. Even her revelation that Magneto had told her of his opinions on his son's 'mercy' yield little more than a brief flash of Pietro's familiar irritated defiance — before the look collapses off his face. He merely looks resigned.

"He wasn't wrong," is all he says. He doesn't admit that it didn't feel so bad, either… his father finally acknowledging him. Touching him, father to son. Speaking to him as though he were — he were someone. Someone of import. Approving of this new mindset he had already mostly decided upon in his own heart. "I have always been punished for my mercy. Wanda has always been punished for it. We have always shown restraint. We have never struck back when others hurt us. We have given them chances. In return, Wanda has been burned more times than I can count. In return, my mind was stolen."

His voice has the finality of a closing door when he unknowingly repeats what their father has said many times. "Never again."

Pietro half-turns away. "We are not going to her to save her," he rules. Like talking to their father, indeed. "She nearly killed us. She nearly made me kill you. That will not go unanswered. We will see her dead, or so defanged she may as well be. If you want to try to save or reason with her, you must go with people who share that goal, and pray you find her before we do."

*

Silence hung around Lorna at her brother's response. Green eyes lingering on the chilliness in his form and figure, in his voice and in his eyes as he spoke about Illyana Rasputina. Her friend. A woman that Lorna had known for years. Years more than she'd ever known her siblings. Loyalties tugged her in two directions. One pulled her along those lines of blood, the other of friendship and hard fought trials.

Her lips pursed together as she turned her eyes down to the cobbled street of the plaza they stood in. The stone was lovely in the sunlight, perfectly clean and cut to gleam. A testament to the artistic skill and craftsmanship of Genosha's mutates and mutants. A shinning example to what their kind could create when given the freedom to live and grow and learn.

"What's the difference, Pietro? What's the difference between what you went through? What I went through? We weren't in control of ourselves. How can you know the same isn't true for her?" She tilted her head, lifting her gaze as she stared at her half sibling. Her green eyebrows furrowing with a sharp crease.

"What if it was Wanda in her place? Or me? Would you write us off and say that we needed to be put down before we hurt anyone else? That we weren't worth saving?" Her lips pursed together, her voice thick with emotions she struggled to articulate clearly and failed. Words just simply weren't enough.

The warm, tropical breeze spread through the air, whipping long green curls around Lorna's cheeks and into her eyes. She pushed them back with a hand, her gaze never lifting from her brother. From the aching chill that pervaded his stance, his voice, his entire demeanor. Scott had asked her if she thought that the twins would risk the same to save her if something happened. She had hoped that perhaps Pietro, her older brother, the one that had visited her when she was in jail.. The sibling that she'd had the closer relationship to might. Now? Now she wasn't entirely sure how far down the path their father had shoved him. If it ever came down to Magneto's war or her, she knew what her father would chose.

"How do you know that killing her will solve it? What if she's controlled by something worse, something that's using her? It might not stop there, Pietro."

*

What if it were Wanda in her place? Lorna asks. Or her? Would you put us down?

"No," Pietro says by pure reflex. He only seems to actually think about the question after he has already spoken. A flicker passes through his gaze like the answer is more complicated than merely 'no,' but he doesn't say anything about it.

After a moment, he just shakes his head. "The analogy does not suit, anyway. You mistake what it is I'm trying to solve. This is not about Illyana, about her guilt or innocence, her soul, her salvation — not to me. This is about a threat that nearly killed Wanda, and would try to kill her again once we leave this place. This is about what will ensure Wanda's safety. This is about an example being made of what is unacceptable."

His eyes are distant. "Neutralizing her is an extremely good solution for all of those things. And if something worse was behind her, then we shall do the same to that."

Pietro finally looks her in the eyes. "I've decided," he says. His tone is almost gentle, despite the words he is saying. "I am not going to change my mind."

*

"You're going to kill someone that might be entirely innocent and not in control of themselves, how the hell is that different?" Her voice peaked in temper, but there was clear hurt in her expression. Obvious in the tone of her voice that creaked with barely restrained emotion. A frustrated sound escaped her, bubbling up from her throat, as her lips parted and shut repeatedly. Lorna struggled with the swell of emotions that tangled in a discordant wave inside her. There was really only one way she could go, and once again it put her on the opposite side of her siblings. Would they ever agree on how to handle a problem? The days brief as they were, spent on the island, in the sunshine and surrounded by her blood relations had given her a glimpse what it could be like if they had a chance.

It hurt, and for some reason felt like a betrayal in that idle hope that they could be something more moving forward. An unrealistic expectation she'd formed in her own head.

Pietro and Wanda would go to kill someone yet again, this time, would she stand off to the side as she had before? Illyana didn't have a metal heart for her to put back into place. And that had been when her brother was merciful. This time, Lorna didn't think Pietro would let Illyana have a chance to survive.

Lorna slowly shook her head, her shoulders slumping a defeated way. Only a beat of silence followed before she squared her jaw briefly, and stepped closer to her older brother. A decision had to be made, and Lorna hated herself either way for it. She slowly reached out to give her older brother a loose embrace, much the same as she had before, in Mutant Town.

*

How is that different? Lorna demands.

"Because my first priority in every decision I make," Pietro answers, his voice as cold as Lorna has ever heard it, "is my blood, and protecting my blood. Someone has struck against it. Now I will react."

His demeanor is implacable. It calls to mind the last time these siblings faced off, over the matter of killing another. When it was Tony Stark, the conflict in Pietro was so obvious. He took no pleasure in trying to kill Stark, and in the end he still faltered and fell short of finishing the deed. He still balked to go against his better nature — that innate mercy in him that was all that kept him from being their father.

Now, it is obvious he still takes no pleasure in what he must do; but there is no longer any hesitation about it, no longer any guilt or conflict, and no longer any tears. Pietro has already mourned those parts of him he knew he was giving up, by becoming as hard and cold as his father demands that he be.

It would be easy to think his gentleness gone completely, and to accordingly expect that he would reject her embrace as harshly as their father spurned Wanda's not long ago. Yet when Lorna draws close, her brother tenses — but doesn't back away. He lets her embrace him. He is hard and lean in her arms, the race of his heart so many times faster than that of a normal man, but he doesn't push her away.

After a moment, his arms lift and he returns the embrace, pulling her close. His head bows over hers.

"If she is being controlled, then purge her of it," he tells her, his voice low. "Then I will not kill her."

*

For all that his words rang of their father's voice and tone, Pietro's actions were still his own. He still was accepting where their father was absent, or where he rejected. Still, there was more hesitance this time in the way that the youngest sibling wrapped her arms around her brother. Before had been filled with warmth, with trust that was newly kindled alongside hope for a better future. Now, it was a goodbye. An air of defeat and depressive looping of her arms around his slim waist. She had saved her brother, but what would come of that in the future? Had she saved one life to ruin another?

Lorna pressed her head against her sibling's chest, her eyes closing briefly as she simply held onto him, listening to the rapid beat of his heart. There was no easing to her posture as his arms lifted to close around her, as Pietro tucked his head over her own. Lorna held on, a gentle press of her arms around him, her weight sagging against his own for the moment. A younger sister seeking comfort in a hug from her older brother.

His words brought a flicker of determination to her green eyes, eyes that set her apart from her siblings, from their father. Green where the rest were blue. The only gift she knew for certain came from her mother.

A shift followed after beat, and she pulled back, her arms falling away after a brief squeeze. "Okay." She mumbled, her gaze lifting to peer upwards at him. She could do it, somehow. She could save Illyana, and in return, save Pietro. Save him one more step further down the road that their father set out for him. And just like that, she had a goal. Impossible, and improbable given the circumstances.. but Lorna had a path to take.

"Okay." She repeated, and defeat was no longer weighing down her shoulders. She adjusted her backpack again, and pushed her hair away from her features.

"I guess.. I'll see you when I see you."

*

There is one thing that Magneto cannot destroy about his son. Pietro is a brother, down to the very core of him. Lorna's body language, here and now, is that of a little sister seeking an older brother's support, and he responds instantly to that tacit plea for comfort. She sags against him, and his strength holds her up. It protects her, if only for a little while.

Yet there cannot be a perfect comfort in this. That much is clear in the hesitance to her embrace, the melancholic thoughts that dog her mind. Will they ever agree? Or will son continue to follow his father's path, further and further away from any chance of them ever standing on the same side?

Either way, there is something she can do to try to forestall this. Save Illyana, and perhaps she can save her brother.

Presently they part. A glance up into his face yields half a moment of her brother looking more as she remembers him… before that coldness returns to roost on his features. He reaches to clasp her shoulder.

"Take care," he says. "Use your judgment. If she cannot be saved, protect yourself. First and foremost."

His hand pulls away, and after a last look, he turns away to find his twin.

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