Chapter Five: Erik's Story
Disclaimer: All belongs to Marvel. etc, etc, etc. Damn it all.
Words in //slashes// indicate telepathic conversation.
Words in *asterisks* indicate thoughts.
Looking unusually delicate, Rogue lay motionless on the infirmary bed, the soft sound of her breathing the only visual indication that she was still alive. Erik leaned forward, eyes fixed on her face, while on the other side of the bed Wolverine picked up Rogue's limp hand. Neither man had moved from Rogue's side since she was first brought in.
*Wake up,* Erik begged silently. *Open your eyes Rogue, show me that you're going to be all right. I don't want to lose you too, not like this.*
Wolverine squeezed Rogue's hand. "I'm not going to lie to you, kid," he said. "There's something about betrayal that cuts deep, but you pull through it."
Rogue's eyelashes fluttered and she stirred, her fingers curving around Wolverine's hand. She opened her eyes and looked at them, a sad smile curving her lips. One solitary tear ran down her cheek. "You two."
Erik restrained the impulse to envelop her in a tight embrace. "Welcome back, Rogue," he smiled, brushing a strand of hair away from her cheek.
She flinched a little and her smile faltered. Removing her hand from Wolverine's she touched her forehead. "My head hurts," she murmured in confusion. "And it's... quiet."
"Charles drove them out," Wolverine reminded her. "They won't bother you again."
"Even Zaladane," Xavier confirmed as he wheeled into the infirmary. "I'm glad that you're awake, Rogue."
"How long have Ah been...?"
"Not too long," Erik reassured her. "And when you are feeling better, Wanda will want to see you," he smiled wryly. "Although she's not sure if you want to see her."
"Ah... don't know." Rogue rubbed her forehead. "Ah feel so confused."
"Understandable," Xavier said. "Erik, Logan, would you excuse us for a moment?"
"Sure, Chuck," Wolverine got to his feet. "Shall I start looking?"
"Yes, that's probably a good idea."
Erik hovered for a moment, but a particularly strong glare from Xavier finally convinced him to leave - albeit reluctantly.
"What are you looking for?" Erik asked Logan once they were out in the corridor.
"Not what, who," Logan answered. "I'm going to find Mystique, find out what the hell she thought she was doing screwing around with Rogue's life like that."
Erik's mouth twisted in distaste. "Mystique enjoys playing games with people, the fact that this was her foster daughter wouldn't make much of a difference."
"She worked for you once," Logan stared suspiciously at him. "Did you have any idea?"
"That Mystique had adopted Rogue? No," Erik shook his head. "I knew that Mystique found her and was hiding her, but she found many young mutants."
"All right, yes, for me," he glared. "Was it absolutely necessary to bring that up?"
Logan matched Erik's glare. "I don't want to see Rogue hurt again by someone she trusts," he growled. "I know you don't believe in Xavier's views and you're just biding your time until you're proved right."
"Which I will be," Erik bit out.
"You think?" Logan smirked. "Humanity might just surprise you."
"Huh. I doubt it," Erik said almost sadly. "Charles' dream is just that, a dream. I believed it once, tried to live for it, but the more I know of humanity, the further away that dream becomes."
"But you're here now," Logan was surprised by Erik's unusual openness.
"Yes, living amongst fools," Erik stared unseeing down the corridor. "All of you brave, loyal and powerful, but fools none the less," he refocused on Logan. "You wonder why I stay here? There are a few reasons, but one of them is that I've realised that there is no reason for me to hasten the inevitable and another is," he smiled, "because I do not want to hurt Rogue."
"Humph," Logan turned away. "You remember that, bub."
Erik remained where he was for a moment, musing on the conversation that had just taken place as well as thinking about the girl in the infirmary. The sound of hesitant footsteps dragged him out of his thoughts and he looked around to see Wanda standing a couple of metres away, an anxious expression on her pale face.
"How is she?"
"Xavier says she'll be alright, but she's very weak right now," Erik regarded her. "He's just talking to her right now. Maybe you can see her once he's done."
Wanda nodded. "So," she said hesitantly, "where does that leave us now?"
"Us - you and I - is up to you," Erik regarded her seriously. "I would prefer us not to be enemies and to build a new relationship out of the ashes of the old. Despite all of the bitterness and," he coughed, "some temporal issues, I am still your biological father."
Wanda considered this. "Perhaps I was a bit hasty condemning you," she said, looking away. "You didn't have to help Rogue tonight, it would have even hastened what you consider to be inevitable to have a super-powered mutant running amok through the city. Wasn't that your intention with the sentinel?"
"You're very astute sometimes, Wanda," Erik said wryly. "Yes, originally I had intended to reveal us to the world using the sentinel. I had thought it time for mutants to stop hiding in the shadows and reveal their superiority to the world. In hindsight that was probably not one of my brightest ideas. The same with tonight, although I never even considered using Rogue as a tool to expose us all."
Wanda looked at him then, a small smile on her lips. "Yes, you have changed. I used to think you were incapable of feeling, that nothing would touch you," her voice sharpened slightly. "Not even your own child's unhappiness."
Erik was silent for a moment. "There was a very good reason why I put you in the asylum, Wanda. I wanted you to survive."
"Survive?" Wanda was disbelieving.
"You were a danger to yourself and those around you. How long do you think ordinary humans would have allowed someone so dangerous to live?"
"Oh come on! No one would have staked me through the heart, we don't live in the Dark Ages anymore!"
"Don't underestimate the power of fear," an expression of suffering flashed across his face. "I've learnt that lesson too well. So did Anya."
Erik hesitated. "Perhaps it is time you knew," he mused. "But I cannot tell you alone. This concerns Pietro as well."
"Oh." Wanda frowned. "Why that idiot?"
"He is your brother and my son. What I will tell you concerns family, and I don't want to be repeating this story twice."
The door of the infirmary opened and they could hear Xavier's voice telling Rogue not to worry. Wanda bit her lip. "Will you tell us tomorrow?" she urged.
Erik hesitated again, but it was too late to back out now. "Very well, come to the mansion tomorrow afternoon. Bring Pietro."
"I will," she turned to Xavier as he came up to them. "Professor, is it okay if I see Rogue now?"
"Certainly, Wanda, but don't tire her out, keep your visit short for now."
Wanda nodded and went in to see Rogue.
Xavier looked at Erik. "How are you two doing?"
Erik sighed. "I am not sure. I think she has forgiven me to some extent. I have decided to tell her and Pietro about Anya."
Xavier sucked in his breath. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"No. For one thing, it makes me feel like - how did Evan put it? Oh yes - shit. Remembering the past is never pleasant. But perhaps they will understand some of my actions better, and it is time that they knew."
"Very well then," said Xavier. "It's your decision. And if you would like something to take your mind off the past, perhaps you could turn your attentions to some pressing issues, for example the Acolytes."
"Yes, yes, yes. I'll take care of them after I've spoken to Pietro and Wanda. Happy?"
"Yes, thank you." Xavier smiled. "I see you're becoming accustomed to your current situation Erik, you're even beginning to sound like the other teenagers."
Xavier wheeled away as Erik stared after him, spluttering in outrage.
Rogue lay back on her pillows and closed her eyes. Her head still ached and she felt so tired. Professor Xavier wasn't too concerned when she told him how weak she felt, he said it was only to be expected after everything that had happened. Rogue sighed. She couldn't really remember most of the events of the last few hours, and she was somewhat glad about that. What she did recall wasn't pleasant and muddled in with confusing thoughts about Mystique.
"Hi," Wanda poked her head around the screen. "Can I come in?"
Rogue's eyes flashed open and she stared at the other girl in surprise. Wanda was the last person she had expected to visit.
"Sure!" Rogue gave Wanda a weak, but sincere, smile of welcome. "Have a seat."
Wanda hesitated by the chair, before sitting down on a corner of the bed. "Ummm... I wanted to say..."
"That's what I wanted to say!"
The two girls stared at each other, and then started giggling.
"Um, so peace then?" Rogue asked.
"Peace," Wanda nodded. "I had a talk with my fath... with Erik."
"Is he still breathing?"
Wanda grinned. "It'll all heal. No, we just talked. He was... rather open. Maybe what happened has shaken him up, I don't know, but he seems to be different now."
"That's what Ah've been telling you!" Rogue sighed in exasperation.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Wanda waved her hand dismissively. "He didn't stick YOU in an asylum for years."
Rogue put her hand over her face. "Wanda, Ah'm not gonna fight with you about that. For one thing, Ah'm too tired, and Ah have a splitting headache. Can't you just accept that he's sorry about it?"
"He took away my life!"
"That's funny, that's more or less what Zaladane said about me," Rogue glared. "You want to sound like her?"
"Don't insult me!" Wanda snapped. "I think I'm entitled to some anger."
"True. Just don't overdo it is all Ah ask. And especially not now cos Ah'd really hate to have to get up out of mah nice comfy bed and kick your ass right now."
"Like you could."
"Oh, you want to bring it on?" Rogue hauled herself upright. "Alright then, let's see what you've got! Ah can take you with mah bare hands!"
"Okay, okay!" Wanda waved her hands at Rogue. "I'll let it go for now. Just lie back down! You're making the machines beep in an alarming way!"
"Fine," Rogue sniffed as she flopped back down, secretly relieved. Such a minor movement and she still felt a little giddy. "So, what did he say to you?"
"Not a lot, but I think he wants to tell me and Pietro something important, something to do with someone called Anya."
"No idea, but he sounded kind of sad." Wanda said thoughtfully. "She must have meant a lot to him."
Rogue fumed. "Ah want to hear about it too!"
"He said it was family stuff."
"So? Ah'm family, sort of. X-Men family. And we're all mutants! And he's mah friend. And Ah think Ah'm owed something!"
"Wow. Did you know your accent gets stronger when you're jealous?"
"Ah ain't jealous! Just cos y'all're leavin' me outta things don't make me jealous!"
"Riiight..." Wanda smiled.
"Besides, you owe me."
Rogue glared. "That's right! For acting so silly about Erik, for not telling me about Risty, AND for hitting me with a hex bolt! That hurt!"
"Are you trying to guilt trip me?!"
"Is it working?"
"Fine, fine, you can come..."
"Nuh uh. Ya'll come here. Ah'm on enforced bed rest for the next couple of days."
Wanda sighed. "Fine, okay."
There was a pause.
"You know, I've kind of missed you, Rogue."
"Ah've missed you too."
"But if anyone asks, we deny it."
"Was that Kurt?" Scott demanded.
"No, that was Mystique. Kurt was over by the stage then."
"I can see Jamie!"
"But there's only one of him, so it should be okay."
The X-Men were clustered around the TV, watching the special late edition news for coverage of the night's incidents. So far, several clips of Juggernaut, Sabretooth and occasional appearances by Mystique and Magneto had been shown, as well as a tonne of interviews with concert attendees. All the so-called eye-witnesses were extremely confused.
"It's the aliens man! They've come to get us!"
"No way, had to be hallucinogenic drugs in the air. Maybe a chemical spill."
"I think it was a publicity stunt just to sell the band's new album."
"I'm telling you it's aliens! It's a government conspiracy! The truth is out there!"
As the X-Men watched the guy get hustled away from the camera, Kitty sighed. "Like, thank God for the X-Files!"
"I know, it's been so much help to us!" Kurt agreed.
"So it looks like we are in the clear," Jean said, relaxing. "None of us appeared on tape, no one clearly saw what was going on, and of the few that DID get caught, one's a confirmed criminal, and everyone thinks Mystique was just wearing body paint."
"And Sabretooth looked like a wrestler. And Magneto... Magneto had that stupid bucket on his head," snickered Bobby.
There was a pause.
They all swivelled to see Erik standing behind them, arms crossed. "Bucket?!"
"Aheh, aheh, ahheh heh heh?" Bobby laughed hopefully. "Goodnight everybody!" He fled the room as Erik glared after him.
"How's Rogue?" Kurt broke through the silence.
"She's okay, Wanda is visiting her now."
"This must be some new definition of okay that I'm unfamiliar with," Ray muttered to Rahne.
"You left her alone with WANDA?" Kurt shrieked. "But they've been hating each other for weeks!"
"Look at it this way, Wanda's been hating me for years, and I'm still here."
"Somehow I am not comforted. I'm going to check on MY sister!" Kurt bamfed away.
"Man, he's been saying 'my sister' every two minutes!" Kitty moaned.
"Well, family's a big thing," Scott pointed out. "I can understand how he feels."
"He's right," Erik said.
There was another long pause as everyone gaped at them.
"You mean, you two are actually agreeing with each other?" Roberto said in shock. "My God, that's it! The Apocalypse is upon us!"
"Oh ha ha ha."
"I don't like this," Pietro said, hunching his shoulders. "Couldn't you have negotiated a better meeting place than Geek HQ?"
"It'll be fine," Wanda said shortly. "If they start anything, they'll regret it."
"I still don't like it," her brother grumbled as Wanda rang the doorbell to the mansion.
Scott, wearing a baseball cap and holding a bat, opened the door. The twins eyed the bat nervously while Scott glared at them. "What are you two doing here?" he demanded.
"They're here to see me," Erik said behind him. "Let them in, Summers, and stop being so paranoid."
Scott muttered something uncomplimentary under his breath and turned sharply away from the door, stomping past Erik.
"Don't let your bad mood spoil your game," Erik called after him.
"Game?" Pietro raised an eyebrow. "What're those geeks up to now?"
"Baseball," Erik replied. "Supposedly good for building character and encouraging team spirit."
"Naturally you declined to join in," said Wanda.
"The New Mutants are part of the game," Erik replied shortly. "I'd rather impale myself on something than get involved in a 'friendly' baseball game with those children. Besides," he added, waving them to follow. "I never learnt to play baseball."
"Fath... Erik," Wanda called. "We have to go to the infirmary."
He turned, raising his eyebrow. "Why?"
"Because I promised Rogue that she would be part of this."
"I did emphasise that this was 'family', but..."
Erik sighed. "You don't need to say anymore, Wanda, I think I get the picture."
"Hey! Don't I get consulted about this?" Pietro blurted. "I don't want Rogue knowing intimate details about our family!"
Wanda pinched his arm. "She likes him," she hissed nodding at Erik. "How much more intimate do you think she can get?"
Rogue stared at the ceiling over her bed. "102, 103, 104," she counted the specks. "105, 106..."
"Rogue? Are you awake? How are you feeling?" Erik inquired, secretly hoping she might be asleep.
"107! Did you know that there were 107 specks on this ceiling?"
"She's lost it," said Pietro.
"No, Ah'm just really, really bored. Hello Pietro, been locked into any closets lately?"
Pietro snarled at her as he entered and sat down on the only chair.
"Hey Rogue," Wanda said.
"What, no flowers? No chocolate? What kind of friend are you? It's bad enough that HE doesn't give me anything."
"I thought Kitty was bringing you some food." Erik said, as he and Wanda each sat down on opposite sides of the bed.
"You call that food?! It's not enough that I'm lying here, but I have to be poisoned as well?" Rogue waved at a tray by her bed. "Kurt keeps bringing me her experiments."
"What's this?" Pietro asked, poking at it.
"Dr Pepper S'mores. I think it's got chocolate and cool whip and other, unidentifiable, things in it. Including Dr Pepper of course."
"Oh." Pietro stopped poking.
"Help yourself," Rogue smirked.
Erik cleared his throat. "Shall we get started?"
"Yes," said Rogue. "Who's Anya?"
"You've been stewing about this all night, haven't you?" Wanda asked.
"Ah have not!"
"Your accent is getting thicker again."
Erik sighed. "Anya was my firstborn."
"WehaveanotherSISTER?!" Pietro was the first to recover.
"Had. She died before you were born." Erik turned away and stared at the wall. "How much of my past do you know?"
"Uhhhh..." Pietro and Wanda looked at each other.
"You're 72 years old," Rogue volunteered. "So that means you were born in 1931."
"Yes, I was born in 1928," Erik confirmed, "on the borders of Germany and Poland. My parents were middle-class, non-practicing Jews."
"Ah," said Rogue. "Suddenly Ah'm beginning to see where this is going?"
"You had to flee to America to escape the Nazis?" Pietro asked.
"We were not that lucky," Erik said sadly. "My parents, my sister, all my family were taken and placed in a camp. Including me. They died there. I survived. That is why you have no other family."
"While I was in the camps I met a girl, Magda. She was rescued along with me by some American soldiers in 1945."
"Wait, rescued? Why didn't you just burst out of the camps? You had your powers, right? They must have manifested by then."
"Extreme malnutrition and disease can delay the onset of puberty," Erik said distantly.
There was a long pause before Erik continued with his story.
"Magda and I settled down and tried to rebuild our lives, together. Eventually we married and had a daughter - Anya. She was my hope, my talisman." His voice faltered. "She would have been 43 this year, if she'd lived."
"What happened to her?" Pietro asked.
"She was murdered," Erik's voice turned to ice. "By humans."
"She was a mutant?"
"I don't know. She died before her powers, if any, could manifest. She was only 10 when they set the fire."
"They BURNED her?" Wanda said incredulously.
Erik smiled bleakly. "You said the other night that it wasn't the Dark Ages anymore Wanda, but they're not as far back as you think they are. Yes, they burned her, and Magda also. I couldn't get to them in time to save them. I didn't have enough control over my powers, they had only manifested very recently. I was still trying to comprehend what was happening to me, and unfortunately showed my powers to the wrong person. The foreman of the company I was working for refused to pay me, and in my anger I displayed my abilities. He took his revenge by burning all I loved."
"Okay, Ah'm beginning to see why you're not that thrilled about humanity," Rogue said.
"What did you do to the foreman?" Wanda demanded.
"Oh I killed him, and all the people around too. I don't really remember what happened, except a great rage that welled up within me and then exploded. When I awoke, everyone was dead."
"Good." Wanda said fiercely.
"Somehow I thought you'd approve," Erik said softly. "But it couldn't bring them back."
"So, if Magda died..." Rogue followed a thought.
"Then, who's our mother?" Pietro asked quietly.
Erik sighed. "Her name was Isabelle. She was a psychiatrist and tried to help me."
"Isabelle," Wanda rolled the name around on her tongue. "Our mother's name was Isabelle. It's pretty."
"I had been wandering for years, lost, trying to find my purpose. Once I thought I found it in Israel - that is where I met Charles Xavier - but it was not to be. Then one day I met Isabelle." He smiled at Wanda. "You look very much like her - dark hair, flashing eyes, and fiery temper. I didn't expect to love her, but I did. We married and for a while all was well. Then I started to pour my energy into the Cause."
"Mutant supremacy?" Rogue guessed.
"I did not want to see mutants being treated the way the gypsies and the Jews were, all those years before." Erik sighed. "I saw more mutants appearing all the time, and I began to fear that it was only a matter of time before the dark days descended again. Charles had his hope of mutant and human co-existence. But history, and Anya, told a different story. They would hate us, they would hunt us, and they would kill us if we did not fight back. And I was determined not to lose again."
"So you poured your energy into the Cause, and Isabelle was unhappy?" Rogue asked.
"She never said anything, but I probably should have noticed that something was bothering her."
"Was she a mutant? Did she know you were one?" Pietro asked.
"No to both questions. But she found out one day. I was training in secret, honing my abilities. Isabelle had begun to suspect that I had taken a lover, and she followed me. Instead of discovering a mistress, she found out my true nature. And it horrified her." He bowed his head. "She fled from me in terror and disgust."
"How stupid, if you truly love someone you accept them for what they are!" Rogue exploded.
Erik gave her a long look, before smiling gently.
"I looked for her of course," he continued. "But by the time I tracked her down, she had died giving birth to the two of you."
"Poor mother," Wanda said. "She feared you, and yet she had us."
"Do you think she would have hated us too?" Pietro's usually rapid speech was slow and hesitant.
"I... I don't believe so." Erik stuttered slightly. "I'd like to believe that she would have come around and gotten used to the idea eventually. And after all, you were both very... cute... as babies."
"Is this the cue for photos?" Rogue asked.
"NO!" Wanda and Pietro shouted.
"Anyway, the rest you know. I kept the two of you with me until Wanda's powers became too obvious. After that, I placed Pietro in a foster home, and continued my work, waiting for you both to be strong enough to join me."
Wanda covered her eyes with her hands. "Did you think what happened to Anya would happen to us?" she asked in a thick voice.
"Yes," Erik said bluntly. "I placed you in the asylum for your own protection. It sounds harsh, and it is, but that is the way I am. The way life has taught me to be."
Wanda didn't take her hands away and Erik continued. "I ensured that Charles knew about you and that he became your psychiatrist," Erik's mouth twisted. "I am not the only one to hate for leaving you there, Wanda, or who thought it was the best place for you. Charles could have taken you away at any time, but you could not control yourself, you were too risky to release."
"You never visited."
"I know, I am sorry."
Pietro said nothing, he simply stared at the floor, trying to assimilate all the information he had just received and understand it. He recalled his own hurt when his father had handed him over to the Maximoff family without explanation and for the first time really empathised with his twin.
A neutral silence fell as they each picked over their thoughts.
"Oh Rogue, you're gonna like this one!" Kurt sang joyously. "Pepperoni pizza with wasabi and chillies, topped with cheese whizz!"
"Oh God," Rogue moaned. "Get away from me."
"Hey what is Pietro doing here? Why all the gloomy faces?" Kurt asked. "You look like you're at a funeral!"
"We kind of are," Wanda said. "A funeral for the sister we never knew."
"Oh man, that's rough." Kurt said. "I'm sorry. But, you all have each other now, and that's good, right? I'm sorry to barge in like this, but I just wanted to check that my sister was okay and to give her this delicious food!"
"If it's so delicious, YOU eat it!" Rogue retorted.
"Your sister?" Pietro asked.
"But of course, Mystique is both our mothers!"
"Mystique may have given birth to you, but she only adopted me," Rogue pointed out.
"Now that's just denial talking. Family is family, and I have always wanted a brother or sister." He smiled at her, before looking at Erik. "And just think, when you and Erik get married, he will be my brother! Heh, and I will be Uncle Kurt!"
"UNCLE?" Pietro choked.
"MARRIED?" Wanda shrieked.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" Rogue yelled.
Erik just gaped at him.
"Of course I'm a little uncomfortable with you being a supervillain, but since my mother is one too I guess it doesn't really matter," Kurt mused.
Erik found his voice. "Kurt, I believe you are moving MUCH too far in the future right now."
"Am I? Okay then. I can wait." Kurt picked up the untouched Dr Pepper S'mores and bamfed away.
"Can I just say, EWWWWW!!!" Pietro said loudly.
"I'll say," Rogue sniffed at her dinner. "Chilli AND wasabi???"
Walking home that evening, Wanda turned to look at Pietro when he abruptly halted, staring out at the early stars.
"Pietro? What are you doing?"
"Huh? Oh, Wanda." Pietro turned back to staring out over the view from the picnic spot. "Nothing. Nothing. I'm just... thinking." He sat down suddenly on the grass.
Wanda noted that he hadn't reacted with his normal fear and terror and then nodded. "Yeah, I've been thinking too." She sat down next to him.
"Do you wonder what she would have been like?" Pietro asked.
"Yeah." His eyes took on a far-away look. "Our older sister. I bet she would have been smart."
Wanda looked at him sadly for a bit. "Yeah, and probably beautiful too."
"Powerful too," Pietro added. "Maybe she would have had superspeed like me."
"Or hexbolts like me," Wanda joined him in the game. "She might have been able to help me. Teach me."
"She never would have left us," Pietro added. "She'd have talked our father around."
"She'd have been able to twist him around her little finger," Wanda agreed. "And probably our mother too."
"Our mother would have forgiven our father when we grew up."
"Yeah. Although... if Anya was around then her mother would be too, so Isabelle wouldn't have been our mother."
Pietro frowned as this piece of reality intruded on his fantasy. "Maybe he saved Anya but couldn't save Magda."
"Sounds reasonable," Wanda said, consigning the fantasy image of Magda to the flames. *Sorry.* "Or maybe she got sick or something."
"Yes! Sick, and so he and Anya carried on together. I bet she was a really sweet girl. Never lost her temper."
"Never gave up on people."
"A great cook."
"Always smiling and singing."
The twins leaned against each other, fantasising their perfect older sister, who could have been sister, mother, confidante and friend all rolled up into one. They could almost see her.
Pietro sighed and let the fantasy go. "She probably never would have let us go into her room."
"She'd have made us do our homework," Wanda added. "And chores."
"But maybe she would have helped with them," Pietro tried to recapture the moment.
"We'll never know, Pietro," Wanda hesitantly reached out and held onto his hand. "She never had a chance to show us what she could have been."
"Do you think father misses her most?"
"Me too." Pietro sighed. "I don't even mind much that our mother didn't like mutants. I mean, it kind of hurts, but I think she would have gotten over it."
"Mmmm," Wanda mentally compared her own temper and tendency to hold grudges to her shadowy mother-figure.
"I just wish," Pietro halted. "I mean, I wish... I wish..."
"That there had been someone for us," Wanda said. "Someone to fill the gaps. Someone to be a real family."
Pietro went a bit pale. "I didn't mean it like that, Wanda, I mean, you're still my sister and everything!"
Wanda squeezed his fingers lightly and for the first time he noticed her holding his hand. "I haven't been a very good sister."
Pietro closed his fingers tightly around hers. "I wasn't much of a brother either," he said, hope rising desperately inside.
"But it seems to be a time of second chances," Wanda continued, apparently aimlessly. "Don't you think?"
"I do," Pietro's grip tightened. "I really do."
"So, maybe we should give each other a second chance too," Wanda said, resting her head on Pietro's shoulder. "How about it, brother mine?"
"That sounds nice... sis," Pietro said nervously. "I'd really like that."
"Then let's do it."
They sat together for another hour, saying silent goodbyes to family they'd never known, before returning home.
Author's note: Magneto was revealed to have been in a camp in Poland as a boy in 'Operation Rebirth'. Due to the changing timelines in Evolution compared to the comic universe, we tweeked Magneto's past a little. In the comic universe, Magda was Pietro & Wanda's mother, but it is highly unlikely that she would have been having children in her mid fifties, so we made Isabelle - who Magneto was in love with in the comic universe (before she was murdered) - the twins mother.
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