“I’m a twin.”
The voice was like a whisper in his ear, and Peter quickly skid to a stop, the world around him instantly swinging back into motion. The students in the mansion’s hallway were all startled at his sudden appearance, shouts and awed whispers filling the air. Typically, Peter would boast at the attention, always eager to entertain and please the ankle biters whenever he was off duty, his big brother instinct still intact despite his youngest sister now being an adult (although only just barely so). He ignored them this time, however, his brow furrowed as he stared off at nothing, concentrating on hearing that voice again. The words were unfamiliar, but the voice—
“I had a brother…”
He jumped as the voice echoed in his ears, sounding muffled and distant, as though he was submerged in a pool and the person speaking to him was standing by the poolside. It wasn’t too dissimilar to when the Professor or Jean spoke to him telepathically, but it still wasn’t quite…right.
“His name was Pietro.”
Peter’s eyes widened at the sound of his birth name, and in an instant he knew whose voice he was hearing. It didn’t matter if it sounded different to the one he knew, it didn’t matter if it was impossible because she was dead – dead, dead, he was late again, always late, always too late – no, none of that mattered.
He’d recognize his sister’s voice anywhere.
“Wanda,” he gasped, his head whipping around left and right for any sign of his sister, but to no avail. A deep sadness, loneliness, washed over him, one he knew was not his own, having felt a similar sensation so many times before. “Talk to me, sis, where are you?”
The students around him shared concerned looks, and from the corner of his eye he spotted one rushing off down the hallway. No doubt they were worried and going to get the Professor, not that he could blame them; he knew he wasn’t acting like himself.
The voice sobbed his name, the sorrow and agony it carried feeling like a punch to his chest. His eyes widened as he felt a familiar bubble of panic – Wanda was hurt, she was hurting, and she needed him!
“Peter?” Peter’s head snapped towards the direction of Jean’s voice, having not noticed her approach. She frowned at him, but he could easily see the concern in her eyes, could practically feel it coming off her in waves. “What’s wrong?”
He gulped, a shudder running down his spine as he tried to gather his thoughts. No doubt she and the Professor would struggle to read his thoughts at that time, as they were racing even faster than he had been when he had saved
almost everyone from the explosion a few years back. “I…” he began, stopping short as he second-guessed his words. How could he possibly explain that his sister was somehow alive after all these years, that she needed him? “I hear…”
Jean’s frown deepened and her eyes narrowed. “What do you hear, Peter?” she asked, her suspicion cutting through what few nerves he still retained.
And he understood her suspicion, he really did. They had had issues with other telepaths in the past, and each time Jean had been able to sense them even when the Professor couldn’t. If someone was telepathically talking to Peter without her knowing, then it was definitely something to be concerned about. But Jean had never met Wanda, had never been in contact with her mutation. Wanda had been powerful, even as untrained as she was. He knew, though, just how capable she was, what she had been able to do. It was only her own fear at herself that held her back, that led to her—
Wanda wasn’t a threat, though. Not to him. Never to him.
He startled as Wanda’s mourned cry once again rang through his head, this time accompanied with a strong pull. Jean must’ve heard it, must’ve felt it, too, because when he turned towards the direction he had felt the tug coming from, he saw her do the same in his peripheral. Her eyes were wide with fear, the likes of which he’d rarely ever seen from her.
“Peter, who-?” she began, but Peter didn’t stick around to hear the rest of her question. His sister needed him, and he was not about to fail her. Not again.
Peter felt the world around him slow to a crawl as the tugging on his mind became more insistent. He then took in a deep breath and ran.
He ran as fast as he could, faster than he had ever run before. His legs ached at the strain, the one that had been broken in Cairo more acutely than the other, and his lungs struggled for breath as he did his best to hold back his panic. Before he knew it, he had crossed the state line, and then—
A dance of purple and red clouded his vision as soon as he reached Westview, New Jersey. And just like that, Peter Maximoff knew no more.