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When Words are Inadequate

Chapter Text

When Wanda pulled open her apartment door, she wasn't expecting to find Tommy standing on the other side.

He was wearing a dark red hoodie with a black jacket thrown over it and jeans that were ripped at the knees. The converse on his feet matched his sweatshirt. His hair was tousled, no doubt from the wind whipping through it as he ran.

"Hey," he greeted, lifting one hand up.

"Tommy," she breathed, his name coming out filled with a little more awe and surprise then she had intended. She'd seen the twins plenty since returning, but it had been mostly in battles or when they were arguing with the Avengers. And while Billy occasionally made solo trips to have lunch with her, Tommy never had. "What are you doing here?"

"Ah." The hand he had raised was moved to his neck. He rubbed at it nervously. "I thought we could talk, but I didn't exactly call ahead. So if your busy-"

"No!" She interrupted. Tommy must have been started by her tone and vehemence, because he took a step back as surprised flickered across his face. Wanda took a deep breath before saying, "I'm not busy, Tommy. I just didn't expect to see you. You don't usually visit without Billy."

Tommy lifted his eyes to the sky, a swirling mess of grey. It was the beginning of Spring, but the winter chill still clung to the air and the sun hadn't quite made it's grand entrance yet. He gave a small sigh before looking at her again, "Look, I don't have a family. My parents were shit and I didn't have any siblings. It just took me a while to adjust."

"It's okay, Tommy," she assured. She took a step towards him. She waited until she was sure he wasn't going to spook and run away before setting her hands on his face. Billy had closed his eyes when she touched him like this, leaning into the familiar comfort of a mother's touch, but Tommy stared at her, gaze unflinching. "I'm just glad you're here now."

She leaned up to brush her lips against his cheek. He seemed to anticipate the movement because he tensed, but didn't pull away.

When she pulled away, Wanda gave him her best smile, "Now, why don't you come inside? I'll make us lunch."

"Sounds good," Tommy chirped. He seemed to have shrugged off the awkward emotional weighting the past few minutes, flaring back into the energetic boy she'd come to know him as. "I'm starving."

She gave a small laugh as she led the way into the apartment. "That's good. I'm so used to cooking for Pietro, or a whole host of Avengers, that I still make too much food sometimes. I hate having to throw it out."

"What are you making?"

Tommy stopped in the doorway long enough to slip his shoes off before padding down the hallway after her.

When they reached the kitchen, Tommy slipped pass her. In a blink of her eyes, he was sitting on top of her kitchen counter. His legs swinging freely under him.

Even though she knew his casual demeanor was a way of hiding his discomfort, she found her chest warming at the sight of her son acting so familiar in her home.

"I hadn't decided yet," she said. "What do you like to eat?"

He gave a shrug, "I'll eat pretty much anything put in front of me."

She gave another chuckle as she opened her fridge. "Pietro is like that as well. I try not to be too picky, there was a time in my life when I couldn't afford to be if I didn't want to starve, but I still have my quirks."

A moment passed before Tommy said, "I don't like strawberries."

"No? Any reason why?"

"My elementary school took a field trip to a strawberry field once. I ate way to many and ended up getting sick. I haven't liked then since."

"Well, I'll make sure to cross strawberry shortcake off our dessert list."

"Dessert?" He echoed.

"Yes. For after dinner." Realizing her mistake, she turned to look over her shoulder. He was staring at her, his surprise clear on his face again. "Of course, you don't have to stay that long if your busy."

"I'm not. I took the day off from work," he said after a moment. "I just wasn't expecting you to want me around that long."

Her heart cracked a little bit, sadness and anger welling in her heart because someone had taught her son he wasn't wanted.

Wanda considered that it probably wasn't good to tell him she wanted him around all the time, not when Tommy had only just reached out.

She'd been smiling since he'd entered the house, but now it softened a bit. "Well, I do. We may have to go to the grocery store, but I'd love for you to stay for dinner and dessert."

He was quiet for a beat before nodding. "Alright. Sounds better then going back to YA HQ and eating whatever Kate's trying to pass off as food."

Chapter Text

"So, I think I'm going to take a page out of Billy's Guide for Dealing with Younger Siblings and offer to take you out for ice cream."

Luna looked up from the book in her hand.

She was sitting on a couch in Avengers Tower as she waited for her father to finish speaking to some of his former teammates.

Tommy was now sitting on the small coffee table in front of her. His legs were crossed under him, his elbows set on his knees and his lips pulled up in a grin.

They were both dressed in casual clothing. Luna wore a pair of denim shorts with a black tank top that had purple flowers on it. It flowed around her loosely. Tommy wore a pair of cargo shorts with a unbuttoned green shirt with a white tee-shirt under it.

She tilted her head to the side. "But I'm not your younger sibling?"

"Yeah, but you are my little cousin," Tommy said. "From what I understand, it's pretty much the same thing."

"I don't think that's true."

Tommy gave a one shouldered shrug. "So, ice cream? Or are you lactose intolerant? Actually, even if you are I'm still taking you for ice cream. Everyone should have ice cream at least once."

Luna liked Tommy. She hadn't spent much time with him since she'd been living with her mother, but he wasn't projecting any negative emotions and he'd been kind to her everytime they'd met.

She definitely preferred him over Billy. He never seemed to know how to react to his second family while Tommy was actively seeking a relationship with them.

She found that a bit ironic since her father said Billy was the one who'd been eager to find Wanda.

"I'm not lactose intolerant," Luna said. "But I'm not sure I can leave either."

"But you want to come with me?" Tommy asked, quirking an eyebrow.

She thought for a minute before giving a small nod.

"Then we're going. I'll let your dad know we're running up to DQ."

He was gone instantly, with nothing but a stirring breeze to show that he'd been there a second before.

Luna was so used to her father that she barely blinked.

She closed her book.

As she waited for him to return, she thought that she wouldn't mind spending some more time with her father if she could see the rest of her family as well.

Chapter Text

"What are you doing."

Tommy looked up at the incredulous tone.

"Whoa," he said, feeling like he was a bit calmer then he should be. "Magneto in the middle of a Costco. That's neat-o."

Erik's only reaction to the joke was a twitch of his left eye.

"What are you doing with that monstrosity in your hand?" Erik demanded.

Tommy glanced down at his hand. He lifted the Betty Crocker Funfetti mix up, "This? I wanted something sweet, but I don't really know how to bake. I figure even I can follow directions from the back of a box."

"Don't talk about yourself that way," Erik scolded. He took several steps towards Tommy. "And put that down. You're coming to my house. I'll make you an apple cake."

"You bake?" Tommy questioned. He let Erik pull the box from his hand and set it back on the shelf. When the man walked past him, he fell into step with him.

"Some." Tommy peered into the basket Erik had dangling off his arm. It seemed pretty boring -  some ridiculously healthy cereal, yogurt, a bag of rice. "When I was a boy we rarely had the money for treats, so when we did I would watch my mother bake them."

"So you're going to use her recipe?" Tommy questioned.

"Yes." Erik glanced up in thought for a moment. "I think I have most of what we need. We'll need some apples and vanilla extract though."

"Don't you think it's odd for you to use your mothers cake recipe for some kid?"

He looked over at Tommy. When he spoke, it was with nothing but the truth, "You are my grandson. They are as much your recipes as they are mine."

"Oh."

"Yes, oh." There was a trace of amusement in Erik's tone. "Now, if you wouldn't mind going to the baking aisle and-"

Before he could finish, Tommy sprinted off. He was back in the blink of an eye with a small bottle of vanilla extract in his hand and a grin on his face.

"Here you go, grandpa," he said as he dropped the bottle into the basket. Erik's lips twitched, but Tommy couldn't quite tell if that was affection or amusement in his eyes. "I would have grabbed the apples too, but I figured you probably wanted to feel them up. Make sure they're good and all."

"Yes. I do." As they turned into the fresh produce section, Erik said, "Have you finished school yet, Thomas? I know you were in a juvenile facility for a while."

As they walked through the store together, Erik asking mundane questions about Tommy's interests and hobbies, Tommy wondered how the looked to other people.

He wondered if those who recognized him found it easier to not be afraid when they saw Magneto walking around a grocery store with his grandson like a normal man or if they found hi ability to blend in with them all the more frightening.

Chapter Text

"That'll be three fifty-seven."

As Tommy went to hand the cashier a five, a hand darted out and slapped it down.

"I've got it." Tommy turned his body so Pietro could reach pass him and hand a ten to her. "Could you add a medium espresso to that? You can put the rest in your tip jar."

"No problem, sir."

Tommy stepped over to the pick up counter.

"So," he said as he followed, "my daughter said she enjoyed her kidnapping the other day."

"I didn't kidnap her," Tommy pointed out. He leaned his back against the counter so he was facing Pietro. "I asked you if I could."

"You popped your head into my conversation, asked me if you could, answered for me before I could speak, and then left before I could figure out what was going on."

"You could've caught me," Tommy said. "So either you don't really care or you're getting slow."

Pietro gave a non committing hum. "I heard you've been around Erik too."

"Yeah, I didn't exactly plan that one though. He just kinda showed up and got super offended by cake in a box."

They fell quiet for a moment.

"One medium mocha and one medium espresso!"

Tommy turned, grabbing both of their drinks and flashing a smile at the barista.

He held the espresso out for Pietro. "Here. Thanks for paying for mine."

"No problem."

Tommy went to walk towards the exit, but Pietro slipped back into his path.

It would be easy to run around him, but Tommy didn't think outing them both as mutants in the middle of a cafe was the greatest idea.

He raised an eyebrow. "What?"

Pietro took a long sip of his coffee, watching Tommy the whole time, before saying, "Luna's gonna be staying with me for a while."

"You know, all this flipping around between her parents can't good for her education. Or her emotional development actually."

Ignoring him, Pietro continued, "We're gonna meet up on Saturday's to spend time together."

"We?" Tommy echoed.

"Wanda, Erik, me, Luna." He gave a small shrug. "You."

Tommy watched him for a minute. He took a page from his uncle's book and took a sip of his coffee so he could gather his thoughts. Afterwards, he said, "Should I invite Billy to this little family get together?"

"No."

"No? He's as much your nephew as I am."

"It's not the same. You came to us," Pietro said. "I won't force this family on someone who doesn't want it."

"Billy was the one who wanted to find mom, you know? I only went along because he needed help."

"I think Billy found something very different than he was expecting and hasn't figured out what to do yet." Pietro pointed at Tommy with the hand holding his coffee. "Be at your mother's at six o'clock Saturday night. Got it?"

Tommy gave a mock salute. "Sir, yes, sir."

Chapter Text

Wanda sat on the couch in her living room. Though a movie was playing on the screen, her gaze at as focused on the figures on the floor.

When they'd started watching movies after dinner, Erik had taken the armchair. There wasn't enough room in the couch for everyone, so Tommy had offered to sit on the floor and Luna had agreed to sit with him.

Two and a half movies later, the cousins were fast asleep in the nest they'd made with Wanda's spare blankets and throw pillows.

Tommy sat with his back against the couch. His head was leaned back and turned so his cheek pressed against the cushion. His arms were locked around Luna, who had been sitting in the V between his legs.

At some point during her slumber, Luna had turned on her side. Her cheek was pressed against Tommy's chest and Wanda could see her legs curled up under the blanket the two shared.

"Here."

She tore her eyes away from them to see Pietro walking towards her from the kitchen. He held a glass of wine out for her.

"Where did you find this?" She questioned, furrowing her eyebrows as she took the glass by the stem.

"The glasses were in your cupboard," Erik declared as he followed behind Pietro. He had tow glasses in his hand, one of which he passed to his son. "I brought the wine."

Wanda frowned at the liquid in her glass. When she looked away from it, she met his eyes. "Why?"

"For a toast." He moved his glass towards the center of the triangle they made. "To our family, the new additions and old."

Wanda and Pietro exchanged a look.

It was Wanda who moved first. She leaned over the back of the couch to touch her glass to Erik's. "To our family."

"To our family," Pietro echoed, following her lead.

Chapter Text

"Where'd Erik go?" Pietro questioned, his voice filled with amusement, when he walked into the kitchen.

A bowl of brownie batter was sat on the counter. Tommy and Luna were standing in front of it. Tommy's first two fingers were dripping with it while the only evidence of Luna's involvement was a smear of chocolate on the corner of her lip.

"Dunno, but he's not here," Tommy said. He brought his fingers to his lips, apparently not caring that he'd been caught red handed. "Or else we wouldn't be doing this."

"Obviously," Pietro agreed.

He made his way over to the pair of them. He settled his hand on his daughters shoulder and leaned over her. He swirled one finger in the batter.

No sooner had he popped it in his mouth then Erik's voice came from the doorway, "You know, I had assumed my fully grown son had the sense not to eat raw batter."

A few moments passed before Pietro said, speaking around the finger still in his mouth, the first thing that came to mind, "Tommy and Luna started it."

"Do you always follow the example of children and teenage boys?" Erik asked.

Pietro took his finger from his mouth, wiped clean of the batter that'd been on it. "I see your point."

"I should hope so. Go wash your hands. I'm going to put the brownies in the oven then we're starting the movie."

Chapter Text

"I'm not so sure this is a good idea," Luna said.

She and Wanda were sitting on the steps leading off of Erik's back porch. Wanda sat on the top step while Luna sat between her legs with her knees crossed.

Tommy, Pietro, and Erik were all gathered in the yard. They were standing in a semicircle around a watermelon they'd placed on a cardboard sheet.

Tommy was balancing a long wooden rod over his shoulders while Pietro had a blindfold in his hand. Erik was explaining something to them as he gestured to the watermelon.

"Why's that darling?" Wanda asked. She had Luna's hair gathered in her hands, braiding it with gentle fingers.

"One of them is going to swing at someone instead of the watermelon."

"Probably, but they're all capable of dodging." She tugged lightly, enough that Luna got her hint and craned her head back to look at her. When their eyes met, she gave her niece a smile, "Besides, we love them like this, don't we?"

Luna gave a small smile of her own and a nod. "Yeah."

Chapter Text

 

"I'm sorry I don't have much to eat," Wanda said. She brushed a strand of hair behind her ear as she settled down at the table. "There's rarely time to eat before going on a call so I don't keep very much around that I can't store quickly."

"It's no big deal. I get it," Tommy said. He was digging into the bowl of oatmeal in front of him without reserve. Wanda leaned her hand up on her palm. Tommy looked up from his food and saw her watching him. "What? Do I have something on cheek?"

"No, no," she dismissed. "I'm just happy. This is the first time you've stayed the night when it wasn't Saturday."

He blinked several times. Then he let out a soft, "Huh." He turned his gaze down to his oatmeal. He pushed it around a bit, rather then eating it with his previous gusto, before saying, "Is that something I could do more often? Because I love YA HQ, but sometimes it's not the greatest place to be."

"Of course it is," Wanda assured. She reached out, putting her hand over the one he wasn't using to eat. "I'd love to have you stay over more."

He stared at their hands. For a moment Wanda wondered if she had crossed a line. They'd made a lot of progress over the last few months, but she was never entirely sure about what would set Tommy off.

"Alright," he said at last. His gaze went back to his food. "I'll keep it in mind."

She gave his hand a squeeze before pulling away. 

Chapter Text

"Here," Erik said, thrusting a plastic grocery bag out at Tommy.

"Alrighty," Tommy murmured as he grabbed it, his confusion evident in his voice even as he went with it. His grandfather made it a point to call Tommy out for breakfast once a week, never on the same day though which made it extremely hard to plan for, and occasionally he brought him sweets but he'd never brought Tommy something straight from a store. "What's with the present?"

"I've heard it's the typical meal for someone your age."

Tommy took a peek in the bag. He looked up at Erik with a raised eyebrow, "You bitch at me for using canned spaghetti sauce or boxed cake mix, but you bought me ramen? Solely because I'm a broke millennial?"

"No. I bought you ramen as a show of support for your college career."

Tommy's voice was sharp, suspicion tainting it, as he said, "I'm not in college. You know that. We talked about that."

"I fixed it."

Erik brushed past him, entering the small diner they usually ate at. Tommy followed after him.

"You fixed it?" Tommy echoed. "How did you fix it? I didn't send in any applications and most places around here won't take me when I spent half of my high school career in prison."

Erik slid into one of the booths in the back of the restaurant. Tommy sat himself down across from him, placing the bag of ramen on the bench next to him.

"I made some calls," Erik declared. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a thick manila envelope which he set on the table between them. Tommy, feeling a little disoriented by the whole situation, wondered if their usual waitress was going to think they had taken up drug dealing. "I explained the circumstances of your imprisonment and how an inactive mutations affected your ability to focus. My friends agreed to take a look and a few were able to offer you a spot. You just have to choose from the ones here."

Tommy's hands shook as he pulled the envelope towards him. He repeated, "I just have to choose?"

Erik nodded. He said, "All of the campuses are mutant friendly. They aren't all in New York, but I assumed with your mutation  you can still live in the city even if chose one out of state. You mentioned in one of our conversations that you would be interested in a career in law or social work, so I made sure they all had the appropriate courses."

"This is..." Tommy couldn't tell if he was going to cry or puke. "Thank you, but there's no way I can afford this."

"Maybe not on your own, but I'll be paying for your school fees," Erik said. "Though, you may want to get a part time job in order to have some money to spend. I can look around for some mutant friendly places near whatever campus you choose."

Tommy found himself struck dumb. Part of him wanted to get angry and push all of this away because he wasn't a charity case, but the other part of him recognized that this was likely his only shot at going to college.

Before he could come up with a response, Erik spoke again, "And I want to make it clear right now that you will not be repaying me for this. You are my grandson and I want to make sure you are following a path that will make you happy."

Tommy pressed his lips together. After a moment, he ran his tongue along them and gave a short nod. "Okay. Thank you, grandpa."

Erik seemed to freeze for a moment before an uncharacteristically soft smile settled on his face. "Why don't you figure out what you want to eat then we can look at the information together?"

"Sounds good."

Chapter Text

"You don't look so hot."

Pietro sighed. He had been sitting with his head ducked down, but now he looked up.

Tommy stood in front of him. He was wearing jeans and short-sleeved blue, plaid shirt. He'd left the top two buttons undone. He held a jamba juice cup filled with a bright yellow smoothie in his hand. It was raised up so the tip of his straw was caught in his mouth.

"What are you doing here?" Pietro asked.

"Getting some juice," Tommy said before taking a sip of his drink. The straw must have been pushed against the bottom of the cup, because it made an obnoxious slurping sound that had Pietro scrunching his face. After a moment, he repeated, "You don't look so hot."

"Your manners are abhorrent," Pietro snapped.

"Abhorrent," Tommy echoed. "Nice word. Didn't answer my question though."

Pietro sighed. He wondered how Tommy managed to be just as infuriating as any other member of the family without having grown up around them. "I'm fine. I just needed a break from my sister."

"Mom's around?" he questioned, glancing at the streets around them.

Briefly, Pietro wondered if he'd ever heard Tommy address Wanda that way.

"No," he corrected with a shake of his head. "I was with Lorna."

"Ah...." Another obnoxious sip. "I've never met her. What's she like?"

"Infuriating," Pietro deadpanned.

Tommy let out a snort. "Must run in the family."

"Clearly," Pietro answered with a significant look.

Tommy just smiled and took another sip of his drink. "Do you want a smoothie? I'll show you where the Jamba Juice is and you can tell me about my super cool aunt."

"Lorna is your idea of super cool?" Though his tone was filled with exasperation, he pushed himself to his feet. As infuriating as Tommy was, he was currently the lesser of two evils.

"She has green hair," Tommy said.

"Both of us have white hair," Pietro pointed out. He let Tommy direct him out of the park and towards the string of restaurants and shops across the street.

"Old people have white hair," Tommy answered. "It's not nearly as cool as green. I mean, how many people do you know with green hair?"

Pietro considered it for a moment. In the end, he just let out a sigh. "I hate that I understand what you mean."

Chapter Text

Billy stared at the duo strolling across the street.

When Tommy had called and asked if he could bring to the amusement park with him,a team bonding trip for the Young Avengers, Billy had expected him to bring another teen superhero or maybe a date. He hadn't expected that Tommy's plus one was Luna Maximoff.

Tommy wasn't dressed in his usual layers, opting instead for gray camouflage cargo shorts and a white tee-shirt. Luna wore denim shorts which were frayed at the edges and a flowey mint green tank top with white stars on the bottom. Both of them held McDonalds cups filled with orange juice in their hands.

Walking side-by-side with their light coloring and confident steps, Billy thought they could have been siblings rather than cousins.

A flash of jealousy rocketed through him, but Billy stamped it down.

"Hey!" Tommy greeted. He raised the hand not holding his drink up in greeting. "Sorry if we're late."

"You're not," Kate said. She was leaning by the van they were using for the trip, borrowed from her father, but she pushed off now to approach them. "This is who you wanted to bring along?"

"Yeah." Tommy leaned towards her and set his arm on Luna's head. She made a face of resigned exasperation, like she was used to this kind of thing from him. It made the jealousy in Billy flare up again. Tommy wasn't that comfortable with him and they were brothers. "I think most of you have already met her, but this is my cousin, Luna. Inhumans apparently don't have amusement parks and I honestly could not let her reach her eleventh birthday without having been on a roller coaster. Everyone's still cool with her coming right? I'll take care of her and everything."

"I'm not a dog," Luna objected. She tilted her head up, his arm sliding so it landed on her forehead. She seemed torn between glaring at the appendage and glaring at Tommy.

"I know that," he said, turning his head down so he was looking at her. "But your dad would kill me if I lost you."

"You would find me again," Luna said. She said the words in a way that made it seem like it was a fact. The sky was blue, the grass was green, Tommy would find Luna if she went missing.

"I would," Tommy agreed. While Luna had spoken with absolute confidence, Tommy spoke with fondness. He lift his arm from her head, flicking his fingers against her forehead before withdrawing completely. "But I'm not so eager to lose you myself, so let's avoid it if at all possible."

And that hurt Billy more than it made him jealous.

He knew Tommy would be by his side in a heart beat if something happened to him, he'd shown that time and time again since the Young Avengers broke him out of jail, but he'd never spoken to him with his voice filled with the fond familial love he'd spoken to Luna with.

He wondered why it was that Luna got that from his brother, who normally shoved all semblance of emotion under a mask of jokes and sarcasm, when Billy and Tommy had been all the other had of their birth family for so long.

Chapter Text

Billy spent more time watching them that day then he was willing to admit.

He watched the easy way they interacted with each other.

Luna never seemed to mind when Tommy's words ran together because he was speaking to fast or when he moved a little too quickly. She was clearly adjusted to the way Tommy acted. In the same vein, Tommy seemed to know when Luna was becoming overwhelmed by all the emotions around them and would wave the others off as he steered her to a less crowded area of the park for a while.

When they were waiting in lines for rides, Luna didn't seem to mind if Tommy ignored her for a few minutes as he spoke to someone else.. It was like she knew how Tommy's attention fluttered and was used to it. For his part, Tommy didn't seem to need Luna to respond often during a conversation between the two of them. He seemed to know that her lack of response wasn't because she wasn't interested, but rather that she just wasn't much of a talker and had adjusted to it.

The two of them made comments that the others couldn't quite understand. Luna had remarked, dryly, after their first roller coaster that 'grandpa could have made it go so much faster' and Tommy agreed. But no one else could imagine Magneto doing something so mundane. When they stopped for lunch, Tommy had bought nachos and made a comment about Luna's father being jealous. But no one else could imagine Quicksilver, who was usually so grumpy and standoffish around them, with cheese dripping off his fingers. When the others came off a ride that Tommy and Luna hadn't joined them on, they'd found the two of them holding a small bag with a souvenir snow globe in it that they claimed was for Wanda. But no one else could imagine that the Scarlet Witch had a collection of snow globes in her home.

The longer he watched them, the more the jealousy in his chest grew.

Billy had known Tommy for a lot longer, but he got the feeling Luna knew him a lot better.

He didn't say anything about it during the day, choosing to watch instead, but sometimes he got the feeling Luna knew how bitter he was feeling. Occasionally, her gaze would settle on him and something like sadness settled in her eyes. Sometimes, when she did this Tommy leaned over to ask if someone was giving her a particularly bad feeling and if they should step out of line and go get her some air, but Luna never told him what must have seemed so obvious to her. Instead, she would shake her head and tell Tommy she had just been reacting to someone passing by.

Billy didn't approach Tommy about it until they were getting ready to leave.

The sky had gone dark hours ago. The rest of the team was in line for their final coaster, but Billy and Tommy had ducked out. Tommy because Luna was barely standing up, half asleep and leaning heavily into his side, and Billy because he figured now would be a good time to talk.

Billy took a detour as Tommy and Luna headed for a bench, stopping at one of the food booths to order an elephant ear. It was half because he actually wanted something sweet and half because he needed those extra few minutes to gather some courage.

When he had his food in hand, he approached the bench the two of them were sitting on. Tommy was leaning back with his hands braced behind him while Luna's head rested against his shoulder, her eyes closed.

"Is she asleep?" Billy asked, nodding his head towards Luna.

Tommy gave a soft hum before answering, "No, but I don't think she's exactly awake either."

"Been there," Billy said. He settled onto the bench on Tommy's other side. He was watching his food, tearing the dough apart with his fingers, instead of Tommy as he said, "The two of you are close."

"Yeah," Tommy agreed easily. "We spend a lot of time together. Mom and Uncle P are cool, but hanging out with your parents isn't the same as hanging out with someone your own age."

Billy was reeling a bit from hearing Tommy call them 'mom' and 'uncle P' so the only response he could come up with was, "You're almost a decade older than her. How is that the same age?"

"Luna acts a bit older, I act a bit younger." Tommy gave a shrug. "It balances out. Or at least, that's what Mom says when Grandpa's yelling at us."

And that one, that one was a little too much to handle. Billy turned to stare at him, echoing, "Grandpa? You call Magneto Grandpa."

"Well, calling him Erik felt weird. I mean, do you know how many times I've listened to his lectures on produce versus canned food? The answer is too fucking many."

"I don't-," Billy said, struggling to comprehend the information he'd been given. "Tommy, what the hell? Since when are you calling Wanda mom and spending enough time with Magneto for him to give you lectures and bonding with Quicksilver and his daughter?"

"A few months?" Tommy guessed. "I went to have lunch with mom and clear some things up, then it just kinda went from there?"

"Don't you find that weird?"

"Not really. We're family," Tommy answered. He'd been staring out ahead of them, but now he turned so he was facing Billy. "You know, you wouldn't find it so weird either if you actually hung around."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means that you were the one who wanted to find out if we were actually the Scarlet Witch's kids," Tommy said. "But the second you found out, it was like you didn't care anymore. Like it was a puzzle to you and once you solved it, you didn't care for it anymore."

Billy didn't have a response for that other than, "That's not it."

Tommy hummed softly. "Maybe that's not how you intended it, but that's sure as fuck how it feels. It's okay if you just need time to sort everything out, I know I did and I didn't have all the weird loyalty issues to get over like you do, but you're going to miss so much if you don't figure it out soon."

"I'm working on it," Billy said.

"Good," Tommy said. He leaned over slightly, bumping their shoulders together. "Because I love you, little bro, and I want you around." There was a brief moment before Tommy added, "Give me a piece of that. I haven't had an elephant ear in ages."

 

Chapter Text

Wanda walked into the living room and stopped when she took in the scene in front of her.

Pietro was seated in the arm chair with a bowl of grapes in his lap. Tommy sat on the floor, legs folded under him, a few feet away with his head tipped back. Pietro was tossing grapes from the bowl for Tommy to try and catch with his mouth.

"What are you doing?" she questioned, eyes flicking between her son and her brother.

"Catching grapes," Tommy answered. As if to punctuate his point, Pietro threw another grape. Tommy leaned forward just enough for it to drop into his mouth.

"I can see that," Wanda said. "I don't understand why."

"Tommy was hungry," Pietro said, as if that explained the whole situation.

"You couldn't wait until father and Luna got back from the store?" Wanda asked.

It was Erik's turn to cook dinner that Sunday, but apparently Wanda was missing some spice that he needed. Luna had asked to go to the store with him and Pietro had agreed after a moment. Wanda thought it was a huge step in his relationship with their father that he was willing to let Luna go somewhere with him without supervision.

"I mean, I could have," Tommy said. "But I didn't see a point. If I'm not hungry when they get here, I'll just take a few laps to burn the calories off."

Considering a lap for Tommy meant running around the world, Wanda couldn't really find a reason to argue with that.

"Alright, but make sure you clean up if you drop anything."

"I will," Tommy promised. "Though, I haven't dropped anything yet. Which is a miracle considering Uncle P has truly horrendous aim."

"Shut up, brat," Pietro chided, tossing another grape in Tommy's direction.

"And you," Wanda said, pointing a finger at her brother, "don't think I won't tell Lorna about this whole thing. She'll tell LeBeau and he'll know you're not the grumpy old man you pretend to be."

"I honestly don't care what Lorna tells LeBeau, because I honestly don't care what he thinks," Pietro tried to argue. There was a crease between his eyebrows that gave him away, though,

"Dude," Tommy said, his voice filled with amusement, "even I know that's a lie."

"Didn't I tell you to shut up?" Pietro questioned, throwing another grape. He whipped his arm just a little too fast to be human and, since Tommy wasn't expecting the sudden speed increase, it snagged Tommy between the eyes.

As he reached up to wipe the splotch of smashed grape away, Tommy complained, "Violence isn't the way to handle a crush, Uncle P."

Wanda wisely decided to retreat before she got caught in the middle of their argument.

Chapter Text

Erik and Wanda stood together at the kitchen counter, their shoulders touching lightly. Wanda was washing vegetables in the sink while Erik chopped what she had already cleaned.

It was Erik's turn to prepare dinner, but the others were playing poker in the other room. It wasn't, strictly speaking, age appropriate but Luna's powers made her the best player out of all of them and Wanda hadn't felt the need to let her niece clean her out of whatever they were using as chips.

The atmosphere around them was soft and light. The sun streamed into the window through the large window in front of the sink. The only sound between them was the click of the knife hitting the cutting board, the whoosh of the water falling from the faucet, and the muffled voices of their family in the background.

Wanda spoke, her eyes focused down at her hands as she scrubbed at the vegetable in her hands. Erik gave a small hum, letting her know he was listening. "I'm glad you've been around recently."

"I'm thankful you and your brother have let me," Erik said.

Wanda pressed her lips together for a minute. This conversation seemed a bit serious to have on a Sunday afternoon while they were preparing dinner, but she supposed there was no time for the present. "Pietro and I are never going to be able to completely forgive you for what you've done to us. I don't speak to her much so I can't be sure, but I don't think Lorna will ever be a hundred percent comfortable either. But, you are still our family and you are not a bad man. We will never be a normal family, but Pietro and I both want to at least try and fix things for our children."

"I am an old man now, schatzi." The term of endearment made her smile a little bit. He called all of them that, Lorna and Wanda and Luna. He'd used it a few times for Pietro back when they had first tried to be a family, but Pietro had gotten so defensive about it that it dropped out of usage. "I will admit that I have prioritized wrong in the past and that I have made many mistakes. That is not to say that I regret everything you and your brother disagree with me on, but there are some. I do not wish to make the same mistakes or have as many regrets when it comes to my grandchildren."

"You won't," Wanda said. There was a firm belief in her voice that came not from her powers, but from having observed them for the past few months. "Papa, Luna and Tommy adore you. They may not agree with your beliefs, but they do love you. Just as Pietro and I do."

There was a quiet moment before Erik let out a soft sigh. He leaned over and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. It flooded her chest with warmth and love for her father.

"I love you as well, Liebling."

Chapter Text

Lorna was a little surprised to find Pietro sitting at the island in X-Factor's communal kitchen with a book laid out in front of him and his chin resting in his hand.

He still had a room there, but since Luna was back with him on a more permanent basis he'd rented a small apartment in town that he spent most of his time at.

He usually stayed with them when she was off with her mother, but as far as Lorna knew it wasn't time for Crystal to make one of her annual visits to try and convince Luna that living with her father again wasn't the best idea. Luna was such a good influence on her father that Lorna couldn't help being happy that it wasn't working.

"Hey," Lorna greeted. "I didn't know you stayed here last night."

Pietro's gaze flickered away from the book and towards her. "I didn't. I just got here."

"Oh." She made her way past him, so she could reach the fridge. She scanned the contents for a minute before her eyes caught on a bowl of thick white and yellow dessert. She reached for it immediately, even as she said, her voice filled with pleasant surprise, "When did we get welfenspeise?"

"I brought it with me," Pietro said. She pulled the whole bowl from the fridge and set down on the counter next to him. She heard him flipping the page in his book as she spun around to reach for the drawer full of silverware. "Father gave it to me when I dropped Luna off with him."

She paused. "You left Luna alone with our father?"

"No," Pietro said. "Tommy's with them."

"Tommy..." Lorna tested the name on her tongue. "Wanda's...son?"

"Yes. The older one."

"He can't be very much older than her. You're trusting father with a teenager and a child?"

"Yes. He won't let any harm come to either of them."

His words were spoken with such a dry honesty, that she knew he honestly believed that.

She pulled a spoon from the drawer, examining her reflection it as she considered what Pietro had said.

She was having hard time reconciling her ideal of her father with the picture Pietro was painting. She couldn't picture an Erik Lensherr who took his grandchildren out to celebrate their college exams and made welfenspeise for his son to take when he went home.

"You know," Pietro began. She turned away from the silverware drawer, abruptly aware that she'd been standing at it for a little too long, to find that Pietro was watching her now. He had one arm slung over the back of his chair, his head turned to watch her. There was a look on his face as if he had just realized something. "Wanda and I meet up with him on Saturdays. You should come with me this weekend."

Lorna pursed her lips together.

Part of her wanted to reject the suggestion right away, but something held her back. She thought about Pietro who loved his daughter so much he had tried to fix his mistakes when she told him she couldn't forgive him and Wanda who had torn the world apart when her sons were torn from her the first time. She thought about how much pain Erik had caused the twins and the fact that they still somehow managed to find it in them to trust him with the people they treasured most in the world.

"You think so?" she questioned, her voice soft. She forced herself into motion, padding across the room to join him at the island. She stuck her spoon into the pudding and let her gaze fall on that instead of her brother.

"Yeah," Pietro said. "Tommy's a little shit, but you'd like him. He'd be excited to meet you. And Luna and Wanda would definitely like having another girl around."

"And father?"

"Wants you there as much as the rest of us do," Pietro declared. Lorna glanced up at him. "You are a part of his family as much as the rest of us."

She gave a soft hum, swirling her spoon around in the pudding.

"Alright," Lorna said at last. She scooped some up, lifting her spoon to her mouth to take her first bite. "I'll come with you this weekend."

Chapter Text

Lorna knocked twice on the door before stepping back.

She tried to resist the urge to fidget as she waited. She had her arms crossed over her chest, trapping the plastic bag that hung from her wrist close to her body, in order to keep herself from reaching up to twirl her hair. Her lips were pressed tight to avoid biting them.

Wanting a few hours to prepare herself, she'd waved Pietro off when he'd asked if she wanted to go over to Wanda's with him and Luna. Now that she was actually there, she was starting to regret that decision. It was nerve wrecking enough to be suddenly coming to an event that had apparently been going for almost a year without her, but now she felt like she was crashing this specific day by coming late.

She was dragged out of her thoughts by the door swinging open.

Standing in the doorway was a young man with tousled white hair and green eyes the color of emeralds. He was dressed in baggy cargo shorts and a white tee-shirt with stripes that matched his eyes. Though he reminded Lorna a lot of Pietro, there was something in the roundness of his face and the curve of his nose that screamed Wanda.

Even though they'd never met before, she knew instantly that this was Tommy.

"Hey!" Tommy greeted, his voice friendly and excited. "You're here!"

Lorna struggled a bit for an answer. It was a little overwhelming to have this boy she'd never met suddenly seem so excited to see her, like she was an aunt that had actually been present in his life instead of one who had been losing her shit for the last few years.

In the end, all that came out was, "I brought the butter Pietro said we needed?" It came out questioning, so she held out the arm with the bag on it so Tommy could see that she'd actually had it.

"Awesome!" Tommy exclaimed. He reached for it and she let the bag be pulled from her. "You're a life saver. Grandpa's making baked chicken schnitzel and mashed potatoes, but we didn't have any butter for the potatoes since I used the last for my toast this morning."

"Oh." Lorna said, "Happy to help."

"Guys!" Tommy called, turning to walk away. He left the door open for her to follow. "Aunt Lorna's here! And she brought butter!"

Lorna stepped into the house after him, closing the door behind her as he disappeared down the hallway.

With such a trusting and open invitation to come in and the warm whispers of her family in the next room, Lorna found the sharp anxious feeling in her gut begin to ease.

This could work, she thought. This would be okay.

Chapter Text

When Wanda wandered into the kitchen, she found Tommy standing at the island. He wasn't wearing anything except a pair of ratty Green Lantern pajamas pants, one of the pairs he kept in Wanda's spare bedroom because he was spending more and more of his nights there, and his hair was sticking up at all angles.

There was a box of Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs next to his elbow. An pink and orange stripped bowl sat in front of him, filled to the brim with cereal.

Tommy had the milk jug turned completely upside down over it.

Wanda wasn't worried about it spilling over because, "Sweetheart, you know there's no milk in there right?"

Tommy looked over his shoulder, his sleepy green gaze catching her eyes. He blinked several times before turning his attention to the carton in his hands.

"Oh," he said after a beat.

Wanda laughed softly as she walked to the fridge. "Put it in the trash, please. I'll grab you the new one."

"Okay. Thanks, mom."

She heard the sound of Tommy pressing the button to open the trash can and throwing the empty jug into it. As she grabbed the full gallon from the fridge, she asked, "What's got you so tired?"

"Aunt Lorna said some stuff to me this weekend that I wanted to research for one of my papers," Tommy answered. He paused to let out a heavy yawn. "I spent the night adding what I'd learned to what I had and revising so I wasn't over the page limit."

"When is this paper due?"

She turned around and set the milk on the island. She pushed it slightly so it slid down to Tommy.

Snatching it up, he said, "Today. I've got to head out in a few to get to class on time."

"Alright. Let me know before you leave?"

"I will."

Chapter Text

Lorna stood in the open doorway, leaning against the frame as she watched.

Erik and Pietro were standing at the grill that sat on Wanda's back porch. Pietro was waving his hands around, the motion blurring with speed, as he tried to argue something but Erik was resolutely ignoring him as he poked at the meat on the grill. Tommy was sitting on the porch railing with two glasses of lemonade sat next to him. Luna was on the grass in front of Tommy, attempting to do what looked like a cartwheel.

The air was getting colder as fall slipped in, so they'd decided to have a barbecue while they still had nice, warm days. 

"Are you not coming outside?"

Lorna glanced over her shoulder at the question to find Wanda standing behind her with a large bowl of potato salad in her hands. There was a softness to her that Lorna wasn't used to seeing. Lorna had never been particularly close to the twins, partly because she had spent so much time angry at their father and partly because she'd always been under the impression that the twins didn't want her since they had each other, but she remembered how Wanda had looked when she was with Vision. She'd been happy, but not in the same way she was now. She wasn't just happy now, she was content and comfortable.

"I am," Lorna said. She confessed, "I know it's been a few weeks, but I'm still having a hard time getting used to it?"

"It?" Wanda echoed.

"Him," Lorna clarified. She gestured to their father. "I guess I never saw him as the type that would want to be around their family once they were older. I always kinda thought he'd fuck off and never speak to us again."

Wanda gave a small hum. Lorna couldn't read her mind like Pietro seemed to, but she could tell Wanda was trying to find the best way to phrase what she wanted to say. "I think it's very easy to think that's what Papa would want, especially with the mistakes he's made and the way we all felt about him for a while. At the same time, however, I've started to understand that this was always what he wanted but that he didn't know how to balance us with his goals."

"Yeah....I get that." They stood there for another moment before Lorna pushed herself off the doorway. "Do you need help carrying anything outside?"

"If you don't mind," Wanda said, "could you grab the bowl of coleslaw in the fridge? I'll send Tommy and Luna in to get the rest."

Lorna gave a small nod. "Gotcha. I'll be out in just a second."

Chapter Text

Pietro was lying on Wanda's couch, turned into the back of the couch, when he heard giggling come from the kitchen. The sound wasn't particularly concerning since he was in Wanda's house rather than in his apartment in Virginia or at X-Factor's headquarters.

Most of the family was staying in the house given that they'd spent the day enjoying what was supposed to be the last of the nice fall weather. Erik had gone home, but instead of heading back to Virginia himself, Luna, and Lorna had all stayed. Lorna was supposed to be in the guest room while Luna was sleeping in Tommy's bed while her cousin slept on his floor.

Wanda's house was set up so there were two entrances into the kitchen. One which lead to the main living space where the three bedrooms and two bathrooms were in. The other entrance led to the dining room, living room, and entrance. It was possible for any of the others to have gotten up and made their way to the kitchen without him realizing it.

Curious, he rolled off the couch. Pushing himself to his feet, he went to see what exactly was going on.

When he made his way through the living room and into the dining room, he saw the light in the kitchen on. Making his way there, he situated himself in the doorway so he could observe the scene in front of him.

Lorna and Wanda were sitting at the kitchen island together in their pajamas. Wanda was wearing a pair of fuzzy white pajama pants covered in red and pink hearts with a white tank top that had a sparkly red heart in the center. Lorna, on the other hand, was wearing a pair of short blue plaid boxers with a loose tee-shirt that was slipping down her shoulder.

The half of the apple pie that they hadn't eaten that afternoon was on the island in front of them, smothered in what looked like whipped cream. Lorna was the only one with a fork in her hand, Wanda was taking a sip of red wine while laughing, but there was another one set in the tin near Wanda.

"Seriously?" Pietro asked, drawing his sisters' attentions. "You two are sitting here eating pie and drinking wine at one in the morning instead of sleeping?"

"You aren't sleeping either," Wanda pointed out.

"Curious," Lorna said. She pointed her fork, a bit of pie gathered on it, at him as she asked, "Is that because we're here? You've gotten used to having Remy in your bed?"

"No," Pietro said, voice firm. "It's because Wanda's couch is a piece of shit."

"That's mean," Wanda said, a small frown settling on her face. "I like that couch."

"Yeah, Pietro, that was mean," Lorna echoed. They had definitely had too much wine, he decided. "Why don't you come drink some wine and eat some pie? It'll help you relax since clearly Remy isn't helping you get that stick out of your-"

"I'll eat the pie if you promise to stop saying things like that," Pietro interrupted.

"Not permanently," Lorna amended, "but at least for tonight."

Pietro considered it for a minute before nodding. "Alright."

He would have stayed even if she hadn't agreed. He loved his sisters and he'd never mind spending time with them. Even if it meant he had to eat leftover pie and drink shitty wine.

Chapter Text

"This is where you want to eat?" Erik asked as he stepped inside the restaurant after Tommy.

The restaurant was a small place just off Tommy's campus that served specially made salads. There were a collection of other customers, most around Tommy's age but older as well though Erik looked to be the oldest in the room, in the room. Some of them were lining against the wall, waiting to order their salad in a way reminiscent of a Subway Sandwich shop. Other customers were scattered around the tables in the restaurant. Some of them were eating alone with laptops in front of them as they worked on something while others were chattering with friends.

"Yeah," Tommy agreed. Glancing over at him, he asked, "Why? Would you rather go somewhere else?"

"No," Erik said with a shake of his head. "This will work fine. It's just healthier than I was lead to believe I would find on a college campus."

"Yeah, but sometimes it's nice to eat something that's not covered in grease," Tommy said with a small shrug.

"I know that what you eat isn't as important as it is for others given your metabolism, but I do take some comfort in knowing you're eating relatively healthy," Erik said.

Tommy hummed softly as they joined the line of waiting customers.

They were quiet for a moment before Tommy said, "So when you told me the campus was mutant friendly I wasn't expecting half the student body and staff to be mutants."

"Some of the schools I gave you to consider didn't have such high populations," Erik said. "I admit I was a little glad you chose this one as it made me feel like you would be a bit safer here. Especially with the growing violence against mutants."

"I can take care of myself," Tommy pointed out. "I saved the world, you know? Multiple times."

"I know," Erik said. He looked over at Tommy, meeting his eyes. There was a wisdom in his eyes when he said, "But your mother has saved the world more times than you have and I haven't stopped worrying about her either."

Tommy ducked his head, feeling embarrassed by how pleased hearing that made him feel. Though they'd grown extremely close over the past half year, he still wasn't good at handling it when someone showed him they cared about him.

"So uh-" Tommy said, clearing his throat after a moment. He scuffed his foot a bit before looking back up at Erik, "So I wasn't expecting the high mutant population on campus, but it turned out to be a pretty good thing because thanks to the help of one of my professors I decided what I wanted to major in."

"Did you?" Erik asked, voice making his surprise clear. "The semester's only just started. I thought it would take you longer than that."

"Me too," Tommy said. "But I was talking to Professor Johansson about some stuff the other day and she helped me realize some stuff. I want to be like you. I think you've gone about it all wrong, but ultimately all you've ever wanted to do was make sure mutants were safe. I want to do that. So I'm going to double major in mutant studies and social work. I was thinking I could help kids like me, you know? I got lucky and found you guys, but not every mutant without a family is going to end up being The Scarlet Witch's' kid."

Erik just watched him for a moment, then he reached out to place an open palm on Tommy's shoulder. There was a smile on his face and pride in his voice when he said, "That's a very noble dream, Thomas, and I am very proud of you for it."

"Thanks," Tommy said, his chest warming. If he'd been embarrassed before, than now he was on fire. He could feel the blush across his cheeks. He rocked back on his heads so Erik's hand was displaced. "It's going to be a lot of work though."

"You'll get there," Erik said. His voice was still kind, but there was pure steel behind it. An unwavering belief in Tommy. "You'll get there."

Chapter Text

"So Professor Starsmore said I shouldn't mess with my classmates emotions," Luna explained. "And Daddy told me the same thing back when I first came to stay with him, but I'm still not sure why. Doesn't everyone want to make their friends happy?"

"Yeah," Tommy answered, reaching forward to grab a carrot stick from the plate in front of them. "But the way you do it means that your friends will never learn how to handle their emotions without you helping them and for some of them their powers could really hurt someone if they don't. Next time just call me. I'll take you and your friends out for ice cream."

The two of them were in the kitchen in Young Avengers Headquarters. While Luna went to The Jean Grey School while she was on Earth, she didn't board there since her living with her father while attending was an easy feat given his powers. Her father wanted her to be educated, but he didn't want to lose too much time with her when her mother would inevitably come to take her back at some point. Tommy was pretty sure that Pietro also felt better about having her with him rather than at the school given how often it got attacked.

Pietro usually picked her up from the school, but X-Factor had been called out on a mission so Tommy had gone to get her instead. It'd happened a few times before. Normally they went to Wanda's house afterwards, working together on any homework they had, but Wanda was away on a mission with the Avengers so they'd gone to the Young Avengers building instead.

"I don't know if Headmaster Howlett and Headmistress Monroe would let anyone other than me leave with you."

"Doesn't matter," Tommy said with a small smile. He dipped the carrot stick into the vegetable dip than gestured it at her. "They can't stop us if they can't catch me." He leaned over, poking the carrot against her nose and leaving a dot of dip in his wake. "So call me next time, twerp."

Luna giggled, happy and amused. "Okay, Tommy."

"Oh! I am sorry for interrupting." Looking away from Luna, Tommy looked over to find Noh Varr standing in the kitchen's doorway. He was dressed in some of the clothes Kate had insisted he buy if he was going to stay on Earth, slim dark jeans and a tight green tee-shirt. "I just came to retrieve something to eat. I didn't realize you had a guest."

"It's no problem," Tommy said with a shake of his head. He'd been leaning against the counter, but now he pushed himself up. "I think you guys met when we all went to the amusement. But just incase, Noh Varr, this is my cousin Luna. Luna, this is Noh Varr. He's one of my teammates."

"Hello," Luna greeted, lifting a hand to wave at him.

"Hello," Noh Varr answered. "You have something on your nose."

"Tommy did it," Luna said.

"You said you were coming down here to eat right?" Tommy asked. "We've got carrot sticks and dip if you want to share with us."

"I wouldn't be interrupting?"

"Nah," Tommy said. "Come on. Eat something that isn't trash for once."

Even as he walked towards them, Noh Var argued, "As a Kree my digestive system can-"

"Just because you can digest trash doesn't mean you should eat it," Tommy interrupted. "Now eat a carrot stick and listen to what a disaster it is when you put a much of emotional, hormonal mutants with shitty control in one place."

 

Chapter Text

"Dad, can I have a fruit cup?"

Pietro looked up from the chicken he was slicing into strips for dinner to find Luna on the other side of the small island in their apartment. The apartment was so small that a proper dinner table would have taken up a lot of space so Pietro was glad they had it.

"Dinner's going to be done in an hour," he warned.

"I'll eat everything I promise."

"Alright then," Pietro agreed. He tipped his head towards the fridge, "Go for it."

"Thank you, daddy," Luna said. She walked across the kitchen. She pulled the refrigerator door open then reached to slide one of the drawers out. She grabbed one of the fruit cups out of the drawer, one of the sugar free peach ones, before making her way back to the island. As she climbed up onto one of the high stools, she requested, "Can I have a spoon?"

Pietro reached to his left to pull a spoon from the silverware drawer. When he turned back to hand it to her, he found that she had peeled the top off and left it lying on the counter. Pointing with the spoon, he said, "Do not leave that there, Luna."

"I won't." When she took the spoon from his fingers and ducked her head to dig in, he turned back to the food. He'd just lifted the knife to make another slice when she said, "Tommy has a crush on Noh Varr."

"Fuck!" Pietro swore when the shock of her words had him nicking his finger with the knife.

"Daddy?"

"It's nothing sweetheart," Pietro dismissed. He'd gotten the edge of his finger, but it was just a small cut. Nothing that wouldn't be healed in a few moments given the small healing factor his powers gave him. He brought his finger to his mouth. Speaking around his finger, he asked, "Why do you think that?"

"Noh Varr came in while I was with Tommy the other day."

"Ah," Pietro said. He probably wouldn't have been so comfortable with the idea that his eight year old daughter could tell that her cousin had a crush if it wasn't for her powers. This way he could pretend the only reason she knew what a crush felt, or looked, like was because she had felt them and not because she had had one herself. "Does Noh Varr like him?"

"I think so. Noh Varr has excellent control over his mind. I can't get as much of an impression from him, " Luna said. She pressed her lips together, a look of distress coming over her face. He waited patiently to see if she would talk to him about whatever she was thinking about. After a moment, she looked back up at him and asked, "Should I tell Tommy?"

Pietro could tell that Luna was more worried that Noh Varr didn't feel the same way, that she would be telling Tommy something that would just end up hurting him, than whether or not she should actually be sharing personal information that she picked up with her powers. He was hoping she'd grow out of that as she got older as long as they kept pushing her, understand the power she wielded and the responsibility that came with them.

He wished Professor Xavier was still around. For all their differences, Professor Xavier had been a friend, not just to Erik, but to their entire family in one way or another. He would have been more than happy to help Luna understand the ethics associated with her powers and Pietro would have actually trusted him to teach her. He trusted Xavier more than he would ever trust Emma Frost.

"No," Pietro said with a shake of his head. "Let Tommy and Noh Varr figure it out on their own. It'll turn out okay."

"But what if it doesn't?" Luna asked. "What if Tommy gets hurt?"

"Then we'll be there for him," Pietro answered. "We'll have an ice cream party and I'll tell him about how terrible your mom is until he feels better about how terrible his choice in romantic partners is."

"You love mom though."

"I do," Pietro agreed. Despite all of their differences, Crystal had given him a beautiful daughter. She would always have a place in his heart. "But that doesn't make her any less terrible."

Chapter Text

"I can't believe grandpa," Tommy complained as he followed Pietro into the sushi restaurant. Usually they cooked their family dinners, but on this particular night Lorna had expressed a craving for sushi that Tommy had quickly agreed with. And if any two members of their family could convince the rest of something, it was the two of them. They were equal parts stubborn and persistent. "We could've gone all the way to Japan for sushi and he insists we get it from Manhattan."

"They've got good sushi here," Pietro said. "And I don't speak Japanese to order in Tokyo. Do you?"

"No, but I could've made it work," Tommy retorted.

"Hello," the woman at the counter greeted them. "How can I help you?"

"We're here to pick up an order," Pietro said. "Maximoff?"

"Okay." Glancing down at the computer in front of her, the girl typed something in before looking back up. "It'll be a few moments."

"No problem."

Pietro stepped back from the counter, leaning against the wall by the door instead. Tommy came with him, settling next to him and slouching down.

They were quiet for a moment before Pietro let out a sharp sigh. "Look, are you doing okay?"

"Yesssss?" Tommy said, drawing the end of the word out. He tipped his head, obviously confused. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"No reason," Pietro said with a shake of his head. "Just something Luna said the other day."

"Something Luna...? Did she say I felt unhappy?"

"No," he said. "Not at all."

Tommy watched him for a moment before he said, "Whatever you say."

There was another quiet moment before Pietro added, "If something does happen and you need to talk, you can talk to me you know?"

"I know," Tommy agreed. A small smile pulled at his lips, not so much happy as it was peaceful. "You may pretend to be hard as stone, but your actually a giant softie Uncle P."

Chapter Text

Billy sat on the ruined sidewalk, his back against one of the buildings and his head tipped back while his eyes were closed. Exhaustion was written in every line of his body. His powers didn't leave him as physically exhausted as shooting left Kate, her arm heavy and her fingers sore after a bit battle like this, but it left him exhausted in a way which seemed to seem into his bones. It was still early in winter, but the chill had already set in. The concrete was cold under his butt, but he couldn't muster the energy to move.

Teddy had been sitting with him earlier, but he'd gone to talk to a few of the others about organizing a quick clean up. They couldn't fix the entire city, too much had been damaged, but they could help clear out some of the areas that were hit the hardest.

"Hey." Peeking an eye open, Billy found Tommy standing in front of him. His brother stood in front of him with a gold bag of Haribo gummy bears in his hand. He looked as if he'd barely been phased by the battle, but there were heavy black bags under his eyes that made it clear just how wrong that was. What he did was natural for him, but it also forced his body into over gear. Usually his body adjusted quickly, but he hadn't exactly had the time to do that today. He reached one arm out, jiggling the gummy bear bag in Billy's direction, "Want some?"

"If you bring them closer," Billy answered. "I don't think I have the energy to reach out that far."

"Lazy," Tommy retorted, but he took a step towards Billy and squatted down in front of him.

"Where'd you even get these? I doubt there's an open gas station around here," Billy asked as he leaned forward. He took a handful of the bears from Tommy, popping one of the small red ones into his mouth.

"I ran to Boston," Tommy said. Shifting around, he let himself fall down onto the concrete with Billy. He scooted backwards until he was leaning against the building as well, their shoulders bumping and their legs pressed together. "Completely worth it in my opinion."

"Yeah, okay," Billy responded, voice amused. He leaned over, letting his head thunk onto his brother's shoulder. "Are you being recruited for clean up?"

"Nah," Tommy dismissed with a shake of his head. "I don't have super strength or anything and Uncle P's gonna stick around in case you guys need a supply run. He left Luna in Virginia with Aunt Lorna since this was kind of an Avengers thing, so I'm going to head over there and steal his bed for a few hours since everything's going to be loud as fuck around here." Billy felt him shift, looking at him. "You wanna come? I don't mind sharing. It's a big bed."

Billy laughed, the sound a little exhausted. "No thanks. They're probably going to want my help around here." He'd been thinking recently about what Tommy had said to him the last time they'd talked about their family. He'd been thinking about how embracing the rest of their family the way he'd embraced Tommy wouldn't change his relationship with his biological family. "Next time though?"

"Sure," Tommy agreed.

"Cool. Can I have more bears?"

"Go for it, little bro."

Chapter Text

"Tommy?" Wanda called as she slipped out of her shoes. "Are you here?"

"Kitchen!" Tommy answered.

Wanda wound her way through the house until she reached the kitchen. She found Tommy sitting at the island. He was wearing a plain white tee-shirt with a black hoodie. He'd caught one of the strings from the hood in his mouth and was chewing absently on them. His jacket had been discarded over the back of his chair. He had a collection of text books open in front of him, a bright neon highlighter held between two fingers which he flipped back and forth.

"Homework?" Wanda asked, leaning against the doorframe.

He looked up at her, a small smile falling over his lips.

He dropped the string out of his mouth as he answered, "Yeah. I've got some reading that I need to finish up." Straightening up so he wasn't hunched over his books, he reached out for the pint glass sitting in front of him. It was one of the ones he and Luna had picked up at an arcade, a set of glasses with the logos of fictional superheros on the front and capes attacked to the rim. He was using the Superman one. The glass was filled with a thick brown liquid. When he noticed her looking at it, he said, "You weren't planning to use the last of the bananas were you? Because I used them to make a peanut butter smoothie since they were going bad."

"No, no. I was thinking of making some banana bread with it for the same reason, but it was more to get rid of it than because I actually wanted to," Wanda said. She watched him for a moment before saying, "The Avengers asked me to go on a mission with them."

"I thought you weren't working with them right now?"

"I'm not, but it's a special circumstance." Not wanting to go into details, she asked, "Is that okay with you?"

"It's fine," Tommy said with a small shrug. He paused for a moment before asking, "Is it alright if I stay here while your gone, though? I'd go back to HQ, but things over there tend to be really loud and dramatic. I've got a paper I need work on this weekend."

"Of course you can stay here," Wanda said. The request made her chest warm, affection flaring up bright and hot. She'd known Tommy was coming to see this as his home, spending more nights here than he did at the Young Avengers building now, but this just confirmed that even more. "This is as much your home as it is mine, Tommy. You don't need permission to stay."

Tommy was quiet for a minute before he nodded. "Okay. Thanks, mom."

Chapter Text

"Tommy, are you trying to set that marshmallow on fire?" Lorna asked, watching as Tommy dipped the burned corner of his marshmallow back into the fire.

The group of them were sitting in the back of Wanda's lawn, gathered around a make-shift fireplace. They were ankle deep in snow, but the fire warmed their hands. The thought of smores made the cold seem much more bearable. 

"Hell yeah I am," Tommy said. He grinned as the already burnt marshmallow caught fire. Pulling it out of the fire he twisted the marshmallow around so the fire spread, engulfing the entirety of the fluffy treat. "They taste best like this."

"Really?" Luna said. She leaned over, shoulder bumping against Tommy's as she peered at it.

"No," Lorna insisted, keeping her voice firm as she shook her head. "Don't listen to your cousin he's trying to lead you astray."

"Don't listen to Aunt Lorna," Tommy dismissed, shaking his head. "I promise you a burned marshmallow is way better than a slightly roasted one." He trapped the bottom of his skewer between his legs. He reached for the two graham crackers on his knees, one of which held a small piece of chocolate, and sandwiched the marshmallow between them. Instead of biting into it, he held it out for Luna, "Do you want to try?"

Luna looked at the smore with suspicion for a moment before reaching for it. She took a large bite out of it.

Tommy and Lorna both watched as chewed.

"It's-" Luna stopped herself, putting her hand in front of her mouth. She finished chewing before she repeated, "It's good!"

"Terrible," Lorna said, ignoring the way Tommy was cheering. "You're both disgraces."

Chapter Text

Pietro was curled up under a pile of blankets, hot and sweaty but freezing at the same time.

Illnesses were rare for him. His body worked far too fast for that sort of thing, his immune system working as quickly as everything else in his body did. Sometimes he got a tickle in the back of his throat or a headache or a flash of nausea, but those things were never bad and they usually passed in a matter of minutes.

This one, though, this was strong. It hit him after a battle when his body was too exhausted to run the way it normally did, knocking him on his ass and keeping him from recovering. It was his second day in bed and he didn't understand how normal people did this all the time. He felt useless and sluggish and everything ached. He wasn't entirely certain he wasn't dying.

He let out a loud, annoyed groan when he heard the door creak open. "Go away, Remy."

Remy had been nice for all of three hours yesterday, fretting over Pietro on account of the strangeness of him getting ill and cuddling with Pietro when he was feeling clingy. He quickly got over his fear though and went back to being the single most irritating person in Pietro's life.

"I'm not your lover."

Shifting so he could peek his eyes out from under his blanket, he'd had them tossed over his head with only a small crack to give him fresh air, Pietro found his father stepped into his bedroom.

Pietro had been seeing a lot of Erik recently as their family mended itself, Tommy drawing them all in like a gravitational pull and proximity giving them time to fix relationships that didn't involve him, but there was still something strange about seeing his father in his bedroom like this.

"What are you doing here?" Pietro croaked. A moment later he added, "Where's Luna? and Remy?" Then as an afterthought, he added, "He's not my lover."

"I don't know why you continue to persist with that. The man practically lives here from what Luna says," Erik answered. Walking over to the dresser, he set down a small container of something.

"So he's a roommate," Pietro shot back. It wasn't like he didn't know what Remy was to him. It was just hard to admit. Something about saying it out-loud to his family made it more real than Pietro was ready to think about. He didn't really know why. His father and sisters and him had committed so many crimes that Remy's thieving would barely be a blip on the family tree if Pietro admitted what he felt so it wasn't like he was really worried what they would think. There was just something...terrifying about admitting what Remy meant to him. "Where is he?"

"He and Luna went to the park," Erik said. "I thought some time outside of the apartment would be good for their health."

Pietro couldn't necessarily argue with that. He didn't want either of them to catch whatever he had. They'd probably handle it better, having bodies which were more used to this than his was and therefore being able to deal more with the stress it put on their bodies, but he'd been with Remy when he was sick before. He went from annoying to clingy and whiny which Pietro just found frustrating.

"Okay but why are you here?" Pietro asked.

"You're my son and your sick. I want to take care of you," Erik said. He spoke so casually, so matter-of-fact, that Pietro couldn't help believing him. Erik had more then proven over the past few months that he loved his family, not just his grandchildren but the twins and Lorna as well. "I brought you some soup that wasn't taken out of a can."

Pietro perked up. Canned soup didn't taste very good and it wasn't very nutritious, but no one in the apartment really knew how to cook that sort of thing from scratch. "Bubbe's recipe?"

His grandmother had been dead before he'd been born, but the way she had been ripped from him made Erik work ten times as hard as other people to preserve his childhood with her and pass those things onto his children. Pietro could cook well enough to feed himself, but that was about it. He didn't have the same skill his father and Wanda had when it came to recreating his grandmother's recipes.

Erik reached forward, peeling the lid off the container he'd set on the dresser. The smell immediately filled the room. Pietro's stomach rumbled for the first time since he'd "You'd like some then?"

"Yes, papa," Pietro said. Their history meant that the word was practically a term of endearment for them and Pietro left things like that to Wanda usually, but there was something about the entire situation that had him loose and affectionate.

Erik looked over his shoulder, a shock in his eyes. It quickly melted into a warm affection. "Of course, kleiner Gepard."

Chapter Text

"Hey," Lorna said as she stepped into Wanda's kitchen, finding her sister sitting at the couch. She'd let herself in since she knew Wanda had just come back from a mission and was a little unsure if her sister would be awake or taking a nap. "I brought you some take-out. I wasn't sure if you'd had time to eat today and I know it was pretty hectic for you, so I figured you probably didn't want to cook."

"Thank you," Wanda answered, voice soft. She was curled up against the arm of the couch with a blanket around her knees. Her hair was wet, so Lorna figured she'd just finished a post mission shower. She'd been looking down at her hands, her phone clutched in them, but now she looked over at Lorna, a small exhausted smile on her lips. "What did you get?"

"Chicken tenders from that diner down on fifth."

"They're still standing?"

"Yup," Lorna said. "Close call though. While I was waiting Martha told me that Tony stopped something from running right into them."

"It's good that he was there."

"Yeah." When Lorna sat down, Wanda shifted so she was leaning against her. She set the takeout bag on the floor, taking a moment to wrap an arm around Wanda. "You okay?"

"I will be," Wanda said. "It's just hard sometimes."

"Being a superhero?" Lorna guessed. She knew how true that way, but she got the feeling that wasn't what Wanda had meant.

"Being a mother," Wanda corrected. "The boys are grown and I know they're capable of taking care of themselves, but I can't help worrying about them."

"There's nothing wrong with that. You worry about them because you love them," Lorna said. Squeezing a bit, she added, "Are they okay?"

"Yes," Wanda answered. "I just got off the phone with Tommy. He was in class so he hadn't even realized anything had happened. He said he talked to Billy afterwards. The team got involved a bit, but all of them are okay."

"That's good."

They were quiet for a moment, Wanda cuddled into Lorna's side and Lorna happy to hold her sister while she worked through the thoughts in her head.

"Okay," Wanda said at last. Leaning away from Lorna, she said, "You get the takeout out of the box. I'll go grab us some sauce from the kitchen."

Chapter Text

Erik was sitting in an armchair in his house, reading a book, when he heard the sound of his doorknob turning. He'd been expecting a guest so he wasn't surprised when the door creaked open.

A soft voice called out, "Grandpa?"

"In the living room, liebling."

He placed his bookmark in his book before setting the book down on the coffee table next to him. He looked towards the doorway just as Luna appeared in it. She was wearing a pair of mint green pants with a large gray sweatshirt that fell just above her knees. She had a dark coat on as a well, though she'd left it open. Her long, blonde hair fell around her shoulders. It was messy from the wind outside.

"Hello," Erik greeted, smiling at her.

"Hi, Grandpa," Luna returned.

"Did you have any trouble getting here?" Erik asked.

"No," Luna said, shaking her head a bit. "I had the bus route on my phone so it wasn't too hard."

"That's good," Erik said. "So to what do I owe the pleasure of a visit from my favorite granddaughter?"

"I'm your only granddaughter," Luna pointed out.

"Which makes you my favorite, now doesn't it?" Luna let out a small laugh, a smile lighting her face. He found his own smile growing. It eased some of the worry in his chest as well. He'd been concerned when she asked if she could come over out of the blue. He didn't mind either of his grandchildren visiting, but it had been sudden in a way that visits from Luna never were. "Come now, schatzi. Why is it you're visiting?"

Luna asked, "Would you teach me to make soup?"

"Soup?" Erik repeated. Confused by her request, he asked, "Is your father sick again?"

"Daddy isn't, no," Luna said. "But Remy is."

"Ah...."

"He hasn't been eating anything, but crackers," Luna explained. "And Daddy really liked the soup you made him when he was sick, so I thought maybe you could teach me how to make it and then I could make it for Remy and he'd feel a bit better."

Erik watched her for a moment.

He'd already known that his son's relationship was serious despite the way Pietro brushed it off. He knew how deeply Pietro cared for LeBeau, even if his memories of his relationship with Crystal and how badly it had ended up made it hard for him to admit it. But if he hadn't known seeing Luna now, seeing how much she cared for Remy and how close Pietro had let them get, would have been enough to show him.

"Alright then," Erik said. As he lifted himself out of his seat, he directed, "Go to the bathroom and wash your hands. I'll get the ingredients out of the cabinet for you."

Chapter Text

Remy pushed the apartment door open, only to find Pietro standing in the hallway.

"Luna, hurry up," Pietro shouted. He had his back turned towards the door, looking down the hallway. He was wearing a pair of dark jeans that fit his body so well that Remy was convinced they were tailored and a long, black coat with two rows of silver buttons. His hair was loose rather than slicked back like he usually wore it when he went out, but it was still tidier than it was when he was just lounging around the house. There was a slightly grumpy, annoyed look on his face. Luna wasn't usually slow getting ready, but Remy got the feeling she was taking longer than Pietro would have liked tonight. "We're going to be late."

"I can't find my flats!" Luna shouted.

Remy remembered watching her kick them off when she got home from school the other day, so he piped up, "They're under the couch!"

As the apartment lit up with the sound of Luna making her way to the living room to search under the couch, Pietro turned his head to look over his shoulder.

"Hey," Remy greeted, smile stretching across his lips.

"I thought you weren't coming over tonight," Pietro said, instead of returning the greeting.

"I changed my mind." Being home just felt odd now. He was there for a few hours everyday to feed and play with the cats, but that was it. Even that was becoming rare since he and Luna had convinced Pietro to let them bring them over to the apartment with him. There were some days when he forced himself to stay, the rare times when he was mad at Pietro or could tell Pietro needed space, but today wasn't one of them. "Where are you two going?"

"Out for dinner," Pietro answered. "My dad is taking everyone out since Tommy just finished his first semester of college."

"Daddy, I'm ready."

Remy looked up to find Luna running towards them. She was wearing a black dress covered in white polka dots. There was a black ribbon tied around her waist with a bow on her hip and a black headband pushed back into her hair.

"Well hey there, gorgeous," Remy drawled, putting the full force of his accent and charm into the words.

Luna giggled. "Hi, Remy."

"We've really got to get going before we're late," Pietro said. He swept an arm out in front of him, gesturing for Luna to walk past the two of them towards the door.

"Okay," Luna agreed. She ducked in to hug Remy quickly. "See you later, Remy!"

"See you later, sweetheart," Remy answered, bending down to squeeze her tightly.

"We'll be back in a few hours," Pietro said.

"Okay, see you in a bit." Remy returned. Leaning in, he pressed a quick kiss against Pietro's lips. When he pulled away, he added, "Make your dad buy me some pasta."

Remy wasn't offended or hurt as they parted ways. It didn't matter to him that Pietro hadn't invited him out for a family dinner. Pietro let Remy live here with him and let Remy take care of and love his daughter. He didn't complain about Remy spending time with his sisters, whether he was trying to convince Lorna to take on a cat that he couldn't or taking Wanda out for lunch. He didn't say anything when Remy started talking about stories Tommy had told him or when he complained about something Erik had mentioned when they'd both been around the X-Men at the same time.

Pietro didn't invite him to family dinners, but he made it clear that Remy was a part of his family without that.

Chapter Text

Lorna had both of her hands wrapped around her coffee cup. She stared down at the soft brown liquid, fingers tapping against the side of the cup.

She didn't know why, but there was a knot of nerves in her stomach. She'd spent plenty of time with her father since being invited to join her family on the weekends, but this seemed so different. At Wanda's place there were always so many people and so many things going on. In this moment, though, there wasn't anyone but the two of them. No Tommy to run around catching attention, no Luna with her curious questions, no Pietro to grump and complain, no Wanda with her soft laughter and mediation.

Sitting in this coffee shop it was just her and her father.

"Lorna," Erik said, sighing a bit as he spoke up for the first time since they sat down. Lorna looked away from her cup, turning her gaze up to see him instead. "You don't have to be here if you don't want to be."

Lorna shook her head. "I wouldn't have come if I didn't want to be here."

"If you aren't ready to be here then," Erik corrected. He reached out, putting one of his hands over hers. "We have hurt each other a lot, liebling. If you need more time before we can sit here and have a conversation without your siblings around than that's fine. I will be ready when you are."

Lorna was quiet for a moment considering his words.

It had been a long couple of years. She'd lost everything she had. Some of those losses had been her father's fault. But even with that being said, she did love him and while she had doubted his love for her before she didn't now.

And for all that she had lost before, she had a family now. She had an adorable little niece, a nephew who seemed to be a constant ball of excitement, and two siblings who loved her as unconditionally as they loved each other.

"No," Lorna said, shaking her head again. "I want to be here, papa."

Erik's smile was small, but considering who it was he might as well have been grinning ear-to-ear.

Chapter Text

Wanda followed the sound of childish laughter towards the kitchen. Not too long ago the sound would have been out of place, but now it was a familiar sound. The change was one that caused Wanda so much joy that it was hard to explain to other people.

When she reached the room, she peered inside the doorway. The laughter was coming from exactly who she'd been expecting - Tommy and Luna. Her niece didn't usually stay with her after they spent time together as a family, but Pietro and Remy deserved some time with the apartment to themselves so Wanda had asked her if she wanted to stay for the night. Luna had been more than happy to spend the night with Wanda and her favorite cousin.

Tommy was wearing a pair of black pajama pants with light blue and neon green space ships on them. He was wearing a bright blue tank top as well, one that had a neon green astronaut on a background of the earth and lettering that read "Gimme Some Space Bro." Luna had on a hot pink tank top with white polka dots all over it with a pair of plain black shorts. Luna was sitting on one of the stools at the island while Tommy stood next to her. There were two glasses, two spoons, a pint of plain vanilla ice cream, and a two liter of root beer sitting on the counter in front of them.

"Okay, so first we put two scoops of ice cream in each glass," Tommy said, waving around the ice cream scooper in his hand. He reached forward, grabbing the ice cream and pulling it close to him as he flipped the lid off. "I don't know anyone who puts the soda in first, but if they do they're a heathen."

They were making root beer floats, Wanda realized. Tommy had the ability to put the floats together much quicker, but he was taking it slow for the purpose of showing Luna. It must have been another one of those things that Luna missed as someone who had spent the vast majority of their childhood off of earth or at least away from people who would have thought to show her those things.

"This seems very unhealthy," Luna said, even as she leaned forward and watched Tommy scoop the ice cream out.

"It is," Tommy agreed. "Which is why we're eating it late at night."

"So that we don't get in trouble?"

"No, because the sweetest things are meant to be eaten late. When you can watch trashy television while your licking the spoon clean," Tommy corrected.

Luna looked up at him. "Are we going to watch trashy television?"

"Oh yeah. I found some Jersey Shore reruns we can watch."

As Luna started asking questions about Jersey Shore, having never seen an episode herself, Wanda turned around and started making her way back to her bedroom. She didn't mind letting the two of them stay up a little late while they ate some sugar. Luna might have been a little young for Jersey Shore, but Wanda was sure Tommy would only explain so much to her. She didn't see a reason to interrupt them when they were clearly setting themselves off for a fun night.

Chapter Text

Wanda was sitting on a set of stairs with her eyes closed. She was leaned back with her weight on her palms, taking a second to get some of her energy back.

It hadn't been the type that involved the entirety of the superhero community, not even the entirety of the Avengers, and Wanda wasn't completely wiped. Still, using her powers had always taken a lot out of her. While she managed them now as well as she ever had, she was also growing older. Losing the energy that it took to use her powers had a bigger effect on her now than it ever had before.

"I figured you would want something to eat. So I brought you some yogurt."

Peeking her eyes open, Wanda found herself looking up at her brother. Pietro's hair was messy in the way it always was after one of his runs and he held a cup of yogurt from her favorite place upstate in each hand. One was her favorite blueberry swirl while the other was the cookies and cream Pietro preferred. Wanda remembered how she had objected the first time he ordered it, saying that yogurt was supposed to be healthy. Pietro had laughed her off, saying that his body ran through enough calories that everything was healthy.

"Thank you," Wanda said, leaning forward to grab the cup from him.

He passed it to her without word.

He stood there for a moment, lifting his own spoon and using his newly freed hand to take a bit. After a few minutes had passed, both of them eating and glancing at the activity around them. There wasn't much to clean up so most of it was their teammates talking to people who were still in the area, trying to help them locate others or directing them to the help centers set up.

"Can I sit with you?" Pietro asked at last.

"Of course."

Wanda moved a little bit, leaving room for Pietro to settle next to her. He sat close enough that their shoulders were pressed together and knees knocked. It was the sort of soft, almost absent minded touching that was natural to two people that had spent most of their lives living in each others pockets.

They were often in each others presence nowadays, but almost never alone the way they were used to before. Sometimes that made it easier to forget the things that Pietro had done, the things that he had done for her and because of her. Sometimes that made it harder.

Moments like this, though, were familiar. These were the sort of moments which reminded her that no matter what had happened her brother was her knight-in-shining armor, her biggest supporter, and a shoulder she could always cry on.

They reminded her that no matter what happened, Pietro was the single most important person in her life.

Nothing would ever change the fact that she loved him.

Chapter Text

When Tommy came down the stairs, he found Billy was sprawled across the couch in nothing but a pair of boxers. He was spread out as much as he could, going as far as to hang half off the couch so as to avoid his limbs touching.

"Kate is going to be angry if you get your gross body sweat all over the couch," Tommy observed.

Kate didn't care what any of them did in their Headquarters. She was a firm believer that it didn't matter who paid for it or the furniture when it was home to all of them. That only made her worse when it came to things like this. It was her home as much as theirs and she refused to deal with them being gross boys in it. Combined with America's insistence on the same, they all made extra sure to keep the place as clean as possible.

"I don't care," Billy groaned. He buried his face deeper into the couch cushions. His voice was muffled when he said, "I'm going to be dead before Kate even finds me if it doesn't cool down."

It was still Winter, but Spring was just around the corner and they'd been hit with a series of unseasonably warm days. Today was particularly brutal. 

"Drama queen," Tommy said, fond but amused. He said, "I'm going to get ice cream with mom. I'll be back tomorrow after my classes."

There was silence as Tommy crossed the room. He was just reaching for the door knob when Billy spoke up, asking, "Can I come?"

"Sure," Tommy said, quick to respond but keeping his voice casual. He turned around, watching as Billy swung himself upright. When Billy looked over at him, eyes meeting, Tommy asked, "You sure?"

"Yes," Billy said. He gave a small nod. Flashing Tommy a smile that was a little too casual to be real, he added, "I was gonna beg Teddy to bring popsicles on his way back from work anyway. Might as well go with you and Wanda for ice cream."

"That definitely sounds like a better plan."

"Yeah," Billy agreed. He was still for another moment before climbing to his feet. "I'll go upstairs and put some clothes on then."

"I'll let mom know we're gonna be a little later since I've got to wait for a slowpoke."

"I'm sorry we didn't all get superspeed," Billy said, rolling his eyes as he turned away. "Do you wanna drive us over there?"

Billy could have easily teleported them, but Tommy figured he wanted the extra time to finish getting his thoughts in order.

"Yeah," Tommy agreed. "That works for me."

"I'll grab my keys from my room for you then."

Chapter Text

Wanda's heart was pounding in her chest as she stood up.

"Hi mom," Tommy said, stepping up to her first.

"Hello," Wanda greeted. She leaned forward, giving him a tight hug and kissing his cheek. Having Tommy here was enough for her heart to calm down a bit. She loved her son unconditionally. She wanted both of them in her life, but she wasn't disappointed by only having one of them. That was more than she'd ever hoped for.

Tommy returned her hug and kiss before moving to take a seat at the table, leaving only Billy standing.

Billy wasn't as slim as his twin. Tommy was built lean and slender, made for speed, while Billy was a bit bigger in the shoulders and waist. His dark hair was longer too, curling around his ears and the nap of his neck. He was wearing a pair of khaki shorts and a tank top that was stripped with navy blue and orange.

"Hello," Billy greeted. He sounded a little nervous and unsure of himself. "I hope you don't mind me coming along."

"No, no, of course not," Wanda dismissed. She hesitated for a moment before asking, "Would it be okay for me to hug you?"

"Yeah," Billy said, nodding.

Wanda stepped forward, wrapping him in her arms as she had Tommy. She'd meant to keep the hug a little loose, not wanting to scare him off or make him feel like he couldn't get away from her, but she squeezed him tightly despite herself. Billy didn't seem to mind, though, because he hesitated for only a moment before squeezing her just as tightly.

The hug went on for just a little longer than hugs usually did, but neither of them minded.

As they pulled apart, Wanda found herself scrambling for a way to keep things from getting awkward.

Before she could come up with anything, though, Tommy said, "Mom, did you look at the menu at all?"

"A little bit," Wanda said. "But I've been here before so I didn't really need to."

"What do you usually get?" Billy asked. He moved to walk around the table. Wanda had chosen one with four chairs so Billy didn't have to sit by her if he didn't want, but he took the chair across from Tommy and on Wanda's other side.

"I really like their green tea ice cream, but it's not very sweet," Wanda told him. She settled back down in her chair. "Pietro really likes the american apple pie though, so if you like sweet things like Tommy you might prefer that."

"I do," Billy said. He hummed a bit, leaning to look at the menu Tommy had open instead of getting another one out. "Maybe I'll try that then. It sounds yummy."

"The chocolate and banana parfait that girl outside was having looked pretty good," Tommy said.

"Oh it did," Billy agreed.

Wanda rested her arms on the table and watched as her sons tried to figure out which flavor of ice cream they wanted to try. She'd had a lot of happy moments over the past year, but she didn't think any of them compared to this one.

Chapter Text

As Billy turned into the next aisle, he stopped and stared at the girl bent over the boxes of candy. "Luna?"

She'd been peering down at something, but she looked up at the sound of her name.

Luna was wearing a pair of black jeans and a white shirt with red and pink flowers covering it. With the outfit she wore a pair of pale pink converse. A flower-shaped clip kept her bangs from falling in her eyes.

"Billy," Luna said. She gave him a small smile. "Hello."

"Hi," Billy greeted. "What are you doing here? Isn't this a little far from your dad's place?"

"I was at school," Luna said. It took Billy a moment to remember that Luna went to Xavier's. From what he understood of the arrangement, which wasn't much, Pietro used his powers to take Luna there despite living in Virginia with the rest of the new X-Factor. She spent most of the afternoon there, staying for a while after classes ended so she could grow closer to other mutants her age. "My friends wanted to come into town for some things."

Billy glanced around before saying, "None of them are here with you?"

"They wanted to go to a store nearby. It was a little crowded for my liking."

Luna was an empath, Billy reminded. He'd heard from Tommy that Luna had trouble blocking people out in a large crowd, so he figure she'd come to the candy shop to wait since it was practically empty.

"Oh. Okay." Billy was quiet for a moment before he said, "Do you want anything? I'll buy."

"Really?" Luna said, looking a little surprised.

Billy nodded, wondering briefly what she was getting from him that had her so surprised. "Yeah. What do you like?" He moved closer to her so he could look at the display she was in front of. "Tommy really likes scorpion suckers, but I think their disgusting. Have you had one?"

"Yes. Tommy bought me one," Luna said. "It tasted fine, but I didn't think it was as good as Tommy thinks it is."

"No one thinks scorpion suckers are as good as Tommy thinks they are."

Chapter Text

Billy was tapping his fingers against the plastic table in front of him, playing the rhythm of a song he couldn't remember the name of, and watching the people milling around the parking lot. There was a young mother trying to load her groceries into the trunk of her car, but she had a baby strapped to her chest and a toddler that seemed to think the parking lot was a playground. She was doing her best to load the groceries up quickly, but that meant that occasionally she had to turn her eyes away from her daughter. Billy was so busy watching them, an extra set of eyes watching the little girl to make sure she didn't run off when her mother's attention was somewhere else, that he didn't notice the man in front of him.

"What are you doing out here?"

Billy looked away from the small family to find Magneto standing in front of him. The older man was wearing a pair of white pants with a white, green, and blue plaid button up. He had the sleeves of the shirt rolled up above his elbows, showing off arms that were still defined despite his age. Billy found himself wondering what his chances of being that fit when he was his age were. His body didn't technically have any connection to Magneto's bloodline, but maybe it was more of a superhero thing rather than a genetics thing.

"Uh...." Billy said, finding himself a little loss for words. He'd always thought of his grandfather as Magneto, but now that the man was in front of him looking so casually he found himself understanding how Tommy could think of him as 'Erik' or 'Grandpa.' It was surprising enough to throw him off balance. After a moment, he gathered himself enough to answer, "My little brothers are fundraising for their soccer team. We're selling cookie dough and pizza kits."

Erik's eyes drifted over to the samples next to Billy's elbow and the order form along with them. Then he asked, "Your brothers aren't sitting with you?"

"We split up," Billy told him. "My mom and dad took each of them to a different supermarket."

Erik hummed a bit, leaning down further to look at the order form and the flavors listed. "It sounds like they're certainly dedicated to this."

"Yeah, well, if they sell a certain amount they get a set of free water speakers," Billy answered.

"How much do they need?"

"A hundred and fifty items" Billy said. "Three hundred if they both want a set, but they share pretty much everything so they only want one."

"Alright," Erik said. He reached into his back pocket, pulling his wallet out. "I want to order fifty cases of the chocolate chip cookie dough, fifty cases of the chocolate dough with the white chips, and fifty of the m&m dough."

"What? Seriously?"

Erik had been flipping through the bills in his wallet, but he glanced up at Billy. "Yes."

"Why?"

"They might not be my grandsons, but you are and they're important to you," Erik said. "This is a simple thing that I can help with, so I don't mind helping with it."

Billy fumbled again before coming up with, "But Tommy says you hate premade cakes and cookie dough."

"I do, but I don't have any intention of eating this myself," Erik said. Before Billy could ask why he was planning on doing with it, Erik said, "Have half of the order sent to whatever the Xavier School is calling itself now and the other half sent to the mutant orphanage downtown."

"Um, okay," Billy agreed. He grabbed the order sheet and the pen resting on top of it, putting in the information. "Should I put Logan's name on the order? I don't think the school will actually accept it if it comes to them with your name on it."

"Yes, that's probably a good idea," Erik agreed. He held the money for the order out towards Billy, "This should be enough, right?"

Billy glanced up at Erik's hand and the money in it. He did a quick mental check before nodding and taking it. "Yes. Thank you."

"It's no problem," Erik dismissed. He was quiet for a moment as Billy finished scribbling information into the sheet.

When Billy finished, he turned to continue his way into the store. Before he could step away, Billy said, "Um...I'll see you next weekend, right?" Erik glanced at him, raising an eyebrow. "At Wanda's?"

Erik was quiet for a moment, then he nodded. "If you're going to be there then yes, you'll see me."

Chapter Text

Billy opened his mouth to tell the vendor what he wanted, only for someone to cut in, "We'll take seven please."

There was something about the voice, deeper than his own and with an accent that was clearly there but subtle, that sounded familiar.

Billy turned to see who was speaking, only to find that Pietro Maximoff was standing right behind him. He was dressed in a pair of form fitting white jeans, a black belt looped through them, and a black tee-shirt that was completely blank except for three, small cat faces that sat in a horizontal line across his breast. Billy was already suspicious of the shirt because it didn't look like the type of thing he would imagine Pietro wearing, but the fact that the shirt was noticeably big on Pietro made it obvious that it wasn't his.

Billy wasn't quite sure how to react to Pietro suddenly showing up when he was on his lunch break and ordering seven hot dogs, so all that came out of his mouth was, "Um."

Pietro glanced over at him, "Is seven not enough? Wanda's powers never affected her appetite the way mine do, but maybe yours do?"

"Uh no," Billy said, shaking his head "Seven is fine."

"Okay." Pietro reached into his pocket, pulling his wallet out. He asked the vendor, "Seven dollars right?"

"Yessir."

It wasn't until Pietro had shoved two of the hot dogs into Billy's hands and they were making their way to the small condiment area that Billy finally recovered enough to ask, "What are you doing here?"

"I heard you were coming to Wanda's this weekend," Pietro said.

"I was planning on it," Billy said.

Pietro hummed a bit. "Alright."

"Alright?" Billy echoed, because it felt weird for Pietro to have come all this way just to tell him 'alright.' "That's all?"

Pietro glanced over at him. "What do you want me to say?"

"I don't know, I just thought you would have more to say if you were going to ambush me at a hog dog stand."

Pietro was quiet for a moment before saying, "I don't particularly care if you're a part of this family, but you are Wanda's son and she wants you in her life so I'm willing to go along with it. But I don't want my family to get hurt, especially not Wanda, so if you're not serious about trying with us than you shouldn't come this weekend. Stopping this now will hurt her less than if you hang around and then decide you don't want to be involved."

Billy took a minute to gather his thoughts before he said, slowly so that he could make sure his words came out correctly, "I want to try and that's really all I can say right now. But I'm going to try my best to get to know Wanda and Luna and everyone else without hurting them."

"Okay," Pietro said, nodding a bit.

"Okay?"

"Yeah," Pietro agreed. There was a moment before he added, "Just don't bring Hulkling."

"Teddy," Billy corrected. Then he asked, "Why not?"

He knew that Pietro wasn't homophobic. The superhero community was small, the community of mutant superheroes even smaller, and there were plenty of gossips in the group so news traveled fast. Billy knew that Pietro's own sexuality was flexible, he didn't know exactly what Pietro labeled himself as, and that he was currently in some kind of relationship with Gambit.

"Because if Hulkling starts coming around, then we'll have to deal with Summers if he and Lorna get back together," Pietro said. "And nobody wants to deal with that."

"Do you...think that's likely?" Billy asked, thinking about what he knew of the last time Lorna and Alex Summers had been together.

"Who knows. The Summers men have a thing for women who are batshit crazy and Lorna very rarely makes good romantic decisions," Pietro said, shrugging a bit. "So honestly, lets just avoid setting any precedent that might make any of us have to talk to Summers."

Chapter Text

"Are you just going to stare at the door?"

Billy jumped and spun around.

Lorna Dane stood behind him. She was wearing a pair of high-waisted black shorts with a sleeveless mint green button up. Her hair fell around her shoulders in a mess of wild, dark green. A pair of black sunglasses with thick silver frames were covering her eyes. She had a stack of pizza boxes balanced on one arm.

"It's okay if you are. I did that for a while my first time. I think I stood out here for like ten minutes trying to gather the courage to knock," Lorna told him, continuing even though Billy hadn't answered her question.

"You did?" Billy asked. He knew that Lorna hadn't been there since the beginning of Tommy's thing with their family, but the stories that he told made it sound like she had fit in right away.

"Yeah," Lorna said. "I mean....Dad's not the easiest person to get along with and the twins always seemed to care about each other more than they cared about me and I'd never even met Tommy and Luna. It was intimidating." Billy was feeling pretty intimidated himself. Before he could say anything, Lorna added, "It was worth it though."

"It was?" Billy asked.

"Definitely," Lorna said, her voice filled with a confidence that came only from being absolutely certain about something. "I mean Dad isn't easy to get along with, but he's trying and I'm trying and things are way better now than they were before. The twins do care more about each other than me, but that's because the two of them were alone for so long and it doesn't mean they don't love me. And Luna and Tommy are pretty much the coolest kids I know. I'm pretty happy that their my niece and nephew." She wrinkled her nose a bit, letting her sunglasses slip down so she could peer at him. "I think you're probably a pretty cool kid too."

"I try," Billy said. Something about this conversation made him feel a little more secure in his decision to be here. Maybe it was because Lorna had joined late too, because she hadn't been here since the beginning and yet she was so firmly a part of the family and loved being there. He found himself saying, "We should go inside before those pizzas get cold, right?"

"Probably," Lorna agreed. "Though I'm inclined to think that letting Pietro's Hawaiian go cold would teach him that somethings just shouldn't be on a pizza."

Chapter Text

"Hey," Tommy said. Billy was sitting on the porch steps alone, looking out at the backyard. Lorna, Luna, and Pietro were out on the grass with sparklers. Pietro was lighting them before passing them off and shooing the two of them away, wanting to avoid getting burned. Wanda and Erik were inside washing the dishes that had piled up after dessert. Billy had offered to help, but he'd been waved off. Apparently there was a rotation and they weren't just going to force Billy into a part of it that meant he had to do the dishes right away. Tommy sank down net to Billy, sitting so their shoulders and knees bumped together. He held his palm out to Billy. "Want some blueberries?"

"We just had dessert. You ate like half a cake by yourself," Billy said. Despite his befuddlement at Tommy's eating, Billy reached out and took a few from Tommy's palm. "I can't believe your eating again already."

"I have a fast metabolism," Tommy dismissed.

"I'm aware," Billy said. He popped two of the berries he'd taken into his mouth before adding, "But two whole pizzas and half a cake within three hours? And your still hungry?"

"I'm not really hungry," Tommy said. "But I'm not full anymore either and they looked good."

"If you weren't a speedster, I think you would be the fattest person I know."

"Probably," Tommy agreed, because he knew he ate too much. His metabolism was the only way that his constant eating didn't effect his weight.

They sat quietly for a while, just plucking berries from Tommy's palm and watching the members of the family in front of them.

After a while, Tommy asked, "Did you have fun today?"

Billy thought about the evening, how nervous he had been when he arrived and how the family had done their best to give him his space while also trying to bring him into the fold. He thought about how he'd relaxed as it went, how all of the talking and shouting and conversation had seemed nice and how he'd stopped feeling like such an outsider.

Then he nodded. "I did."

"So you're going to come back?"

Billy nodded. "Yeah. I think so."

There was another silence before Tommy said, "Wanna go light a sparkler?"

"Absolutely."