Takes place 2 years after Apocalypse, 1 year after the Phoenix. The mutant problem has grown and a obscure general named William Stryker thinks he has a solution. Has Scott/Jean, Wanda/Kurt, Kitty/...
Chapter 21: Control
General William Stryker took another sip of his coffee as he watched his team of intelligence gathering soldiers continue to go over image after image of the Eastern half of Canada. His communications officers were in constant contact with the Canadian air force and air traffic controllers for any sign of the X-jet that had escaped the tense battle in upstate New York. However, despite this exhaustive search, the general didn't look concerned or worried in the slightest and neither did his stoic associate, Magnum. It amazed his subordinates to no end how Stryker could manage to stay awake and alert for such long periods of time and not have it show, but it only reinforced his worthiness as a general of the entire United States military.
"General Stryker," said the communication's officer as he looked up from his post, "Senator Edward Kelly has been trying to contact you for the fifth time today over the switchboard. What should I do?"
The general just let out a light chuckle as he hear of the Senator's eagerness to talk, and most likely yell, at him.
"I think I've left him on hold long enough...Patch him through," said the General as he adjusted his headset.
After a few brief clicks, the general knew that he was now talking to the man who had helped make this possible...But was now bitter and angry at him for not getting everything he had hoped for initially. However, Stryker merely attributed this to typical American impatience.
"Senator Kelly..." said the general casually, "What brings you to interrupt my work yet again?"
"William...I have been trying to call you for the last SIX hours! And every time my call gets redirected or disconnected. You wouldn't be trying to ignore me now would you?"
"My dear Senator...Do you really think if I had the time, I would speak to the dear friend that helped make this possible?"
"Don't toy with me GENERAL! I know you better than any of those human machines you call subordinates do! I have been going to work at the Capitol every day this past week and a half a nervous wreck! Every piece of anti-mutant legislation may be passing...But it all still connects back to me and you! You told me specifically that you would cover our tracks!"
A slow grin spread across the general's face as heard the urgency in the senator's voice. He had anticipated this conversation...For it was just another part of whatever master plan that he had been following ever since this whole thing started.
"It took you a mere week and a half to catch that? Senator I have to say that I'm disappointed in you...Then again, given the education system in this country I suppose you are not completely at fault."
"What?! You mean to tell me that this is YOUR doing! You did this purposefully!" yelled Kelly in a tone full of outrage.
"Common business practice Senator...Work with others, but make sure you always have the upper hand. Now...I have something over you Senator...Leverage."
Senator Kelly was then rendered speechless upon hearing the confirmation of what he had feared. The longer this went on...The more events seemed to turn in Stryker's favor. It was as if he was never a partner to begin with...Instead it was as if he was a puppet.
"But...Why? I thought we had an understanding? This deal was supposed to be of mutual benefit! Now the more you continue with this little charade of yours, the more one-sided this whole affair becomes! Why?!"
"Senator...Ever since this operation started, you have done nothing but criticize and slander my meticulously crafted plan," answered Stryker with a tone ridged assurance that all the more unnerved the senator, "You know nothing of war...You know nothing of business. But I can't blame you for that...You are a politician after all. And like all those ignorant of war...When faced with its true image, you panic and point fingers. Your attitude won you a seat in the Senate...But it will never win you a single victory on the battlefield. And since you can't seem to grasp that...You have left me no choice but to control you so that you won't interfere. Now...If you had actually respected me more...Seen things my way, then such actions might not have been necessary. But now...You have forfeited your end of the deal and I am now in charge. You should have respected me more Senator...You should have known when to yield and when to take charge. But I guess you're just not level headed enough."
Senator Kelly was now fuming...But at the same time he was anxious. He had gotten involved with a man whom he had greatly underestimated. He was not like him...That much was clear. He was not somebody whom he could outwit or outfox because he had more experience, more education, and more ambition that he could ever hope to grasp. And now that he had shown himself to be a mere...Inconvenience...He was now at his complete mercy.
"William...Let's just talk about this..." coaxed the Senator in hopes that he could somehow better his situation.
"Oh no my dear Senator, the time for talk has long since passed and you have foolishly squandered it. Now if you had been calmer, shown a little more patience and respect, things might have been different. But I know you Edward...That is not in your character. You wanted political praise and a better hope at furthering your career with this...And you shall have it. You may be an inconvenience, but I am a man of my word. So please, sit back...Stop calling me...And await your ill-gotten rewards before I decide to change my mind again about our agreement...Thank you."
And before the Senator could respond, there was a sudden click over the line. Stryker had hung up...Knowing that he had said all that he needed to say. This left Edward Kelly in a position that he didn't want to be...One of complete helplessness. Both he and Stryker had wanted the same thing...The eradications of all mutants and positions of power that would mutually benefit. But now, Stryker was getting more powerful by the day as this operation continued. Kelly's ignorance over what the general was going to do not only gave him a serious migraine, but kept him in a state of perpetual nervousness. However, there was little he could do at this point...Other than to trust William Stryker.
Back at the Pentagon, work resumed as Stryker sat in a smug sense of self satisfaction after getting Senator Kelly off his back. Even Magnum couldn't help but grin at what Stryker had said to that man that had been doing nothing but complain ever since this operation started. Thankfully, he had been silenced for now and he would be a useful tool should such an act be necessary for the future of this operation.
"Sir..." said one of his diplomatic Friends of Humanity officers as the general was going over some satellite photos, "I just got off the line with our Canadian friends."
"And how goes our progress?" asked Stryker casually, not really taking the time to look up from the photos.
"Better than we had hoped for General. With what you have generously been paying out of your own pocket, we should have the go ahead we need about a week ahead of schedule."
"That's good to hear. Money talks no matter what country you use it in...I don't see how anybody should be surprised. And what of our troops near the boarder?"
This time, a female Friends of Humanity officer stepped in to answer.
"They've been conducting exercises and war games for the better part of the last ten days. They are all ready and waiting for the order to come."
"Have all remaining forces linked up?"
"Yes sir...All remaining fighting forces from the four sites and the main division from Albany have linked up and are coordinating effectively now."
"Perfect...As soon as the order comes...We'll be ready," said Stryker with a grin as he continued to look over the photos.
"And on a side note sir," continued the female officer, "We have gotten another call from the division guarding Xavier at the Watergate hotel that the Wolverine tried to make another escape...But we subdued him again."
This only made Stryker laugh upon hearing this news. The futile attempts made by those he so strongly controlled now were mere sources of amusement at this point. It was something the general seemed to relish in even though it made others weary about having such a dangerous mutant be kept alive along with somebody as powerful as Charles.
"Did you properly...Punish the animal?" asked the general as he stopped laughing.
"Yes sir...He received a round of painful shocks, not to mention some powerful sedatives that he's still out from. But both he and Xavier are still alive as you have so strongly requested."
"Good...And they shall stay alive for the time being. But their time is fast approaching...For I am starting to believe that they both are not as great a use to me as I once thought. But no matter...They shall both be dealt with soon enough."
Outside in the dead of night near the lake outside of the base, Eric Lensherr continued to sit and watch the stars despite the utter turmoil his life was in now. Less than an hour ago, he had shown his daughter the truth about what he had done to her in the past. He had shown her that he had left her in an insane asylum when she was just a young girl. And in response...Wanda had completely and utterly broke down. She lashed out at her father...Saying that she hated him and that he was a monster. But even though he hadn't responded and she was completely consumed by rage...She didn't kill him. For some reason...Wanda hadn't used the opportunity that Eric had given her to send him to hell. Why she had not used that opportunity to end his miserable life was still a question that he struggled with. Did this mean that his desperate words had gotten through to her? Could it at all be possible to salvage what was now left in complete and utter ruin?
For all his questions, Eric more or less stopped trying to answer them. Instead...He just looked up at the stars. For they were at least one stable constant in his life...A constant that he had always overlooked. But in remembering the words of young Kitty Pryde, whom he had just recently spoken to, and Scott Summers, whom he had a few profound words with upon his arrival, he felt less a shell and more a man. It still hurt...But now the path before him didn't seem so definite. Could it at all be changed? What could he do as Eric Lensherr that Magneto couldn't?
While looking at the beautiful starts...He saw a gentle flicker in a particularly bright star in the sky...As if it was signaling him or something. Being so far away from any lights or obstruction had left nothing to impede the fantastic view of the night sky. Now...He they could be seen in all their splendor. He watched another shooting star streak across the sky...And one thought came to him.
He remembered her face so clearly now. As Eric Lensherr...He could so vividly remember and see her right before his eyes when he closed them. It was as if she was still here...Alive and full of life and love. Even as a man numbed of emotion...Even as a monster like Magneto...He still never forgot how deeply he loved Magda with all his heart and soul. But now...So much had happened since that fateful day she died in his arms. Many things had changed as a result of her death. But Eric never stopped loving her...And as he looked up at the sky and all the beauty that they had to offer, he knew that somehow...She was watching over him in is darkest hour.
"I know you're there Magda..." he said aloud in a soft voice that echoed gently through the quiet night, "I know you're still watching me, Wanda, and Pietro. I'm...Sorry I wasn't there sooner for you. I know that...Had you lived...My world would be so different...Without a doubt much happier than it is now. But I promise you my dear...Right here...Right now...That the monster created by your absence is gone. I know that doesn't undo what it did to our children...But I promise you, that on this night, I will do what I have negated for so long...I will look after our children. I will be the man you fell in love with...I will be Eric Lensherr. I promise you Magda...I promise."
The master of magnetism knew that somewhere...Somehow...Magda had heard his words. And for that...He would keep that promise. Another shooting star streaked across the sky...This one more brilliant than any previous ones before. And in seeing this...A smile spread across Eric's face...For he knew that it was just the heaven's way of saying "I heard you...Thank you."
Unknown to Magneto...He was not alone on that lake while staring up into the night. In the bushes off to the side, the presence of young X23 had seen and heard this man as he stared longingly at this sky. It was a confusion action to the former living weapon...Why was he just looking at the sky? What was up there that was so important that he would talk to it? X23 tried to look at the sky and see what he was looking at...But all she could see were countless tiny dots of light shining brilliantly into the night.
It didn't make any sense to her...Who was up there? Could it be this Magda woman that he mentioned? His words of thanks and love were emotions that were completely alien to X23. These were the emotions that she struggled to comprehend most. These things...Love, friendship, and happiness...Were all something she couldn't understand. Ever since she had lurked out here in the bushes near the base, she had reencountered the very things she had run away from because they were too confusing. Now she had witnessed them again...And she only grew increasingly confused and frustrated. The young teenage girl gritted her teeth in anger as she struggled to understand this...Phenomenon. Part of her wanted to just run away from it all...But the more dominant part of her mind kept her there...Wanting to know more...Wanting to see more...Wanting to find out if these were the long suppressed emotions that had been building up inside of her ever since she escaped. And so...She stayed.
It had been a long, hard night for Wanda Maximoff as she sat on her bed...In tears because of what she had just learned. Beside her...Kurt Wagner held on to her shivering body as she told him the horrible story of what her father had done to her as a child. He held back his shock as he heard some of the stories that Wanda told him of the asylum...And how she was treated there. Fresh memories of feeling subhuman, bound, and no greater a being than a mere animal reemerged...And the more she thought about them, the harder she cried.
However, Kurt kept holding on to her...Listening to her sobs...Feeling the moisture of her tears on his soft fur. As she finally finished, Kurt felt a sting of pain for what this young woman had been through. She had been so alone all this time...Never having anybody there to cry with her or be by her side. There was never anybody to understand her...But in remembering the troubles he had with his own life, Kurt felt as though he could definitely relate. And in being able to associate with such inner turmoil...The blue mutant was determined to help Wanda through this...Because he felt he was the only one who could.
"And...I guess that's when Magneto brainwashed me..." said Wanda somewhat distantly as she finished her story on how she ended up the way she did with her father's manipulation.
"Wanda..." said Kurt softly as he finally heard this young woman's story come to an end, "I'm so sorry..."
"Don't be..." answered Wanda as she swallowed the lump in her throat and tried to wipe the tears from her eyes, "This is not your fault...It's all Magneto...This is HIS doing. That man...That monster...He threw me away like I was some piece of trash that he could easily toss aside without a second thought! He..."
But Wanda couldn't handle the agonizing emotions that followed. Anger mixed with sorrow as she let out another round of sobs and continued to lean on Kurt for support. Kurt knew that there was nothing he could possibly do to make Wanda's pain go away at this point. Her father had done so much to engrave it in her mind...And such a pain could never be easily erased.
"Shh..." cooed Kurt softly as he gently stroked Wanda's short hair, "It's going to be okay...You're going to be okay Wanda. I understand what you're going through...I know how you feel."
"How could you know? How could anybody know?" sobbed Wanda, shaking her head in disbelief, "My own father threw me away in an insane asylum..."
"And my mother dropped me into a river and left me for dead..." quipped Kurt, cutting the Scarlet Witch off before she could finish.
This caused Wanda to stop her train of thought as her sad and distraught eyes met with that of the young man that was now holding her in her darkest hour.
"My mother...Mystique...Dropped me in a river when I was still an infant. She left me to die...But I didn't. By some miracle of God...I survived and was found by another family. But even though she later found out I had lived...She still abandoned me. She never came back for me...Much like your father never came back for you."
"But you weren't locked up in some dark room and bound like an animal!" shot Wanda as the room began to shake again as a result of her powers, "You were left with a family that cared for you and raised you!"
"I vas still in my own prison Wanda...Look at me," responded Kurt, as he forced Wanda to look at his demonic features once again, "This body...This vessel that I am forced to live in...Is my prison. It is one which I cannot leave. Even with parents who understand...The rest of the townspeople vere...Less caring to say the least. I couldn't go out in daylight...I couldn't walk in front of a window...And to this day...I am still in this prison of a body that people yell at and fear because they do not understand."
This only caused Wanda to sob more...Feeling the utter hopelessness of the world bearing down upon her as if to shatter any more desire to live on with such a burden. But at least such a burden was shared at this moment...And she was not alone to let herself be crushed by her overwhelming feelings of angst.
"Some of my earliest memories," Kurt continued, "Vere of lynch mobs forming in the village with pitchforks and torches chanting 'Kill the demon!' or 'The monster must die!' I lost count how many times they came close to practically crucifying me...While I begged to them that I was not a monster. But...I guess I cannot blame them for looking the way I do."
"But you're not a monster Kurt," said Wanda upon seeing his haunted expression.
"And you're not crazy Wanda..." quipped the blue mutant, "You are strong enough to take control...You are strong enough to get through this...And...You're strong enough to forgive your father."
However, Wanda merely scoffed at the idea of ever calling that man 'father' again.
"I will never forgive that man...After what he did to me...His own daughter..."
"Vanda...If I can forgive my mother...Then certainly, you can forgive your father," said Kurt, not wanting her to go through life regretting such a decision to forever abandon her father.
"I can't...Not after...I mean...How can I ever believe him?" struggled Wanda, not wanting to feel any sense of longing for her father's repentance, "After what he did...How can I know that he just isn't trying to cast another veil of lies to win me over?"
Kurt let out a deep, uncertain sigh. There were some things he knew he could not answer...There were things that he could not give Wanda no matter how much she wanted them. But Kurt could see that this young woman was very much like him in a sense...They had both been in a prison...Figuratively and literally. They both had parents that had deeply hurt them in the past and were willing to fight for forgiveness. But Kurt had found the strength and faith to forgive his mother...And if he could do that, then surly Wanda could do the same for her father.
"Wanda...I vish I could give you all the answers you deserve," said Kurt softly as he held her even closer, "But I can only do so much...I can only guide you. Whether or not you choose to give your father a chance is entirely up to you. But in choosing...Remember this...He is still your father. Nothing can ever change that. I may not know him too vell...But I do believe that if he says he is sorry...He at least deserves a chance. And this time...Even if he does prove to be lying...You won't be alone in dealing with that. This I promise you..."
Gradually, the shaking in the room began to wane as Wanda managed to calm herself down. Kurt's words gave her a lot to think about. Magneto...For all his psychotic babble and sinister plans...Was still her father. Kurt had done a lot in forgiving his mother...But Wanda knew Mystique...She knew how much she loved her kids. And when she thought about it...She really didn't know Magneto all that well. She only knew what he had done to her...Not what he had done in life. There was a lot of uncertainty in her mind...But then, she remembered back to her father's words just before he had Jean undo the blocks. She saw his tears...Remembered his tone...Was it possible? Could she do it?
Wanda looked back up at Kurt's eyes...Full of compassion and understanding. She soon found herself gently running her hands along the soft, velvet like fur on his face.
"I...Don't know what to do..." said Wanda, still unable make this monumental choice on whether or not she should try and give her father a chance.
"Give it time Wanda...I know you'll make the right decision," assured Kurt as he gently cupped her chin with his furry hands, "I have faith in you...Ve all do."
Another tear slid down the Scarlet Witch's eye, for she wasn't alone. It was something she had to be reminded of due to her stubborn nature...But Kurt hadn't given up on her in the same way he hadn't given up on her brother when he saved his life. This boy had done so much for her...And he had not even asked for anything in return. He already had so much taken away from him...Yet he still had faith. The longer she was in his arms, the safer she felt. It was a strange feeling that she could not explain...But one that she truly didn't want to let go of.
Then...Wanda's actions took another turn for the unexpected as she soon found her face drawing closer to Kurt's. The young boy was once again paralyzed with feeling of surprise...But he didn't fight it in the least. Finally...The distance between their faces disappeared...And the two young adults met in another passionate kiss. It sent feeling of great warmth through the both of them...As if filling a deep hole left in their hearts from years of isolation. They gently took each other's hand and held it tightly as they continued to kiss in the darkness. Why this was happening between them...And why they continued not to fight such actions or feelings was still something they both struggled to ascertain...But in talking to Kurt and listening to his beautiful words...Wanda finally felt that she had made her choice.
Outside Wanda's door, the rest of the surviving mutants were relieved to feel the shaking from Wanda's room stop. They didn't know how he had done it...But Kurt managed to succeed in a way that even the Professor hadn't in the time he had tried to help her. It left many of the others bewildered, but relieved none the less. The issue with Magneto was still up in the air...But now, with this one single step, it was clear that at least some progress was being made.
"I don't believe it..." grinned Scott as he and the others looked back at the long hall where the disturbances had originated, "The fuzzy man actually did it."
"That's our Kurt!" added Jean...Who, if her mind wasn't deceiving her, was sensing somewhat more powerful emotions radiating from Wanda's room.
"You must be very proud Raven..." said Colossus.
Mystique couldn't help but smile...For she actually did feel proud of her son for what he had managed to do. Pride...A feeling that she so seldom ever got to feel as a parent...Something that part of her didn't feel she had a right to feel...But that didn't matter now. For the more she learned about Kurt...The more proud she felt that he was her son.
"I am..." she answered, unable to hold back a smile of her own.
Just then...Kitty returned from her little chat with Magneto on the surface. She too was surprised to find that the shaking from Wanda's powers had died down, but she was definitely relieved.
"Well..." asked Scott, "Did you talk to him?"
Kitty bit her lip, unsure if she really had been able to reach Eric in his time of darkness. She didn't even know whether or not she succeeded or made things worse. But never the less...She didn't regret her actions in going up to talk to him.
"Well...Yes, but...I don't know if I got through to him," answered Kitty somewhat anxiously, "He's dug himself into a pretty deep rut, that's for sure. But...I think I helped him as best I could."
Upon hearing this, Piotr scoffed and simply left the kitchen for his room before anybody could stop him. It was clear that he was still bitter at Magneto for his past sins and was still not ready to completely forgive him at this point. Kitty looked at him worriedly, but Jean stopped the young girl from having second thoughts.
"Let him go Kitty...You did the right thing," assured Jean to her younger friend.
"But...What about Peter?" asked Kitty, knowing that it would be quite a challenge to ever get him to see Magneto differently after the incident with his sister.
"Just...Give him some time for now," said Scott, knowing what she was probably thinking, "You surprised him with what you did...And I think he just has to make sense of it himself."
Kitty let out a tired sigh, for it had been a long, eventful day and sleep was definitely starting to sound good right about now.
"I guess I'll talk to him in the morning..." said Kitty as she headed off to her room for some much needed shut eye.
"Yes, that sounds good to me too," said Jean, "Raven, are you going try and get some sleep tonight?"
"No promises..." answered the shape shifter as she went back over towards the living room.
"But what about Magneto?" asked Scott as he and Jean remained the only ones left in the room.
"Like Peter and Wanda...I think he just needs time," answered the redhead
And with that, Jean took her boyfriend's hand and led them to their room where they fell asleep comfortably in each other's arms.
In the quiet hours that passed, most of the inhabitance of the base managed to fall asleep. Mystique had opted to stay awake a little later for obvious reasons and decided to busy herself with a few movies from the stash left in the lounge area. The selection was fairly broad and mostly included military movies like "Full Metal Jacket," "Top Gun," and "Patton." They helped keep Raven up through the night and she managed to fight off the incessant exhaustion her body felt from such lack of sleep.
Eric remained topside for the most part still staring at the stars, but nobody went up to bother him. And in some ways, this was a good thing because it allowed the old man time to think and reflect. He kept contemplating what he was going to do next and wondering how he was going to uphold that what he had just promised the spirit of his dead wife, Magda. But for now...The stars gave him all he needed to make the choices he needed in staying true to his word.
As the others slept, Wanda remained only half awake as she remained in her bed with Kurt...Whom had since fallen fast asleep with his arms still wrapped around her. His presence helped the young woman stay calm and think clearly about her choice on what to do next. Her father had begged for her forgiveness...She had found herself unable to finish him off when he merely stood before her waiting for his punishment. It only added to the inner struggle that Wanda felt between her anger and her heart. But in thinking about what she was going to do next...She knew there was somebody she had to talk to first. Quietly...She managed to slip out of Kurt's grip and make her way out of her room and towards the other end of the hall where the medical bays were.
As she entered, she found that the lights had been dimmed and Pietro was still fast asleep and breathing gently despite his injuries. Wanda remembered how Jean had told her that Pietro's speedy body chemistry should kick in within days thanks to the medications and he should be back on his feet soon enough. It was relieving to hear that she would soon have her brother back the way he was...Even if it meant having to deal with his annoying cockiness once again. Wanda couldn't help but smile at the prospects, for she knew her brother...And she had a pretty good idea of how he would bounce back in the end.
As she walked over to the wounded speed demon's side, she heard him begin to stir from his drug induced stupor.
"Hey speedy..." said Wanda as she saw his eyes slowly open.
If he had the strength, Pietro would have laughed at that...But his strength was slow to return to him as the effects of the pain killers were slow to wear off. Gradually, his vision cleared as he saw his twin sister looming over him protectively. He could make out the faint marks left by her tears...And had a pretty good idea where they came from.
"Come to pay me back after all these years?" said Pietro softly, yet unafraid now of his sister's wrath.
"No..." said Wanda as she shook her head solemnly, "Father told me the truth...All of it. He...Told me that you had nothing to do with it...And I believe that."
Pietro let out an exasperated sigh upon hearing that Magneto had told her the truth. It was a grim confirmation of what he had feared most. He hadn't wanted his so called 'father' to hurt Wanda anymore. He had done enough by simply letting it happen...And he still felt a great deal of guilt.
"Wanda...I...I'm so sorry I didn't tell you..." he said weakly through his drowsiness, "I should've done more...I should've never let him brainwash you. It's my fault...I...I just wanted my sister back so badly that I..."
Pietro couldn't finish his words, for he found them too hard to say both physically and emotionally as he struggled with his long pent up feelings of guilt over his actions towards Wanda. But upon hearing Pietro's reasons for letting it happen...The young woman couldn't help but shed more tears. Such a cocky, self absorbed speedster had actually shown that he had a heart. And even though he almost never openly showed it...Wanda could tell that it was strong and full of compassion.
"Shh...Its okay Pietro...I'm here now," said Wanda as she took her brother's hand, "You aren't going to lose me again..."
Pietro's hand was cold and clammy, but the warmth of Wanda's hand helped give the young speedster assurance that he need not worry. His twin sister's words were gentle and caring...Not things he would usually associate with Wanda, but he was quick to accept them.
"Thank you...Wanda," replied Pietro weakly, but with a great deal of strength and relief in his voice, "I only wish...That I could have done something that day...I wish I could have stopped him."
"What's done is done Pietro...It's taken a while for me to accept that," said Wanda as she gave Pietro's hand a gentle squeeze, "I should be the one apologizing because I blamed you. We were both only kids...There really wasn't much either of us could do."
"So...Do you forgive me?" asked the wounded young man as he filtered out the sting of his wounds and focused solely on his sister's response.
Wanda gave him a reassuring smile...One that Pietro hadn't seen in so long.
"Yeah...I forgive you speedy. I owe you as much for saving my life."
"And all it took...Was ten bullets and a near death experience," joked Pietro as he managed to laugh as well.
"But if you want to do anything to repent for the past Pietro, just remember...Don't ever die on me like that again, you hear? Don't EVER scare me like that again," said Wanda as she gave Pietro's hand another squeeze.
Pietro couldn't help but smile...For it showed that even though he was a cocky, self absorbed speedster...His sister still loved him and the feeling of having her back and not full of rage was a feeling no mere thrill could ever hope to match.
As the two siblings sat together in the medical ward, this time without fear or apprehension of one another...A new presence soon appeared outside the doorway. It was Magneto...And he had seen and heard what his children had said to one another. After years of forced separation and many petty fights...They were once again siblings. It was a sight that made Eric feel so proud...But at the same time, he didn't think he should be allowed to feel such things towards his children. He had done too much to them...But now, he was finally willing to change that.
Slowly, Eric made his way into the room...Quickly catching the attention of both Wanda and Pietro. A sickening feeling upon bearing the sight of him caused Wanda's powers to emerge and certain object within the ward began to shake and the lights began to flicker. However, Eric was beyond caring at this point...If her powers killed him, he would have no regrets. He just wanted to speak to both of them...Together as a family should be.
"What do you want?!" asked Pietro coldly as he watched his father approach both him and Wanda.
Eric watched as the mixed emotions soon swept over Wanda, but this time...It seemed less severe than before. Somehow...She had managed to calm herself down. She remembered Kurt's gentle words and in thinking about him, she managed to finally managed to take control of her renegade powers on her own. Pietro still looked and sounded full of anger at this man...But Eric was determined to at least speak to the both of them right here...Before he lost them again.
"Please...I only wish to say one thing...To the both of you," said Eric Lensherr as he now stood before both the twins, "I know I have caused you both a lot of pain...I know I have taken many things away from you over the years. I tore you apart from one another...I abandoned you...I betrayed you. Such acts...I can never justify."
"Get to the point...Magneto," said Pietro coldly as he listened to his father's words.
Eric took a deep breath and did something he hadn't done in half a century...He prayed. He prayed to God...And to his late wife...That his children would heed these words that he was pouring out of his heart and soul.
"As a father...I have truly failed on so many levels...And I see that now. But know this...I intend to stay alive...And repent for the sins that I have committed against my family. I...Made a promise to your mother...And I am a man of my word...That much you should know about me. I understand that...You may never see me as a father ever again...I brought that upon myself. But no matter how much you hate me...I will still always be your father. And whether you choose to believe me or not...I will always love the both of you. I guess what I'm trying to say is...I will never stop trying to win you...My children...Back. Not as a master...Not as an employer...But as a father. I know it may take some time for either of you to ever believe me...But it is the truth. Magneto...Is gone. I am just Eric Magnus Lensherr now...And if you can ever find it in your hearts to believe me...Know that I'll always be there...Now, and until the end of my days."
Eric didn't wait for a response and quickly made his way out of the ward, leaving his children to ponder his words. After the things Pietro had said to him and after the thing Wanda did to him...The man was still willing to try and win them back. But there were so many things that stood in the way...Painful things like memories, emotions, and a nagging sense of logic that was torn as to whether or not he was lying. Both Wanda and Pietro Maximoff...The two children of the most powerful mutant on the planet...Were now left at a crossroad. Should they accept their father? Is it possible for them to be a family again? There were no easy answers...But neither of them could deny the struggle they both faced now as the desire to be a family again and the desire for revenge against everything he had done fought for dominance in the minds of the young twins.
"What do you think Wanda?" asked Pietro, unsure of how to take his words.
The Scarlet Witch merely sighed...Who was struggling just as much. However, in remembering what Kurt had said about forgiveness...Wanda felt that perhaps it was possible. But it would be a long, hard road down that path...And uncertainty still hung strong in both her and her brother's mind.
"I don't know Pietro...I really don't. But...I think we shouldn't just throw his pleas away. Ignoring them now would be no better than what he did years ago when he ignored me. I just...I need to think that's all. We both do..."
And with that, the Maximoff twins were left to think...And whether or not it would ever make them a family again...Was still in question.
AN: To be continued for now my friends! So what do you think of all the Maximoff family drama? Do you think Magneto will ever win them back? There's still plenty more to come so stay tuned! So what do you think of this story? Please let me know! Tell me by sending your reviews via email or by posting them on the fanfiction website! I'm open to constructive criticism...But if you have to flame, please be considerate. This is an AU! This is a story! I simply want to tell a good story, so please bare that in mind if you don't like it. Well, thanks a lot everybody for taking the time to read my story! I really appreciate it and I wish you all the best!
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