1. Quicksilver, also known as Mercury (Hg, atomic number 80, blah blah blah), doesn’t like to bond with others as much as it doesn’t like bonding with itself.
The thing with Peter was that he did not like being too close to other people. Emotionally. The only people that he would tell his deep dark secrets were Peter Maximoff A and Peter Maximoff B, which didn’t really count because Peter A and B were cardboard cutouts of himself that he made when he was young and had no idea what to do with all of his free time. Maybe that was why he didn’t--couldn’t, though he’d never admit it--tell Erik Lehnsherr the Big Huge Secret That Everyone Knew About.
(Why did Raven have to tell Ororo about it? Peter swore his vengence.)
In retrospect, it was a good thing that Erik left quickly after the school was rebuilt. No time to talk, no time to fuck up. Of course, he was there when Peter took his cast off, grimacing at the rather oddly fitting jean on the right leg because apparently, when you don’t use muscles, they just run away on you.
“That healed fast,” Erik commented, not at Peter though. It was more directed towards Hank who was helping Peter with the Physical Therapy. “Not that I’m an expert on medical issues, obviously, but I thought it would take at least four months.”
“It seems that his movements and thought processes aren’t the only fast things about him,” Hank answered, helping Peter bend his leg. “The cells reproduced at a remarkable rate.”
This was horrible. The worst idea of all times ( Don’t be such an infant, Charles thought at Peter, but fuck what Charles had to say). This was almost the equivalent of the doctor talking about Peter’s penis size to his father, which was funny because exchange the penis size with mutant powers, and it was equivalent. Was Peter rambling in his head right now? Maybe. It wasn’t hard to when you were surrounded by a guy that turned into a blue hairy monster, a guy who is literally reading your mind right now, and a guy who could wrap a metal pipe around your neck and watch you suffocate.
Erik wouldn’t do t hat , but Peter indulged himself in that idea. Charles promptly choked on his own saliva.
Of course, the “admitting to himself that he was the son of a terrorist” part of the equation was always tricky because between limited attention span (because the way everyone moved was agonizingly slow) and he sometimes found something better to do in midst of somewhat important conversations. So how was he supposed to know what he heard and what his brain made up on its own? Fortunately, the talk about his parental unit gave Peter the confidence that this was something that was actually a thing because nobody in the team would shut up about it, which was funny because no one (not even Peter, but he’ll excuse himself for now) had the balls to talk about this near Erik. Who, thankfully, left before someone blurted this out.
When Peter’s leg was back in shape, Erik left. He got in a car, turned the engine on, and drove away. Peter was busy in the basement at that time, humoring kids that were easily ten long years younger than him. And of course because they were younger, they were complete shit at controlling their powers when they had to think on their feet. Scott almost cut Ororo’s arms off and Jean, instead of throwing the broken piece of the robot to another robot, threw Kurt at the robot (which could have ended badly, but Hank and Raven were there to supervise). While the teens were figuring themselves out, Peter dashed and pulled the cords on all of the robots.
“It’s a useless team, y’know,” Peter pointed out while eating the Twinkies he bought. Bought , he emphasized.
“They’ll get used to it. So will you,” Charles answered.
“Used to what?”
“Working with other people,” and Charles gave Peter a look. Why did he have to have that look? It made Peter feel guilty for no reason.
“I work with others just fine,” Peter grudgingly answered, stuffing the last Twinkie in his mouth. He didn’t work well with others and he knew it. He knew Charles knew it. Probably everyone he had ever spoken to knew it.
“I know you feel that nobody understands you.”
“Trust me, I passed that phase a long time ago.”
Peter just gulped down the lump in his throat and just decided to grab another box of Twinkies in his room to avoid answering the question before appearing in front of Charles again. Charles blinked, shook his head, and wheeled himself down the hallway.
The truth was that Peter hasn’t trusted anyone since ten years ago. When three strange men appeared on his doorstep asking him to break into the Pentagon, Peter blindly trusted them. He broke Erik out of prison, and voila; Erik went on a killing spree, almost got the rest of the mutants in trouble, and ruined a perfectly functional baseball stadium. Although it might be an overstatement, but Peter contributed to the potential global mutant crisis.
It wasn’t until the end of summer break that Peter actually held somewhat deep conversations with other people. Even then, it stayed at the level of should-I-tell-Erik-that-I’m-his-son. And yes, everyone on the team knew this by then. It was usually just asked on a whim, the big question. Peter was either too drunk or too tired when this slipped out and nine times out of ten, the others were too so they didn’t dwell on it for too long. The only real answer that he got was from Jean, who told him to say it before he regrets it. God knows what that means; it wasn’t like Erik was going to die any time soon. Right?
Erik visited them once in a while to everyone’s surprise. The first time he drove up to the school was an especially hot and humid July evening that had everyone still at school groaning and relocating to the cooler parts of the house (because god forbid Charles spent his money on air conditioners that could save so much trouble). He got out of his car and headed straight up to Charles’s room without so much a glance at anyone except for Hank and Raven. What a dad. Peter simply stuffed another ice cream sandwich into his mouth.
Some days, it was harder for Peter to keep it down, harder for him to actually keep his mouth shut for long enough that he didn't run the chance of blurting out “you are my father”. When Erik visited for the third time that year, it was November and he stayed longer than he probably would have in the past. The days were getting chilly, but that didn’t stop Peter from taking casual walks (not runs, mind you) to a nearby estate. He was putting on a jacket in front of the pond when he spotted Erik, looking at the trees. Erik didn’t look like the type to look at trees.
“You look a little cold,” Peter commented and that was enough to draw out a surprised gasp from Erik. “Not really dressed for the weather, are you?”
“I’m not cold,” Erik simply replied. He then proceeded to look at Peter in such a way that it was no good at all no, no, he didn’t get to look at Peter like that, like he was thinking about his dead-
Did Peter remind him of his dead family? Because that wasn’t his intention. God, it must be awful seeing your family die on multiple accounts. Peter mused, but quickly shot Erik a smile and dashed onto his walk . Or, he tried to until Erik spoke to him.
“You told me that you fought for you family,” said Erik without so much a change in his expression. “You must love them a lot.”
“Well, I guess. They’re the only ones that don’t look at me like I’m a freak all the time.”
“Yeah, I know. Charles doesn’t, Hank doesn’t, Raven kinda does, but I think she does it with everybody,” Peter answered. “The point was that my family doesn’t think too much of what I do.”
“Oh,” Erik seemed a little stricken.
“But I guess they can be a little annoying sometimes. I grew up as a hair braiding mannequin for my older sister and the same thing plus a hair stylist for my younger sister,” Peter mused, and quickly added. “And my mom was never much help.”
Erik looked at Peter like he was expecting more, but Peter ended it there, not bothering to add more. His stepdad didn’t do much either and he didn’t stick around long enough for Peter to form an actual attachment to him.
“And, your father?”
Erik seemed unsure of what he was saying which would have been hilarious if Peter didn’t have to calculate the odds of this conversation going sideways if he revealed the truth to Erik. It had been a long time since Peter had to think this quickly, but he ultimately came to a conclusion.
“I guess the Maximoff family never really attracted anyone permanently.”
Erik must have thought that Peter’s father--fathers--left all four of them because the men were horrible horrible people. The truth was that Peter’s mom never really knew that she was pregnant until it was quote-too late-unquote and didn’t bother telling the fathers about it. She was fierce like that.
Did Peter miss his mother? Yeah. And his sisters. And his basement. God, what would they do to his stash of Twinkies and Ding Dongs when he’s not around? Probably threw it away because it’s been a while since he got those.
The rest of the evening didn’t go as Peter planned, but he did stick around for an awfully long time listening to Erik’s stories about his families and eventually caught a cold.
2. Quicksilver is highly toxic, so don’t ingest it at any time. Oh, you can also inhale it by accident. The professionals suggest that you don’t get close to it at all.
Erik didn’t seem like he was going to leave. At least not anytime soon. He was going in and out of Charles’s room quite a lot, so it was obvious that they were fucking each other (Peter totally wasn’t thinking about his dad having sex with his teacher). And by the number of condom packages that Peter found in the garbage as he was taking it out suggested that his dad must be having mind-blowing orgasms if he would return for this much more (not that Peter was going through the trash at any point, obviously).
Nope. Nope. N ope . Peter definitely wasn’t thinking about this anymore.
Peter thought that this was a new experience. He never really stuck around at any venue to actually make friends and his family, bless their souls, probably just had to deal with him because he lived in the basement. Who else would want a guy who can go through all of your stuff in less than 0.5 seconds?
In his defense, nothing was more of a busywork than going through the recycling bins (because regular trash smelled real bad) and seeing the items that were being consumed by the people of X-Mansion, and Peter liked these things if they got him to pass time without writing in pain of boredom. It was usually the same old, like cereal boxes (but someone got sugary cereal this week, why didn’t anyone tell Peter), toothpaste (different flavors because the X-Mansion was crawling with fifty shades of babies), and various food product packaging. And, of course, the box of ultra intimate condoms that his dad--nope, not going there again.
Erik had this look on him all of the time. It was somewhere between a grimace and a typical sad-face that you’d see on buttons on kids’ jean jackets or backpacks. Always had a stubble, and that god awful flannel shirt that Peter started wondering if Charles was never going to buy that man any piece of decent clothing. He was wearing that when he ran into Peter at the pond the other day.
“Nina was a sweet little thing. Barely eight,” Peter remembered Erik say that day at the pond. It was a heartbreaking story, if Peter had to be honest. “She loved animals. Most of the time, it looked like she spoke to them. We, my wife and I, didn’t know that it acually was a mutation until we saw her weave flowers through the deers’ antlers.”
Erik told Peter that Nina had brown hair. At least his half sister didn’t have to go through the whole phase with people pointing and shouting at the atypical hair color. It wasn’t much fun, but Peter thought that being killed wouldn'tt really be fun either so he ended up feeling really bad about starting this game in his head.
Some days after Erik left again (right after Christmas) Peter heard some kids on the schoolyard talk about how Erik was bad luck. They were talking about wherever he ended up, he brought chaos and corpses. Peter snatched all of their pencils and broke them before they could say anything more.
That earned him a lecture. Not all of the times he snuck out in the middle of the night and bought unhealthy snacks for the little ones. Not all of the times he helped Raven look for Charles’s most expensive bottle of brandy. Breaking kids’ pencils because they deserved it got him landed in Charles’s study.
“I know,” Peter said, exasperated. “I won’t do it again, pinky promise, et cetera, et cetera. Can I go now?”
“Peter,” Charles repeated, more adamantly this time around and Peter had no idea how to deal with this.
“If you want Erik to know about your relationship to him later, I suggest you don’t project such an attitude towards him in an open manner,” Charles sighed. He of all people knew how hard it was for Peter to actually get around to accepting the fact that Erik was, in fact, the man who kind of helped Peter exist in the world.
It wasn’t hard to project, with Peter’s voice being loud and the ability to be everywhere in the school within 2 seconds, so Peter had to suck it up and keep his mouth shut and ears plugged.
The thing was, he kept on remembering Erik’s stories about how he lived the last ten or so years, focusing a lot on Nina and his wife. Thinking about Nina made Peter tear up a little bit. Erik showed him a picture of her. It was actually a picture of Erik’s wife and Nina. Peter couldn’t make out Nina’s face clearly, but she looked innocent, pure, and a little mischievous like all children would at her age. And she died because some adults were afraid of her being afraid.
Peter imagined what that would feel like, and in his head, Nina was replaced with his baby sister. He promptly dashed to the bathroom and threw up. That night, Peter ended up crying himself to sleep which prompted another conversation with Charles the next morning.
“You were distressed and I felt it two floors down. I just wanted to check if you were okay,” said Charles, looking genuinely concerned.
“I’m fine now. Good morning by the way.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” And that hit home. Peter sat down and thought about everything he’d been thinking--but only because it’s Charles that’s in front of him right now--and the man in the wheelchair looked shocked like he didn’t know Peter could feel that many emotions.
“I don’t know how he does it,” Peter said after a long while of silence.
“We can only wonder. He lost his parents, then he lost his wife and child. Anybody else would have broken immediately.”
Did Erik share his feelings with Charles?
The days were becoming warmer, with snow melting and trees blooming. There was more life at the school and that’s always a good thing because who wants to see a mansion full of miserable preteen-slash-teenage population?
Eik visited in April, when the flowers were in full bloom.
He must have felt more comfortable with Peter this time around because every morning when Peter was in the kitchen humoring children, Erik would pass by and give him a smile. Pleasantries, although Peter wasn't quite good at it, became a thing between him and Erik.
One night, Peter was helping kids go to sleep (because somehow children all get nightmares at the same time), and Erik happened to be walking by. That was so off-putting. Erik had a little daughter that he probably tucked into bed every night. Yet here he is because she was dead. Peter tucked the last of the children into his bed and quietly closed the door.
“You didn't seem like the type,” Erik commented.
“What type? The type to actually deal with small children?”
“I didn't mean to offend you.”
“No offense taken. I have a baby sister,” Peter answered as he walked down the hallway with Erik. Some of the windows were open for the breeze to fall in.
“How much younger is she?”
“About ten years. I haven't seen her since last May,” Peter was then reminded that he never went back home since he came back from the Apocalypse. “She should be in high school right now if she turned out anything unlike me.”
“Oh,” Erik quietly said.
The silence was light and airy, like one of those cupcakes Hank baked once in a while.
“Are you going up to Charles’s room now?” Peter blurted out and oh my god why couldn't he hold his tongue for one more goddamned minute. Erik took a second to register what Peter meant by this and nodded, no shame or embarrassment in sight.
“Well, good night,” Erik clapped his hand on Peter’s shoulder and squeezed gently. It wasn't until long after Erik went away that Peter answered his own “good night” at the air.
3. Quicksilver, aka Mercury, gave birth to Mad Hatters. Which probably was an inspiration for Alice in Wonderland . Was that a plus or a minus?
Peter was dozing on the couch when he heard the commotion. He zipped downstairs to see that there was an impressive number of mutants--fully grown ones, thank you very much--on the courtyard by the pond.
“What’s this?” Peter asked Ororo but she just shrugged and kept her eyes on the bunch.
Later, it was explained that Raven, Jean and Kurt led a covert operation to free mutants from labs in the east coast. They were going to stay here for a while and Peter half willingly gave up his room so that a mutant mother and her son could have somewhere to sleep.
That meant that Peter was going to have to sleep somewhere in the mansion that was not a) anywhere close to Charles’s room and b) somewhere secluded enough that nobody really saw him tossing and turning all night long. It was hard to meet both of these requirements in a place that probably housed a number of people that might be fire hazard.
It’s quite annoying, actually. And for a person who has lived his whole life getting used to “annoying” (the coincidental dumbness he finds in everybody), Peter was getting too bothered by the new addition of mutants in the house. It wasn’t like they specifically annoyed Peter on purpose, but.
Then, there was more training and more--well, more of everything. It tired Peter out and he couldn’t even buy his usual stash of Twinkies because there was an all-seeing kid mixed in the rescued mutants and he somehow always found where Peter hid his snacks. Fuck that kid. But because his regular caloric intake reduced drastically (Peter wasn’t really a picky eater, but he had preferences. Somewhat.) his activities were limited to training-sleep-eat-training-eat-shit-sleep and repeat.
“We scouted the place, Hank and I, and found that some corporation is keeping a lot of mutants in the cells here,” Explained Raven, pointing to an obscure place in Montana. Who hides out in Montana? Peter cringed but ultimately accepts because nobody was going to look for supervillains in Montana. “Peter and Kurt are going to go into the facility, give us a run-down of the place via thinking at Jean. Then, get out of the facility so Hank and Scott can go in.”
Solid enough plan, Peter thought. Until Charles added, “and Erik is going to be breaking all of the metal doors, if there are any.”
Worst idea of worst ideas, zero out of ten, would not recommend Erik Lehnsherr getting close to people who do experiments on mutants because NEWSFLASH, Erik around a facility made of metal and humans who try to kill mutants wasn’t a good mix.
“What makes this place special?” Peter blurted out, and instantly regretted it. But he had to finish his thought nonetheless. “I mean, why are all of us going when, like, three people rescued all of--was it fifty?”
“That’s because the facility you are headed to now holds about five hundred,” Charles answered and Peter promptly shut up.
The thing with rescue missions, not that Peter was an expert at it, was that nobody knew what was going to go down until it actually went down. And shit going down when five hundred mutants were frantically running for their lives was not the best thing that could have happened. Scratch that, it was one of the worst things that could have happened.
At first, it seemed like a viable plan. Get in, look around, get out, and assist. Nothing Peter couldn’t do. But something that nobody took into consideration (and Peter was blaming Charles for this. Fuck Charles. He had telepathy.) was that there were those electric fence thing on the inside. This wouldn’t have been a problem if this wasn’t a somewhat covert operation and they could blow the generator so no electricity was there whatsoever, but Jean resorted to telepathically tricking a guy into turning off the generator for 3.2 seconds. Peter counted.
Peter could run a 0.9 second mile. The only hiccup with this time around was that there was more ground to cover than he previously expected. Also, the mutants were held in a giant room that was quite a hassle to get into. So all in all, he missed his chance and was locked up in a giant room filled with a crowd of mutants to witness his death.
Peter was a tiny bit angry that he was going to die before telling Magneto that the all powerful ex-horseman-of-the-Apocalypse-and-a-giant-frienemy-slash-love-interest-of-Charles-Xavier named Erik Lehnsherr contributed as a sperm donor (not really) to the birth of the great-not-so-great Quicksilver circa 1960 c.e., the time of mutants.
Between trying to keep all of the mutants in the room from being harmed (because that would have been considered a mission fail) and trying not to die from all of the bullets security people were showering him with, Peter was getting tired. And hungry.
The power went off. Again. The good thing was that there was a glow-in-the-dark mutant and Peter could easily used her as a lamp while escaping, but in that short, short, short period of time, he knew that it would earn a frown from everybody on the team, and the mutant herself. So he tried to maneuver out of the room but there was a wall there that Peter was so sure there wasn’t 0.4 seconds ago, so he stumbled back pathetically on his ass while one of the security guards held him at gunpoint. Actual gunpoint. Like, the gun touching his chest area kind.
“Try anything funny and I’ll shoot,” said the man. God, Peter actually had nowhere to run, did he? But he still had to try so when the man was about to blink, Peter twisted around and ran away from the gun. Unfortunately, Peter greatly overestimated the time it took a regular human being to blink.
One second, Peter was blindly running somewhere and the next 0.4 second, it registered to him that he was no longer moving. He was lying on the floor with a hole in his abdomen and his legs frozen for the first time in--he couldn’t even remember.
Then, someone with extreme anger issues came in and yelled at the man that shot Peter. He didn’t register most of it because Peter was literally bleeding on the floor, but by the looks of it, the man was one of theirs, not Peter’s. What a shame. And Peter was actually expecting someone to come to his rescue like his long-lost father. Or something.
God. Peter was going to die here. It wasn’t even a cool death. Peter was just going to bleed out.
Then, Peter heard the horrible whirring of machinery that usually meant that power was back online and running. There it goes. What was the point of cutting the electricity off this time around, Jean? Peter stared at the ceiling, bleeding from his stomach, and ready to die any second. The man that was presumably done yelling (Peter noticed that his voice sounded familiar. Maybe from last year. Or something.) came up to Peter and dragged him up. Horrible idea, because that hurt like hell.
Huh, That’s weird, Peter thought. The whirring was back but the electric fence wasn’t on.
The giant door of the room (that was about two feet thick) ripped off the hinges like a piece of paper and fell to the floor with a loud thud. The whole world seemed to be still for a while (which wasn’t new to Peter--everyone was so damn slow) and the men with the guns fell on the floor along with the yelling man. There stood Magneto--Erik, in his hideous maroon colored armor and a scowl on his face.
“Are you alright?”
Wow. Erik managed to sound worried. That only happened when Charles was sick in bed. Peter laid there giggling in his head, but he shook his head nonetheless. He was not okay. At all. If Erik had eyes, he would know.
Erik took Peter in his arms and raised his body up, but it was the worst idea ever because now the heart was in a higher position than his gun wound and now Peter was bleeding more than ever and wasn’t Erik supposed to be an expert at these things? Maybe not because he probably ever got shot. But all the same, this was getting a little too touchy-feely for Erik. Did he do this with everyone who was dying?
“Raven told me,” Erik admitted, pressing Peter’s bloody body against his own. Oh. So Raven told him. Traitor. Now she left Peter feeling horrible about himself because he couldn’t tell Erik the truth himself. Peter was going to die feeling guilty. The worst.
“I, I hope you’re not too disappointed,” Peter whispered. Vision blurring. Bad sign. “I think we’d make a good crazy pair. Y’know? Dad-son duo and we can be crazy together.”
It was a horrible idea to talk while blood was spurting from his stomach, but Peter couldn’t stop.
“Too bad we can’t do it now. I’ll be dead and you’ll be alive. Maybe you can be crazy with Raven. She seems like she’d be a pro at it.”
“You won’t die. I promise,” Erik said firmly and somehow Peter had a hard time not believing him. Yeah, he thought, dying mid-20’s didn’t seem like a good idea. He might want to bug Scott again or something. “And yes. We can be crazy together.”
It sounded so hopeful that Peter wants to believe him
But Peter felt so cold. He could hardly keep his head up. His neck felt too weak, like when his baby sister was born and couldn’t keep her head up because it was too heavy for her.
“Sorry for doing this,” Peter gasped out, vision blurring at the edges, sound of his own breathing being fading away in his ears. “I really didn’t want to die on you, with. You know. What you’ve been through.”
Peter was self guilt-tripping now, but he raised his hand up and shakily held it in front of Erik. “Give me a five. You made me.”
And Erik did. He was shaking too. Something hot drip-dropped on Peter’s face. He smiled and nuzzled his face into Erik’s armor.
4. Mercury, also known as Quicksilver, was being banned increasingly from many products and places.
Peter hoped he’d wake up again. To be crazy with his dad. Like those stories where the main characters thought they died but actually didn’t and had happily-ever-afters.
This wasn’t one of those stories.