1965-02-25 - The One Where No One Got Pantsed
Summary: Pietro brings grim news of old things becoming new again as 'Mutant Registration Act" demands hit the front pages to the family
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
pietro wanda strange 

There are 10 million bicycles in Beijing, and almost as many hidden places in New York one can go to have a conversation that never happened. The weather came down in a heavy dampness that wasn't raining or even snowing. It was just humid, cold, and miserable out in the way that the damp sticks with one when they walk as if the sidewalk itself were a beggar clutching at the passing boots for pity and mercy from the weather.

Pietro leaned on the door frame of the Java Joint that was only a couple blocks from Sanctum and had a good view of the goings on of the busy little street in Greenwich. Any other day the aloof and bored neo-albino would be finding ways to entertain himself through the next hour between his own errands, and generally at Stephan's expense. Not today. Today he rang him up and waited. Humorless pale blue eyes scanned the street for activity and that shaven squared jaw shifted from side to side idly at the molars.

Not being involved in anything particularly delicate by Mystical nature, Strange is fairly quick to answer the call. He chooses to walk, buffered against the mild wind and chill by his black Belstaff and matching gloves. The crimson scarf is wrapped high about his neck, nearly obscuring his chin and ears in turn. It takes a few minutes, but no doubt the sharp-eyed speedsters sees his approach. Who could miss him with the scarf in particular?

"Pietro," he says quietly by way of greeting, giving his other half's brother a short nod. His blue eyes take a moment to mimic the young man's inclinations, scanning his environment for oddities. "Should we go inside out of the cold and speak? Or would you rather speak in the Sanctum?"

Pietro arched one white eyebrow and looked up and down the street and summed up simply, "I am keeping an eye on something across the street and the tea is not terrible." That might be as close to a compliment that he's been in a while. There was a slight blur around the edges and Strange found himself with a paper folded into quarters with the headline up reading: Anti-Mutant Legislation underway?

The speedster sucked at one of his eyeteeth idly and looked slowly back to sStrange far less than plussed. "So. How about that tea?"

Now with newspaper in-hand, Strange looks up from the lurid title on the front page to the speedster. His is a formidable expression kept nearly closed off but for the ramparts of cheekbones and distant glitter to his eyes.

"Yes, tea in the Sanctum, I think." Regardless of anyone watching, he enacts his will upon reality and a glittering Gate opens upon the living room of the mansion. He steps through the oculus. The air is warm and dry courtesy of the blaze going in the fireplace, all the better to keep the cold from getting into the steel pins inlaid to finger-bones.

Strange shucks the black coat and scarf; the garment tossed aside rapidly unfurls into the crimson Cloak with a happy swish of silky, checkered fabric and then hangs off to one side innocently. He lifts up the folded paper in one hand and asks, "What else do you know besides this article?"

Pietro moved as such that he wasn't in view any longer, and then a moment later a breeze pulled into the space Pietro moved through dragging debris counter-current to the breeze. Pietro didn't even try to tie Stephen's shoelaces together. He took two steps back into the room with a plate from the kitchen and a napkin in fingers because he wasn't a barbarian and respected crumbs apparently. Where he got the vanilla bean scones is anyone's guess relay, and there may be a second ice age before he told the truth of them. There was really no point in asking. "I know," said he not trying to hide his own accent, "There are several senators of the US and several lawmakers otherwise scattered looking at this. Five names are rising of many more. See the paper following? They are saying already Mutants break into the MET. Was not even a mutant at all."

The sanctum presents a somewhat tidy venue for the witch's untimely arrival, a matter of little consequence. Someone needs to perform the grocery shopping in a place where powdered chemicals flavoured by artificial orange and a variety of colourful dyes constitute the primary food source for the sorcerer supreme. A paper bag with the basics, a variety of winter vegetables, bread, rolled oats, pasta, and sauces acquired from the supermarket constitutes Wanda's primary gains, and she carries the second bag with a whole pile of pastries in the other. See, perfectly untroubled walking the streets of New York.

Strange unfolds the paper and quickly skims the story, his eyes narrowed. Indeed, the claim is that mutant-kind attacked the museum without provocation and left chaos in their wake. He's already shaking his head when he glances up at Pietro again.

"How do you know that it wasn't — " Cue the arrival of the Witch and his reason for pausing in mid-sentence. The paper is set on one of the side tables to the pair highback chairs before he walks out of the living room to intercept her in the foyer. "«Beloved»," he murmurs, automatically presuming to take the brown paper bag into his arms and then walk beside her. "Your brother is here," he adds, though the comment may be inconsequential given his speed and/or their eerie twin connection.

Pietro actually took the pained time to eat the tiny scones slooooooowly. "Because…" he began and waited, however long he had to for Stephen to go greet his sister. Any other day he might complain, but today he ate his scone and waited. Eerie twin-link as it was the ire that hovered around him like a fine frost thawed faintly taking that moment to stuff his face and just… center himself with more things being in balance for him than were a moment ago.

The two bags will both be dealt with individually; she does not surrender her own box of pastries, but giving Strange opportunity to fuss over a pile of vegetables and bread seems reasonable. "The loaf is at the top," she warns him to avoid an unseemly crushing of precious baked goods held in the highest of regards since civilization crawled out of the dusty wilds and cobbled mud bricks into a collectivist society led by some manner of warlord. Hello for that balance, however, not quite sinking into the pantry free of the Sorcerer. Her perennial awareness of Pietro's whereabouts relative to herself warrants approaching him somewhat slower, albeit not by much, before welding him with that bag. "Your blood is too low. Not the apricot. That is mine."

"Yes, I see the bread loaf," Strange replies. It takes not long at all for the groceries to be away…rather aside, given that the contents appear devoid of need for immediate refrigeration, and back the Sorcerer returns from pantry and kitchen in time to hear Wanda's pronouncement.

"I wouldn't fight her on that," he comments dryly, allowing himself a wry little smile as he strides past them. "Still, Pietro, you were saying? Because…?" He gathers up the newspaper again and brings it over by the fireplace, all the better to re-read the article by the warming flames. Their lurid light casts ruddy hues on his ice-blue dress shirt at this close distance.

Pietro let his sister spoil and advise him as she would. "Multumesc." There was more a silent conversation reserved for his sister. He was angry, he hurt from non-physical wounds to his sensibilities, and took respite not in someplace 'safe' as safety was a fallacy. That balance she offered being present and free and well served as harbour from his own rage and for that he was grateful. The 'thank you' was for a great many things.

The statement from Stephen, confused him slightly and Pietro squint offering offhandedly as he carefully picked through the bag, a gift of bread worth far more than one might understand unless they too near starved to death on more than one occasion. "Article the following day reads as I told you." He repeated for Wanda's sake for clarity, "Mutant robs the MET. Following day article is posted from the person that robs them: I am not a mutant. Already it is starting again. As we said it would. Even those in the justice department? They are leading from teh front on the coast."

Anger hums through the system, cheap champagne bubbles followed by a moonshine chaser, and neither of the elixirs particularly well processed by Wanda's system. The vibrations hurt the tenuous equilibrium at close distance, something she must be forced to deal with ever so cautiously. That means standing adjacent to her brother and leaning slightly into him until he shoves her aside or accepts the cat will lean on him, and be embraced. Mrat.

The bags are both lost and her arms are free. Thus Wanda withdraws, hugged or not, and seeks out the fire that greedily burnishes her and throws off generous amounts of heat, deliciously so. It melts into the bones and banishes dampness proverbially haunting New York from end to end. "We are at the center again. We go somewhere, and violence goes with us."

"Ah, yes, I see now," Strange murmurs, peering closer at the article in question. The paper rattles as he shuts it with an abrupt movement and folds it once more to its proper alignment, twice over upon itself.

"That's not true." This comment is for Wanda in particular and he opens his side up by angling back his free arm, the intent clearly to offer an embrace for her if need be. "I don't believe it will gain friction within this city. It owes too much to those with powers beyond normal ken, to those with abilities in the metaphysical. Besides, it's…verbal vomit, the whole idea. Fear expressed without logic to counter it." His frown brings out the sharp edges to his facial planes again and the shadows grow a little deeper in the corners of the living room.

Pietro sat very still, at least perceptivly so but his pinky finger that blurred tapping against the arm of the chair in, what was for him, idle gesture. Looking to Wanda he shook his head, "Insanity has gained tracion before. We've seen it. Fear and convenience is building old scaepgoats again. While I am not saying rally in the streets, this is not something we can just ignore either."

Blurring of the thermodynamic reflex symbolizes a kind of warning, the inevitable excessive tick-tock assembly of waning patience. At least it tends to be as good an indicator as any. "This madness," Wanda replies, choosing the words carefully. English is not her favourite language even in daily practice, influenced by the dipping Transian accent halfway between Latin romance and Slavic drama. "It never goes. There always. They find new words for the same story, Pietro. Always hurt the weak. Always make strong by fear to have the others go in a line behind them."

"I agree."

Strange follows up this statement by tossing the paper into the fireplace itself. Flames lick greedily at the thin paper, eating away at black text upon greyed background. Very quickly, the bad news is reduced to ash. "The actions that it entails are disgusting. Ignorance will lead to more than simple fistfights on the streets." He turns and paces away, towards one of the tall windows facing the main street. Flicking open a blind, the silver-templed man considers the world beyond the Sanctum and then dismisses it by turning away.

Pietro let his eyes follow the paper into the fire. They were the wizards, he was a soldier raised in the field teething on rebellion. till it wasn't a rally he was crying in the living room. He picked at the loaf (not the apricot. That was Wanda's) and savored the taste thoughtfully. "You know with all else going on there will be retaliation for that. District Attorneys, Governors, Senators… slowly being fed who the threat is and learning nothing from history keep creating their own problem by giving it name. Making manifest its form. For eight months this gets bigger slowly. We need to watch this one or they, again, make us what we are not and force us to become some things to survive. These people should not lose their homes. not again."

He is a divergent spike on the path of reality, as accursed as his thin-eyed sister wincing at the spike in golden tongues lashing the sooty interior of the hearth. Gaze too long into the sun, one is blind. Peer too far into the copper-bright wrath of humanity's first and best tool, end up with stinging eyes and crooked mouth. Hand spanning the breadth of her bicep, Wanda strokes up and down her black sleeve, massaging deep into the knotted muscle. Apricot pastry waits until later. "Everyone with power decides. Not the people. They never decide. They react."

The Sorcerer is no more happy at this new expansion of events than the siblings Maximoff. He paces past Wanda and past Pietro in turn, his slitted gaze off somewhere in the far distance, beyond the walls of the Sanctum. The silvery wards slowly fog out of the walls, called forth by the perturbation of their caster.

"I won't allow it to touch us. To touch the Sanctum and its inhabitants." Strange turns to face both siblings, his focus on Pietro briefly. "You are included. Your family, all included — because they are my family. I will do as I can, within the boundaries of my mantle." Given the marring of a wrinkled nose in check, it's a bitter taste, the defining limitations of an infinitely-powerful mantle.

Pietro took a deep breath and seemed calm. He wasn't stacking things on Stephen though which suggested all of his focus was in one spot right now and that could go either way. When Wanda spoke though his eyes drifted up to her replying only in a nod that conveyed more than words do. It will not be coming to pass. Looking to Stephen he studied the Wizard for a long long time. He wasn't the first guardian figure they'd known. Others have fallen. Perhaps he was better than they in end. Either way Pietro wasn't looking for a bulwark, but he seemed to accept the show of hospitality extended. It was the right thing to do in that regard. You open your vardo you extend the show of wind and bread. Perhaps symbolically to that effort he tore a chunk, though a small one as Strange didn't eat as mortal meaty men might, and handed it to him. "Atunci se face." Then it is done. That was that. He was rather formal tonight, but it was the nature of old things made new again that had his mindset honouring the familiar. "We then, as a family, will keep our eye on this. As our concern never stops at the walls… I'm going to see what is missing." He did pause though from the potential 'war plans' of politicians and the disenfranchised to tell his sister, "This is really super good. Don't tell me where you found this bakery. I'll eat the damn store and get passed by cars on the way home as result. Cannot happen." So good.

Their adoptive father has fallen, their terrifying guardian beyond the age of any civilisation still standing in reckoning, and their true father something for whom eternity is merely a reason to smirk. That Strange fits into the constellation of luminaries taking a look and giving a damn is undoubtedly significant, in some fashion, not yet to be explained. "Where is?" Her eyebrows raise slightly, lending translation to the Transian, even though Strange is perfectly capable of deciphering much of what they speak in one way or another.

"It is good to sleep," she says quietly, brushing her knuckles against her cheekbone and knocking away another dark smudge of her hair. "You eat the rest of the pastries in the box. You need the food. It is important for you to be healthy. Do not be afraid for this." A pause follows, and she turns to the doctor, eyes unfocused a fraction and heavy. "I think it is time to sleep, yes?"

Recognizing the offering for what it is, though the immediate translation of the Transian is rough in his mind, Strange takes the piece of vanilla scone and brings it to his chest, just shy of above his heart.

"I am in agreement. Watchful eyes are necessary above all else, even action…unless there is a threat and innocent lives are at risk. But sleep, yes, rest is just as necessary." He extends a scarred hand outwards to Wanda, the one not holding his accepted token of harmonious action between Sorcerer and Speedster. If taken, he draws her close, bulwark as he can be in this time of uncertainty. "Pietro, if you can keep me apprised of this situation, I would appreciate it. Sometimes, my mantle takes me far beyond this reality."

Pietro had been running himself down. She knew that. He does not complain frailties, but she knew and would never tell her no. For all the world in demons and shifting planes and the time lost and collapsed between atoms there was one truth in the world: his sister was the only thing he knew how to trust. That he was willing to trust her judgement and extend a gesture to Stephen? Also significant though one would need to know what to look for in the esoteric or his abrasive personality to know to even look for something to begin with. It was hard with the news to part from his twin and not just stand at her back drawing battle plans and garroting the world to keep away from her. He would have to trust Strange in that capacity,or try. Maybe rest was a thing and action could wait. Finally to bring peace of mind he agreed. "Haven't I?" Which was asshole for 'yes of course' or perhaps the gesture of 'that was what this was.'

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