“Better To Have Loved and Lost”
Vision had never felt so lonely before.
Oh, he knew what it was like to be unique and set apart from others, to be seen as other and different, but never before had he been without anyone who cared. Always, there had been someone around who he could consider a teammate and a friend. He had been accepted into the ranks of the Avengers, and been made to feel like one of the team, not an outsider. He had never before been truly alone.
He was alone now. Colonel Rhodes was recovering from his grievous injuries, and spent little to no time at the compound in Vision’s presence. Vision understood that it must be difficult for Colonel Rhodes to live with the person who had caused his paralysis. Vision himself found it difficult to think about. He knew how it had come to this, how and why it had happened, but he still couldn't believe it had. He had been trusted to protect his teammates during the battle, and he had failed.
So Colonel Rhodes left him very much alone.
Mr. Stark did as well, seemingly very caught up in Colonel Rhodes’ recovery efforts and the added responsibility of overseeing the remaining Avengers under the Accords. Captain Rogers had always been busy, the running of the Avengers facility and training of the team keeping him quite occupied. Mr. Stark had stepped into the role, and though their team was greatly reduced, there were still many and varied decisions to be made. Vision was aware of how taxing this was on the man who had wanted to pull back from the job before all the discord had occurred. He could hardly blame Mr. Stark for putting his responsibilities first.
However… It also seemed that Mr. Stark spent a good deal of his time with the young Peter Parker, the Spider-Man. Mr. Stark had taken Peter under his wing and was attempting to mentor the boy as he entered the world of superheroes. Vision knew Mr. Stark had provided the Parker boy with a number of equipment upgrades, and had made the boy welcome in his life. It was more than Vision received these days, and he had discovered that he could feel jealous of the attention that was being lavished on Peter.
Mr. Stark ignoring him in favor of another caused him more pain than he cared to admit.
Worst of all, though, was the silence of the compound without his teammates in it. Without his friends, who he had become accustomed to. Without Wanda, who he missed more than anyone else, for good or ill. He thought of her often, her laughter when he said just the right thing, her outrage when he phased into her room without thinking yet again, her shy smiles, and the way her very presence could soothe away whatever negativity he had been experiencing. When he felt rejected by the world, she had been there to comfort him, when he grew melancholy, she made him laugh, and when he began to doubt his very capacity for true emotion, she had always been there reminding him of his humanity. She had been, and still was, his best friend, and he missed her terribly.
And if he'd found himself wanting to become more than just her friend, well… who could blame him? She was beautiful in every way. Body and soul, she was more than he could ever deserve to hope for, but he loved her. He loved her with all of his being.
Without her there, the loneliness threatened to crush him.
He sought to fill his time with learning and the arts, but nothing could hold his attention for long. Everything he did reminded him of someone he had lost. Music reminded him of Wanda, time spent listening to her play the guitar in her room. Painting and sculpture reminded him of Ms. Romanoff, and being able to discuss the great artists with her, as she was quite well-versed in them. Reviewing historical texts and science journals always made him think of Captain Rogers, and everything he had gone through to become a man who could fight for his country and for the people. That line of thinking inevitably brought him to the subject of Captain Rogers’ recent actions and his motivations for doing so, which led to thoughts of the consequences of those actions that his teammates were facing, and that led nowhere good, so he stopped that train of thought immediately.
Still, flying above the compound brought to mind days soaring with Mr. Wilson through the sunny skies. Being in the kitchen reminded him of both group meals filled with talk and companionship, and late nights alone with Wanda as she dealt with her nightmares. The lounge brought about memories of movie nights, games and laughter. The training room echoed with the memories of sparring matches both won and lost. His friends, his family, all gone.
How could something so logically correct have ended in something so terribly wrong?
He had made all the right decisions. Signing the Accords had been the right thing to do. It was only logical. Sign the Accords, stay together as a team, show the world you wanted only what was right for everyone, that you did not want to be a threat. The others should have seen the value of such a plan. Captain Rogers surely must have seen how it could have worked, so why, then, go his own way? Why did he have to lead the others into what he had to have known was a losing fight? He could not stand against the governments of the world forever. They could not escape the Accords, so why? Why not simply tell Mr. Stark of the Winter Soldiers and Zemo’s plans? Why take the matter onto his own shoulders and refuse assistance?
Surely there was something he was missing from this equation, something human that he simply could not grasp, because he didn't understand.
It was a subject he pondered more than he probably should, but he was alone now, and his mind forever drifted to what might have been. He wished things were different. He wondered if he could've changed anything and stopped this tragedy. Nothing came easily to mind. This whole situation had been the result of a number of different issues coming to a head all at once. Timing was everything, as they said.
He only regretted his part in it all. Perhaps this loneliness was just punishment for his own actions. Perhaps he was never meant to walk among humanity, but instead to stay apart and protect them without joining them. Maybe he had been fooling himself in thinking he had a place among them. Wanda had always said otherwise. She had always told him he was as human as anyone else. That still brought a warm feeling to his heart, and he treasured it, doubts about his own humanity or not. He treasured everything she had given him.
He just missed her so badly. He missed all of them. He missed everything they’d had together. He had discovered what it was to have a family, and he wanted it back. Perhaps that was selfish of him, but he found that idea didn't matter to him at all. He had discovered something in himself that disturbed him deeply, an emotion he had thought himself incapable of.
In the silence surrounding him, Vision had discovered something he hated. He hated being alone.