The holidays came around again this time of year, as they always do in the winter time. By now the traditions at the X-Mansion were firmly established, but this was the first Christmas for Jane Creed and Pietro Maximoff. They’d been dating for the majority of the year, living together already. Sure they had separate rooms, but they slept in the same bed regardless, whether it was in Jane’s neat room or Pietro’s cluttered room. There was no problem in their relationship except for a little bump in the road. This year, Pietro’s mother Magda demanded that Pietro come home for Hanukkah along with his twin sister Wanda. Not unusual, considering they have spent every Hanukkah together for the past 19 years of their lives. However, she had a stipulation for them, an ultimatum if you will. Magda also decreed that they had to bring along their respective dates to the family event as well.
This is where Pietro started to freak out. Now really, while his family was Jewish he wasn’t really big into the religion. Wanda followed all the rules, no pork and everything. Her boyfriend was Kurt was Catholic, and around the mansion he was considered the King of Christmas here. Kurt read Christmas stories every night of December and dressed up like Christmas characters, too. Pietro had talked to them both about whether or not he should go. His twin didn’t seem concerned, and frankly neither did her boyfriend. In fact, this should comfort Pietro, since Jane was just as big as a Christmas nut as Kurt was, but still he was worried for some reason or another.
One morning Pietro was lying on Jane’s bed, tossing one of her many snow globes (she goes crazy with Christmas decorations) in the air in a bored fashion and wearing an ugly Christmas sweater (Jane bought it for him). Jane was sitting on the floor, wearing a matching ugly Christmas sweater and trying to wrap up the Christmas presents she bought for her new family here at the mansion. Trying was the key word because Balto liked to play with the wrapping paper. Luckily, Jane wasn’t bothered with the husky puppy’s antics, just amused. He was her baby dog after all. Between her cooing to him she sang random lines of Christmas carols. Pietro loved all of it. “Hey, Janie baby?”
Between humming notes of Carol of the Bells and taping up a box of magnets as her gag gift to Colossus for Christmas, Jane distractedly answered her boyfriend, “Yeah, Pietro?” She snatched a piece of tape off of Balto’s fur, stuck there from when he rolled in her wrapping paper.
Concentrating on not dropping the snow globe on his face, but also using it as an excuse to not having to look at Jane to see her reaction, Pietro said in a casual tone, “Well, you know, my mom invited me back home to spend Hanukkah with her.”
“Uh huh.” Jane ruffled up Balto’s thick grey fur coat as she sat back to admire her handiwork. “You can go see your mom for the holidays. I understand and I don’t mind.”
“So Wanda is gonna come home, too, of course.” Pietro continued in that same casual sort of way, as if he were just talking to hear his voice.
“Mhm. Good for her.” She was half-listening, too busy wrestling Kitty’s gag gift away from Balto. “Get that cat tail out of your mouth!”
“She’s bringing Kurt.” Pietro raised his voice to get her attention. “To Hanukkah at our mom’s house.” He stopped tossing around the snow globe. “Kurt is Catholic.” He sat up on the bed and looked down at his girlfriend Pietro playing with the dog they adopted together.
“That’s nice. I’m sure she’ll like Kurt. He’s sweet to Wanda.” Jane cuddled Balto to her lap and looked up at her boyfriend Pietro with wide and bright emerald eyes, unaware of where exactly he was going with this, but patient for him to explain his thoughts.
Pietro pressed his lips together, unsure of how to continue. To be honest he wasn’t sure whether or not his mom liked Jane. They’d met before, but Magda didn’t realize how much Pietro likes Jane. He likes Jane a lot. In short, he loves her. But Magda doesn’t know that. “My mom wants you to come to Hanukkah at home with me.”
Jane’s eyes got even wider than normal. “Oh, Pietro, I’m not so sure it would be a good idea for me to go.”
He started to pout at her so he could get his way. “Why not?”
“Well, I’m your girlfriend. And I think your mom would be protective of you.” Jane’s hands tightened their grip on Balto’s fur.
“But I just told you that Wanda is bringing Kurt.”
“It’s different. You’re your mom’s son.” Jane argued.
“So?” Pietro quipped and Jane lapsed into silence. At her silence, he boldly continued, “Do you think my mom doesn’t like you or something?”
His girlfriend looked away at that, mumbling, “I don’t know.”
“I’m sure once she realizes just how much I love you that she will love you, too. You’ll be part of the Maximoff family soon enough.” Pietro comforted her, half joking and half serious. They had discussed before about getting married and starting a family together, but that dream was a long way off before it could come true for them.
“Pietro, I don’t want to intrude on your family traditions.” Jane tried that excuse.
“How many times do I have to tell you that Kurt is coming too? If you think you’ll be unwelcomed in anyway, imagine how Kurt will feel.” Pietro pressed her further. “Besides, if my mom is rude to you then I have no problem with leaving. You’re my girlfriend, she’s just gonna have to get use to that.”
“Pietro…” Jane’s voice trailed off.
“Jane,” Pietro mimicked her and slid off of the bed to sit on the floor beside her. “Come on, Janie baby. Please for me?”
“I’ll just get in the way or ruin everything.” Jane avoided Pietro’s pleading puppy dog eyes by gazing down at Balto’s fur coat, her hands absently petting the husky pup.
Pietro reached a hand over and ran his fingers through the dog’s fur, in the process entwining his fingers with Jane. “No you won’t.”
Their fingers untangled as Jane tried to busy herself with wrapping presents again, a little half-heartedly. “Pietro, please.” Now she was pleading now.
Pulling Balto into his lap, Pietro hugged and cuddle the dog. Watching Jane carefully cut the wrapping paper with scissors, he abruptly changed the subject when he asked, “Why not use your claws?”
The scissors were giving Jane trouble. They didn’t cut smooth or very straight, and she had to have the gifts wrapped perfectly, so her frustration was building. “My claws aren’t like Jimmy’s, you know that. They’re hooked at the end.” She blew a strand of her black hair out of her eyes as she concentrated on making small cuts.
The fingers on the hand Pietro did not have gripping the dog reached up and tucked that strand of hair behind Jane’s ear. Smoothly he suggested, “What about your finger nails?”
Setting down the scissors, Jane stopped and examined her nails. They only looked like they were painted silver, as if trying to color coordinated with her silver haired boyfriend. However, he nails were actually pure adamantium, thanks to her time being experimented on by Stryker. Considering Pietro’s suggestion, she conceded he had a fairly decent point when she tried his advice and found the paper cut perfectly at the drag of her index finger’s adamantium nail. “Thank you.”
“You can thank me by going to my house for Hanukkah.” Pietro’s tone was nonchalant and innocent.
In response, Jane was not amused. She gave him a long look to which he only blinked at and tried to look adorable. He found that when he looked cute, Jane often did what he asked. After a moment of that, she sighed, “Pietro, I just don’t think I should. Why should I go anyway? You’ll be fine without me for a couple of days.”
His response wasn’t him trying to play cute or coy or anything. Pietro’s reply came strictly from the heart when he informed Jane with such earnestness, “I need you though.”
While everything that he said came from his heart, Jane’s heart nearly burst at that. Looking as though she was wavering in her decision and about to give in to him, Pietro held his tongue so he wouldn’t say anything stupid that would cause her to change her mind. Jane made a small noise of frustration in the back of her throat, before she pushed through her teeth, “Fine. I’ll go with you.” She tried giving him a baleful look, but it didn’t come across that way. How can she try to look upset with him when everything about him, from the look on his face to the shine in his eyes to the love bite on his neck and even to the ugly Christmas sweater he conceded to wear, told her that he loved her?
A bright smile lit up Pietro’s whole face as he dived over to kiss her cheek. Balto was startled by the movement and excited by it as well. He thought that meant his parents wanted to play, so he dashed through the wrapping paper while Jane caught Pietro’s mouth for another kiss.
Later in the month, Jane and Pietro showed up at the front door to Pietro’s childhood home with their bags and Balto on a leash. Politely, they knocked and rang the doorbell. Pietro was excited. On the other hand Jane was nervous. Magda answered the door and hugged her boy hello. She greeted Jane with a smile, welcoming them both and their dog. As Jane stepped inside, she felt that this wouldn’t be so bad after all. Besides, she couldn’t abandon Pietro. He needed her though.