Paradise (Part Two)
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Now that I've seen all of season one I decided doing a follow-up would be a good idea. R/R.
He misses the sprawling monument to beauty that Genosha once was or at least what it once was on the outside. Though the island has now seen better days of glory, Kurt Wagner wonders if its best days are still to come now that it's seemingly in the hands of a more beneficent ruler than Magneto. He hopes so but his time with the X-Men, and specifically his previous experience in Genosha, has left him suspicious of things that look too good to be true.
"You heard I was coming?" asks Kurt, noting that former members of Magneto's personal guard flank him not in an attack position but rather in the manner knights would behave to a foreign ambassador visiting royalty. Though he's only met her a handful of times, Kurt would readily describe Wanda as royalty at least in his eyes.
"Such hospitality is all we can afford to foreign dignitaries these days," admits Wanda, gesturing to the dilapidation of the palace. Both of them know that Kurt's purpose here is to assess Genosha's recovery process since the Sentinel attack and get an idea of its political landscape. With a new threat looming on the horizon, the X-Men want all the allies they can afford. Surprisingly, both Logan and Scott agreed on this matter so Kurt volunteered for the assignment. He tells himself that seeing Wanda again is a nice bonus but he knows better.
"Hospitality that is appreciated," assures Kurt, taking Wanda's hand and gently kissing it much to her embarrassment. She enjoys the gesture, perhaps more than she lets on. After months of only living like a queen, Wanda enjoys actually being treated like one for a change. She takes pleasure from such small gestures but she knows that there is a difference between a governor and a ruler. She will not be a tyrant like her father.
"You may leave," orders Wanda, her attention turned to those who served her father and now have pledged their loyalty to her, "I'm sure my sister needs help with the reconstruction." She reflects upon the struggles she has faced as leader already and those that will surely come. Senyaka was expelled for a failed assassination attempt. As punishment, he and any who conspired with him were exiled to Genosha's outlands where they wouldn't do any harm to the rest of its citizens. Wanda understands that occasional shows of force are necessary but she will not imprison or execute fellow mutants. Again, she refuses to be her father.
"You trust them?" inquires Kurt, following Wanda as she walks over to a large window from which they can view Genosha.
"Everyone deserves a second chance," reminds Wanda, "I assume your X-Men want to know about our progress here. I'm pleased to say it's going rather well actually. Everyone's eager to help out and, surprisingly, Lorna's been coordinating all the rebuilding while I deal with politics."
"Logan and Scott will be pleased to hear it," replies Kurt, "Both of them are concerned about things here with Magneto gone. I told them you would be a fine ruler."
"Not a ruler," corrects Wanda quickly, "Mutants came here to escape tyranny and persecution. I want Genosha to be a free, democratic land where they can live in peace. I will govern but I won't rule."
"My apologies then," pardons Kurt, "I'm pleased to hear that, Wanda, but answer something for me. What became of Magneto?"
"I don't know where Blink teleported him and my brother," admits Wanda, frowning slightly at the thought of Pietro's decision to side with their father. She always knew he desperately wanted Magneto's approval but Wanda never thought her brother would be so starved for attention and affection that he would still cling to him instead of join her and help her rebuild this country.
"The X-Men are worried he might try to retake Genosha," offers Kurt.
"Pietro is welcome on these shores any time he chooses," states Wanda, "My father, however, will never step foot on this land while I draw breath. I made that abundantly clear to both of them."
"I take it getting on your bad side isn't something I want to do," notes Kurt with a small grin.
"I'm sorry," apologizes Wanda, "It's just that I finally see how callous my father really is and it angers me. It took meeting you to show me there's a better way. Thank you for that, Kurt." His fingers unconsciously twitch as hers brush against them but neither of them shy away from the touch. Wanda smoothly entwines her fingers with his and both of them smile at how right it feels.
"Not necessary," declares Kurt, "You're a good person, Wanda. I wouldn't want anyone in charge of this country but you."
"How long do you plan to stay?" inquires Wanda.
"Only a few days," answers Kurt, "I'm needed back with the team as soon as possible." The look of dejection on Wanda's face hurts Kurt more than anything a Sentinel or a super-villain could do. He knows what she wants but his heart lies with his friends and teammates more than it does with her. Time may change that but not as quickly as she wants.
"I thought perhaps you would stay," explains Wanda sadly, "I thought perhaps you'd make your home here . . . with me."
"Nein," declines Kurt sadly, cupping Wanda's chin with his free hand and then softly kissing her on the cheek, "I must stand with the X-Men and face down whatever this new danger is. One day though, I'll make Genosha my home. Will you be here when that day comes?"
"Of course," promises Wanda, "Would you like a tour of paradise, Kurt?"
"Nothing would please me more," answers Kurt with a graceful bow, "Lead the way." Wanda takes his hand in hers again and they move to exit the room. One day, their paradise will be a reality instead of a fantasy but until that day both of them are content with whatever time they have together.