A/N: ZOMG, I'm aliiiiiiiive! ...6 months later... I suck as an updater. Please forgive me, readers! D: I'll spare you my excuses and just give you the chapter, since I'm sure you all have been waiting in a semi-patient state. Please read and review! I hope there are some of you still out there... Here's a bit of Jonda for you. And little, hidden bits of plot. :D
Chapter 6: Getting Coffee
Wanda was vaguely aware of something light brushing against her nose, something that felt like a dull itch or tickle. She turned her head to the side, groaning loudly. The itching feeling went away.
She could hear the sounds of morning around her. Outside, birds were chirping, and leaves were rustling with a light summer breeze, and all the pretty weather crap that one sees in the movies was actually in full force outside, making the morning air peaceful and calm. Her nose began to itch again, and she frowned in her state of semi-consciousness, sticking her jaw out and blowing air aggressively toward her nose to stop the itching. Thankfully, it stopped again.
Allergies. It must be. Or perhaps a fly had come to land on her nose and would not leave her alone.
Wanda hated flies. Flies and every other creepy little critter out there, anything small enough to land on a pile of garbage and then on a piece of food and not get noticed. She always made it a point to annihilate them, like that spider that had been chasing Pietro around what seemed like so long ago. The itching returned with a vengeance, and, growling, Wanda reached up and smacked herself hard in the face to exterminate the creature.
She heard giggling.
Wanda scowled, feeling a strange sticky feeling between her fingers and all over her nose. There was no way a mere fly could have contained such a plentiful amount of guts inside it. Her eyes popped open and fell upon her right hand, covered with shaving cream.
There was that giggle again.
John. He was kneeling by her bed, a huge grin on his face. She glared at him, noticing the large fuzzy green feather in his hand.
"Ugh!" Wanda threw her hand out and flicked a hex bolt at him, knocking him backwards about a foot away. He seemed mostly unaffected, and continued to laugh at her as she sat up and growled angrily. "What the hell did you do that for?"
"It's all in good fun," he told her, brushing the tip of the feather over his chin in a semi-flirtateous manner. Wanda was not amused. "You're welcome to do it to me any time you like."
"I'm gonna kill you," she said darkly, wiping the shaving cream off of her face with her clean hand, obviously very irritated.
"So, do I get some last words?" John asked thoughtfully. "I think I'd want them to be-"
"Just shut up," she snapped, pushing the covers away as she made her way to the bathroom, careful to keep her hands to herself so she wouldn't get this mess everywhere. She paused at the bathroom door, turning to face John, who was still sitting on the floor. "When am I supposed to get my own clothes?"
He smiled. "Why, you don't like mine?"
She rolled her eyes, currently in a heightened bad mood. And it was all his fault, too. Her mood did not elevate as he got up and dusted himself off calmly. "That doesn't answer my question."
"I don't know," he said, shrugging. "Probably today or tomorrow."
"Super," she muttered sarcastically, frowning at the bathroom's doorknob, able to see her reflection. She opened it. "You can go away now."
"No problem, girly," he said cheekily, inclining his head. "I'll be downstairs if you need me, in the kitchen probably. Want me to cook for you?"
Wanda pursed her lips, the unexpected image of blackened toast over a roaring fire shooting through her mind. "No… I think I'll manage on my own."
"Okay, but you don't know what you're missing!" John admonished. He grinned at her, and then left the room with a cheerful wave. Wanda rolled her eyes and washed her hands in the bathroom, remembering with a tiny spark of dread that she and John had no training today. Great; she might have to spend the better part of her day with him. This guy who already was giving her a headache. That was just freaking awesome.
When Wanda descended the stairs and arrived in the kitchen, she was greeted by the sight of Piotr focusing on the back of a cereal box, as if he was trying to figure out something on it. Remy was searching through the cupboard for something, and John was playing with the stove, turning the knob to the left, making the fire grow to unnatural proportions and cackling madly to himself. The others were pointedly ignoring him.
Piotr nodded at her in greeting, and Remy cursed as something fell in the cupboard and landed on his head with a thud.
"Hey, Wanda," John said, not looking up from the stove fire.
After pouring herself a cup of juice, Wanda sat down at the table and silently watched these boys for a moment. This was very different from the Brotherhood mornings. At the Brotherhood, there was always someone trying to get on her nerves and make her talk; none of them had ever stopped to consider that perhaps she didn't want to talk to them. She swallowed, remembering that they were gone. Being at the Acolytes was a better situation for her for many reasons, but she did feel a bit sad that the boys had to go the way they had. She felt a mixture of relief and sadness at the fact that she hadn't really gotten to know any of them as well as she could have; if she had known them better, she might be devastated, but then again, there was that little pinch of regret. It wasn't like she could get to know them anymore if she wanted to now.
Wanda sighed, looking at her juice. It did no good to dwell about this now. There was nothing that she could do about it to make it better. Now, all she could do was try and enjoy her life here. And maybe get to know these people a little more. And Pietro. She could not forget him; after all, he had saved her, hadn't he?
Remy groaned loudly, interrupting her thoughts and gathering everyone in the room's attention.
"What's a matter?" John asked promptly.
"Coffee's run out," Remy said curtly, shaking the empty container angrily.
"Just drink some pop," John offered. "It's got just as much caffeine in it."
"Go buy some more," Wanda suggested logically.
"It is blessing in hiding," Piotr said, his eyes still glued to the cereal box in his hands. "Coffee is bad for health."
Remy gave him a dirty look, and then glanced back into the cupboard. "There ain't enough time for me to go to the store and get back in time for training."
John snickered, taunting, "You ain't gonna make it through training, are you now?"
Remy scowled at him and suddenly the empty container in his hands lit up. Wanda watched with amusement as Remy tossed the charged jug at John, who drew up the flames from the stove to defend himself. The flames and the charged box met in midair and created a satisfactory explosion above their heads.
"Hmm," Wanda said solemnly, taking a small sip of her drink, watching the charred remains of the container drift lazily to the ground with mild interest. Piotr seemed to be ignoring them all, as if this happened every day. And for all Wanda knew, it did.
John pursed his lips, turning his attention back to the stove, though watching Remy guardedly, as though the man might attack him again. "Don't be mad at me 'cause you're an addict. That ain't my fault."
"You should send John out to buy more for you," Wanda recommended, taking another swig of her juice and enjoying the expression of surprise on John's face.
"Johnny, you're going out to get more coffee," Remy told John, with barely a pause to consider the idea.
"Wanda," John complained, pouting.
"It's not like it's expensive," Wanda shrugged, slightly pleased that she might be able to have the day to herself, although she had no idea what she would do. She would figure something out; Wanda usually enjoyed her solitude.
"You still won't have it by the start of the training session," John pointed out. "Why don't you find Pietro? He's the fast one, remember? He'd even be back in time for you to get a bit of celebration in."
"Pietro might poison it," Remy said darkly, handing John some money. "Here you go."
Wanda snorted. "Why would Pietro want to poison you?"
Remy pursed his lips and said nothing. There was an oddly uncomfortable pause. "Go on, Johnny," Remy said finally.
John frowned, pocketing the money reluctantly. "I have to go all by my lonesome?"
"Wanda will go with you," Remy gestured for her to get up. "Go on and hurry back."
"Excuse me?" Wanda set her cup down. "I don't think so."
"It was your idea," John pointed out, seeming pleased at the prospect of her accompanying him.
"Yeah, and make sure he don't burn or explode anything on the way there," Remy said, putting a hand to his forehead as though he had a withdrawal headache.
"Hee!" John grinned, bouncing out of the room.
Wanda scowled at Remy. "What is your problem?" she snapped. "I can't go out to a store with that lunatic! Do you know how he woke me up this morning? I am not going into a social setting with that guy."
"Come on, Wanda," Remy said. "The boy doesn't remember to tie his own shoes if he ain't told. Besides, it ain't like you'll be going anywhere else today. You may as well just go for the ride."
Wanda glared furiously at him. "Fine. But you owe me big. That means, if I decide I want candy in the middle of the night, you're gonna be the one getting up at three in the morning to get it."
"Fair deal," Remy said, sitting at the table and putting his head in his hands.
Scowling, Wanda finished her juice and slammed the cup hard on the countertop. With an annoyed sigh, she exited the kitchen and followed John's path out the front door.
John led Wanda out of the base, his energy seeming to increase with his every step. He led her down a dark pathway near the opening of the cave-like entrance, where there seemed to be a garage.
"Ole Magneto brought a whole house in this cave with his powers," John explained, although she had not asked him anything, nor even showed the slightest sign of interest. "And then he renovated it all fancy-like so we could train underground and all. It takes like two hours to get to people from here. I expect it didn't take you very long if Pietro brought you." He opened what appeared to be the garage door and stepped in, snapping on the light, which was old and flickered faintly.
The light revealed a large white van and a motorcycle, surrounded by several boxes.
"You talk a lot," Wanda commented.
John shrugged, bending down by the bike and picking up a helmet. "Here." He offered it to her.
"We're going on a motorcycle?" Wanda arched an eyebrow.
"I can't drive that big thing without knocking over the signs," John explained. "But you can have the helmet, because Fluffy has a huge head."
Wanda glared at the helmet, and then at him with similar distaste. "I do not have a huge head."
"I never said you did, darling," John dropped the helmet down on the floor. "Oh well, we don't need it. I'm a good driver, you see."
"Of course you are," Wanda scoffed, watching him lead the bike out of the garage, feeling a slight sense of foreboding.
He mounted the bike carefully and then looked back at her, giving her a crooked smile. "Come on."
Wanda frowned, not too keen on the idea of having to ride behind him in a motorcycle. That was a little too close. She carefully climbed onto the bike behind him, scooting back a little to not be so near.
"You're gonna fall off," John told her, turning his head back to make eye contact. "You have to hold onto me or you'll fall back when I drive." His eyes glittered with mischief. "Hold onto me tighter."
Wanda made sure to give him one of her most potent death looks, but very reluctantly scooted up against him, gingerly wrapping her arms around his middle, her fingers weakly intertwining with each other.
"Not strong enough," he told her, grinning.
"You shut up and drive," Wanda demanded, feeling a well of angry, embarrassed heat rise up in her face.
"As you wish, love," John faced forward again, and he began to explain the rules of what she should and should not do. Wanda scowled at his shoulder, willing him to hurry up and just... stop talking. They were all common sense rules anyway.
"Will you go already?" Wanda interrupted irritably.
John sniggered, and revved up the engine, laughing like a madman. He accelerated, and feeling herself fall back, Wanda instinctively tightened her grip around his midsection, squeezing his warm body close so she wouldn't fall. John continued to cackle with delight, speeding out onto the road, swerving in and out of the wrong lanes.
Wanda stretched her legs out as she waited by the motorcycle, not wanting to have to make an appearance in the store. She had a distinct feeling that John had the potential to irritate her to the point of throwing things around with her mutant powers, and that was not the sort of attention she was looking for right now. And doing that sort of thing would probably anger Magneto as well, which was something that they definitely did not need.
But for someone who was just supposed to be buying coffee powder, he was certainly taking a long time.
Wanda groaned with exasperation and shifted her weight to her left leg as another motorcycle pulled up into the parking space beside where she stood. She squinted into the sunlight and felt a pang of distrust as a semi-familiar man climbed off of the bike and glared at her. Wanda glared right back, noting his prodigious arm hair with distaste. She wished John would hurry up and get back here.
The familiar, hairy man suddenly stopped moving on his way to the front door of the convenience store, frowning as he sniffed the air cautiously. Wanda pursed her lips, watching him inhale the area like some sort of crazy animal, wondering if she should enter the store and drag John out; he was probably just spending Remy's money on extraneous things.
"You smell like death, girl," the hairy man commented, frowning suspiciously at Wanda.
Wanda blinked at him in surprise. Was he accusing her of murder or something? Some guy that she didn't even know? Who did he think he was? "I do not," she said, feeling somewhat affronted.
To Wanda's immense relief, John popped out of the store precisely at that moment, a plastic bag in his hands with definitely more than coffee inside it. "Sorry, Wanda, love," he grinned at her, completely oblivious to the furry stranger so nearby. "I found this lighter here—ain't she a beauty? Well anyway, I—"
"Pyro!" growled the hairy man. "You really smell like death! What the hell is going on here?"
"Wolverine!" John exclaimed, his face visibly paling. "Ah, it's nice to see you!" He climbed onto the motorcycle. "Come on, Wanda; it's time to go!"
"So you're killing people now?" Wolverine grabbed onto the front of John's shirt to prevent him from leaving and almost knocking the bike onto its side.
"We haven't killed anyone," Wanda snapped, her hands glowing with a threat. The last thing they needed was a scene here, especially a mutant powered one. "Now let him go."
"You both smell like death," Wolverine told them, glaring.
"I shower quite frequently, thanks," John said defensively.
"A little shower won't get rid of that smell." To prove his point, he gave John a highly exaggerated sniff, his nostril power whooshing strands of John's hair towards him. "It'll always be there." Wolverine scowled at Wanda, noting her hands forming hex bolts. He shoved John backwards, and John immediately started the motorcycle, as though very anxious to get away. Noticing, Wanda quickly jumped onto the bike behind him, grabbing his body tight, and John quickly backed them up.
"Till next time!" John called, as they drove off, and Wolverine stood scowling at them as they drove off.
"How do you know him?" Wanda asked promptly, as soon as she figured they were out of earshot.
"Well, first off, he's one of Sabertooth's buddies," John explained, the bag in his hand swaying with the movement of the bike. "Secondly, he came into the base one time and tried to rough me up, just to figure out where the hell Remy got off to. I'm not everyone's keeper! Why would I know?"
"Hmm. Who's Sabertooth?"
"Big, hairy guy," John said. "You could also call him Fluffy. He just loves that nickname. He and Mastermind are both Acolytes, except they're antisocial. Sometimes they come out for breakfast or something. Magneto usually puts them on missions for bigger things, since they're older."
"They weren't on that paper I signed," Wanda recalled.
"I know it," John said. "They're not really all that… pleasant… Fluffy enjoys his killing and Mastermind enjoys his messing people up. At least, it's how they act."
"If they're anything like that guy, I wouldn't blame you," Wanda murmured. "Why did he keep saying that we smelled like death?"
"Must've gone off his rocker," John shrugged. "I didn't kill anyone, and I'm pretty sure I haven't been around any dead people lately, either."
"Oh," Wanda bit her bottom lip, watching the trees drift by as they drove into the farther away reaches of town, closer to where the base was hidden. She watched the surroundings in silence, allowing herself to actually rest against John's back. She remembered the fire in their house; she had been around dead people then—perhaps Wolverine had been able to detect that. And since Wanda was currently sharing a room with John, her so-called 'smell of death' must have rubbed off on him; after all, she was currently leaned right up against his back to stay on this bike, and she was wearing his clothes. "Yeah," she agreed vaguely, and there was a soft rumble from the sky.
"Damn," John murmured. "I hate it when it rains."
Wanda thought of him in the midst of his fire, cradling the flames, laughing like a lunatic in the center of it all. "I bet," she said dryly, feeling the first spatter of a fat raindrop on her cheek. Great, now it was raining. To top off the perfect day. She rolled her eyes and very carefully rested her cheek against John's shoulder, being extremely cautious so maybe he wouldn't feel it. She could sense the vibrations of the bike's movement through his body, along with some little tune he was humming. The storm began to pour down, and the only sound was the pattering of the water on the ground.
John gave a heavy sigh, throwing himself onto the couch in the living area as the two of them squelched back into the base, dripping everywhere. Remy and Piotr glared at him for a long moment, as if annoyed that he had ruined the peace of the room. The two of them still looked dirty and tired from training, so it was quite likely that they had just gotten the chance to relax and John really was invading the space.
Wanda wrung the bottom of her shirt out, watching the water puddle on the carpet beneath her. She officially was no longer a fan of the rain. Although she had never been much of a fan beforehand. Something about the rain made her feel exceedingly lonely… almost abandoned. She scowled at them all, daring them to comment on the fact that she was still dressed in John's clothes that were now sopping wet.
"Long day?" Remy asked grudgingly, not looking over the top of the newspaper he was reading.
"Oh, it was terrible," John said dramatically. "The motorbike broke down on the way back and me and Wanda had to push for a while and then it started to rain, and then Wanda tried to use her powers to drive it for a while, and then we hit like twenty pedestrians. Thankfully the rain water washed the gore and evidence off the motorbike."
Wanda rolled her eyes.
"Were they okay?" Piotr asked, eyes wide.
"You know he's lying," Remy scoffed, peering over his newspaper.
"Oh, I'm not," John leaned his head back and rubbed his eyes with a fist. "Right, Wanda?"
Wanda leaned against the doorway. "There was blood everywhere," she added sarcastically.
John giggled at Piotr's horrified expression, and Remy shook his head in exasperation, bringing his attention back to the newspaper in his hands. "We got the coffee, Remy," John volunteered, shaking the plastic bag in his fist. "And I got another lighter, too. And we nearly got mauled by Wolverine!"
Remy arched an eyebrow, reaching and snatching the bag to rifle through it. "Is that so?" he commented, only half paying attention.
"Yeah, that's actually the truth," Wanda nodded from the doorway, wondering if she should go change.
"What'd he want with you?" Remy smirked. "You burning something of his? You got a death wish?"
"Nah, he said we smelled," John flipped his new lighter's lid open and closed. "Like death. Of course he was one to talk; the bloke needed a good shower himself. Kinda like Fluffy."
"Death?" Remy gave John a look that John was oblivious to, as he was having too much fun recklessly flipping his new lighter. Remy glanced over to Piotr, who met his eyes, and then rose to his feet.
"I shall check on bike. To see if it is in good condition," Piotr declared, and disappeared from the room hurriedly, as though he did not want to be around them anymore. Wanda stared at the door after he left, wondering what had just happened. She had to be missing something.
John propped his legs up on the coffee table, briefly ceasing his habitual lighter flicking. "Huh, I wonder what's his problem?"