The Truth Only Hurts Sometimes
By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Me own nadda. This is set after 'Toad, Witch, and Wardrobe'. I love the Toad/Wanda thing. I'm a sucker for underdogs I guess. Read Molotov's "I Just Don't Know", it's the main inspiration for this nonsense that I wrote.

She was having another nightmare again. I could tell by the way everything in the house goes berserk. When Lance has bad dreams the house shakes but with Wanda it's different. Everything just goes totally nuts.
I hopped upstairs to see if she was okay. I cracked open her door; a bit surprised that no one was with her already. Not even Pietro, that smug brother of hers, was there. Then again, that doesn't surprise me. The Maximoff twins aren't exactly the poster children for good sibling relations even now that Wanda's memories are all screwed up.

Her room looked like someone had dropped a bomb on it. Everything that wasn't tied down was strewn all about the room. I could hear her crying and came over to her.
"Wanda?" I asked, not knowing if she would get mad at me. PMS has nothing on this girl's mood swings. If I didn't have a huge crush on her I might find it scary but it's just one of those little quirks that makes me love her.
"Toad?" she asked. Nobody in the house calls me Todd anymore, least of all her. I was surprised that she wasn't angry.
"Yeah, it's me," I replied as she wrapped her arms around me. This was the usual when she had nightmares. I really would've liked it if I didn't know it was all fake. At the beginning if Pietro was up he'd come in and tell her it was all a dream. After awhile though, he was either sound asleep or didn't care anymore.
"Why do I keep dreaming he did that to me?" sobbed Wanda. I couldn't tell her the truth: that Magneto had Mastermind play cut and paste with her memories so she'd forget her own father locked her in the nuthouse. I tried to tell her the first time but Pietro gave me a lame speech about how she was happier now. I bought it and haven't had the courage to tell her since then.
"It was just a dream," I assured her. Every time I did that I felt like the biggest coward on Earth. I wanted to tell her that Magneto really did do that but I always got too scared. I'm scared she'll go back to how she used to be. A fake Wanda's better than no Wanda, right?
She was breathing heavily. I opened my eyes and wondered when I had closed them. I looked down and saw that she was asleep again. I briefly thought of crawling in bed with her while I untangled myself from her grip but realized that would only make her mad. I tucked her back into bed and kissed her on the cheek. She smiled at that. God, she had a beautiful smile. It was too bad she didn't do it more often. I wiped some left over slime off her face and then went back to bed.

Mornings are always weird. Pietro's always zipping around doing ten things at once, Freddy's eating ten things at once, and usually by breakfast I've earned a zap from Wanda. Hey, can I help it that I feel the need to remind her how wonderful she is? Before it happened she wasn't even around enough to zap me. In a painful way it's kind of nice. It almost makes me forget how much of a coward I am.
"Morning, sweetie," I cooed as I snatched a waffle from the middle of the table with my tongue. Wanda grunted as she sipped her coffee. Mornings were never her most cheerful time of the day. Then again there wasn't much difference but I didn't mind.
"Hey, Blob," yelled Lance from the living room, "Cartoons are on." Blob has the biggest thing about watching Saturday morning cartoons. So does Pietro. Heck, I do too but after they all cleared out it was just me and Wanda so I stayed in the kitchen.
"You sleep okay after, ya know?" I asked. I almost thought I saw Wanda smile. Almost. Must be my lucky day.
"Yeah," she said and then in a lower voice so no one else could hear, "Thanks for the hug." This was my lucky day. An almost-smile and a flat out thank you. If heaven was something else I didn't want to know what it was.
"Anytime," I replied. I still felt like a jerk. Even if she was just my friend and I didn't love her like I do I still should've told her the truth.
"You're all so good to me," said Wanda suddenly, "I don't know why I'd think my brother or father tried to hurt me." It kinda freaked me out that she was bein' this nice around me. Because they did, I thought to myself. That's what I wanted to say to her but I couldn't.
"Why do I keep dreaming that the two most important people in the world to me hated me enough to lock me away?" asked Wanda. She was starting to cry again. I couldn't stand to see her like this. Are you a man or a mouse, son? My dad used to ask me that when I got scared. I knew I wasn't no mouse but I sure as hell wasn't actin' like a real man right then. I braced myself. Even if it meant the biggest hex bolt in the world I was going to tell her. I was going to stop being a toad and start being a man.
"Wanda," I gulped, "There's something I gotta tell you."
"What?" asked Wanda. She looked at me with those icy blue eyes. They were a lot like Pietro's except a lot prettier because they were hers. I almost wanted to not tell her but I couldn't turn back now.
"That dream you keep havin' really happened," I told her, "Your dad really did put you in that asylum. You used ta remember that but this guy, Mastermind, wiped your mind so you wouldn't hate Magneto no more."
"What the hell are you talking about?" asked Wanda, "My father would never. . ."
"Remember the rain, honey," I said as I tried to jog her memory, "Remember how it was raining that night like in your dream. Those guys took you and locked you up. Pietro and your dad just stood there. Any of this ring a bell?" I watched her face as I described what had happened.
"No, no, that was a dream," she stated more to convince herself than me, "Dad never did that. He was always nice to me and Pietro. He. . .he. . ." She stared at her coffee with her head in her hands. I think she was trying to say that he loved her and I knew that if she ever said that then the real Wanda was gone. I almost thought she didn't believe me. That's when she looked up at me with that scowl I loved. I almost wanted to smile as her mug exploded.
"You slimy, spineless, wart-faced, little jerk!" she snarled as my chair suddenly fell out from under me. I yelped and scooted backwards up against the fridge.
"Now, sweetie, honey, schnookums," I pleaded, "Please, I tried to tell you sooner but. . ."
"Don't call me those things ever again," she barked, "I've always hated it when you called me those names." The fridge behind me rattled but I didn't care if she dropped it on me. I didn't even care that she called me those things. Every insult was like a pat on the back because I knew it was really her. I wanted to jump for joy. Fake Wanda better than nothing? Bullshit. The real Wanda was the only Wanda I could ever love and now she was back again.
Well, what've you got to say for yourself?" demanded Wanda, "Better make your last words meaningful, Frog Boy."
"Pietro!" I squawked as I held my hands up in front of my face, "I wanted to tell you sooner but Pietro said I shouldn't."
"Pietro," repeated Wanda in disgust. She turned to find him. I smiled. That smug bastard was finally going to get it now. The only time Pietro ever looked scared was when Wanda went off.
"Wait," I said, "Do you remember what happened on the mountain?"
"If you try to kiss me again I'll kill you," sneered Wanda, "I remember it. If you'll excuse me I have to make myself an only child. After that I'll go for orphan status." I put my hands down and crept into the living room. I so didn't want to miss this.

Pietro must've known what I did the second he saw Wanda's face. He looked from her to me then back to her in half a second and then tried to bolt.
"No," ordered Wanda. The couch suddenly swung on its leg at a right angle and pinned Pietro to the wall by his legs before he could get going.
Oh-geez," said Pietro as he tried to get free. Blob and Lance stayed as far away from the twins as humanly possible. I just watched from the entrance to the kitchen.
"Toad-what-the-hell-did-you-do?" asked Pietro. I barely understood what he said through all his strung together words. I hate it when Pietro does that.
"I just let her in on a little secret," I told him with a smirk, "Everybody else knew, yo." I smiled slyly as Wanda finally put herself right at eye level with him. Everybody knew about Wanda's memories. I suddenly wondered why none of us had told her sooner. It was weird that I was the one with enough guts to do it. Even Lance was too afraid to tell her.
"Well, dear brother," said Wanda, "now that I've got you what should I do with you? Of course I'm going to kill you but how?"
"Wanda-you're-crushing-me," gasped Pietro as the couch pressed up against him, "Please-sis-he-said-it-was-the-only-way-I-just-wanted-you-to- be-happy."
"Liar," spat Wanda, "Ah, I've finally got it. Usually when I hex you it's to stop you from running. I wonder what would happen if I hexed it so you couldn't stop running."
"Please-don't-do-that," pleaded Pietro. It gave me a small sense of satisfaction to see him squirm. That's what he gets for leaving my darling Wanda rotting in a cell.
"Think about it, big brother," said Wanda, "You'd just run in circles until you fell over and died from exhaustion. The mighty Quicksilver ran himself to death. It sounds so wonderful."
"Freddy-Lance-Toad-do-something," pleaded Pietro, "Don't-let-her-do- it."
"No one's going to help you," stated Wanda as she stared at the three of us with daggers in her eyes.
"Please-for-the-love-of-God-Wanda-don't-do-this," pleaded Pietro, "I'm-sorry-I-let-Dad-do-all-those-things-to-you-really-I-wanted-to-stop-him- but-I-couldn't."
"For the love of God," repeated Wanda, "Where was God that cold, rainy night, Pietro? Where was God when I was locked in a hellhole crying my eyes out? Never mind God, where were you? Where was my big brother who swore to protect me? At least now you'll have a decent excuse for not being anywhere."
"Wanda," I said as I hopped over and looked up at her. As much as I loved watching Wanda torture Pietro he was still sorta my friend and I wasn't going to let his own sister kill him.
"Not now," she replied through gritted teeth, "Wait your turn." I tugged on her shirt again.
"C'mon Wanda," I said, "Pietro's really sorry, honestly. I mean sure he let your dad do all that stuff but it ain't been a picnic for him either. Can you really kill your own brother?" This wasn't the Wanda I loved. In that one instant I was sorry I'd ever told her the truth.
"Sorry doesn't cut it," snarled Wanda as she looked at Pietro, "except for him." I stopped flinching and realized she wasn't going to kill him.
"I'm not through yet," said Wanda. Pietro gulped and began sweating again.
"But-I-thought," he began before Wanda silenced him.
"Since you like being Daddy's Errand Boy you can deliver him a message," said Wanda with a smirk.
"What-is-it?" asked Pietro. At this point he looked like he'd kiss dirt to stop Wanda from killing him.
"Tell our father," began Wanda but she stopped and looked at the three of us. I saw her recompose her message and wondered what the original version was.
"Tell him that Wanda, the real Wanda, says that every one of the Brotherhood members, including me and you, are off limits for missions, battles, and anything else he wants from us," ordered Wanda, "and if he has a problem then tell him I'll rip his heart out and feed it to him through a straw."
"Gotcha-sis," replied Pietro gratefully, "I'll-tell-him-right-away- Thank-you-Thank-you-Thank-you-Thank-you. . ." He would've gone on but Wanda clamped her hand over his mouth. There was a collective silent cheer from everyone. Finally, we didn't have to worry about Magneto gettin' us into stuff.
"Go," ordered Wanda as she finally released her brother. Pietro nodded and zipped off. She turned to face me. I was ready for whatever she wanted to do to me. She could hex me all day long but I was still happy to have my Wanda back.
"As for you," she said, "I know I'm going to regret this and you probably don't deserve it but thank you." I hadn't expected anything else so when she kissed me on the cheek I might as well have died and gone straight to heaven.
"If you brushed more often and tried some breath mints you might get better treatment," said Wanda. If things could get better I couldn't imagine how. The Brotherhood was free but more importantly my wonderful schnookums was her old, nasty self again. Who says the truth hurts? Not me that's for sure, yo.