1964-09-15 - Brother Moon, Sister Sun, Father Sky
Summary: The Maximoffs are reunited, and Strange is ordered to fertilise a tree.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
pietro-maximoff wanda strange 

Summer in the city looks much different from anywhere in the Eurasian wilds. It may be mere days before the autumn reigns. Hard to notice with warmth radiating off concrete and people going by in their shorts and skirts. No trees are losing leaves yet, and the street food sells ut as well now as it did in June. People chow on hotdogs and coffee, oblivious to traffic, trouble in Vietnam, and space aliens.

Most of them. Lithe and golden-skinned, Wanda falls squarely into the 'all too aware' category. There isn't much in the way of greenery down Bleecker Street. In Greenwich Village, shops with upstairs lofts stand shoulder to shoulder. The mansion then stands out. It has a damn oak out front, already spitting branches and leaves on pedestrians. Acorns are rolling away. The witch is busy, as it were. Not with acorns or squirrels, stupid that they are, but renewing her links to the dormant earth. It doesn't look like much, other than that the tree sways a little in a light breeze and rustles its leaves happily.

Pietro got off of a plane from Milan earlier today. He hates flying. He can run fast enough to stay on the surface of water, but an entire ocean is still a bit beyond his capabilities. He would grow tired and then he would grow wet. Irritating. Not as irritating as all the crowds of people around him, bustling and pushing. The smell of them alone, trapped in that can in the sky, was enough to make him regret having senses at all.

Wanda can feel him approach, however, bursting into speed the moment he's able, but finally renewing the snail's pace of mundane life again as he draws near. He's wearing a charcoal suit, but with the jacket removed and slung over his shoulder, sleeves rolled up. A baby blue tie is loosened a bit and lays against his linen shirt as he feels the natural comfort and relief of being near his twin once again, raising an arm in greeting as he approaches.

Milano, home to delicious pastries, hot fashion, and seriously one of the best crepe shops known to man. Wanda may hold little jealousy in her bones, but the green spectre of hunger could possibly awaken if she learns her twin has been that far due east. Daydreams flood through her at the slow pace of a growing tree, roots buried deep into the warm, sun-baked soil. Sluggish growth in pepraration for the cooling season still transports her away. Wanda holds her bare hand to the gnarled, rugged trunk, and feels that tug on the violet-blue spike lodged in her soul that points to her brother.

Slowly those eyes open, blinking into focus. Amber as the sun, her drowning gaze is glazed for several instants. She shields her brow with her hand, nodding in Pietro's direction as he mosies through. Mirror to him; left to right, that gesture. "Pietro." Hopeful, curious, dreamily encountered.

Pietro embraces his twin as he draws near, wrapping arms tight around her and holding her against him. No words are truly necessary between them, as they've shared breath since their first. The tension of being apart from her is finally relieved and he can relax and feel properly himself once again. As irritable as he can be, he's far less pleasant when Wanda is elsewhere.

He smells of French cologne and fresh air, having run here straight from the airport, "I am glad to see you well," he says. "I suppose I should thank your paramour for that, even if I'm not inclined to do so," he says with a hint of a smile at the corner of his mouth. "How fares the brood?"

Perhaps four people on Earth have the right to pull Wanda off her feet; one shared a mother, the other two she made, and the fourth owns the house with the Vishanti window at her back. She willingly leans into the curl of his arms, familiarity found in the restoration of moon and sun to their rightful orbits. All the words they could say fail on her side. There is something more powerful about being brow to brow — on tiptoe, she's shorter — or simply connected. Her arms sweep up to bracket Pietro's scapulae, hands spread wide, still singing with the natural energy buoying her up.

"I am happier to see you home." Home is where the heart is, and half of her is ever roving where he goes. Garnets glitter at her temples as the brunette tilts her head back. Her usual corset, skirt, and coat haven't changed. Someone needs to introduce her to a real world attire, and she always smells the same: dusky black roses, opulent and subtle shades drawn from the resins prized in the Mediterranean. And oakmoss; the tree has its effects. "You, say thank you? Only if Agatha wields her rod. No, I have been caught up too much. They're well. We should see Billy. He keeps promising wonders."

Pietro Maximoff doesn't have the same appreciation for nature's wonders as his sister. He likes creature comforts and quiet, although the open space of true nature is always a relief. His ideal city would have all the conveniences he craves but far fewer of the humans mucking it up. Once he releases her, he puts his hands in his pockets, as much to keep himself from fidgeting as anything. His constant energy sometimes makes him appear nervous and he does hate to appear anything but put together.

"He himself counts as one, but I will look forward to it," he says. "I picked up a few things for you in Italy, but they'll take some time to arrive. Shipping from Europe remains difficult, I'm afraid," he says. "I met with some old friends from the resistance in Russia. Expatriates now, growing fat and idle on Italian ices and beautiful signoritas," he says.

Sihouetted by bright near-autumn sunlight that shifts the hue of his dress shirt towards bronze rather than gemstone green, the owner of said stately mansion looks down upon the reuniting of paired stars; their gravitational fields cannot be denied, apparently, not across space or even time. A small smile tugs at his lips and with a sigh, Strange turns away from the Window Upon the Worlds. Long legs in dress slacks bring him down the myriad number of staircases within the Sanctum and then one of the two panels of front door opens with a quiet click. It swings inwards and he takes up a leaning stance against the lintel, arms lightly folded.

"Seems like your travels treated you well, Pietro," he comments. "It's good to see you." And it is, truly, to a good extent, even if there's a gulf of polite distance between the two men.

A rueful nod agrees to his concern. Pietro laments about the slow boat to China mail. "Sometimes our way is simpler. But technology has not caught up with us," Wanda agrees. Her fingertips rub together, thumb to middle finger, capturing the soft down thrown by the tree. She releases a bloom of power back into the soil, bubbling away in her bloodstream, flickers of gold scudding along. That rare smile shows, though her laughter is hardly ever known even within the sacred boundaries and walls of the sanctum. "You mean what trouble he and his friends have come up to. It happens they probably have bound the world that feels too big for them. You know how we are. The new revolutionaries, as if we are old."

Let Pietro chew on that while she turns elegantly to face the murmur of the other voice, burnished and sardonic. Her fingers curl as she remains in the speedster's shadow, and she heralds Strange with that gesture and her smile. Some part of her perhaps expects detonations. "The children are setting a new standard. We might as well exceed them, Trishul."

Pietro Maximoff gives Strange the same cool and measured glance that he always has. Pietro respects the Doctor and appreciates the good work that he has done in keeping the dimension safe. On the other hand, no man, woman or Vishanti is likely ever to be good enough for Wanda in Pietro's eyes.

"And you, Sorceror," he says. "The city seems bereft of eldritch horrors or zombie hordes, so I presume you've been doing your job well."

"And speak for yourself, Wanda, I'm a young man yet and capable of keeping pace with any young buck that cares to test me," he says. He flicks his gaze aside, taking in the various regular people going about their day, oblivious to the wonders right at their doorstep. Protecting the ignorant and the foolish was part of the mission, of course, but it didn't make them any less ignorant or foolish.

Hey, if the speedster's presence makes his Consort happy, there's a deep well of patience in the silver-templed man that he can draw from. He can sense the influence of her touch upon the oldest tree on the property at a distance, similar to how the scent of rain on the wind heralds a storm, and pride stirs in his chest alongside that deeply-abiding affection for the brunette crowned by blood-gems and shadow alike.

Pietro receives a polite incline of his chin and then Strange turns attention to the Witch. "I have the benefit of Wanda's presence in most cases. We settle for nothing less than complete removal of anything threatening. Though she has a point — " A sly grin flashes teeth for all of a second. "The children attempt to out-do us and frankly, I can't let that stand."

"Maybe we can show them how the real fun happens." Her slim insertion of competition to two men probably known for such is deliberate. Not that Wanda is free of such impulses herself. Her fingers dash down the front of her burgundy coat, capturing hooks and inserting each catch into an eye. "It is perhaps quiet, and the season turns. I am restless as you." A nudge of her elbow brushes Pietro's side, not that she has the mass or strength to knock him away with any ease. "What to do to find and fix this…"

The question will go unanswered. Let them chew it over. She departs from the speedster for a moment to hold both her hands out to Strange, a surprisingly formal greeting. It's also a deliberate rebalancing of their energy, hers brimming with life and sunshine, a testimony of offering. "The tree complains for more sweet soil. It has taken too much. It is a thing you buy?"

Pietro Maximoff nods, "It is ever so. The next generation always pushes on, seeking to better their elders and assume the crown. Freud wrote of it as a primal impulse, seeing it based in competition for females and sexual attention. I think Freud spends too much time playing with his own cigar, but there's probably a seed of truth in there amidst his onanistic theorizing," he says.

"But I cede nothing as of yet, not least of all because I've only had the barest measure of time at the head of the pack. Or, at the very least, running ahead of the rest of it," he says.

"I am glad you appreciate my sister, Strange. She does you great honor by being at your side and it is that regard which has earned you mine. If my regard seems cold, simply consider the source," he says in crisp tones.

"And there, sister, is where any jealousy I might have for your abilities ends. Bending the world to suit your whim loses its pleasure when you have to listen even to the complaints of trees. I prefer them, as I prefer most: silent and without need of my attention."

The Sorcerer snorts quietly; there's a goad in the Witch's musings. Restlessness has a pale half-life in his presence and especially with the approaching change in seasons. Though — how to resist such a summons? She appeals on so very many levels, from lustrous eyes to rubescent coat to aural resonance; even the fact that her palms recently delved into soil for the sake of honoring growth touches upon the farm-boy's facet within his soul.

A shift in weight brings Strange to step from the semi-shadows of the entryway and out into the bright daylight. Once across the lawn, scarred hands take up the offered fingers and the armor of formality slips visibily in the softening of his expression. Sky stoops to collide with earth's open arms elementally in their predilections to Mysticism and the collision is a beautiful watercolor swirl of amaranthine, celestine, and scarlet in their auras. A breathless vacuum of air passes and the grass becomes still once more around their feet.

"I've got a pot of fertilizer somewhere in the Sanctum. I'll go find it. High time it got some use, though it should last me a good while. The shaman from another dimension said that a tree like this needs no more than a handful. Imagine the herb garden," he muses, eyes traveling from root to leafy crown of the oak tree before flickering to Pietro. "She is my greatest honor. I take no offense in your feelings in the matter. I was a brother once." Said so lightly and yet a bruise of old pain flashes through his eyes, there and gone like a scuttling cloud. "I'll let you two talk. That fertilizer won't turn up on its own. The pot it came in doesn't have any limbs." He's utterly serious, apparently. Fingers tip up Wanda's chin for a rather chaste kiss in passing, polite for the presence of the speedster; the look she gets is anything but from behind Strange's half-lidded eyes. "You know how to find me if you need me," he reminds rather needlessly and then it's a brisk stride back to the Sanctum, taking the steps two at a time. The front door shuts again with a quiet click.

Wanda obliges by tipping her head up to receive that benediction, even as her charged aura delivers the terrestrial greeting and rebalancing to the sky-charged particles spun around Strange. There isn't much for people to see. Without the Sight, her hair simply floats a moment and she stands on her toes. Ethereal whorls paint a masterpiece of a Symphony originating from no radio, the melodic hum of Saturn chiming alongside Venus and the asterisk of the Pleiades. Their harmonics melt into a solid chord, bright and joyous, earthy and passionate. No airy waltz here.

Then the charge vanishes at their separation, the clasp of hands and lips broken, producing a spill of chrysanthemums in rust, blood, and cream around the grass under the tree. They'll remain there happily for months as long as the frost stays at bay.

"Nmm." A non-committal sound from the witch. Strange takes flight to secure fertiliser and she returns to Pietro, slower but thoughtful. "I invite the trees to speak. They do not talk when not welcome." Trees, the great conversationalists. Air elementals are another problem entirely. She slips into Transit, easier for her. "I offer, and give the exchange freely. Such is the nature of things. It's all alive and aware. Mistreat the world and she will get her due in time."

Pietro Maximoff watches the lovers say their goodbyes, turning away slightly to give them a hint of privacy. And, perhaps, to spare himself the sight, whether it be of his sister's intimacy or simply the connection of one soul to another.

"You've always been a sentimentalist, Wanda," he smiles. "You give so very much. They and this world do not deserve it," he says.

He bears the marks of their troubled youth more openly than his sister. Where she has found healing, he has grown scar tissue, on spirit more than flesh. Untrusting, sharp-tongued and brooding, he stands still now only by the discipline he has learned. Everything in his life has told him to keep running.

"Regardless, I am pleased that you are the one who listens, rather than I. Your gifts would've been wasted on me," he says. "I know you and your beloved stand at the watchtower. What darkness approaches on the horizon?"

Wanda carries scars. Her soul is riveted by the effects of what she is, the curse of her bearings and outlook. No one receives the whole of her trust, not even herself. Watchful and waiting the dark shadow to fall, she is a harbinger for ill omens and doom that all the summertime patriots fail to see. They all need their soldiers of winter and autumn.

"Brother," her voice is cool and distant, a puddle of deep water on the vigor displayed before. "I think you would not like to know how often the world hangs by thin string coming undone at the seams. It is not all silk. We look and see the not healed wounds inflicted by enemies driven in hunger and anger. Revenge. They are denied, they will not look elsewhere for food. They will snap at our door. He is not quiet."

Only one He in their world with that kind of emphasis, and it's not Billy yearning for more stability in his life. That one is ancient, ageless, and has horns. He's also Father, one of them.

Past that, she shrugs. "I want to see the last scraps of the Reich are gone. They aren't. We are still… Shadowed. They do not give us peace. Their problems are starting fires."

Pietro Maximoff sighs, "I do not believe He ever will be," he says, darkness colouring his speech. His sister has always been haunted, of course, the inchoate horrors of Wundagore constantly stalking in their wake. She has born the burden but he, in turn, has born her, sometimes literally, carrying her weeping and insensate across war-torn ground in search of respite.

"I have run ahead of those snapping jaws for a long time. I am not tired yet," he says. "As for the Reich, yes, its tendrils remains, creeper vines on the walls of the West. I fear they're even deeper beyond the wall of Berlin," he says.

"Here, I see it in the hatred for our kind. The loathing of mutants portends the same kind of darkness that swallowed Europe a generation ago. We must nip root out the oppressors before they gain their thrones."

"It lies in the skin and the bones. Some people say here that mutants are no better than vermin. They are at least able to look at people with skin of a different colour and recognise a human." Wanda frowns, the failed arc of her good humour reaching an end. Her eyes narrow in thought. The dimming embers of her eyes hold their grim measure of the world. "They said 'never again' and here we stand. Pietro, the lessons are never learned."

Children of the revolution, they would know it. Her tongue presses to the rugged ridges of her upper palate. "I do not know how to stop their march to repeat history. But these tendrils of hatred and darkness raised by the Reich, I want to cut and hack away. Let it die here before it pollutes so many minds."

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