Paradise

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. With a new X-Men show on, Wanda-related goodness must exist. R/R.

His entire body aches even as he opens his eyes. This action alone is laborious and standing up is even worse. Kurt Wagner can't fully remember what happened. He was almost unconscious when he made it to the mansion but he's no longer groggy enough to forget where he now resides. Genosha. Specifically, one of the holding cells for the mutants of Genosha who refuse to follow the letter of Magneto's law.

Nightcrawler's eyes shift to the green, glowing bars of his cell. His acrobatics won't really help him in this predicament even if he could move with all the grace and agility he normally can. He surmises that the energy in the bars cancel out his mutant abilities and a quick, failed attempt at teleportation confirms this theory. Kurt lets the weight of his situation sink into his mind for a moment and realizes that he will unfortunately be here for a very long time. He remembers meeting Logan at the mansion but that was most likely a ruse by Magneto and the X-Men still suspect he's still in Genosha of his own free will. Kurt rules out the hope of a rescue mission as he weakly falls against the bed provided for him in his cell. He wonders if he will get a meal or if the hospitality he saw during his tour was a complete lie rather than half of one. He soon realizes after a quick visual sweep of the room that he can't even tell what time of day it is. Given Magneto's history, Kurt suspects the Master of Magnetism knows exactly what it takes to break someone and an accurate assessment of time isn't a luxury he will be able to afford during his stay here.

"I'm glad to see you're awake. I was growing concerned." Kurt sees her standing in front of his cell and he wonders if the kindness Wanda showed him earlier during his stay was manufactured along with almost everything else in this paradise that is nothing but a lie.

"I should have known your father wouldn't let me go so easily," he admits as he gives her a sad smile, "I wouldn't have thought you could be a part of something like this, Wanda."

"I never wanted this to happen to you, Kurt," assures Wanda, "You would have been safe if you had just . . ."

"Believed in the lie?" asks Kurt as he tries to finish her sentence for her, "Believed that this place is a paradise when it's nothing more than a dictatorship?" Her eyes turn away from his so he can't see how much his words hurt her. Wanda knows her father is a good man, a principled man with a grand vision for the world and the iron will to see it through. Wanda knows her father is right because he's created this place, this paradise where there is no hunger or violence. In Genosha, Wanda is free of the chaos that has plagued her all her life.

"I have seen to it that you will not be treated with malice," states Wanda as she holds something out to him, "I will make personally sure that you are fed. You won't be released until my father is sure you won't try to contact the X-Men."

"You trust him?" asks Kurt skeptically.

"He's my father," replies Wanda as she waves the book at him, "Something to take your mind off things." A crimson-colored glow envelops the book as Wanda tosses it at the bars of Kurt's cell. The object unexpectedly makes its way through the bars and lands in Kurt's hands. The man called Nightcrawler turns the book over his hands and reads the title.

"Thomas Aquinas," realizes Kurt, "Jean did always say I was easy to shop for."

"Humanity is not without its redeeming points," admits Wanda with a tiny smile, "I happen to prefer the Romantics but I had a feeling you would enjoy something a little more . . . hopeful."

"I'm pleased to see your kindness wasn't also a show for my benefit," declares Kurt as he looks back at Wanda, "You could free me with your powers, Wanda. The X-Men would be more than happy to take you in should you choose to run with me."

"I can't betray my father, Kurt," decides Wanda, "The shame I would bring our family by siding with you and the X-Men is too much." Wanda is keenly aware of the way her father looks at her. Pietro has lost favor with Magneto and of the two sisters Wanda knows he favors her over Lorna. Magneto has pinned all his hopes on Wanda and it would break what's left of his heart if she betrayed him. Even though she's aware of how wrong this perfect society is in Genosha, Wanda has to stay by her father's side because she loves her father too much to stop believing in him.

"I know about that," assures Kurt, "Though my appearance made for a great performance as an acrobat, I was hated for what I was. I thought I had brought ruin to my family but I've learned you shouldn't be ashamed of who or what you are. You're too good for this place, Wanda. You're too kind and decent a person to turn a blind eye to this fascism all in the name of your love for your father."

"You would follow your professor to the gates of Hell just as I would follow my father there," reminds Wanda as she turns away from him, "Goodbye, Kurt. I'll be back with another book." Kurt moves to stop her but pulls his hand away before it can connect with the bars of his cell. He wants to take her away from all this madness, away from war and chaos and death. Genosha isn't the paradise Magneto wants it to be but Kurt knows that any place where he and Wanda are together is good enough for him.

"Please think about it," offers Kurt. Wanda makes no promises as she turns and gives him one last forlorn look before she retreats into the darkness and leaves Kurt with his book. He sighs and returns to his bed, opening up the tome with great care and reverence. He uses the glow of the bars as his light source and faintly smiles at the message written on the inside cover for him and him alone to read.

You aren't the only one trapped in this place, Kurt. Perhaps one day we will both be free of this insanity.

"That would be paradise, Wanda," whispers Kurt as he fondly runs his fingers over the words. He smiles once again as he turns the page and begins to read. In the bedroom fit for a queen, the Scarlet Witch marks the date on her calendar and begins counting the days until she's allowed to see him again. It's only a small piece of Heaven but both of them are happy to have it.