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Scarlet and Noir
June 21: Justin
Marvel-616-1

41 Posts
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Kel

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#1
Having already broken her resolve not to use her powers Wanda gave in to the desire to feel the wind in her hair, flying high above the majority of the buildings the red corona around her a outwardly visible display of her mutation and magic.

It was odd, she’d not taken her Steve’s offers to rejoin the avengers yet here she was in this mixed world living in a copy of Avengers Mansion, the Tower gleaming a few blocks over...home now apparently of a different Steve and Tony.

Time off, time away that was what she’d asked for and as so many things in her life, a reason had dropped into her lap. Fate was a bit of a bitch at times.

She’d been somewhat invited to the Tower...yet Wanda didn’t want to meet Tony, it was enough to see a Steve who was so broken, a Tony who also seemed from his description to be in a place that Wanda had seen too often.

She would sit and drink with either man (since this Tony apparently did still drink) share what wisdom her experiences could impart...but beyond that? Wanda felt no urge to meddle in that relationship.

A flash of black atop the Tower caught her eye, a dark patch out of place on that shining edifice, drawing her attention, and suspicious nature overriding again her resolve to stay away. Wanda landed power flaring in response to the possible threat.

“Angel?” The light died with her shock.

Oh… he was likely from Steve's world.

A soft smile crossed her lips, hands going up in a classic ‘i’m unarmed’ pose. “I don’t mean any harm, Steve knows me.”
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Marvel Comics-616-ish

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Mike

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#2
There were few things as freeing as flying.

It wasn’t quite as easy a task to master as most people thought. Obviously ,there was the not-inconsequential job of learning how to actually do it, the mechanics of moving through the air, navigating, maneuvering. Justin had crashed a fair amount of times while he was getting the hang of it, but he’d stuck to it. Next, you had to learn to think like you were airborn, which was quite a bit tougher. Generally, people had to think about their movement in two dimensions, but once you started flying, you had to learn to see all of the possibilities on the vertical axis as well, and you needed to see them quickly. You had to learn to be the highest point on a field, because if you were the highest point, you had a free shot at anyone else. You had to learn to watch where the sun was, so that you were never coming at someone from a direction that would show your shadow. And, of course, once that was mastered, you had to learn the intricacies of your personal flight power. Momentum was the biggest weapon that you had, and if your flight was fast enough, you could make up for any lack of strength you had. Justin wasn’t a weakling by any means, but there were limits to how fast he could swing, say, an uprooted street sign. He could, however, just hold onto the thing and fly forward (or even spin in the air) to let the cape add to whatever he could do.

“Learn to do what only you can do, and learn how to do it better than anyone could dream.” That was one of the first lessons to being an Avenger he’d learned, and he’d taken it to heart. He might not be able to fly into the vaccuum of space like some armored playboys on the team, but he could fly circles around them in the atmosphere, and he knew how to use it better than anyone.

Well, maybe not anyone. Falcon would have words about that but that little rivalry was still up in the air. Still, this was who he was. Up here, it was easier to feel it, to feel right about things. Inside, no one knew who the hell he was, they didn’t know about him fighting Skrulls across the globe with Luke and Spider-Man. They didn’t know about him holding the line in the Civil War so that the rest of the team could get away to keep the fight up. They didn’t know about every single time he’d walked into a fight against things that outclassed him in power in every way, simply because that was what being an Avenger meant. Ultron. Kang. Absorbing Man. All those Infinity things. Fucking Thanos. He’d seen them all, he’d fought in them all, and he’d made damned sure that everyone on the team knew one thing: When the stakes were high, for better or worse, Angel would be right there in the thick of it with them every time.

Now, here, what was he supposed to do? He didn’t know how he’d gotten here. He didn’t know how to get home. He was stuck with two teammates who apparently didn’t know him or any version of him, and even worse, from Steve’s example were not in very good places themselves. How did he handle that? He’d been an Avenger for years, but he couldn’t say he’d ever been the member who had his act together the most. That thought was somewhat disturbing.

”Angel?”

Lost in thought Justin hadn’t even seen the red figure gliding into the air. He spun with a start, instinctively gaining altitude until he saw who it was. “Wanda?” Now there was someone he wasn’t expecting to see… how long had it been? Maybe this explained where Wanda had been ever since she started playing god and ripped the team up in a fit of… well, from what he understood of it, insanity. Apparently, though, she was Steve’s Wanda. “Well, you have one up on me, then, he’s got no idea who I am,” he said, smiling bitterly as he floated over to where she was.
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Marvel-616-1

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Kel

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#3
‘Wanda’

The smile that split her face was pure delight; “You recognize me?” Well if he wasn’t her Justin (Really it was so very odd to think of people in those terms.) He at least knew a Wanda that looked like her. “Hello Justin.” It had been a while since the two of them had worked on the same team together at least in her timeline.

“Well it seems you and I might be from a similar world, he didn’t recognize me as his Wanda either. She’s apparently much younger and more...angry.” Wanda hoped that perhaps this Justin came from a world where she wasn’t considered dangerous and unstable. Yes in the years since she’d returned to the team once or twice but it had never been as easy for her to reintegrate. Steve (her steve) and the original core avengers had done their best to make it feel like she was still one of them. And truthfully Wanda would always be in her heart an Avenger before any other title.
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Marvel Comics-616-ish

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Mike

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#4
Justin couldn’t help smiling back at her. “It’s hard to mistake you for anyone else,” he answered. All right, apparently this wasn’t Wanda from that weird sort of world that the Steve and Tony he’d met were from. It made Justin feel a bit more real to hear her say his name without having to ask who he was first. Whatever the case was on Steve and Tony’s world, this showed that there was at least a chance that there were other worlds that he was an Avenger in, or that he even existed at all in.

Still, he couldn’t help being a little annoyed that Steve had known at least some Wanda Maximoff on his world, and not a Justin Halloway. Just how small was their team anyway? The Avengers were a small army when you got them all together from Justin’s experience. Granted, Wanda hadn’t been around in that army for a very long time… and for good reason, now that he thought about it. Maybe this explained where she’d been since everything went to hell for her? Who knew, really. Although… what would a younger Wanda be like? That was a question that he’d have to be curious about… “You? Angry? Never,” he chuckled. It had, as stated, been years since her… ‘episode,’ and there had been more than enough evidence given about how she’d been out of her mind for various reasons (Doctor Doom reportedly being one of them, and that guy made Justin crazy without Justin even pinging the guy’s radar). Besides, she was the only person where who knew him. Holding a grudge seemed like shooting himself in the foot right now.

“It doesn’t really give me any answers about this place, but at least there’s finally someone who isn’t from the crazytown that that Steve and his Tony are from,” Justin said as he drifted over to where she was, jerking his thumb at the tower. “I… don’t suppose there’s any real way to tell if we’re from the same world, though, is there? I mean… without going over history bit by bit by bit?” Who was this Wanda? If she wasn’t the exact Wanda she knew, what was she like? How well did she know him? How thoroughly did she know him? That last one… well, it gave him an idea. It wasn’t a good idea, it was rather juvenile and was likely to get him slapped, but he was stuck in some pocket New York that wasn’t real, with people that didn’t know him and apparently needed him to be the grown-up of the building, and he was at a point where he couldn’t be bothered to give a shit if it was a smart decision. “I guess there’s one easy way to tell, though, isn’t there?” That was all the warning he gave before he drifted up and tried to kiss her.

How long did he try this idea out? Well, that would depend entirely on how amenable to the idea she turned out to be.
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Marvel-616-1

41 Posts
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#5
“Unless you know a completely different version of me.” She agreed eyes sparkling with amusement. “No we all know I'm a paragon of forethought and calm action.” She was actually…when she wasn't being broken from the inside and out.

Doom had just taken advantage of What the demon who'd absorbed her sons started.


...Twice now that she thought about it. Once when she'd spilled her pain and vengeance on the Avengers and again more recently when he made her love him, using her connection as the anchor to her reality to siphon off power for himself.

“Crazy town?” Wanda chuckled, “I don't know about your world but for
My money they seem to come from a much...simpler universe. No mutants-” didn't that little phrase have so many memories attached. “And the Chitauri are an actual threat instead of villain of the week.”


“Honestly I'll take Loki any day over say...Galactus or Thanos.” Any way to tell? Wanda pursed her lips, “I have a voice in my head that sounds an awful lot like Tony saying something about ‘Quantum frequencies’-” yes she was the magic the his science, but unlike him Wanda didn't close her eyes to the opposite side..especially since she loved the dumbfounded look on his face when she said something topical. “But I suspect even that might not tell us much.”

When he came to kiss her she wasn't entirely taken aback, Wanda often had been the object of infatuation and since for the longest time it had only been her and Jan as the women of the team...and Jan was very married, Wanda became the ‘safe’ target for affection in the close knit team.

So she didn't push him away, returning the kiss with soft affection rather than passion, wordlessly telling him that she and he in her world didn't have that kind of relationship.

Gently disentangling her self Wanda rested a hand on his chest, “I'm sorry.” And she was, if he loved a version of her...this would be heartbreaking, “I don't think I'm your Wanda.” Trying to let him down gently Wanda was curious, “You and she?” Had she married Angel instead of Vision?

The thought wasn't an unwelcome one, “Are you happy?” She asked wistfully, hoping that there was one version of her that had found luck in love.
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Marvel Comics-616-ish

27 Posts
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Mike

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#6
“Simple, fine, but I’ve never seen Cap being this… down on everything, especially himself. It’s not natural. Somehow, they’re from a world where Tony’s right and Steve’s wrong, at least according to Steve. I don’t know what their baggage is, but it’s just not right.” He shook his head, peering back at the tower. At least with Wanda here, a Wanda he could relate to, there was one more person he could count on to be… sane. That was something that had been lacking with Tony being… addled and Steve being… Steve.

Quantum frequencies could probably tell them a lot but Justin, personally, preferred his manner of testing, even though it was less than scientific. Wanda didn’t push him away, which at first gave him a bit of hope (though hope for what, he couldn’t say), but no, after a second he could tell that she wasn’t into it like one might hope. Still, when she finally pushed him away, he just smiled wryly. Her and him? “No,” he admitted, his lips turning up a little bit more. “Maybe you really are my Wanda. With all the crazy ways worlds are different, though? It seemed like a reasonable chance to take.” Yes, this was Justin, and occasionally, Justin could occasionally be a bit of an ass.
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Marvel-616-1

41 Posts
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Kel

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#7
“Even Steve has self doubt.” Wanda had decades more of knowing the First Avenger and she'd witnessed his (admittedly rare) moments. “Not often, but he does. And I'd rather follow a leader that has self reflection vs one that believes in his infallibility.” Wanda chuckled softly, “When there is time for such things of course not in the middle of combat.”

Wanda rested a hand on his shoulder, “Hey...it will be ok.” Some of the younger Avengers still had a very rosy view of Steve Rogers, and that was fine. 90% of the time he lived up to the expectations. But he was still only human, and made mistakes like any other.

The kiss was nice, and if he'd made a move on her under clearer pretext Wanda might have responded differently. The issue was that she made the assumption that he was in love with another version of her, and she couldn't, wouldn't twist that.

‘No.’

Wanda’s eyes widened as he admitted his pretext, “jerk!” The slap she aimed at his cheek was proforma, no real power (physical or mutation) behind it.

Lips twisted into wry humor Wanda floated slightly away chuckling, “how long have you been here?” Cocking her head Wanda wondered if he was ‘stuck’ like Steve was. “I think we at least come from similar if not the same world. I don't want to assume too much.”

“Justin...are you ok?” She knew the answer he'd already vented a bit but she wondered about his deeper mental health.

Dimension jumping could easily unhinge.
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Marvel Comics-616-ish

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#8
“Self doubt is good. Being a defeatist, though? That’s what I’ve seen. I’m all for self-reflection, but it’s a very… ‘I do nothing right, Tony’s totally right’ thing, and my experience tells me that’s ridiculous.” he shook his head, glancing back at the tower again. “I’ve thought about prescribing some antidepressants to see if they’ll help. Getting ahold of medicine here doesn’t seem hard, at the very least.” He was sure that it would be okay, yes, but that would be once things actually started being done. Tony had to heal. Steve had to actually start handling the situation. If they were going to get out of there, if they were going to figure something out, there needed to be a general calling the shots.

Justin knew that he’d asked for some sort of retaliation when he admitted to his little trick and Wanda didn’t disappoint him. He grinned as he took the halfhearted slap to the face, shrugging ‘innocently.’ “I’ve been here about a week and a half. About as long as Tony, not as long as Steve.” Her next question, though, caught him by surprise. With Tony being injured and Steve being… well, like he was, that was a concern that had registered to no one yet that he knew of. “I… yeah, I think so. Definitely better now that there’s finally someone who knows who I am. Everyone saying they’ve never met you… that starts to mess with you after a while,” he admitted. “Just… I don’t know, handling it day by day. Not sure what to do other than that.”
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Marvel-616-1

41 Posts
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Age:46
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Kel

All Accounts Posts: 154
Points: 478.1€
#9
“Different world. Different Steve, Different reactions.” Wanda smirked, “As far as I know the meds don’t do jack to my version of Steve, was hard enough finding liquor that would knock him out.” Wanda cocked her head as he made it clear that Justin was waiting for Steve to take control, to lead him, be the Captain America he needed.

Responsibility settled around her shoulders, heavier than a mountain; “Did you Wanda lead the West Coast Avengers?” She asked, spine straightening. Wanda had been on a ‘break’ too long, avoiding responsibilities, she needed to step up again. “I take it you don’t mean to be here?” The implication was that she WAS there intentionally. “Yes. No one knowing who you are does wear on the mind.” Wanda took his hand, “Make a plan.” Wanda squeezed his hand, “Steve being depressed, Tony is hurt, you’re not in your home world. What else needs fixing?”
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