1964-03-04 - Cabin Fever at Mach 4
Summary: Touching things around the Sanctum is a bad idea, proven time and time again — this time by Pietro.
Related: Pirates logs
Theme Song: None
strange wanda pietro 

He had been taken here to recuperate — Pietro, that is. 'Here' would be the Sanctum Sancto-something of 'Doctor Boyfriend', or whatever the name of Wanda's toyboy really is. Strange. No, wait. That's it.

After a jaunt in an alternate dimension, with pirates, vampires and — what did Wanda call them? Elementaries? Pietro Maximoff is here to rest, heal, take it easy, etc… after being drained by a vampire-prostitute.

No, it is not as fun as it sounds.

"Ow!" comes a voice from upstairs — Pietro's voice. "Hey, lemmego! Is not being fair, this magics! I was just peeking! Sis! SIS! Your boyfriend's magic-bits are molesting me! Ow! I wasn't going to take it! I only wanted to touch it. Um… help."

It would appear the silver speedster has gotten himself a trifle 'tied up'.


Excess stress means an outlet is needed. Fast breathing accompanies fast movements, his lips pouted, the glaze of sweat upon his brow and at silvered temples. Hands fold firm where they are to keep perfect balance. The countdown is nearly finished, words huffed in little puffs of sounds, and he closes his eyes. Gods below, it burns, but it feels so very good, utilizes up every last bit of errant anxiety lingering about his body.

He collapses flat to the practice room floor, having completed a blistering circuit of aerobic exercise, the last stop being an obscene number of push-ups.

Get your mind out the gutter, people, GEEZ.

Even as he's sitting up and back upon his heels, the silvery wards chime to him that someone is intruding where they aren't supposed to be.

With a grunt, Strange snags up the white towel and makes his way at a measured pace up to the Loft. Up the stairs, one at a time, and he mutters to himself, "Tommy definitely gets it from him." Coming upon the scene of said Overly-curious Speedster Sr. upside-down in the grips of the Sanctum's wards is so very worth it — especially after that flask of murky seawater that makes his gag reflex catch even thinking about it. Smirking — so much smirk — with delight, the Sorcerer saunters over and stands out of reach of Pietro. He mops at his brow as he comments,

"Isn't this a sight. Karma plays nicely after all." The towel is wrapped loosely around his neck and Strange folds his arms, standing there in his t-shirt and sweatpants. "At least they didn't skin you alive first." One should always make the wards out to be as terrifying as possible, of course.


Next time, they will take the bloody ghost ship instead of relying upon interdimensional routes, so ill-advised compared to some. Thoughts easy to contemplate in the security provided by the New York sanctum to a young woman safely dabbing at bruises with an herbal salve. Her jaunty hat rests at an angle where the feather does not ignite from burning candles lending a tawny glow to her glistening skin. Another rub of the liniment earns a suppressed sigh, the closest she may admit to the silence filling her chamber that she hurts. More than a little, in spots, for roofing tiles and angry storm-gryphons and invisible sharks take their toll.

She peers down at one of the coppery chits, proof of a place far away, so much else melted away upon their departure. Not the chit. Not all it entails. A glittering bit of flotsam, set aside when the wards shiver and her wide-spectrum Sight reckons on the disturbance about a second after her instinctive sense of Pietro's direction kicks in. Well, he can wait three seconds for her to shrug on a shirt over the corset, no pirate wench blouse for her. Padding out and down the stairs, her footsteps come slower.

"It is proof we are born of the same source. I was there, not two days ago. Not caught by the ward, though." Her voice measures up the pale-haired image of herself, and she adds in Transian, "«Be quite glad you weren't caught by the necromantic devourer. Nasty thing. I had to invert a summoning in old Persian and that tasted terrible.»"


"Apparently, I taste delicious," Pietro replies out loud to Wanda's psychic comments to him. On it's own it must sound like a rather strange thing to remark.

Especially coming from a silver-haired fellow currently suspended in midair by a ward of magical construction — upside down. "I do not think your boyfriend likes me," he adds a moment later. Again, in the context of how he must taste — this is probably yet another poorly chosen turn of phrase. Pietro has, of course, changed subjects (from the vampiress who nearly ate him, to Doctor Strange and his 'ohmyGodgetmeoutofthisplace' house.

He glares over at Strange for his comments.

"For the record," says he tersely (still upside-down). "I am not a potato — or a rabbit. I am not for peeling, skinning or eating. Please tell your ward-thing to put me down; I have an itch somewhere is driving me mad. Or tell it to scratch it for me — I would also be settling for this, too."


Glancing between his Beloved and her brother, it comes to the Sorcerer that the comment must have been in reply to the Transian he chooses not to translate. It's her language, her privacy to be kept. He doesn't renege one little bit on hiding the smirk. Smirrrrrrkysmirksmirk, now some teeth, especially after the comment about rabbits and itching.

"Let you down? After I told you at least twice not to touch things? Even Tommy knows better." Glancing over at Wanda, his grin deepens more, possibly getting more toothy. But finally — he does relent. With a roll of his eyes and a snap of his fingers (dramatic gesture, that; he really just mentally commanded the wards to release Pietro), the silvery spells unwind abruptly.

Either Pietro lands on his feet, ever the supple speedster, or upon his back. Fate plays a huge hand in that…and perhaps even probability.


Calculations of probability lie fully in Wanda's capability, though she is still nursing those bruises and redolent of the faint scent of those herbs. Together with golden skin and loose, wild hair trending more to curl than it usually does, she looks something like a wood nymph hunting the unfortunate incarnation of her elder by thirteen minutes self.

Of course, he may have raided the kitchen, found a suspiciously proper magazine in Merlin's room, and traipsed about with a grimoire hat by the time she reaches Pietro to enfold him in a hug of sorts, one of those embraces that permits setting her chin on his shoulder, if he considers allowing it. Strange can smirk all he likes.

"Tommy does not know much better. The troublemaker is our other…" It sounds so strange to say the word. "Sister."


As the ward drops him, Pietro spins about and lands on one hand, one knee, his head bowed low. It's the perfect 'superhero pose' for a landing — something they should be depicting in weekly issues of a local comic series, and sold to children (and adults) for generations to come.

And then the speedster… topples sideways.

"Oohhhh…" the man groans at he hits the floor. Perhaps it is a residual effect of the vampiress' powers upon him? or a 'charge' from the wards to remind him not to touch things? Likely both. "Wh-whammie…" he moans as he climbs to his feet a little groggily, and slowly dusts himself off. "Such a special boyfriend you have, Sister," he tells Wanda — ignoring Strange (and that damnable SMIRK) entirely for the moment. "Him and his fancy wards. I'm not some parolee (not today anyway). I'm important too. In my apartment is many leather-bound books too — not my books, but still. Is smelling of rich mahogany — and varnish. Too much varnish. Actually, Xavier's school smells a lot like this doll's house."

NOW, he glares over at Strange.

"I was only looking, Pretty-Boy." A pause. "Erm, and thanks." For letting him down (from the ward, that is).


"You're welcome." The grin relaxes as Strange looks past the other man, assessing the state of the relics and their cases. Everything seems intact. "But honestly, you're all troublemakers." He includes Wanda in the little sweep of his hand — lovingly, of course — and Pietro. Everybody knows that the pale-haired speedster is nothing but trouble with a capital T. No, wait, that's Tommy. Then again, the apple never speeds far from the tree… "If you'll excuse me, now that I've done my good deed for the day, I'm going to go relax for a bit."

His path brings him past both the Maximoff siblings and beyond them, heading for the master bedroom. Over his shoulder, he adds, "Don't touch anything, Pietro. The wards act on escalating levels of reaction." What that might entail is not expanded upon but for a flash of another smirk, twinkling eyes, and then the man disappears behind mostly-closed doors. They're left cracked, a sign that he's listening and can hear them just fine, thank-you-very-much.


Not much of a hug returned, Wanda withdraws a step and gives her twin a measured gaze that flows down and up, centering nowhere. Dark lashes thin slightly to enhance the angular cant of her amber eyes, though the ghostly violet ring frosting her pupils spreads out. Another step, and she eases her fingers to her shoulder and rubs out the knot left by a measured fall and roll through a windowframe not that far. "And what a famous keeper you have. Does he only decorate the rooms with lace doilies and bowls of plastic fruit so you feel so very much at home?"

This speaks so very much to Pietro's taste in things.

Strange's imminent departure she notes with a raised eyebrow, and then her expression fades away into its guarded neutral form.


"I don't know who 'keeps' the school, Sister," Pietro replies a little indignantly. "They do a good job; there is something very… 'old world' about it. Reminds me a little of home. A little. Is something — better than nothing. And it has a different kind of 'weird' than this place. I — ."

He goes to walk forward, continuing speaking, when one of the wards extends a tendril and snag Pietro by his back pocket. "I — woah! Ah, that tickl — ow!" The tendril dips further into that pocket, shocking Pietro with a bolt of power (enough to hurt, but not really 'harm'), and withdraws holding a page that looks as though it has been torn from a magazine of some sort. Merlin's magazine, from the upstairs bathroom.

Pietro blushes.

"Is not porn!" he protests. "Is not even in English. I was going to try and translate it…" He heaves a sigh. "So bored. Only thing to do is to try and beat the wards to things — nothing else can keep up. Imagine. Everything is so slow… Every-one." He does not look at Strange as he says this.

Okay, he glances.

Still, Pietro is going out of his mind during his convalescence.


The wards report — okay, they totally tattle on Pietro and the pilfered page. The sound of the running tap water stops abruptly and the brisk stride of the Sorcerer returning to the Loft follows shortly.

"Did the wards just inform me that you have a page from a private manuscript from Merlin's collection in your back pocket?" He stops short of Pietro, looking more than a bit thunderous despite wearing a red bathrobe overtop sweatpants and bare feet. His hair still glistens, though now with water rather than sweat, and a light cloud of his aftershave wafts forwards in the wake of his pause. Without breaking gaze, he extends a hand out to one side and the silvery wards deposit the page into his scarred palm. It rattles when his grip closes on it and he carefully puts it in the over-large pockets of his bathrobe, all the while waiting very patiently for an explanation. After all, he was in the bathroom for Pietro's comments regarding boredom and general cabin-fever malaise.


"Your nephew and his girlfriend can. He complains that she is faster than him. Faster than you. You may wish to see if his words are bigger than the truth." Who can needle Pietro so well? Not the one he shares half a genetic code and more with, at any rate. Wanda draws a circle with her fingertips and blows a puff of gossamer dust manifesting from nowhere into the air, cushioned out of thin air by a solidifying barrier she conjured. Crossing her legs at the ankles, she arches an eyebrow.

His complaints have made their point. On the other hand, she is someone well used to it. "Would you like to go through our old training rituals? Maybe you have grown slow and uncreative in your old age." Her fingers pinch and widen, showing a strand of sparkling light there, light that wavers and twists with all the possibility of tethering him by the tankle to the floor. "Or you could talk with Squiggly. That's your nephew's shark."


That gets Pietro's goat, as the saying goes.

He stands up, lifts his chin and glares at Wanda and Boyfriend. "No one is faster than I," says he in a declarative tone of voice. Then he glances askance at Strange and his wards-pets. Tattlers, every last one of them. "Magic is not counting. Is cheating." Back to Wanda, he insists — finger raised and all:

"If not for one vampire biting me, then another — I'd be as fast as I used to be." The elder Maximoff mopes then, letting his arm fall to his side, his lip curling in self-contempt. "I need to be that fast again," he murmurs. "I want it back. I want it all back."

A pause.

"Enough has been taken from Pietro Maximoff."

That much is true.


Fine. Fine. He can take a lack of answer as admission of guilt. With arms tightly folded, Strange is content to observe the siblings interact. After all, it's been some time since he got the opportunity to compare notes. He knows Wanda well enough; maybe he can suss out how to deal with Pietro by remaining silent rather than rejoining with some blistering side-comment.

His money is still on Tommy though — and no, he does not forgive the canteen incident.


Poor Pietro Maximoff. A mighty ego and a lack of humility most assuredly do not assist him in this lifetime. "Talk to him. You could make it a sport, a test. Be fast. Get faster. Nothing is gone forever." The witch raises her shoulders in a slim shrug. "I am going to sleep. At this time, you two are best to decide what to do so Merlin does not make Pietro a girl for a week."

As she slides off the cushion, it's still evident that she floats, the position of the buoyant force merely slipping under her feet instead of the other pressure points of her body. "Good night. Do not study too long, Doctor."


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