1963-12-27 - O Father, Who Art Thou?
Summary: Erik and Wanda catch up after the holidays, and have some Pietro business to discuss.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: Strangeworks - Eluvium
magneto wanda 

Drifts of white snow tumble down from rooflins all over Westchester County, and the rest of New York shuffles through the grey slush. Anyone not wise enough to dig out boots, mittens, and hats from their closets makes a run to the department stores to avail themselves of dwindled stock, and the rest of the city turns to buckets of salt and shovels to hew paths to businesses and residences alike.Traffic is snarled, the buses and trains run late, and any holiday goodwill melting away.

Hard to blame the gruff exterior and take-no-shit attitudes, given all that's gone on lately. The New York Times, the Bugle, and half a dozen rags all broadcast doom and gloom for 1964. Even the coffee in Harry's is terrible, the maker having broken down in the last day and a repairman fussing with it. For now all swill comes from an icky old machine borrowed from a resale shop.

It's here they opted to meet, and the place still has a few signs of holiday cheer: ribbons up, pictures of Saint Nick taped to the walls among other low key décor. Wanda is conspicuous for being an unescorted female, and moreover, not that wet or chilled. Something magical about that, and blood rushes back to her hands as she rubs them together. A nod is given to anyone who looks her way, in a distracted manner; she's too busy searching for any exits and entrances, points of danger all the way around. And for one Erik Lensherr, mysterious blood relation, if someone can trust a spell.


Having received the message, Erik Lensherr made way for Harry's Hideaway, by way of a car borrowed from Charles Xavier's extensive collection. This one had snow tires, of course, and made the journey into town much easier; combined with the fact that any car under the command of Magneto isn't bound to stay stuck in the snow for long.

Once inside the café, he removes a pair of leather gloves and lifts a trilby hat from atop his head, brushing some snow off in the entryway before coming in proper. The hat and trench coat are hung over a tree by the door, and he turns to allow eyes to wander the establishment. Once that conspicuous female is spotted, he walks straight her way.

Nose hairs curl a bit at the smell of Wanda's coffee. Had she even ordered coffee, or had the overworked waitress set it there out of sheer expectation? He eyes the cup, which looks… thinly mixed. "What on earth, is that actually coffee?" he asks. "It smells like turpentine."


Few women in this day and age wear leather coats, much less leather trenches corseted rather than belted, and so Wanda announces herself in garb as much a uniform as Erik's. In this case, it makes sense: practical, warm, and sleek. She no sooner finds her way to a booth than, yes, that mistake for bog water reaches her. The way her face pales under her golden skin leaves little doubt she might send it helpfully away, maybe to starving children in Ethiopia who clearly have no access to such an exotic taste. (Yes, the player knows the irony.)

The waitress is already pouring another while the repairman curses and fiddles around with a wrench, doing little but recreating the Hall of the Mountain King inside the metal box. He's making a pretty penny, what does he care? As long as there is income to be found, he'll take his time. The cook probably wants to step on the fellow's overall covered gut.

All the while, the brunette waves off the waitress hurrying from her roost to see on the newest patrons. Erik earns her nod instead, but she's silent until he sits at the table; not a booth, too limited in escape. Still, it has a nice vantage from the corner. "You made it safely?" The question is intended kindly enough.


"I did," answers Erik, after waiving away an offer of coffee. "If you have hot tea, that would be splendid," he requests of the waitress. "Barring that, I suppose a glass of milk would suffice."

With that out of the way, he settles his attention back upon Wanda with a pleasant, if not somewhat forced, smile. "Oh, I did," he answers. "Thank you. One of many advantages that come with having control over the Earth's magnetic field." Though he speaks the words in a nonchalant manner, there is a heaviness to his expression, as if he's very well aware of just what power he holds. "I suppose, if my current line of affairs doesn't work out so well, I could always find work as a tow truck driver." A pause. "I wouldn't even need the truck."

With that bit of humor out of the way, he folds a napkin over his leg and looks toward the waitress with an approving nod when she provides him a hot cup of tea, still stooping. "Excellent, thank you, Donna." He turns back to Wanda then, eyebrow lifted. "You're well?"


Two teas, as it happens. Wanda adds a quiet request beyond that, "Another for me, please." Her English has improved since their last meeting, and perhaps the first before that, allowing for a measure into her mental flexibility or grasp of languages.

Her posture is exquisite, as ever, not a trace of a slouch. It falls her to attempt casual as a matter of mental effort, instead of reflex. Those lash-fringed amber eyes shift towards the exiting patrons, and those who enter, marking each one individually. "Lorna does this too? I sense the changes sometimes when she moves things." Her napkin is already laid over her lap when she speaks, and her fingers prop against the edge of the table.

"You could also move the ships sold to be made for junk." Imperfection, show thy linguistic face. Erik the scrapper, it's a future job with benefits. She tips her head and takes whatever pot of tea comes to her, checking the bag provided by a faint sniff. Throwback to the world where she grew up or the circumstances; one can never be too careful. Even now, that paranoia bleeds through as the faintest, telltale stain. "Good. After Attilan… I played nice girl, not politics. I did not know you would be there, or Lorna. I am sorry we could not speak."

Not when she was Black Bolt's bloody voice, no less. Which means she has, in some way, heard him. Food for thought.


If there is any sort of genetic or familial relation between Wanda and Erik, the posture says it all. Erik hasn't slouched since the day he broke out of Auschwitz, and he likely never will again. "She does, yes," he answers easily. "Though I have had many more years practice than she."

He's much more confident telling Wanda about his abilities, considering the time spent in Attilan. Though they did not have a chance to speak directly, each were aware of each other's presence, and their contributions. Erik, after all, had spent countless hours helping the people to rebuild that which he'd destroyed in the act of defending the people from Maximus and his armies.

"These things happen," he explains, accepting her apology with a dismissive gesture. "Suffice it to say, given my, ah, unique connection to the Inhuman people, there was only so much time to relax while we were on retreat." He curls his hands around the cup of tea, and then, he smiles. For a moment, Erik's expression seems distant, as if he'd suddenly remembered his time in Attilan. A time he clearly thinks of with a kind of fondness not often seen upon his chiseled, dutiful features. "It's a beautiful land, is it not?" he asks, turning back toward Wanda. That pleasant expression lingers, for a few fleeting moments.

Soon enough, it's concealed by the mug of tea, and a long, careful drink is taken. "I did not realize you had a connection to those people," he admits.


Exactly what the witch did in Attilan may never be known. She is reticent on most matters, and by no means explaining what she does to anyone who questions it. The genetic council, for all their gifts, is welcome no where near her. Thank certain power players in the court for that.

Sliding her fingers behind her ear, she waits for the tea to properly steep, doubly as strong as any American might prefer.

"All goes well. They walk into the current or they will stay hidden for someone else to find."


The cup of tea unchecked by honey or cream, alas, will have to sustain her in its base form. The girl burns more energy than a nuclear reactor at times, though she looks well enough, better than the sleepless encounters of days prior show. "Did we know, we might do more perhaps. You know the king wanted me to betray them he saw as rebels? I am happy to see they did not come to harm." Her thoughts are no further on that, but it squarely roots where her loyalties presently lie in the matter of diplomacy, if stepping through reality weren't enough.

Ruminating over the pleasures of a cuppa, she almost drifts off into thought, but anyone who mistakes her for not paying attention is a fool. Distance in her eyes says nothing for the razor sharp daggers waiting to strike a blow on any threat, and there is a faint indentation to her smooth brow otherwise attesting to thoughts unspoken. "I suppose we are connected a few ways. My brother…" A pause follows, and she surveys Erik evenly. "I've heard him dream of Charles Xavier. Is this a man to be trusted?"


Attilan will be a complicated story for some time, and Erik seems content to let it be. His ties with the realm are unique, given his intimate relationship with Attilan's Princess. That he was part of the rebellion is certainly a statement of sorts, though the Master of Magnetism holds close to the vest just what that statement was, is, or will be.

So it is that when the conversation turns to that of Charles Xavier, his expression seems to harden further still. His icy gaze goes unwavering, and it's difficult to tell at first glance whether he's offended, guarded, or what exactly. To say that Erik, Magneto, as it were, can be as cold as steel… it's an understatement.

"My dear Wanda," he murmurs quietly, while stirring the cup of tea with his spoon. "It's never a fair question to ask if one can be trusted. Trust is not given. It is earned."


Attilan is what it is, and the ties Wanda herself holds aren't apparent. Nor is she inclined entirely to speak about them, though the companionable silence enfolds her in a lush velvet shadow. Her tea will be drained soon enough and she places the mug with a clink on the saucer for the waitress to refill or claim.

Cool eyes in every day identical to a lioness or tigress' tawny glimmer survey the man without fail, and the mutual architecture of their faces gives such forbidding animation. She is no easier to scale than K2; he is a Denali in the rough, forcing her to sidestep and read what she will.

"Then another way. Is this man a risk to me and my brother?" Her fingernails tap lightly against the surface of the table, and the implicit sparks rimming her pupils leave only the very faintest reminder of what she is, and what Pietro is to her. Likely her concerns for her safety are minimal. For her mirror half…

Their progenitor in his fiery abode need worry what be done if she takes to her mind to safeguard Pietro Maximoff.


"Only if you make yourselves a risk to him," answers Erik. It took some thought, to be sure, but there's nothing more candid than his words, dark though they may seem.

The Master of Magnetism sits back slowly. The teacup rises of its own accord; thanks to copper inlay within the porcelain itself. He catches it in the air and drinks the rest of it, before willing it to drop gracefully upon a bubble of magnetic force.

"Charles Xavier," he tells Wanda, "is my oldest friend. I must confess… I find it troubling that your brother, Pietro, is dreaming of him."


Dark? Magneto's barely French vanilla with that. The young woman takes that in stride, and she glances at the overworked woman trying to accommodate all the guests and requests. These two make it easy, though she turns quiet as a grave when the waitress flits by to pour more hot water in, and then bustles off.

The witchling inclines her head. "I do not. My brother, like me, has a gift. I want him to succeed and be happy, and is this how it will be done?" She raises her hand, an idle tease of long digits through the steam rolling off the liquid that turns almost as amber as her eyes thanks to the fresh teabag dropped in. "Then I am happy for him. It's a positive feedback loop. When Pietro is good, I am good, we are good, all is good." That's one way to simplify a complex concept into simple words, but so be it: her narrative supports that with a gentle certainty hammered into every last syllable that no one with three braincells to rub together might fail to notice. Affection it isn't, not merely one dimensional like that. She might as well speak of herself; like so many twins, their existence is a plurality defined by no less than mutual joy, reflected hopes and needs and wishes. "I have an outlet for mine. His is more difficult. I know there are means to an education. We need to be careful where we walk, is all. If this is someone he can call a friend, then good."

And that, as they say, is that.


Erik nods his head slowly, his own hand curled around the fresh cup of tea. He will, of course, need to bring this to Charles' attention. Cerebro will be used, the young man vetted by the world's most powerful telepath… and Magneto will have done his part.

"There is a chance," he tells Wanda, "that Charles Xavier may bear the capacity to further explain what… connection that spell of yours identified."

That would be a good thing. Wouldn't it? Erik considers it, knowing full well there's no way to determine just what the fates have in mind for any of them.


The ruffle of her breath upon the steeping tea sends small waves crashing about beyond stream of impact. Light fluttering troughs pile up on one another, bending and flashing, creating a central hole the tea simply cannot fill. In the midst of chaotic turbulence, a weird eye of calm. "Indeed. How can he tell this?"

It's a whole lot more pleasant than the possibility of necromancy on demon worshippers, which lies well outside the list of 'things Wanda is willing to do for certainty.'

At least she's open to the notion, tipped towards a question. "The question to me, is it an explanation you want? The veil pulled back cannot be undone. Ask my «Cerhan»." The lilting emphasis holds shades of something, a powerful emotional bond if nothing else.

She raises her teacup a little longer, considering Erik across the way. "For if you are blood of ours, there is a whole grove to consider. Not only two branches on a limb."


Wanda's question earns a rueful grin from Lensherr. "That, my dear," he tells her, "is not for me to disclose."

Now, at last his tea is ready to be sipped. The spoon is removed, and set down, entirely by natural means this time. Wanda's question draws an entirely new level of depth to the situation, to which Erik's eyes squint.

"That door has already been opened," he tells her. "I won't pretend to understand things of arcane nature, not wholly, but something wanted that door to be, at the very least, cracked." He lifts the mug of tea, as if proposing a toast. "I find it's often more troublesome to shut doors than to open them fully. To see and understand what lies beyond."


The slim arc of a smile won't last for long, but the witch drinks her tea in that manner common to Eastern mystics and students of Buddhism. Nothing perturbs the surface. Allowed a deepening calm, the moment stretches out in silence on her part while Erik answers her and guides the conversation. Wanda can be grateful for that. Too many words, in a way, for her liking. Can't have everything thinking she likes talking all the time.

Besides, the tea is good enough and she accepts that toast in turn, lifting her mug in good order. "Nothing to fear. Knowledge is worth having. Its price is sometimes high, but paid well."


To these words, Erik smiles broadly. "Yes," he answers. "Yes indeed." A pause, moments before the teacup is lifted. "Besides. You wouldn't want to spend your life wondering, would you?"

While Erik drinks, he considers that himself. He'd never even considered the possibility of having family. Not until Lorna came into his life. A curious, if not unexpected change of events.

The teacup is set back in its proper place. Then, Erik straightens and speaks with a sense of finality. "I will speak with Xavier, then. If he sees fit, we will arrange for him to meet Pietro." A pause, during which a smirk forms. "If we can catch up to him, that is."


Wanda shakes her dark head in agreement of all things; the sentiment of not turning over that rock, peering under that log, or staring into the future apparently doesn't sit very well with her, either. "No, I do not."

The tea is swallowed in small, polite sips all the way down to the last puddle at the bottom, no deeper than a wafer, and she gazes briefly upon the leaves that escaped from the teabags put in the little, leaky tin pot the waitress brought her.

"The family will be waiting," she replies dryly. "Do try not to keep us too long. You think Pietro is bad? The children get so impatient."


At that last remark, Erik's eyebrows shoot upward.

Oh boy…


Oh boys.

Fate plays with loaded dice and a blessed deck.

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