AN: Written for the "boardwalk" prompt for the Summer Mini Challenge on Livejournal. Rated: PG. Spoilers for Avengers Children's Crusade.
He finds her staring at the sea and standing on a boardwalk, the wind tossing around her hair and scarlet cape like a flag in a storm.
Slowing for her, he comes behind her, cautiously approaching at her side. As usual, his sister carries a conflicted, unhappy expression on her face as she stares into the raging ocean.
"Oh, Pietro, is it ever going to end, this suffering?" she asks him, and he wonders what she means. All suffering that they've only ever known, or just the suffering of the whole of mutant-kind, stained like fresh blood on her hands?
He can imagine how she feels, now finally coming with the grips of what she'd done to the mutants, taking away their powers - their birthrights. He can see that she also feels the deaths she caused like a tattoo on her soul.
He notices fresh tears in her eyes and before she can protest, he draws her into an embrace. He can't say anything. He knows his own pain after M-Day. He knows it as well as an old friend, forever outstaying its welcome. The pain still burns, and no matter how fast he runs, he can never escape it.
Wanda feels it now, and he sees the burden on her face as she realizes what she's done, what she cannot undo - not completely. Her penance is just beginning, and he can only stay by her side, help her through as much as he can.
He cannot deny that his sister is strong. He doesn't know a stronger person on this earth. But he can't turn away from her, not in a time like this. His love for her cuts too deep, deeper than the pain caused by M-Day.
As he holds her, Wanda succombs to his touch, and Pietro is grateful. He's half afraid she'll deny him and go off on her own. But she takes his hand and accepts his support. After all, she has only ever had him, and he has only ever had her.