A Different Kind of Proposal
Roleplaying Log: A Different Kind of Proposal
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

During a visit to the Maximoff twins' private abode, Tabitha "Boom-Boom" Smith is given the important task of monitoring Matthew Murdock's efforts against New York's metahuman registration law…in a way that challenges the unique and unusual way in which she lives her life.

Other Characters Referenced: The White Queen, Daredevil, Foggy Nelson, Frenzy, Neutron
IC Date: January 10, 2019
IC Location: Maximoff Twins' Private Residence, The Elsewhere
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 11 Jan 2019 06:38
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The Maximoff Twins, courtesy of ten years beside their father and another three standing on their own, are possibly some of the most wanted mutants in the world.

Because of that particularly inconvenient status, much of their time in between missions is spent in a little pocket of severed reality that exists adjacent to standard reality, slotted in-between and at an angle. It is the calculated probability that a place might exist, where it currently does not. It's impossible — or at least very difficult for anyone without the right tools — to find this place. Tabitha Smith was, long ago, given something that very few other people on the planet can boast: a direct line to the reclusive Maximoff Twins, via a little piece of red hex-chalk that shows the way.

She only has to draw a door on a wall, and step through.

Beyond, Wanda's little piece of reality most often looks like 'what Pietro wants it to be.' What Pietro has imagined today is a memory from years past — about three years, to be precise. The hex-door opens like a front door into the entryway of an old, detached home, two stories, in a remote corner of Queens, New York. It was, for a time, the designated crash space for the twins immediately after their father's disappearance: the twins, and those members of the Brotherhood who threw in immediately with them, in the confusion after Magneto vanished. Frenzy was one. So was Neutron. Tabby was another. They all stayed close together here, regrouping.

There is a sense of comfort to the astral imprint of this particular configuration of reality. For all the growing pains and uncertainty involved in that transitional period, for all his odd grief even for the father who had abused him… Pietro was happy then.

He's not immediately visible, though that's not surprising; most of these homes were built before open-concept was ever dreamed of, and from the front door there's not much to be seen but hallway and the stairs to the second floor. But Tabby would know she doesn't have to stand on ceremony to come right in and start poking around. This was home for a while — and besides, from the sound of a whistling kettle, he's probably in the kitchen.

It's probably not surprising that when Tabitha chooses to visit the twins, it's during the later hours - when the sun is just setting over the horizon. A veritable night owl, the young woman has not managed to shake out of her propensity to be at her most active during the dark hours. It had started during her tenure with the Vanisher's Fallen Angels, and upon finding her way to the Brotherhood, that had only gotten worse. Most clandestine transactions, after all, occur at nightfall, and when it comes to maneuvering around New York's criminal underworld, she was one of their best.

This also means that she can be counted upon to keep a finger on the pulse of New York's streets, as well as the rest of the tri-cities - she is often in tune with unofficial word. Chances are she heard about the strange gang-armistice in Gotham well before it made the official rumor mill. She keeps track of anything trendy; her smartphone boasts a variety of social media apps to feed her endless thirst for gossip and political news about the cause that affects her kind. These apps, at the very least, assist her with 'planning' her day, or as much planning as she lets herself do. She hasn't exactly shaken out of her propensity to be a wild card either, more to adapt and improvise than do anything strategic.

When she arrives through the doorframe, it is 'breakfast' for her, clad in her typical street fashion. Her choice of earrings mark her out, as well as the aviators perched over tousled pale gold tresses. Blue eyes sweep in a curious fashion around this detached space - she is always curious whenever she looks around. She doesn't have anything resembling reality-warping powers and the idea of creating something like this always leaves her in awe.

But she's got a box of some of the best, fresh-baked apple tarts in the city; a love of sweets is something she and Wanda share. By the heat emanating from the box, she probably either sweet-talked the patissier in charge to make a new batch, or threatened him with something hot and plasma. There's equal odds of either.

"I come bearing gifts!" she announces when she gets to the kitchen, setting the box on the counter. "I keep meaning to ask how the Hellfire Club party went. Did the scary white lady do that thing with her mouth when she realized the two of you were in attendance?" And here, she makes her best 'Displeased Meryl Streep mouth-pursing' impression.

"I can't help but be curious," she continues. "I feel like the moment trailer-park stock like me sets foot in that place, she'd scream and her face with all that expensive makeup'll just melt away like… 'you chose poorly' 'noooooo hissss skreeeeeeee'!"

Among every corner, surface, and texture within this cloistered home, threads of scarlet shimmer. They wink to life between glances, like the sun catching a spider's web, in a constant reminder of what unearthly power sutures this place together.

Spinning probability held to one configuration — willed to a standstill by the order of some greater power.

And at the center of that web… is just one ordinary, solitary woman, the same whom is first seen in the sitting room, taking throne on some dusty, well-worn sofa, and taking congress over a low, lengthy wooden table that bears an orderly line of long-stemmed roses.

Their blooms shine as red as her long dress, red as her bundled shawl, red as her half-shuttered eyes. Red, too, as the welling blood that rises from her fingertip. Cutting herself on a thorn, she lets her pale hand turn, curling palm-down over the head of the rose. There, Wanda watches with a tilted head as her dripping blood falls, beading on the flower's bloom, and running an eccentric path down and through and over the backs of countless petals, before it falls, splashing the tabletop.

With her twin brother busy in the kitchen, the witch scrys. She does this again, and again. Her blood takes a different path down, over the petals, each time. It hits different spots. Her eyes study this, lost in a lesson of chaos.

It is only Tabitha's voice that lifts Wanda's head, and brings some blue back to her eyes. "Tabby," she greets fondly, as her finger still bleeds. A hopeful beat. "You brought pastries. Are they crumbly?"

Speak of the party casts her face, normally serene of things, with a haunting ghost of amusement. "She was in adequate spirits. Possibly because she was permitted to be clothed."

There are a few brief moments where Wanda and Tabitha converse in relative peace about pastries, the Hellfire Club, and the state of Emma Frost's wardrobe, and Pietro seems too busy with whatever he is doing to join them.

Then there's a familiar sigh and whisk of air cutting, and the box on the counter suddenly reappears within reach of Wanda on the same table that holds her scrying-roses. It is mindfully set near one corner, so as not to disturb the blooms or the blood; at the opposite corner appears, as if by magic, a pot of tea and three cups.

Pietro resolves into view, sitting on the couch next to his twin. He has just finished one of the pastries.

"They're very crumbly," he informs Wanda. "I took the least crumbly one."

With a fond nudge of his twin, he rises again to greet Tabitha properly with a brief and fraternal one-armed hug. Something Magneto would have disapproved, back in the day; much as he's following his father step for step, Pietro finds it rather liberating to also defy him in these small ways, even now. He may also still feel guilty about the circumstances surrounding her injury at their last 'outing,' judging by the extra squeeze he gives her. "Sit," he says, steering Tabby in the direction of the squashy armchair opposite the couch. "I am glad to see you well. The Hellfire Club is just one of the things we should discuss."

He returns to his own seat afterwards, leaning automatically against his twin like magnets clicking back together. As always, the speedster rushes straight to the matters at hand. "You didn't quite miss much at the party," he says. "There were no secret coups and no one died. Yet. Joanna and Lily will help us cover in that arena well enough, whenever we choose to make moves there."

He reaches to tangle one hand with his twin's non-bleeding one. "But we have something else in mind for you, other than the Hellfire Club," he explains. "Not because you are 'out of place' there, but because you can go some places the others cannot."

"They're as light and crumbly as the patissier can make it, and they're fresh," she says in confirmation to Pietro's assertions.

Wanda's faint, but visible amusement fuels her own. "Wow, so she's not always half-naked by choice? Imagine that." Tabitha's lips pull a grin, wiggling her fingers towards Wanda, though she does nothing at present to disturb her from her scrying over the red roses. That, too, draws that perpetually curious expression out; she learns quickly and often at her own initiative, having not been afforded much of an education when she was young. It has never been something that she has taken for granted.

But with Pietro having joined them now, she takes the hug with relish, and returns it with a squeeze. Anything that Magneto disapproves, she encourages; her loyalty to the Brotherhood has always been secured by her closeness to her twins, and while they've never talked about it in detail, their similar roots in an abusive home are evident enough to her. But when invited to sit, the blonde eases down on the plush armchair, sinking into it with a pleased wiggle (it feels like a marshmallow, she loves this chair) - there is no resentment, despite the speedster's residual guilt. If nothing else, the fact that he still feels it does nothing but endear the older Maximoff twin to her further, some relief there that Magneto's hold on Pietro is not so ironclad as the Master of Magnetism hopes. "I'm glad you're both doing okay, too. Nothing too serious happened over the holidays?" Though if there had been, she was certain she would have heard by now.

His words on the Hellfire Club has her smirking faintly. "Well, that's good, at least," she says. "Though if anyone tries, I'm sure Jo and Lily-bean would welcome the challenge." Though at what he says next, her lightning-blue eyes spark with interest. "Oh yeah? Do you need me to steal something?"

Some places the others cannot sounds very much like breaking and entering to her, which isn't beyond her skillset. She's no Cat of Gotham, but she's experienced enough in the very thing, of inserting herself in places she shouldn't be.

That sudden, blink-or-missed appearance of Pietro Maximoff displaces just enough air to move a tress of Wanda's dark hair. But it does not break her concentration; it does not as much flutter an eyelash.

The witch is long used to this. Every day of her life, dominated by a twin brother who can move faster than the world can parse.

Wanda drips blood as Pietro helps himself to the apple tart bounty. His complimentary assessment of the pastries upturns her mouth.

As Pietro rises to give Tabitha a proper hug hello, Wanda — always the more restrained of the two Maximoffs — remains seated, briefly looking on the two with a pensive eye. One might wonder if she is jealous, or resentful of her brother giving attention to others — they are dependently close, the twins — her her expression seems empty of any such thing. Only wonder, a bit of wistfulness, and transparent warmth.

That hug is a reminder of their ten-year separation, and within it, Wanda's relief to know Pietro did not spend all those years entirely alone. And to those who were there for him, in all the way she was not permitted to be… she is eternally grateful.

Her eyes flick back down to those few, drying spots of blood. Wanda considers it a moment more, then smears it with a closing swipe of her hand. She brings her ring finger to her mouth, briefly, to help close the wound; the witch could heal herself, just as immediately as she does others, but she is always reticent to turn her ability too many times on herself.

"We are quite well, and all the better now to see you, Tabby," she says, looking over as Pietro settles himself back to her side. Wanda accepts his hand; the other, she picks at the bag of tarts, multitasking her brother along with everything else. "In fact, we'd been recently thinking about you, and at considerable length."

Pietro's words segue into it. Wanda is silent for that time, in part due to stealing a nip of apple tart. After her bite, she proffers the rest of it to Pietro, he who always finishes her meals. "Joanna and Lily are of other paths. Yours, Tabitha… you fall so many ways. Your constants sing like variables. They could not do this. You can." She is quiet a beat. "If we were to ask something of you — not to do, but to be — would you say yes?"

In fact, we'd been recently thinking about you, and at considerable length.

"…this isn't about Freddie's birthday party, is it?" Tabitha says after a long and hesitant pause, watching their faces. "Because it was an honest mistake and…"

Of course they aren't thinking about that. At least, not in that context. She knows them well, can determine it by the nuances of their expressions. She clears her throat and waves her hands. "I mean…nothing. Nothing. Forget I said anything."

The blonde mutant's face gentles considerably at the tender ask. "Wanda, if the two of you asked it of me, of course I would," she says softly. "No matter how dangerous it is."

It isn't that she is fearless - nothing could be further from the truth. Tabitha has been afraid her entire life; the point is that it never actually stops her from being who and what she is.

Just as Wanda is used to Pietro's speed, so too is he used to Wanda's… witchyness. The blood, the roses, the ritual — none of it turns his eye. He's seen it before.

The sight of Tabitha brings him to his feet, however. Too often, Pietro is just as impulsive as his speed and restlessness would suggest. To his father's grief, he's often tended to leap into things before thinking, especially without his twin's moderating influence to hold him back; as Tabitha notes, Magneto influenced much about his son, but there were some things he couldn't quite burn all the way to the root. At the least, this impulsive thing Pietro does next is benign — a quick one-armed hug for one of the very few non-Wanda people in which Pietro shows any interest.

Wanda's pensiveness tugs between their joined minds a moment later, and Pietro feels it. Even if there is no jealousy or resentment to Wanda's thoughts, Pietro still returns immediately to her afterwards, sitting and leaning against her. He reaches automatically for her hurt hand, taking it in his own and gently holding the cut closed, leaving her the other to pick at the pastries.

He tends Wanda absently in this way even as they speak. The Twins always seem to multitask their absorption with one another, with everything else they do. "Nothing serious," he confirms, of a generally quiet holiday season. A pause. "Nothing like your cake winding up in the wrong place." HOW DID HE KNOW? "We've been able to do some planning, with the downtime."

He pauses, but only because Wanda's giving him food. He finishes it for her as she asks her question of Tabby — as Tabby gives her answer.

"It should not be too dangerous," he says. "It is… a monitoring, in a sense. You are the one who moves most easily in flatscan society. There is a man with whom we have a certain… bargain, Matthew Murdock. We want to see that he keeps his word. We want to see how he keeps his word. He is a lawyer of some repute, and he has promised to pour work into the defense of our kind. I find this relevant in light of this — " the sneer is audible in his voice, " — registration law."

There is a brief pause. "We want eyes on what he does here."

The twins' closeness is something she doesn't judge; Tabitha is well familiar with loneliness and while it was strange at first, she has been around them long enough that she doesn't bat an eyelash at it anymore.

Mention of the cake does have her grinning faintly, though there's no embarrassed flush on her features - she has learned to embrace her shamelessness as part and parcel of the ridiculous defense mechanism she has cultivated over the years.

There's no relief when Pietro tells her that it won't be too dangerous - though when he mentions that he intends to put her on surveillance detail in a way, her lips ease into a smile. "Name sounds familiar, he headlined the Trial of Two Centuries, didn't he? Him and his marshmallow-looking partner?" Poor Foggy, there's at least one person in the city impervious to his understated charm. "It sounds easy enough, I can always stake him out…follow him around in a van, point binoculars through his windows, bug his office. I always wanted to be a private investigator a kid, maybe now I'll get the chance."

The quip follows her easy smile.

She clearly has no idea as to what they really mean.

All must marvel at Wanda Maximoff's adept multitasking. She effortlessly synchronizes dainty bites at the pastry, sips of her tea, obeying Pietro's gentle tending of her bleeding ring finger, seeing to his appetite, listening to the conversation —

— and just, briefly, impishly, bitting at her bottom lip as Pietro mentions A Cake. Trying, and failing, to suppress a smile.

"Pietro was looking for you that night," she informs delicately. "He asked me to scry your location. We received a curious visual. Tabitha."

The Scarlet Witch holds her Brotherhood to her father's unerring, high standard — to a point. Points, such as these, where there is no judgment or threat of punishment. Just that vague smile that promises something much worse: they saw your bare ass, Tabby.

She smiles into her next sip of tea, indulging as her twin brother carries on her point, the Maximoffs trading the same thought back and forth, like two creatures paritioning the same soul.

And to the proposal — Tabitha accepts. Wanda's blue eyes soften with gratitude. "We knew we could count on you," she says. "Thank you."

She sets down her tea. "With that settled — all your ideas? Clever, but unnecessary. Utterly unnecessary. We've arranged a different course."

Her eyes skip from blue to red. Wanda lifts her free hand, and snaps her fingers with a outward shockwave of scarlet.

Something drops from thin air and lands on Tabitha's lap. Not too heavy, but weighty enough — a sizeable envelope, face-down, thick with documentation. Intelligence on this Matthew Murdock?

It's addressed to Tabitha Smith. And the return label, the envelope's logoing —

— matches the new hoodie she's wearing.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/cf/6b/2a/cf6b2a25aca63c2d749bc9e57ff5ec40.jpg

"I have courted possibilities of all types, even those manifest of other realities," asides Wanda, "and none were so difficult than to convince that place to accept a mid-year transfer. Honestly."

"Very curious," Pietro says, with half an arch smile to match his twin's. No more needs to be said.

If it were anyone else but Tabitha, there would probably be punishment for such carelessness with the standards and dignity of the Brotherhood. The Twins both learned quite well from their father. But then again, for Tabitha, perhaps this IS the punishment.

…or perhaps, it's what comes next which is the TRUE punishment for one Tabitha Smith.

For some mysterious reason, Tabitha's ideas just widen Pietro's grinning. He looks almost as he used to, years ago, when fewer things weighed down on his shoulders. The reason for his amusement soon makes itself manifest as Wanda reveals that they have already arranged all the details of Miss Tabitha Smith's entry into the unwitting firm of Nelson & Murdock.

"It will likely be a bit of a long-term job. But we wouldn't ask if it were not important. We want to know whether he does enough," he says, not sounding apologetic about it… really, at all.

There is a pause.

"Oh," Pietro remembers, "one last thing you should know. Pretend that you don't know, because he is quite touchy about this, but he moonlights. I believe he calls himself 'Daredevil.'"

She tries not to be too embarrassed about the cake, but like what siblings and a close-knit circle of friends do, the Maximoff twins embark on the time honored tradition of feeding off one another and make things so much worse. Tabitha sinks further into the plush couch as Wanda tells her, in that elegant, feminine, delicate way of hers that they saw a curious visual. Her sunglasses tilt in an angle over her head at her attempt to hamster-burrow her way into her favorite chair.

"….I'm never doing Freddie any favors again," she says, huffing, her cheeks puffing out like a small owl's.

Pushing her sunglasses further up her head, she straightens up, her expression a curious one when the Scarlet Witch tells her that her ideas are clever, but unnecessary. Her brain manages to catch up with her - what the woman's remarks earlier could mean. Not to do, but to be.

She picks up the envelope and squints at it. She was expecting intelligence on Matthew Murdock, attorney at law. Instead, what she finds, in clear, black print:

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW

This is also when she realizes that the cuff of her stylish, reddish-brown leather jacket appears to be missing, replaced by the pale blue of…

Her eyes drop down on the logo of her brand new hoodie.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

….at least, she thinks she's screaming internally. But no. No she's not, the shock is severe enough that her Inside Voice has breached the barriers of her own good intentions and has become her Outside Voice, rattling her nearby teacup. Because judging by the weight of the envelope in her hand, the twins are serious. They're not asking her to do surveillance. They're not asking her to do private investigator stuff. Hell, they're also not - and this is the most regrettable part of all - asking her to do Matt Murdock. They are asking her to be Tabitha Smith, first year law student at one of the most prestigious Juris Doctor programs in the country, to rub elbows with those who worked their fingers to the bone to be there, or the legacies who managed to get through the gates by virtue of the millions of dollars in donations and grants provided by its alumns.

…is she actually breaking out in hives? She might be. She's that allergic to responsibility.

She realizes, belatedly, after a few seconds, that she actually is screaming out loud.

"….I mean, YAAAAAAAAAAAAH," she offers, weakly. "As in, yaaaaaaaaaaaay." Genius recovery, Tabitha. A++. "It's what I always wanted. Thanks, guys. I won't let you down. I'll make contact as soon as— "

…he moonlights. I believe he calls himself 'Daredevil'.

Her lips part, her jaw agape. What. WHAT? Really?!

"…it's fine," she says, despite the fact that in her imagination, the entire house in on fire, and for some reason, she's a cartoon dog. "This is fine. I can work with this."

She thinks.

She hopes.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License