sun was setting as it did everyday. And just like the day before it,
Wanda Maximoff hexed an amorous Todd Tolansky into the living room
wall and stalked out of the Brotherhood Boarding House to clear her
thoughts. She went to her usual thinking place, a decrepit playground
that had been forgotten by the digital generation of today's youth.
Luckily, that worked out for Wanda. It was a good twenty-minute walk
from the boarding house, so that helped to dissolve most of her anger
but today was a bit different. She had uncovered an album of pictures
under her bed and flipped through it, abandoning all other activities
for the day. Many of the pictures were old and faded, those depicting
her father as a small boy and later as a young man standing with an
attractive woman. The next page had a faded birth announcement,
accompanied by pictures of infant Pietro and Wanda. Most of the
pictures showed a happy family, until one page where Wanda noticed
that a section of the picture had been ripped out. She kept thumbing
through the pages until she saw another newspaper article. 'Violent
child committed to facility for treatment,' the headline read. She
had stroked the edge of the article and been violated by the memory
that accompanied it. One of the fabricated memories had cracked, bits
of real life events flowing back into her mind. In a fury, she had
stormed down the stairs to confront Pietro only to meet Todd. She
hexed him into the wall and ran for her sanctuary. When she reached
the rusted carousel, she collapsed, bawling against the still smooth
steel of the bottom.
"Hello," a male voice called from a close distance. "Is anyone out there? What's wrong?" The man was pushing his way through the trees and shrubbery surrounding the playground.
Wanda glared at the direction she suspected the voice was coming from. Sure enough, a teenage boy fell through entered the clearing, looking bewildered. "Go away," she screamed.
"Wanda," he questioned. "What's wrong?"
She scowled up at him for a moment before recognizing that he was covered in fine blue fur. "Go away," she bawled dejectedly, laying her head back on the steel.
He took several tentative steps forward. "Are you sure? I wouldn't want to just leave you here if you're in pain."
"For the last time, go away." She met his gaze and squinted disapprovingly. "You aren't my friend, I don't know you that well, and I really want to be alone right now. So go away!"
He scoffed, rolling his eyes and turning to leave. "Fine! Excuse me for caring!"
He turned to leave but she pushed herself to feet. "You're nothing," she screamed a him. "You're worthless! You're a freak!"
Kurt turned on her, his hackles rising. "Oh yeah," replied, voice dripping with malice. "You think you're any better?"
"No," she said, lowering her voice in shame. "I'm more worthless than you are. My parents didn't want me."
"And my mom is just begging to bake me cookies," he spat back at her, his voice heavy with sarcasm.
Wanda clenched her fist to stop from throwing a hex bolt. "At least you had a chance with your mother. Mine walked out." She stopped, swallowing hard before screaming, "Before everything else blew up, my mom walked out on me!"
Kurt stalked forward until they were only a few inches apart. "Poor pathetic Scarlet Witch. Your life is so hard. But then again," he stopped, his voice growing more vicious. "Maybe you should try life where you can't even go out in public. I'm fucking blue!"
Wanda backed up a step. "My family didn't want me. You can't understand. Your mom did that to save you. She gave you up to save you." She looked at her feet, her voice tiny. "At some point she cared. Maybe she still does."
Kurt lowered his head, the concept hitting home. "What about you," he asked timidly. "The men in your life can't all be idiots."
"No, they're worse. All the happy memories I have were made for me. They're not even not even mine." She swiped at the tears leaking from her eyes, her cheek stinging slightly.
Kurt stared at her as she sunk back onto the carousel, dragging her boots in the dirt. "Then you have to ask yourself," he started softly. "Which are better, happy memories that aren't yours or none at all?"
She banged her gloved fist on the bottom of the carousel. "None," she growled through clenched teeth. "I don't want any of it. I don't want my father or my brother or any other man in my life. All they do is cause you pain."
Kurt smiled crookedly. "Well, thank you," he said, trying to create levity.
"You're my enemy," she responded, gazing up at him from through her lashes.
His smiled widened just a bit as he crouched in front of her, his tail swiping a path in the dirt. "But we share a common enemy. The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Her brow furrowed as she stared down at him. "I don't even know you."
Her held up one of his three fingers, pointing upward and smiling. "You know me a little. Besides, that's what the future is for."
She breathed deep, wiping her nose. "How much of a walking cliché are you?"
Kurt smirked. "I get worse everyday."
Wanda scrunched up her nose and fiddled with her gloves. "Even more reason not to know you."
He laughed not at her, but the skeptical tone to her voice. "You're wonderful."
She rolled her eyes at him. "And you're a flirt. About two minutes ago you were yelling at me.
Kurt shrugged. "You were yelling at me," he responded. "Now look at us! We're having a civilized conversation."
"That borders on flirtation," she pointed out.
Kurt smiled, his fangs glinting in the setting sun. "Is that so bad?"
Wanda shook her head, muttering to herself, "This is why I hate men."
Kurt nodded, looking down to meet her gaze. "Then I fully support your choice to be a lesbian."
She laughed without constraint. "I wouldn't go that far. Men have their redeeming qualities, no matter how few they are."
"You're hard to impress," he noted.
"I call it principle," she shot back.
"It's always good to have a lot of principle."
"Glad you think so," she remarked.
"I like women with principle," he said with a slick smile.
She let out a frustrated huff. "There you go being a flirt again."
"I'd stop if you'd agree to go out with me," he slid in.
Wanda gave him a sardonic smile. "You're really predictable, did you know that?"
Kurt scrunched his nose, tail swinging playfully. "Then let me strive to surprise you."
She giggled involuntarily, speaking without thinking much. "OK. But only because you said the word strive."
Kurt stood straight up, surprised. "Wow. I think that's the first time my vocabulary ever got me a date."
She stood up, brushing off her burgundy trench coat. "Friday at 8?"
Kurt nodded feverently. "I'll pick you up," he near sputtered.
"In a car?" Wanda asked incredulously, trying to get a rise out of him.
He fell for the bait and gave her a bored look. "No, we'll ride your broomstick. Of course in a car." He paused looking hopeful. "Unless you like teleporting?"
Wanda didn't hide her disgust. "I'll pass."
Kurt shrugged it off. "I thought so. It takes getting used to."
"I bet. See you then." She turned to leave.
He shrugged again. "If you say so, gorgeous."
She twisted back towards him. "Don't call me that," she ordered, thrown off by the endearment.
He gave her a smug smile. "Or what?"
"I'll hex you into the pavement," she warned.
"That would make an interesting date," Kurt remarked.
Wanda rolled her eyes and stated to take off back towards the Boarding House. "Get out of here."
"Alright. See you Friday."
"Yes," she replied in exasperation. "And Fuzzy?"
He turned back to face her retreating back. 'Yes, my love?"
"Tell anyone about this and I'll slaughter you," she threw at him over her shoulder.
He winced but nodded agreeably. 'If you say so."
"Also," she continued. "Expect the same results if you ever call me 'my love' again." She flexed her hand and threw a tiny hex bolt at him and smiled secretively as he fell over into some shrubbery.
"See you Friday," she whispered under her breath, frightened and excited. 'Whatever happens.'