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    Her muscles ached with every blow she delivered. Her veins were a bright green and bulged through her skin uncomfortably. A group of people stood behind her, observing the sheer brutality and strength the girl possessed. The metal collapsed inward with each strike, her knuckles not yet bloodied. She breathed heavily as she felt her blood course through her veins as it always had, but when she got like this, it nearly hurt. She knew, as well as her parents, that here she would learn how to stop the pain. Her body had to fight off the enzymes disguised in her blood, or else she would become a giant, hulking mass of muscle that could break a person easily if she wanted. However, she didn’t want that. She knew that when she calmed down she’d revert back and be nothing more than a sack of aches and pains as everything popped back into place. With one last hit, she broke the metal in half. It collapsed to the ground and the grass absorbed the sound.

  “That was perfect Juliette.” The man sitting before everyone else said. He moved his chair forward to meet Juliette halfway. She stood, taking deep breaths as a way to calm herself. She hadn’t pushed herself that hard in a long time, and the last time she did push that hard she had lost control and the growth began. Her mother was able to stop it before it got out of hand, but she still suffered for losing control.

  She was fourteen, and her strength was already too much for her parents to handle on their own. They loved her, but they didn’t know how to help her. So, they had to let her go and send her to people who knew how to help. Juliette knew this, but there was a part of her that wished that they didn’t have to do this.

  “Can you guys help me? I tried my best to keep myself grounded but…” Juliette trailed off and looked over at the jagged edges of the metal she was beating. The professor merely smiled at her.

  “Of course we can, Juliette. Now, if you’ll follow me, we’ll continue discussing your enrollment inside.” She nodded and began to follow him inside, the crowd had dispersed.

 

2

 

  Juliette, now a fully grown woman, sat atop a freeway beside the one man who she considered a close friend. Wade tampered with his radio, his mask pushed to above his nose, and muttered the lyrics to some song that Juliette assumed he had made up. She bit into a French fry before placing the container down onto the concrete.

  “Wade, give me the thing I think it needs more batteries.” She suggested while holding her hand out. Wade laughed at this.

  “No, my friend, I just need to hit it some more.” He claimed. Juliette’s eyes widened and she shook her head.

  “Dumbass, you’ll break it!”

  “No!” He answered. And just like that, he hit it one more time and the sounds of music flooded their surrounding area. The radio was never really that loud, but the two could hear it and that’s all that mattered. Wade picked up his burger, its wrapper damp with grease. She watched as he took a bite and cringed a bit as she watched mustard drip down the side.

  “What song is this?” She asked as the song droned on. Wade looked over at the small radio, then back at Juliette.

  “I have no clue.” He said, his mouth still full. Juliette sighed in disappointment.

  “Jesus…” She muttered to herself as she finished off her fries. She looked around for the bag, but couldn’t find it anywhere.

  “Hey wade” She began. He looked up at her as she stood. She looked over the barrier of the freeway bridge, no sign of it.

  “Where’s the bag?” She finally asked. Wade looked around his general vicinity before shrugging. She rolled her eyes and looked down, only to see cars zooming by. She sat back down with a sigh.

  “Great, now we’re littering.” She muttered. Wade let out a breathy laugh.

  “You’ve been spending too much time with Colossus. Learn to live, kid. Don’t worry about that stuff.” He said as he bit into his burger again. Juliette answered back with a laugh of her own. The sun was low on the horizon in front of them, the sky above them was nearly a dark blue and pinks and purples could be seen in the distance. A few stars already decorated the sky above them.

  “Of course I have, he helped train me. But it’s not that, I just don’t have the money to pay for the ticket we might get.” She told him. He simply leaned his head in her direction as a way of acknowledging her statement. She watched as the sun slowly descended behind the trees on the horizon, and figured it was getting late. So, she stood, placed her fry container next to Wade, and began to walk along the edge.

  “Where’re you going?” He asked. She shrugged as she walked.

  “It’s getting late, Wade. Pietro’s waiting for me.” She explained over the loud roar of cars. Wade moved his sleeve up to look at his watch, which had stopped working a month ago.

  “But it’s…” He stopped and squinted as he tried to read it.

  “It’s either midnight or twelve in the afternoon.” He joked. Then he looked at the sun and back at her, who was still standing there. Her arms were crossed as she waited for some smart comment from him. He would deliver.

  “Wait, why’re you in such a rush anyway? Got a date?” He asked. Juliette smiled, and he knew immediately.

  “Maybe I do. I mean, I gotta get home and wash bad guy blood off!” She joked. Wade waved her off and she stepped over the barrier and started walking toward her apartment in the city, which wasn’t too far away from the freeway. She had gotten at least a quarter of the way home before she saw a familiar silver blur speed past her, causing her to smile.

 

3

 

  Pietro came to X-Mansion a year after Juliette did along with his sister, Wanda. Juliette barely ran into the two when they first showed up, but she heard about how powerful his sister was. They called her “The Scarlet Witch.” A catchy name, in Juliette’s opinion.

  Pietro gained the name Quicksilver, for obvious reasons. The siblings seemed close, like they’d been through a lot together. Wanda was often quiet and kept to herself, while Pietro was outgoing and, at times, obnoxious. And while Juliette had her own tight-knit group of friends and usually didn’t talk to anyone outside of that group, Pietro had his ways of getting involved in their conversations. Normally he’d just show up and talk, as he did with everyone else.

  It wasn’t uncommon to see the siblings doing their own thing; different powers need different types of training. But when the two were together… people usually steered clear. It usually meant that something was going on concerning them and only them.

  Wanda was a sweet girl. She would seem shy at first glance, but that was far from the truth. She was incredibly focused on getting her powers under control, but she could let loose every once in a while. Somehow, everyone knew she’d be more than an X-Man one day. Her future was bright and everyone could see it.

  Juliette had met them one day while she was outside near the lake, she wasn’t doing anything in particular, just laying on a blanket beneath the tree, taking in the fresh air. Pietro saw her and it was like love at first sight for him, however, this was a love that was destined to fail. He convinced Wanda to come down to the lake with him, where he’d show off to Juliette, hoping to impress her. Wanda sat next to her and the two talked while Pietro ran laps on the lake, and she had taken notice of him, but she didn’t show it. When he had come back, he heard his sister and Juliette laughing together. He introduced himself, and that was when their relationship had begun.

  The three became close friends, but soon Juliette had joined the X-Men, Wanda had left to join the Avengers, and Pietro joined his and Wanda’s father.

 

4

 

  The blur returned and circled around Juliette once before stopping in front of her, she knew to stop in advance. Pietro stood in front of her, his hair an absolute mess after running. She wondered how long it took him to find her, although she figured it couldn’t have been too long considering his speed. Her heart swelled at the sight of him standing there. She felt as if she truly was in love with him, although she knew they were both too you to know what love was.

  “Hello there.” Pietro said, leaning on a lamppost. Juliette smiled and crossed her arms.

  “I was just coming down to meet you at my place.” She told him. He walked over and put his arm around her.

  “Yeah but I figured you were out tonight. I was right.” He told her. They continued walking together.

  “I figured you could give me a ride.” She said. He looked down at her, smiling widely. He lifted her up, not once breaking eye contact. She put her arms behind his neck as he prepared to run.

  “I thought you’d never ask.” He stated, and just like that, the two took off in the sunset.