|War Is Hell|
|What: Piotr and Illyana have a talk before the fighting starts again.|
Once the enemy forces fled and the village was safe and people decided that yes, to keep the village safe meant actually deposing the dictator, Scott decided they needed the Blackbird. And so Illyana was contacted and asked to bring it back from Turkey once all the passengers/refugees were seen to. Piotr's waiting for it as it touches down and once the landing ramp is extended, goes in to meet Illyana. "Little Snowflake." he says and opens his arms for a hug. "I don't suppose I can convince you to go home." It's a statement, not a question.
Illyana wouldn't want to do any dogfighting with the Blackbird, she's not that good of a pilot, but as a Xavier's grad she does know how to fly the specialized jet. When Piotr opens his arms she steps into them to hug her brother tightly, looking up at him with an arched brow. "You want me to take you home?" Yeah, she knows what he's really asking.
Piotr's arms close tightly around Illyana and doesn't answer immediately. After a bit, he loosens his hold to rest his hands on her shoulders and look at her. "You know that is not what I was saying." Reaching up, he brushes some of her hair off to one side of her face. "You have never been in a war, Illyana."
Illyana's brows arch up, and then she steps back from him with a slight frown. "No." She admits. "Not war like you know it. Not like you're looking to wage. I've only dealt in having to lead armies against someone that wants my throne, or my life, or my freedom. I haven't dealt with bullets and mortars, just teeth and claws and magic. Are you still trying to protect me, Piotr? From stuff like this?"
"Would I be your brother if I did not?" Piotr asks, giving his sister a wry smile that fades after a moment. "I did not know you fought those kinds of battles in Limbo. You have not mentioned them those times I have asked." And insisted on details. "Power struggles, yes. Actual armies, no."
Illyana gives a soft exhale as she glances down, hands settling on her hips. "I suppose I've looked to protect you, too." She admits. Somewhat grudgingly. She looks back up at him, tucking her hair back behind her ear. "I just know you worry so much already, and answers lead to more questions and..." She shrugs. "I try not to think about who I have to be sometimes." She gives a humorless laugh. "I'm already something of a gloomcookie."
"I know who you have to be. More importantly, I know who you are. You are Illyana, my Little Snowflake." Piotr reminds her. "And you keep the Earth safe from the Elder Gods. You do what you need to do." He sits down then holds a hand out invitingly. There's always a free lap. "But that is very different from this. You will be killing people."
And Piotr is big enough that Illyana can't help but feel like a little girl as she takes his hand and climbs into his lap, arms hooking around his neck as her feet tuck under her. Piotr's statement is met with silence for a long moment and then she nods. "Just don't make me have to kill them out of revenge." He isn't privy to the conversation in her head, as she weighs just what killing people, instead of demons, might do to her internal balance. But then she's already killed people she's loved. What are the faceless masses to her? Though that detachment is something she has to watch as well. She tips her head back up to look at him, cold blue eyes so serious. "Tell me you don't need the help. That my being there won't improve the odds of you all coming home safe and sound and I'll go home."
Piotr shakes his head. "There is no revenge." he assures her. "If we just leave, those in this village will be killed. This is to make life better for everyone living in this country. The man in power uses his army and even mutants to oppress his people, most of whom are normal humans." At her request, he falls silent. Four of them against an entire country. Illyana increases their strength by twenty percent. "I cannot say that." he answers eventually. He'll almost certainly be safe no matter what happens but the others are much more squishy. "But it is you being safe and sound I am concerned with."
Illyana pokes his broad chest with a small finger. "I meant you. Don't make me kill anyone to get revenge for you." That could push things into an entire Inferno that no one wants to see. "You can't put me before the lives of so many, Piotr Nikolovich."
Piotr would argue that but he's not going to try. Like hell he's not. "I am putting the Queen of Limbo before their lives." he tells her. "What would happen if you were killed?"
Illyana gives her brother a long, level look. "You're reaching pretty hard." She says, though it's not as jokingly as she tries to make it. A sigh and she shakes her head. "If you're going to play that card than you're telling me to stop doing the hero thing. And maybe I should stay in Limbo, where I'm safe, hmm?"
"This is different." Piotr insists. "Here, they will be deliberately trying to kill you. We will be outnumbered. There will be bullets, air strikes, shrapnel. You're as likely to get hurt by accident as by intent. And I am worried how killing people will affect you, Illyana. You are..." Evil. Mostly evil. "I do not want you to..." Become more evil. "I am worried about you." he ends up repeating.
"You can't say it, can you?" Illyana asks softly. "Like saying it makes it real." She gives a huff of breath in a not-laugh. "It's only different because you want it to be, Piotr. And you can't go somewhere and ask me not to follow."
"It is not you. It is something that was done to you." She's just technically evil. Evil is what you do, not what was done to you regardless of the state of one's soul. Piotr's arms tighten around Illyana and he presses his cheek against her hair. "Promise me..." That you'll be careful. That you won't die. "Promise me that if you feel yourself slipping, you will leave. We are doing good here and killing is not evil by itself. But you must be careful."
Illyana lays her cheek against his chest and he can feel her quiet sigh. "I'll be careful." She assures him. "I'm good at taking care of myself and surviving, no matter what. I promise." She had good teachers, and sadly the need to learn at a young age. She can't help but smirk just a bit as he says killing is not evil. "You'll have to show me what playbook you're using some time." She says dryly.
"We are not here to kill anyone. We are here to remove the dictator and save people. But other people will die." Piotr admits. "It is not a good thing but it is not evil in itself." He's quiet a moment then says "I am worried about Scott as well. He is not used to this." The Rasputins are hardened. Scott? Is too idealistic.
Illyana shifts her head to Piotr's shoulder so that she can look up at him and watch his profile. "No. He's not." She agrees. "Usually he's pushed into a corner, and so he has to act. Going on the offensive like this..." She falls silent for a few. "What do you think? You know him better than I do. Have been on missions with him. Is he likely to break? Or go too far?"
"No mission has been like this." Piotr says after some thought. "Even the Ukraine... Scott tried to avoid hurting anyone. He has already killed here and will again. We are in a war. It is how he will be after that I am worried about." War, as they say, is hell.
"Then we're already in it. And all we can do is hope for the best." It's not the most inspiring of commentary, but it is true. Sadly, Russians are not known for looking on the bright side of life.
Piotr nods his agreement. "The others... Angel, you know of course. He is trying to avoid hurting anyone. If it comes to the point that he is forced to kill someone..." He shrugs the shoulder Illyana is not leaning her head against. "I do not know how he will react. Perhaps not well. You will meet Domino. A mutant and a mercenary. She seems steady. Then there is Shift. I do not know if you have met him. He is part of the school." Which means he's a mutant, of course. "I read his file and he is from Ghana. He is not stranger to violence." It's the actual X-Men most likely to break. Rasputins not included, naturally.
Illyana gives a slight nod. It's almost worrisome, than the ones who have trained so many years are the ones to worry about. That's what happens when you live in an ivory tower, away from the ugliness of the world. "Is Scott still calling the plays?" Illyana's not the ideal team player, but she can follow directions. As long as she doesn't think she has a better idea.
"Da." Piotr agrees. "Though we will see what he has planned and we will make suggestions as needed." Scott's always been willing to listen and get input which is good since Piotr is always willing to tell him when he's wrong. After a moment, he says "When this is over, we should go visit Grigoriy. He would like to see you. And I can tell him about Domino. She is likely to be a customer."
Illyana makes a soft, thoughtful sound. "I haven't seen him in a long time." She muses, and then nods. "He's going to try to get you to come back. Family, and all that." She reminds. Then she chuckles. "Make sure the JLA doesn't find out, hmm?" Finally, she pushes herself up out of his lap. "I'm going to go find a weapon to deal with mundane sorts. Go wash up. You'll feel better." She advises.
"Go talk to Domino." Piotr suggests. "Weapons are her specialty." After a moment, he says "And get yourself a bulletproof vest. Get three. Four if Domino needs one." He didn't really notice if her costume was armored. "You can get them from Grigoriy if need be."
Illyana might chuckle at the suggestion, but instead she just looks back at him. "After Doug... always." Then she heads out to find this Domino person.