a/n: Hello, everyone! This is the last copy and past update! Next chapter, will be completely new stuff, so those who have been following for a while, bear with me! Thank you for bearing with me and please enjoy and review!


Pietro awoke sullen and brooding the next morning. Running his hand through his hair, he looked dejectedly out of his window, his head swimming violently.

He had-he had heard them last night. The boy knew he should be used to it by now-he was a teenager and he had learned long ago that this was what parents did. But still, hearing it-knowing what was going on-somehow it filled him with shame and embarassment. Once he had even seen them, when he was much younger and he remembered being almost angry, because he had thought that father was hurting him.

It's not so different from everyone else, Pietro thought to himself, climbing out of his bed, and moving towards the bathroom. No one likes to hear their parents doing it.

But nobody stopped to listen to it either.

Waiting until the water in the sink was full, he dunked his head under until his lungs were ready to burst.


When he stepped into the kitchen, Wanda had already left for school. He sighed. He'd almost rather be in her place, instead of being stuck here.

Things were always strange after an argument, and as he looked at Charles, sitting forlornly at the kitchen table, tapping lightly with his fingers, and staring idly at the food his sister had made for him, Pietro felt even more ashamed.

He sat down awkwardly, shoulders hunched as he reached for a fruit from the bowl. Mum still said nothing.

Sucking in a breath, Pietro broke the silence with a slightly trembling voice.

"Are you alright, Mum?"

Charles finally looked up at him, and he saw that his eyes were rimmed with red. His mother didn't say anything about it though, instead shrugging it off with a hand.

"Oh nothing. Just tired. Your father kept me up all night." Then, realizing what he had just said, he turned red and looked away, but then Pietro saw the hickeys along his neck and that filled him with anger.

"Did you-I-I heard you arguing last night," Pietro diverted, as if that was what he'd meant.

"No, not arguing." Charles lied weakly-he never seemed to want them to know when they were having problems. "We were just-trying to figure things out."

"What kinds of things?"

"Oh, you know. Things."

There was a pregnant pause.

"You needn't worry about that, darling. Your father would never hurt me."

"I never said you could read my mind!" the boy practically snapped.

Charles stared at him with a stunned expression.

Pietro flinched. "I-I apologize."

"I never read your mind." he replied. "It's written all over your face. And I didn't think I'd need permission."

Pietro turned away from him in agitation at that. "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should you know."

His mother ignored the reprimand, only giving him a sad and confused look. "Why would you think something like that, Pietro?"

He crinkled his nose. Breathed. Looked away. "Sometimes...the way he talks to you-I can tell it upsets you. And then...and then...sometimes at night-" he could not say it. Could not tell him of the times he'd be watching, and when he'd see the look of discomfort and displeasure and pain on his mother's face.

"Oh, my precious child." Charles reached his hand across the table, gripping his hands, burying his face in them.

A flush went up Pietro's neck. "Mum...I-"

His hands were growing wet.

"It's alright, Mum." he said softly. "It's alright."

Charles looked up at him with red-rimmed eyes and he felt his face flush.

"But...if it were me-I'd make sure you'd never cry, instead of-instead of just ignoring it. And I'd-I'd make for certain you'd enjoy it."

His mother had nothing to say to that.


His aim was perfect. Erik scrutinized his son with a critical eye, watching him from atop the platform with the rest of the tutors.

"He is good, sir."

"Of course he is. He's my son." Erik replied with more than a hint of self-satisfaction.

Pietro tightened his lips listening to them, scrunching his eyes at his test targets. He has hit every single one in the very center. But these are just wooden constructs. If one of these was an actual living, breathing, human being...he doesn't think things would be quite so easy.

He could...could kill them. he told himself, they would be threatening his mother, but his aim might be off, the trajectory when he came behind him totally different. So many things could go wrong...

"Pietro." his father called him, and he looked back. "That will be all."

He flinches slightly, his father's gaze cool and calculating.

I'll show Mother. he thought as he made his way from the platform with a brisk nod. I'll show him that I am ready to protect him.

a/n: 1/16/13. Okay, so here we are. I tried to be a little subtle with the familial weirdness and I know these have been kind of boring so far, but I expect things shall be picking up pretty soon, and I'm going to be exploring their world on a deeper level next chapter, and I'll try and make the next chapter longer and more detailed. Thank you for reading, and pwease, pwease review!