1963-12-09 - Family Matters? What?
Summary: Lorna and Erik meet a gaggle of interesting people who are… family? In the park.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None' — please, don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
lorna magneto wanda pietro billy 

Lorna had been uncharacteristically quiet since her father had picked her up at the Frost Institute, her hair once more the dyed brown rather than the lime green that was natural. A sullen, morose and possibly even resentful silence, answering any attempts at conversation with one or two word answers and a shrug. She toed the ground when questioned, looked away and hunkered further into her jacket.

The very definition of sulking teenager.

Even the promise of a walk and fresh air around the park earned nothing, all smiles fading away as quickly as they appeared. The air was crisp, but lacking the biting wind of winter at least when in the sunlight. People all around walked or ran through the pathways, many chatting happily. Holiday theme'ed decorations hung everywhere and more than a few bells were rung for charities on the corner. Performers sang and chestnuts were roasted on little grills to be sold with hot chocolate.

All in all, it was picturesque.


Christmas carolers are the worst. Particularly the childish variety, a group of boys under ten being shepherded along by three tutting mothers in peacoats and two au pairs from some part of Europe that considers 35'F to be abominably arctic, unless experienced on a mountainside. Pretty blondes give a look over their shoulders to any handsome young man, rather than their charges chanting, "Let it snow, let it snow, noses bloowwww!"

Wanda buries her hands in the pockets of her leather jacket, a tall flute of burgundy, her footsteps carrying her in a straight line obeying no paved path set down by the city of New York's parks department. Her boots swish through the flattened, frost-seared grass as often as treading on asphalt. It's pointless to try to speak to the ephemeral blur around her that constitutes her lunatic lunar brother. The young woman pauses briefly as the will o' wisp dances midair, visible only to her Sight-saturated gaze. Anyone but a mage might lack awareness of the ritual spell guiding her, as much a compass as the actual compass she checks from time to time. Then she veers straight north past yet another bench.

They should be here…


So, this is what parenting a teenager is like.

Erik's last encounter with Lorna hadn't ended on the best of notes, but he's nothing more to go on than that. Given that his efforts at cheering her up are falling on dead waters, he finally decides to guide her toward one of the vendors selling roasted chestnuts and hot cocoa. He orders two of each, and offers Lorna her portion.

Erik sips on the cocoa carefully, not wanting to burn his tongue, then turns a heavy look upon his daughter. "Lorna, something is troubling you. What is it?"


The hot chocolate and chestnuts were accepted with a soft, mumbled thank-you. The young woman, angling her gaze low as she eyed the steaming cup in her hand. She bit her chapped lower lip, clearly not wanting to talk about whatever it was that weighed on her mind. A grimace pulled at her expression as she toed the ground, kicking at the frosted pebbles at her feet rather than responding for a long moment.

"It's nothing. I talked to Miss Frost. It's fine." Clearly it wasn't, especially as her expression darkened and a few pieces of change the vendor was accepting from another patron flew out of their hand and skidded down the path.

"I don't want to talk about it." Her voice jumped in pitch and her expression crumbled, her brows furrowing and lips turned downwards. She almost looked closer to crying.


Tightening lines carry her among the vendors, leading the dusky-haired young woman among crackling fires and fragrant scents at war with one another. Charcoal and chocolate, roasted nuts and caramelized sugar wash over Wanda, and she bears a slightly distracted air to her high-boned face. The amaranthine wisp bounces overhead in whirligig swirls, wobbling in its orbit, unseen to the vast majority. Her dilated pupils narrow, a tinge of violet chrome over their surface, and she pauses long enough to peer through the residents lined up in their wool coats for a paper bag or a foam cup.

Wanda's dark brows knit slightly. Her ephemeral escort bobs along, weaving among the masses, and send her after a tall, pale-haired man and his incongruously dark-haired companion. They're near enough to a line that she can fall in behind them. Disregarded for a time, she searches among the other nearby folks, expression a mask.

It does not explain why the damn wisp bobs around Erik's head like a manic halo. Magic, however invisible, has a presence, a minute deviation to the atmosphere that someone might feel. They might not. This one, though, leaves a faint tingle to the blood, a flutter to the belly.


There is a long moment that follows, during which Erik looks toward Lorna with a long expression. He knows that look, and has likely worn it himself more than a few times in his youth.

"All right," he tells her, leaving it at that. He turns and continues walking along, testing the first chestnut with a simple gesture of popping it into his mouth. "I'm… sorry I haven't been around lately. Logan and I have taken to training some of the younger students. It's…"

The tall man pauses for a moment, his face curling. His eyes glance about, perplexed, but in a moment, it passes. "It's been challenging, to say the least."


A sniffle follows, and Lorna rubs the back of her sleeve against her nose as she moves to follow along after him. With cheeks flushed from cold and the torrent of emotions she was struggling with, she bumped against his arm lightly, her figure clinging close to the shadow of his person as they started to walk. She didn't catch the odd sensations that her father picked up on, either too absorbed with her own feelings, or simply not picking up on it.

As the coolness of the air quickly zaps the heat away from the hot chocolate, Lorna cautiously sips at the steaming liquid, her lips pursing together.

"You've been busy.." A shrug, and another averted look to the ground.

"I've been training with Miss Frost…" A thick swallow and she shrugged again.

"Tata.. if I did.. something.. something bad with my powers.. and it wasn't an.. an accident.. exactly.."


Wanda stands behind the father of the year and his sniffling teenaged companion. Keeping a little distance, Wanda does not move ahead in a line to capture herself any form of roasted nut or suspiciously powdered drink cut with thin milk. She skims after the two walking, occasionally checking back and that damnable light refuses to move. Her gaze keeps cutting away from the shifting array of customers, and at one point, she stands on tiptoe. Her leather boots creak in the cool air. "Excuse me," is given as a reflexive request as she means to move past the couple, and the dark lilt to her mezzo-soprano voice carries an indelibly European accent. To the untrained ear, somewhere between Moscow and Athens. Triangulate a little closer and the Transian, sister to Romanian, might give an educated guess.

The honey-skinned girl pauses in passing, however, looking back over her shoulder and actively noting the liquid eyes, sorrowful expression to a somewhat familiar face. "Good evening, girl at the electronics store," she murmurs, putting her in a spectrum of haphazard interactions. Little ever changes about her except the long leather pants, the glint of a fine gold chain at her throat. Pausing, she glances up to Erik and then back. "You are well?"


A blue streak passes by, some few hundred yards away, in the park.

It crosses back, a heartbeat later, but at an angle to its original path.

One more pass and the streak forms a momentary triangle that anyone above might be able to appreciate. This happens a couple of times more, in slightly different direction, with imperceptible pauses to: examine people, examine people's belongings, partake of people's meals, and maybe rearrange some people's clothes…

Until the streak comes to a halt just beside Wanda. "Sis! Was looking all over for you — took seconds. Do you know how long that is for your poor bro — who are these peop — ?"

He stops when he recognises Lorna.

Oh shit, he says in Transian.


Eventually, the truth will come out. Erik slows, drinking from his cup while looking toward Lorna in a manner that is both heavy and piercing at once. He's silent for a time, before making a quiet confession.

"Something similar happened to me, recently," he tells her. Thinking of Dallas darkens his expression. There is regret there, to be sure. Guilt, and also, anger. "I tried to save someone. People were hurt, instead."

He's about to say more, when Wanda makes her presence known in an interesting way. Erik stills his footsteps, and looks between the two for a moment, when the arrival of that blur causes his hair to blow a bit. The displacement actually pushes him just a touch, and his eyes dart toward Pietro with brief surprise.

"Amazing," he catches himself murmuring aloud.


A heavy sigh escaped Lorna as she paused to look up at her father, her brows pinched and she worried at her lower lip further. "Really?" Her voice high pitched and decidedly small. Green eyes scanned over Erik's features and she shifted her weight on her toes and back onto her heels. Her breath clouding around her in the chill winter air.

"I-I pulled a building—" She broke off as Wanda approached and greeted her, and dyed brown eyebrows leapt upwards as she backed up a pace to put herself closer to her father.

"Uhm, hi, err.. yeah.. It's Lorna, but it's okay I forgot your name too, uhm.. Tata, this is.. uhm.. we met before when there was uhh stuff.. happening at an electronics store.. Err.. she can fly." She offered lamely, with a wave toward Wanda.

But further conversation broke off at the blur that appeared beside Wanda. Lorna jumped, dropped her hot chocolate and chestnuts and screamed. One hand reached out to cling to Erik's the other waved toward Pietro and /shoved/ on whatever metal happened to be on his person. "VAMPIRE!"


There's like some crazy hoodoo going on, and Billy knows him his hoodoo. Okay, actually, he doesn't at all. But, there's some sort of tuggy and pokey magicnessism that seems to be sorta connected to him? Calling him, seeking him out. He tries to will it away, to no avail, "Go away, spell!" And he teleports away, across the street. But the magic is still after him!

He must have pissed off those stupid pet-wards of Strange's, and they've sent their feral cousins to hunt him down. That's the only meaningful explanation. So. Billy begins to escape! Teleporting from one place to the next, bouncing down the street, getting nearer and nearer to Central Park. "Bad spell, bad!" he curses.

He just sorta pops into existence over by the group, only now he's not just feeling grabby magics, but there's like a happy ball of bouncy magic and Billy immediately takes a disliking to it, glaring at the wisp and shaking a finger, "Stop that this instant! And leave that poor man alone!" He eyes Erik a moment, but like, has no idea what the magic is really doing. "Oh, Hi, Wand—" Then Lorna's all like, VAMPIRE, and Billy is regarding Pietro oddly, "But he's not sparkling at all."


That Pietro and Wanda are twins eludes some people. He's the moon to her sun, winter chill to her summer warmth. It's altogether clear in the bone structure of the face, the mirrored expression of surprise lasting but a moment. Her voice drops in volume, a private murmur in Transian. "«What?»"

She hasn't the chance to ask further, Lorna's glass-shattering shriek putting her upon the recoil. The will-o-wisp merrily spins a widening orbit around the four of them, bobbing off the dandelion-fluff head of the elder Maximoff, then soaring back over Erik with an excitable burst of sparks when Billy deigns to notice it. A sentient spell? It could just be, growing at least a magnitude in brilliance that shines hot lilac. They might all be feeling exhilaration in an adrenaline rush less exciting than accusations of vampirism, but it's a decidedly bubbly effect.

Split attention: there Billy is. Her twin is going backwards, likely. This leaves almost no choice. Her English is perfectly accented and understandable, "No, Lorna. Stop it!"


Pietro had been about to say other things.

He had been about to DO other things — like noogie his nephew(s), particularly Billy — but Lorna's shriek has him momentarily streaking away (that's a speed reference, and not to imply he is doing so naked)… with a little assistance from Lorna.

That is to say, she shoved her magnetic powers against Pietro's watch, earrings, belt buckle, as well as the coins in his pockets, and a few other 'appropriated' items, to send him disappearing out of the park and into the street.

Horns honk.

People yell.

A woman screams: "MY BABY!! — Oh, thank God."

And suddenly Pietro is back — wearing boxers instead of trousers. Apparently Lorna's efforts worked a little too well, and tore the man's pants from his legs. Marching up to Wanda's side again, he points a finger at Lorna and exclaims:

"Hey! I am being better, yes? That was — where are my pants?"


Startled, Erik clenches down on his goods, prompting the cocoa to spill a bit. He hisses at the hot liquid and quickly passes both into one hand, so that he might fling the excess free from his fingers before it burns.

He looks to Lorna with complaint, before the young man whizzes off again. Erik looks back to where Pietro was, then tries to find him, when there he is again upon the tail of a blur.

"Scheisse," he curses, and looks between the lot of them. "What is this about? Lorna?" The fact that Pietro isn't wearing pants earns him a cross look from Erik.


The brunette continued to flail one hand in Pietro's direction while the other clung all the tighter to her father's side. Her features pale with fear as she stared, aghast, at Pietro. "YOU BIT ME!" She stared, wide eyed as she looked back to Wanda, to Pietro and back again. Billy's arrival barely a footnote in the young woman's panic.

Then she was reaching into her pockets to try to find some change and paperclips there to fling at Pietro, still shaking. All the metal in the area would doubtlessly be mimicking her in reflection by now.

"He's a /vampire/! You bit me! You don't get better from that! I have scars!" She shrieked, and more than a few passersby were staring by now.


"Pietro? I didn't need to know you were a boxers dude, man. You're like my Uncle. I did not need to know." complains Billy with a shake of his head, crossing his arms over his chest, pausing, and adding, "Thank Zeus you're not a briefs dude, man." Because that would be terrifying.

Then he blinks, lifting a hand a moment and throwing up a wall of pure telekinetic force around the Maximoff's (including him, he supposes). Only is it not really telekinesis so much as he had a little chat with Reality about the Properties of Air being passable and slipped Reality a fiver to arrange for Air to be like a solid (if transparent) wall. It just mostly seems telekineticy. He holds his hand up to maintain the barrier, and the air sorta… refracts oddly, rippled slightly.

"Now now no one's biting anyone, look, whoever you people are— let's everyone calm down." He thumbs his other hand at Pietro, "Look, he's not a vampire. Guy hugged me the other day and there was all body warmth and everything."

He blinks down as his belt buckle seems to be in open rebellion, "Umm stop that."


"«Pietro, hold on.»" For a moment, the other brunette fights against the magnetic impulse defying her. The golden chain rises around Wanda's neck, revealing a pentacle no larger than a silver dollar, glittering with precious gems. Knives in four places start to shift, and the steel boning reinforcing her corset presses in more sharply to her torso, not strong enough to cut off her breath yet. Interesting bruises will follow. The amber tone to her eyes fades away while the hardened wall of telekinetic force forms around them.

Her fingers shape a pyramid, steepled, as she utters a phrase translatable to none. White noise crashes around the five in a bubble, obscuring their conversation, yet invisible. "He is not a vampire. He is my brother," she utters, as those these two factors must exclusive. And in some ways, they are. Putting herself between the two Maximoffs (or a Kaplan by proxy), she frowns at Lorna. "You and your man are not in danger."

The glowing wisp bounces in slow orbits, and it's finally visible, at least within the constrained circle as it keeps bouncing off the telekinetic wall back at them.


Pietro holds up his hands, turning his torso to face everyone at least once… yes, those are 'love hearts' on his boxers. Firstly he glances at Billy and his lips pinch together at the corner of his mouth.

"Yes, I am boxers-man. Jeez, nephew — I need, you know, freedom down — never mind." Of course addressing the boxers is the foremost thing on the speedster's mind, and then he looks at Lorna and Magneto.

"I was vampire — I got better!" He spreads his arms into a helpless shrug. "I… don't even remember biting you, pretty lady, but you were tempting — I had a weak moment, and you should've been by yourself, and — ."

Okay, so maybe he does remember.

"I'm sorry, and I promise never to bite you again. Please… don't take any more of my clothes off."


The moment Lorna's magnetokinesis is cut loose, Erik's eyebrows shoot upward. All of those metal objects suddenly still mid-flight, before they can strike anyone or be ripped free from where they belong, but he soon realizes that it has nothing to do with his own power. He looks around at the others for a moment, his expression hard to read. "Lorna," he says, without looking to her, instead focusing upon those wisps that have made themselves visible. "That's quite enough."


The gaseous ball of light shifts a little more towards the red end of the spectrum and floats exactly where it is, several inches over Erik's head. Other than making the odd bob or two, it isn't moving anywhere. Apparently orders apply to intangible creations that shed a warm glow over the area.


How is it that everyone tells her to calm down when there's a man that /used/ to be a horrible blood sucking monster right there? The world was confusing. Lorna didn't exactly calm down, as several things happen all at once. Billy and Wanda do that weird reality warping thing, Pietro admits that he bit her, the jerk really. And then lastly, her father tells her that it was enough.

As if she wasn't already emotional before all this happened. But since she wasn't being actively attacked, her gaze hadn't left Pietro nor did she stop scowling or loosen her grip on her father's arm, she tried.

The young woman exhaled a shaky breath, lowering her hand and slowly, the metal objects around them ceased their shuddering.

"But Tata, he /bit/ me." She mumbled, reaching up to rub said neck where the scars remained beneath her jacket and turtleneck.


For his part, Billy isn't sure what is going on: Pietro was a vampire? Oookay. But he's gonna keep the wall of force up, just in case something starts up again. He's gotta defend his family, right? And… "Is that yours?" he asks of the crazy bubbly wisp, with a sidelong glance at Wanda.


Pietro glances back at Billy and gives him a, 'yeah, but I'm really, really, so much better now!' plaintive look. "I am sorry," says he, again, finally lowering his hands very slowly to his sides. "I am very, very sorry for all bitings — Past, Present, and Future — but I am vampire no more. I swear. Now. Can people please put their balls, force-fields and metal bits away so I can, you know, get some trousers?"


"Haven't we all done things we regret?" Erik asks Lorna. The words are direct, pointed and likely heavy in nature, but there is an underlying note of empathy for the young woman. He doesn't yet know what it was that has her feeling so guilt ridden, but perhaps that might help her to understand Pietro's position.

The man may have been about to say something else, but he turns and looks upward toward his forehead, where the amber wisp can be glimpsed from his upper peripheral. "Would someone mind explaining… that?"


Wanda brushes her hand over Pietro's arm, turning towards him and effectively blocking anyone in front of him from seeing his absence of pants. It helps to be the shorter of the two, especially in profile where her long, dark burgundy coat captures fascinating shadows along the bruised red-violet spectrum. Teeth sink into her lower lip, a bruised score left there from the past hours and days. Glittering eyes the same shade as the witchlight flick towards Billy, and she nods tersely to him. Not unkind, but composing her thoughts and anticipating the next backlash from Lorna, no doubt.

"A guide light." Erik receives an answer, the explanation in slightly more technical terms supplied to the younger man with the near exact same shade of hair she possesses… and the same cheekbones, for that matter, which are shared between five out of five people in a seven foot radius. "I set it to guide me to you, because I wanted to ask if you and Tommy would like to come for holiday dinner." Careful choice of words there, but this is a young woman wearing a pentacle. The wisp floats lower, the harmless illumination bouncing off Erik's hair. "It does no harm but it is mistaken." Her eyes narrow slightly and she asks slowly, "Are you or Lorna a Kaplan?"


There's a hesitation, but then Billy lowers his hand, and the force dissipates. "Right. Pants, priority 1, Pietro." At Wanda's explanation, Billy O faces for a moment, eyes widening slightly, "Oh." See? O face. But he nods his slowly, "So it's a family-finder. That explains why I felt some sorta magic tugging at me. I thought a ward had gone feral and was chasing me. Wait, Huh? They're not Kaplans." He pauses, eyeing Erik and Lorna a moment, he gestures to himself, "Billy Kaplan. That's me. Billy, I mean. Kaplan. Ummm." He squints at Erik some more, "Maybe distant cousin? Are you Jewish? I'm Jewish." Beat, "Maybe. Situation somewhat unclear of late."


The moment the force-field is down… Pietro is gone.

He returns a heartbeat later, with an entirely new wardrobe… while a man is left trying to chat up girls in naught but his underwear.

It… does not go well for him.

Pietro points a finger at Wanda, then Billy, then Lorna, then Magneto… and goes: "Hrm." Turning to Wanda, he puts his hands on his hips and and says, "Did you mess with time again and make yourself a whole family, Sister? Was your dear older brother not enough for you, hmm? What does that make the pretty one — ?" and he gestures toward Lorna, eyeing Magneto.

"That's her, not you. Sorry."

He swivels back to Wanda again. "Billy's twin sister? And the old guy? Old-er. Probably our imaginary grandfather from another timeline, yes? What the hell is going on?!"


"A… guide… light." Erik seems perplexed, but at the question, he shakes his head. "No, my name is Erik. Erik Lensherr." He turns toward Billy, eyes squinting slightly. "Yes, I was raised Jewish. In Poland." To Pietro he looks next, squinting even more. "Lorna is my daughter," he tells him.

By now, Erik's expression is one of contorted confusion. "We don't… have any other family," he tells them, sounding wholly convinced of the matter. Granted, those cheekbones are a match, an absolute match, but no… that's simply not possible.


There is Pietro here and gone; his twin sister patiently waits, even as the gust from his departure sends her dark hair around snapping fairly wildly over her shoulders. It hasn't even settled when he returns. "Yes, it is a finder. Maybe set to the wrong connection. The third star has not risen, Pietro, do not tease me about it." Taking in a deep breath, Wanda puts her fingertips to the bridge of her nose. A few seconds kneading the skin alleviates the pressure of a headache coming on, a sense of knowing. She closes her hand, and the wisp collapses upon itself without a gasp of sound.

"Dezvaluie stelele cerului meu, trishul." The light reforms from a spark over her fingertips, floating up, losing its pale white-blue radiance in a near instantaneous red-shift. Spinning around them all, the mote floats past Lorna and right back over Erik's head. "Your family is my family, you know this. We shared the same mother." That sounds so very off, if not in her accented voice making it flat and plain. Treading lightly on the matter is game over. Three more sparks appear when she invokes them: "Arata-mi lumea." Another light orbits Erik's head.

"Cambea es sadrayya." This one flies off to orbit the man.

"Zeige meine Sterne." Her aura flashes to Billy, at least, starry pricks of light bleeding together. This time, all of them have a halo of glittering fuzz.


Pietro's question about time and making family and all of that has Billy throwing up his hands, eyes wide, and declaring flatly, "I didn't do it this time!" Loud, clear, and leaving absolutely no room for interpretation. In absolutely no way is this his fault. He does forget himself and starts floating a couple inches off the ground, though. But Wanda is doing her Scarlet Witching and Billy watches with curiosity.


"Yeeees…" Pietro says, dragging the word out, with rising inflection. He frowns at Wanda. "You and I are family… Billy — and Tommy? the one who looks like me — are… weird family, but still family. So…"

He uses the same rising inflection when speaking the word 'soooo' and points from Billy to Magneto and Lorna. "Are you telling me… Old Guy and the Pretty One I Bit are family too? Is that what your ball — your spell-ball thing — is telling you? Us? My brain hurts."


Similarly, Erik seems to be growing troubled - no, vexed, by all of this. He even goes so far as to fold his arms and nearly glowers at Wanda. "I do not find this manner of 'prank' to be humorous," he offers. A glance is given to Pietro, along with a slight narrowing of the eyes at being referred to as 'Old Guy'.


Wanda narrows her eyes slightly, and breathes out. She does not explain herself immediately. She does not blink or breathe for the better part of thirty seconds, eyes reflecting the fuzzy nimbus and the traitorous gleam. Glowering at her does not exactly have the same success that it might on someone five or ten years younger, and her molars squeak in their faint grinding. Then with a slow inhalation, she falls back a step towards Pietro. "It points to them, and I do not know why. I barely know her. He is a stranger." Matter of fact tones slide towards bemused.

Shifting languages may be rude, but essential. "«Did you feel unnaturally drawn to her when you wanted to bite her? A specific drive to do so?»" Pietro gets about three seconds to answer that, before she crosses her arms over her chest. Better than letting her hand naturally fall to her hip, where old habit will not help given Lorna's demonstration of magnetokinesis. "I am not being funny. Ask either of them, I do not have humour." True fact, she rarely if ever laughs and her sense of humour is so dark and sardonic, it makes gallows humour look slapstick. "I went looking for my s… family. You keep showing up."

Pietro looks at Wanda as if to say, 'what are you suggesting?' and then over at the very quiet Lorna… Both his eyebrows go up and he swear in Transian. "Yeees…" says he, VERY carefully… and then steps backward a couple of times, a hand on his brow.

"No. No way. I did not bite my — whatever she is. Sister? Cousin? Please don't say mother, 'cause…" He swears again.

"This is too weird." And with that, the speedster dashes away, leaving a streak of blue and grey behind him. In less than a second he is out of the park and stealing hotdogs from a vendor down the street, confused as hell.


"I'm sorry, Wanda," Erik says, suddenly growing protective. "I'm afraid your 'guide light' is mistaken." He turns to look at Lorna, making sure her arm is safe in his, then turns to the others. A brief flinch comes when Pietro speeds off. "Excuse us."

Then he turns and just walks right away, daughter in tow. He's had enough of that for one day.


Wordless, the brunette shrugs and walks away. The spell that obscured them from those around them by muffling impressions goes with her, fading into being, and it's going to be implicit upon the young woman to devour multiple pastries and fruit to make up for the deficit before she collapses into sleep. Wanda hurries along.

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