She still remembered the magic of walking home under the cold, brittle blue sky, watching the sun strike the glittering blanket laid down by that first snowfall in Sokovia. The world dripped with frosting, and everything was pure and silent. Young Wanda Maximoff breathed deeply, enjoying the sting of the icy air in her nostrils, and set off through the city streets, listening to the muffled crunch of her footsteps compared to her speedy brother, Pietro’s, and the chirps of the waking birds. Later, the cars and schoolchildren and mundane lives would turn the wonderland back into dingy slush, the hush would be interrupted by horns and shouts. Indeed for now, the sparkling, cloistered world was the Maximoff twins alone. Wanda smiled at Pietro, and for a moment her youthful mind was still. Until she recalled how the rest of the night went. Dinner. And then the explosion that would change her family forev-
“You know what they’re saying,” Thor had noticed Wanda, sitting on the roof of the Avengers facility. Wanda closed her left hand, the red circle of energy fading away as she looked over her shoulder, surprised. She was interrupted from her ever changing dream, melting back into reality. “About you?”
Wanda nodded, her soft orbs glowing a scarlet red, before tinting back to hazel when she realized it was just Thor. “I know.”
“You’re the strongest Avenger.” Wanda and Thor said to each other at the same time, surprised at their coordination.
Thor flipped his hammer and caught it, his new cape swinging with his motions, as he immediately sat down on the ledge next to Wanda, pretending to be shocked that he in fact was the strongest and most powerful, without a doubt. “How did you know?”
“It’s not like I haven’t listened to the debates myself. Tony doesn’t say this to my face but behind my back, I don’t even want to talk about it. I’m sure you are. I'm the outcast.” Wanda played with the ends of her hair, before finishing her logic.
Thor scratched his beard. Tony did harp on Wanda's behavior sometimes and how Cap is a bad influence on her, and how it would be better if she just stayed at Clint's barn, but she was an Avenger and deserved every opportunity the others did. Maybe, Wanda was strong. That somewhat intimidated Thor.
"You asked me if I heard what they’re saying. What makes us so strong?” Wanda crossed her ankles, smoothing out her leather jacket before repeating over the conversations and rumors speculating about who is the definite strongest in her head. Steve, Natasha, Bruce, anyone and everyone had something positive or negative to say about Wanda or Thor’s powers. A comparison was a constant in any of these heated conversations.
“You mean, what makes me so strong? I can withstand anything. Like, that dream you made. Or, my hammer. Or my bravery.” He tensed up, thinking about the decaying Asgard. Another vivid thought of his brother began to form, and for a second he believed Wanda was manipulating this, but it was natural. Yeah, he tended to think about his ravishing qualities first.
Wanda was more humble than people would expect, as she got to her feet, ready to end the conversation with him and go back to her room. Her right hand began to glow, before Thor laced his fingers into her’s, stopping her.
“Wait.” He pleaded, wanting someone to talk to. Someone like Wanda.
The matter in Wanda’s hand pressed into his for a second, as they both shared the warmth of her power before Wanda agreed to sit back down. Thor was arrogant up front, but she could sense how he cared about this moment with her.
“I’m a God too. God of Thunder.” He flexed his muscle while flashing a genuine smile, before making room for her to sit back down. He swung his cape over her, as Wanda was about to open her mouth to say something before she stared at their hands held together.
“You don’t have to remind me.” Wanda knew every amazing thing that occurred with Thor.
Maybe he just needed to brag about his life, or he truly was self centered. Wanda’s life on the other hand, was uneventfully life changing, but so meaningful. Losing her family. Getting locked in her room. Losing Vision. Almost losing to Thanos. Regaining her powers. It wasn’t easy.
“Am I weird?” She asked, her eyes aimlessly roaming around New York in front of her before getting lost in his blue eyes.
“What makes you say that?” Thor questioned, squeezing her hand protectively. “You’re-“
“Strong.” She finished his sentence for him. “Both of us are strong.” Wanda let go of his hand before allowing her fingers to control the red matter. He found her unusual strength important to him. She didn’t scream her glorifying traits, instead she used her simplicity.
“I know.” Thor pressed his palm into her red one, their hands aligning yet again against the brisk wind. “It doesn’t always seem like it, but you are stronger than you know, Wanda. Whenever you need me, I’ll be there for you.”
Wanda blinked away the tears in her eyes as she understood, nodding her head in agreement as she could pick up the threads in his head, like Loki’s whereabouts, or the discussions back in HQ. “We are not a comparison. We are individuals with our own great strengths. I will be there for you. I’ve learned health and emotions are so important.”
She let her hand go before reaching for his hammer with her red fingertips.
“I wish my eyes could glow red.” Thor muttered with a slight laugh as he picked up the hammer for her and let her wrap her fingers around it, supporting her. Wanda laughed too. She began to feel better in an instant, understanding why yielding a hammer would make someone strong.
A few smaller laughs and breaths of the cool summer air were exchanged between the both of them, before Wanda was the first to stand up and say her goodbye. She felt that she was in a better place, talking to him.
“I’ll see you around, Thor.” She made a mental note to continue to look out for him as she smiled, tugging her jacket over her shoulders as she turned around before saying softly, “Loki’s around.”
Thor gave Wanda a tiny wave, before hearing her mention Loki. His ears perked up as he turned over his shoulder to see if she was there still, but she left.
He rose to his feet and ran into the facility with his hammer in hand, as he found Wanda in the hallway to her room. He wanted to finish the conversation.
“Wanda! Hold on!” He caught his breath and he stood face to face with her again, gazing down on her.
“Pietro’s around…” Thor began to whisper as he took his finger and traced it around her heart.
“In here.” He closed her own hand over her heart, as his fingertips gently cupped her chin.
A few tears rolled down Wanda’s cheeks, understanding what he meant, before he leaned in to kiss her slowly. It wasn’t just any kiss, this was a kiss of strength and mutual understanding. They could be as strong as they wanted to be in their own ways. Maybe one day they could even team up and combine their powers. A reunion could be organized for Loki and Pietro to see Thor and Wanda in another life, perhaps.
“Thank you for everything, strongest Avenger.” Wanda smiled halfheartedly before walking into her room for the night.
“That’s all you.” Thor reminded his new found other half as he swung his hammer around like a baseball bat before calming down, relieved to understand what he found in himself tonight: the truth about being strong.
“Goodnight, Thor!” Tony obnoxiously called out, observing the conversation. “I think Maximoff had a good night too. So did you settle strongest Avenger? If neither one of you are gonna admit it, awfully stubborn of you, everybody knows it’s me.” He jokingly winked in Thor’s direction before Thor made his way to his room.
“OK Tony. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Thor smirked before walking past Tony with a new outlook on life. Everyone is strong in their own way. There’s bad days, amazing days, wins, losses, family matters, any situation life decides to directly affect you. Both him and Wanda have had their fair share of events which have shaped them into the strong people they are today, like the rest of the Avenger. Nobody had to be labelled the strongest.
Unless their names were either Wanda or Thor. Take your pick. Or, even better, both of them.