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- “Sister!” Pietro’s voice was split between surprise and happiness. “It’s a pleasure to see you . . . see you again. I was happy to get your invitation, after so long. Avengers Mansion does always feel like a second home.”
- Wanda was, well, slightly then overjoyed, to say the least. She and Pietro never had the firmest relationship, at best of times. “I suppose it is, after all. But Pietro . . . I didn’t invite you, here. You invited me. Not the other way around.”
- The two Maximoffs were in the porch behind Avengers Mansion, the elaborate old building off Central Park that the two had called home, on and off, since their teenaged years and the Kooky Quartet of them, Captain America, and Hawkeye. The two were both in their superheroic costumes, Pietro’s blue and white and Wanda’s eponymous scarlet and pink. Neither were comfortable, necessarily, but they weren’t so estranged that the two were going to ignore an invitation from the other.
- But it appeared that they had been led there under false pretenses.
- “If you didn’t, Wanda, then who exactly did invite us both?”
- Two shadows descended from the sky, in answer to that very question. It wasn’t hard to tell who, either: a flowing cape and a horned helmet, a bomber jacket and a telltale streak of white.
- “Ah’m ‘fraid that was me, y’all. Still got mah Avengers communicator.” Rogue landed, in her old costume, the green and white jumpsuit and the old bomber jacket she’d worn since the old days. “We had to talk ta y’all and wasn’t quite right to do it by e-mail.”
- “And, while deception may have been necessary, and I do sincerely apologize for that, I must—”
- “I don’t need your worthless apologies, father,” Quicksilver snapped, angrily. “Tell me whatever you have to say, and tell it quick.”
- “Rogue, we’ve fought alongside enough times that I respect you. But I asked my father.”
- “Ah. Of course.” Erik looked almost abashed, or as abashed as a man wearing a large red helmet can look. “Well, you see, Anna-Marie – that is, Rogue – and I, we were on a mission to, or, that is, at—"
- “Magneto,” Wanda said, not unkindly, “we’ve got enough bad blood between the two of us – between the three of us – that there isn’t much you could say to make it worse.”
- “Erik and ah got married.”
- Pietro and Wanda stood in sudden, shocked silence for a full minute.
- “Father, recall how I said there wasn’t much you could say to make things worse between you and Pietro and myself? This was the thing you could say.”
- Magneto took off his helmet, sheepishly. “I imagine that this is hard to hear.”
- “Lorna didn’t take it much better,” Rogue added.
- “She’s younger than we are!” Quicksilver was almost blurring as he shook, angrily. “And she spends half her time messing around with that idiot thief!”
- “Remy is a good man, Pietro,” Erik said. “That’s unfair.”
- “And ah’m not a child. Ah know what ah’m gettin’ in to.”
- “Isn’t this sort of quick?” Wanda wasn’t angry, like her brother was, but she wasn’t quite happy for her father, or her rival-turned-friend, either. “You were fighting, what, a year ago?”
- “Life happens quickly, my dear. What’s the worth of waiting to be happy when happiness is within our reach?”
- “Besides. Erik an’ ah have both played for both teams. Hero and villain, y’know?” Rogue shrugged. “Ah know he’s a good man at heart.”
- “Wanda? Please kill me.”
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