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Don't Let Me Go

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When will the line fucking move?

It was noon, and Adelina had been standing there for at least two hours, but it felt like she had barely moved a foot. The last Harry Potter movie was coming out this weekend and J.K. Rowling, by some miracle, had scheduled a book signing right around the block from Adelina’s apartment. She had gotten there an hour early, but still, the line went all the way out the door.

Just when the line started to move a little, a tall man with the messiest hair ever cut in line, sliding in front of her as if she wouldn’t notice, and she flipped.

“Excuse me, buddy, but what the fuck!” She snapped, grabbing his arm to yank him around. The smug, almost amused look on his face only pissed her off more. “Some people, like me, have been standing in this line for hours, okay, actually waiting, so you can’t just fucking butt in ahead of me!”

He chuckled, and finally spoke, with a very thick accent. “Sorry, dragă, I figured you wouldn’t mind. I mean, you are last in line, it’s not like it’ll make much difference..”

She glared, and if looks could kill, he would be a pile of ash. “You’re an asshole, you know?”

He smirked. “Yeah, but I can do this..” He disappeared in a blur, then came back and handed her a signed copy of the book.

“What- How... How did you do that?”

He just grinned. “Just a little trick of mine. Now, coffee?”

She blushed and stuttered out a ‘sure.’ She walked with him down the street, quickly realizing who he was, but not mentioning it. As smug and cocky as he might have been, he was pretty damn cute.

“So, dragă, may I ask what your name is?” His English was a bit choppy, and his voice was thick with what had to be a Sokovian accent.

“Adelina, but, uh, call me Lina.” She smiled a little up at him. “And you?”

“Pietro.” He smiled cheekily. “So, you like Harry Potter?”

“You have no idea,” she chuckled. “I was 9 when the first film came out and I saw it at a friend’s house. I was instantly obsessed and made my parents buy the first four books. Binge-read them in a week.” She practically beamed as she spoke.

The conversation flowed easily from there, each of them talking like they were old friends, even though they had just met. Soon, they got to the coffee shop, and she led him to a small table by the window.

“I come here all the time,” she said, glancing out the window at the street. “I live just around the block, so I usually stop by on my way to work..”

“Where do you work?”

“I'm an assistant at Manhattan Times, the local paper. A lot of people say it's a dead end, but I enjoy it, and the pay is enough.” She shrugged, smiling brightly. Before any more could be said, though, the waitress came for their order.

She smiled up at the waitress as she ordered, and the kindness behind it had Pietro wondering if she smiled like that for everyone. He was daydreaming soon, and completely missed the waitress asking for his order.

“Oh, uh, yes, sorry.. the hazelnut latte, please?” He gave her a quick smile before turning back to Adelina.

She was focused on him, waiting for him to speak, and for once he couldn't think of anything to say. Before he could stress too much, though, his phone rang and he groaned.

“I'm really sorry, do you mind if I?” He gestured to his phone apologetically.

She shrugged and shook her head. “Go ahead.” It was obvious she was a bit disappointed, though she hid it well.

He answered it reluctantly and groaned when he realized it was Steve calling him in for more training. He quickly hung up.

“I'm really sorry, I have to go to work.. maybe I can get your number and we can talk again soon? I very much enjoyed this.”

She frowned a little but quickly covered it up. “Sure. Just let me write it down..” She pulled a notepad out of her purse and wrote down her number before handing it over.

“I'll try to call. Oh!” He dug in his pocket and pulled out a 10. “For the coffee.” After hesitating for another moment, he hurried out the door.

----

Pietro flopped down on the couch across from Wanda. “So, uh, I met a girl today. Got her number.”

She chuckled and rolled her eyes. “You meet a girl most days, Pietro, this is hardly something special.”

He grinned smugly at that. “You’re not wrong.”

“So, are you gonna call her?”

He hesitated at that. “I don’t know, it was really just some stupid flirting. I doubt anything will actually come of it.” He shrugged and looked away, fiddling with a pen.

“Pietro, since when are you doubtful of calling up a girl you met? You always go on at least one date with them, it’s not like you to suddenly be nervous.”

“What?!” He sat up quickly. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m not nervous. I just don’t see a point in calling her.” He frowned a little.

She sighed at that. “Remember that you literally cannot lie to me. Every time you try, I feel every ounce of hesitance.” She met his eyes challengingly.

He just pouted now. “I’m not lying and I’m not nervous. It just seems silly to call her when nothing will come of it.”

Wanda watched him for a second before she started to smile. “You really like this girl, that’s why you’re not calling her.” At the glare he shot her, she continued. “You normally wouldn’t hesitate to call any random girl you met on the street. But you actually like her, maybe even see something with her, and you’re scared that if you do call, she may not be into you as much as you are into her.”

Clint had walked in amidst Wanda’s wisdom and was watching from where he perched himself on the arm of the couch. “Pietro, seriously, you need to just get your shit together and call her.” He chuckled a bit, tossing a piece of trash into the can across the room.

Pietro whined. “Okay, fine! She was really cute and nice and she liked Harry Potter and I think I actually really like her!” He sighed. “But what if she doesn’t like me back? I’ve actually met someone that makes me feel something, I don’t want to go all in and just be disappointed cause I’m not what she needs.”

Wanda walked over and sat next to him, resting a hand on his shoulder. “I know it’s scary, but it’s supposed to be, really. You just have to go for it. Go call her, ask her out on a real date. Be vulnerable for once.”

----

“Hello?” Adelina answered the phone soon after it started ringing, reluctantly setting down her book.

“Adelina? Hey, this is Pietro, from the book store?”

“Oh! Pietro, hey,” she said, the smile clear in her voice. “I didn't expect you to call honestly.” She chuckled.

“You didn't? Why not?”

“Well, you left in such a hurry earlier. Didn't even wait for your drink. I must admit, though, that hazelnut latte was delicious.” She grinned a bit to herself.

“Yeah, I'm very sorry about that. Duty calls though right?”

“Let me guess, you had to run off and save the world?” She was joking of course, but the comment got him a bit nervous. He had finally met someone who didn't know who he was and wasn't going to instantly beg for a chance to meet Tony or Steve. He had been hoping to keep the Avenger part of his life secret for the moment.

He chuckled nervously and tried to brush it off. “Not sure what you're talking about... I'm definitely not saving the world at any time.”

“I was joking dude. Sadly, I don't think that being dangerously handsome is saving anyone..” She smirked when she heard the surprised stutter on the other end.

Pietro quickly got his shit together and replied, “Anyways, I was wondering if you'd like to go see the new Harry Potter movie this weekend, maybe Friday? We could grab something to eat beforehand?

She smiled happily at that. “I'd love too. I'll text you my address, you can pick me up at 6? There's a showing at a theatre down the street at 7:30, so we should have plenty of time.”

“That sounds great!” He responded eagerly. “6 o'clock it is!”

“See you then, Maximoff.” She grinned a little and hung up. Immediately, she rushed to her closet and dug through it to plan an outfit for the date.

---

When Friday rolled around, Pietro was ridiculously nervous. He changed his outfit so many times that he had managed to wear the same outfit twice without even realizing it. Eventually, he finally settled on something simple, jeans and a button-down, with one of his nicer coats, but he still fidgeted the entire way over to Adelina’s apartment.

When she opened the door, Pietro found himself so nervous and excited at the same time. He nervously held up the flowers he had bought on the way, offering them to her. “It’s really nice to see you again…”

She smiled brightly, grabbing the flowers. “These are beautiful, Pietro. Do you mind waiting while I put them in some water? You can come inside.” She grabbed his hand before he could respond and pulled him in, closing the door behind him.

“These really are great, you know? Carnations are my favorite.” She blushed a little as she smiled up at him.

“Yeah, uh, I wasn’t sure which ones to get, but then the green ones reminded me of your eyes, so.” He chuckled and smiled, watching as she went into the kitchen.

“Such a charmer.” She grinned and grabbed a vase, filling it and settling the flowers inside. “I just have to grab my coat, and then we can head out.”

“Yeah, sure, that sounds great.” He practically beamed, leaning against the counter while he waited. It was cheesy, sure, but he was just so happy around her for seemingly no reason.

When she came back out of her bedroom, he made his way over to her. “You look really pretty, by the way.” He stuttered a little bit, feeling awkward, but he just tried to smile, hoping he wouldn’t come off as too weird. She just smiled brighter, though, and reached out, linking her arm in his.

“Come on, let’s head out.” She kissed his cheek quickly and walked him out, closing the door behind them.

“I’ve got to be honest, Lina, it’s been a while since I’ve gone out on a date with somebody. I’m quite nervous.” He looked down, blushing.

“Hey, it’s okay, so am I. I’m no good at dates.” She chuckled. “The last time I went on a date with someone, they got so nervous and stressed that they shit their pants. Trust me, the bar isn’t that high to impress me.”

He frowned at that and held her hand gently. “It should be. You’re beautiful, Adelina, and I know we haven’t been talking for long but you’re great to be around.”

She blushed at that, looking away. “That’s, uh, wow. You really think that?”

“Yes, I do. You’ve got great energy, I find myself constantly smiling around you.” He smiled unconsciously as if proving his point on accident. He leaned down and kissed her cheek as she had done for him.

“You’re really too sweet, Pietro.” She met his eyes tentatively, smiling.

“As are you, frumoaso.” He grinned a little.

She chuckled. “Frumoaso? What does that mean, exactly? And, what was it you called me the other day, dragă?”

“Well, it’s a rough translation, but frumoaso is Sokovian for beautiful.” He smirked when she blushed. “And dragă typically means dear or darling.”

She smiled, still blushing. “That’s very sweet. So, uh, you’re Sokovian then?”

“Yes, I lived there for most of my life. But, after all the stuff that happened in Sokovia last year, I moved to the states.” He took a breath and calmed himself for a second before he continued. “I actually work with the Avengers now.” He looked down at her nervously, but she just chuckled.

“Yeah, I sorta gathered that.” She smiled. “I’ve seen all the footage and reporting from the incident in Sokovia, I recognized you right away. I just sorta figured that you wouldn’t want me to be all fangirl over you.” She smiled a little.

“That’s very thoughtful, Lina. I actually really appreciate it.” He smiled. “I was scared to tell you. Most people, if they don’t recognize me on the spot when they find out, it’s like I become an opportunity for them. They just want to get to the big leagues, you know? That’s part of why I was so rude when we met earlier this week. I was worried if you knew who I was, you’d just be someone else who wanted to try and screw Iron Man or Captain America. Nobody is ever really interested in me, it seems. Also, I’m really not used to having a serious crush on someone. So, really, sorry about how rude I was.” He looked down, almost sadly. She squeezed his hand, attempting to comfort him.

“Well, I hope I can show that I’m here for you, not Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. I don’t care about getting to be friends with the popular kids, I’ve met you, and I like being with you, Pietro.” She leaned a little closer, letting their bodies touch.

There was comfortable silence after that as they neared the diner. Adelina waved happily at one of the waiters and led Pietro to a booth. They were waited on almost immediately.

“Haven’t seen you here in a while, Adel. Good to see you again.” The waitress happily set down a coffee and some creamers, then turned to Pietro. “What can I get you to drink, hun?”

“Oh, just a coke, thank you.” He smiled and turned back to Adelina once the waitress was gone. “So, uh, Adel?”

She chuckled and nodded. “Yeah, uh, I come in here a lot. It’s close to my place, they’re open 24 hours a day, and I work a lot of late nights. But anyway, uh, Adelina is sort of a mouthful for a lot of people, so everybody comes up with their own shortenings of it. I try to stick to Lina, but the people here go with Adel, same for at work.” She stirred in the creamer, putting in enough that the coffee wasn’t even close to black. Pietro couldn’t help but chuckle at that.

“You don’t take it black?”

“Oh hell no.” She laughed a bit. “It’s just way too bitter for me. The amount of sugar in my Starbucks runs is almost embarrassing.” She grinned, taking a sip from her coffee.

He smiled, watching her. “I mean, fair, really. I think the only time I drank black coffee, I actually spit it out.” He chuckled.

The waitress came back with Pietro’s coke then and took their orders. After the break in the conversation, Pietro stalled, suddenly unable to come up with anything else to say. He looked over at Adelina nervously, beginning to fidget.

She noticed, of course, and reached over to gently grab his hand. “Hey, is everything okay?”

He blushed and looked down. “Yeah, I’m good, I’m just nervous. I, uh, know it’s probably weird, we only met a few days ago, but I really like you, and I’m generally not very good with relationship crap, so I don’t want to mess this up, and-”

She abruptly cut off his ramble by kissing him. It was fast, like it barely even happened, but it was enough to shock him into silence.

“There. I’ve kissed you, that means I like you, right?” She sat back and grinned, proud of herself.

“Y-yeah, I guess so.” He looked over at her, unsure.

“So, you don’t have to worry about me not liking you back. I was serious about what I said earlier, Pietro, I like you and I’ve enjoyed being around you. I’m honestly probably just as bad at this whole dating thing as you, believe me.” She chuckled and smiled, sipping at her coffee. Then, seemingly without any thought about it at all, she got up from her seat and moved to sit directly next to Pietro rather than across from him.

He looked down at her nervously, stuttering for a little before he managed to actually get words out. “That’s uh, okay, yeah.” He took a deep breath. “Yeah, okay, I’m sorry, I’m good now.” He smiled and hesitated before grabbing her hand gently.

She smiled and squeezed it, sitting back in her seat. “So, tell me about something you’re interested in. I wanna know what you’re passionate about.”

He chuckled, hesitating. “I, uh, okay, so, you know about the powers I have? The speed stuff? Well, basically, the story behind that is when I was a kid, like, a baby, this guy, Herbert Wyndham, he called himself the High Evolutionary, he kidnapped me and my sister, Wanda. He did a lot of tests and experiments, basically turned us into mutants, and that’s how I got my powers.”

She was frowning now. “That’s really fucked up, Pietro, oh my god. I’m so sorry that happened.”

He smiled sadly and shrugged. “Really, it’s fine. It was about 20 years ago, it’s over now. But anyways, these days, all across the world, really, but especially in America, there are a lot of issues around mutant rights. I’m really lucky because of my association with the Avengers, but in reality, if it wasn’t for that, the government technically wouldn’t consider me a human and therefore, not a citizen.”

“That’s insane, okay, so, the mutant rights thing is a huge issue, and actually, I’m working on an article about it to put in the paper I work for.” She sat up now, clearly getting excited.

“You’re really researching something like that?” He looked over at her in awe.

“I mean, yeah, of course, I am. This stuff is important. Just because you’re different doesn’t mean you’re any less human. I’m sure you bleed red just like me.”

He was practically in awe, smiling excitedly. “I’ve never actually met someone else who cared about this, this is amazing. So, this article you’re writing, do you think it would help to have the perspective of an actual mutant?”

Her eyes brightened like Christmas lights. “Yeah, uh, are you offering to be a source? You don’t have to! As great as that would be, I only want to interview you if you’re comfortable…”

“Hell yeah, I’m comfortable with this! Lina, you are the only person I know, outside of the Avengers, that knows about the issues and cares about them. If I can help you with your work, I would love to.”

She chuckled happily. “Okay, well, let’s not do it tonight. This is our time, I just wanna enjoy myself with you tonight.” After a split second of them just looking into each other’s eyes, she leaned forward, kissing him gently. It was gentle and quick, but when she pulled away, they were both breathless, smiling brightly.

Their moment was interrupted by food being brought to the table. They began to eat but continued to discuss the article and mutant rights. Pietro was progressively getting more and more excited, so amazed by how wonderful Adelina really was. Due to their conversation, they were there almost too late to catch the movie and ended up having to run the whole way to the theatre, giggling and grinning the whole way.

The rest of the night went absolutely perfectly. They couldn’t talk much throughout the movie, but she leaned into him the whole time, holding his hand gently, and once they left, he walked her home and kissed her on the doorstep. It was a scene reminiscent of some cheesy rom-com, but Pietro loved every part of it.

He was smiling even after he got back to his apartment. Wanda noticed, of course, and teased him mercilessly, but he just couldn’t care less.

“Seriously, Wanda, maybe it’s silly, but I think there’s really something here…” He smiled happily and eventually went to bed dreaming of his next date with Adelina.

Chapter Text

Pietro paced around the house nervously, repeatedly checking to make sure that everything was ready. Adelina was coming over, and it was supposed to just be a casual dinner date, but he wanted so badly to make sure everything was perfect.

It was their sixth date tonight, and the past two weeks had been amazing. Every time he saw her, he couldn’t stop smiling. He felt extremely disappointed whenever she or he had to leave, and the one time they had spent the night together, Pietro had practically been in heaven.

This was gonna be her first time in his apartment. He had tried to have her over multiple times already, but Clint and Wanda seemed to always be around, and he loved them, but he was scared to have them meet her. She was the calm in what was otherwise a very insane storm, and as silly as it might have been, the longer he could keep those two separate, the longer he could enjoy the moments of peace and joy with her, almost pretending that his life was normal for a few hours at a time.

He got pretty lost in his thoughts, so he was so shocked by the doorbell ringing that he knocked over the glass vase he had been readjusting on the shelf. He cursed and hurried over to the door, opening it to find her with an inordinate amount of takeaway Chinese and a single rose. She grinned a little, then frowned when she looked behind him and saw the smashed glass.

“Pietro, what happened there? Is everything okay?”

He sighed. “Yeah, uh, I just accidentally knocked it over, but I can clean it up quick. Come on in, set the stuff on the coffee table.” He went into super speed then, cleaning up the glass easily. He grabbed the rose she brought and set it on the shelf where the vase had been, then hurried over to her. Taking a breath, he smiled and pulled her in close before kissing her gently. When they pulled away, he sighed and rested his forehead against hers.

“I take it today has been crazy, huh?” She asked, rubbing his back gently.

“You have no idea. I don’t want to talk about that, though. Come on, let’s sit and eat.” He gently pulled her down to the couch, still keeping an arm around her. “I’ve got Nightmare Before Christmas loaded up on the tv, figured that might be a good watch?”

She grinned excitedly. “Oh hell yes! ” She grabbed a random takeaway box from the table and sat back. Pietro smiled and grabbed one as well. Adelina ended up laying across the couch, half in his lap. Before the movie was even half-way through, they had eaten almost all of the food. This was mainly Pietro’s doing, but Adelina made a dent in it too. It didn’t take long after that for the two of them to get distracted.

They shifted so Pietro was sitting up, Adelina sitting in his lap. They kissed slow but passionate, rocking against each other gently. Pietro couldn’t stop touching her, his hands roaming her back and holding her as tight as he could. He cursed softly as she slid a hand under his shirt.

“Fuck, Lina, god…” He breathed heavily, pulling away and leaning back against the couch. “I’m sorry, really, but can we just stop for a second?”

She pulled back immediately. “Of course. Is everything okay?” She frowned a little, worried.

“Yeah, I just, shit…” He sighed and looked up, meeting her eyes. “I really like you, iubire, and I’ve never felt this intense about someone before. I don’t wanna mess this up by moving too fast, rushing things. Would you be okay with just waiting for a little while? When we do this, when we move forward, I want it to be special. I want it to feel right.” He started to blush then, realizing how awkward. “I’m sorry, I’m being really silly, aren’t I?”

“No, of course not, Pietro. I understand completely.” She smiled and kissed his head gently. “We can wait as long as you want. I just care that you’re comfortable.”

He breathed out in relief. “I was so worried you’d be upset. I really wanna be with you, I’ve loved these past two weeks.” He smiled nervously.

“So have I, P. This has been amazing, really. And I’m willing to take as much time as you need.” She smiled and kissed his cheek gently. “Come on. Let’s just cuddle now?”

He smiled and nodded. They moved so she was laying  on top of him on the couch, her head on his chest.

“You should stay tonight, Adel. I could order dessert for us, we could watch more movies. I love it when we stay the night together…” He rubbed her back gently, looking down at her.

She smiled softly. “I’d love to, Pietro, but you know I can’t. I have that meeting with my landlord tomorrow morning.”

Pietro pouted. “I still hate that he’s even considering kicking you out.”

“He’s not kicking me out. He’s just exploring options, or whatever. He wants to discuss the possibility of renting out the second bedroom. I wouldn’t be evicted, I’d just have a roommate.” She shrugged and looked away, not meeting his eyes.

He frowned. “You don’t like that idea either, though.”

She sighed. “I don’t know, I don’t hate it, I’m just not the best with people. I tend to have trouble making connections, I guess. You’re the exception, really. I felt comfortable around you, like I could just be myself and have fun. But around almost anybody else, I always tend to say the wrong thing. I don’t really have friends because of it.” She looked down.

“You have your friends from work, don’t you? I know you talk about that one girl a lot. Jaclyn’s her name, right?”

“Yeah, Jaclyn’s nice, they all are. But none of them would agree to go see a movie with me, let alone come to help me if something were to happen. Your work friends are vastly different from mine.” She chuckled quietly.

“Okay, well, what about family? Your mom and dad? You have them, right?” He sensed how tense she got at that and frowned even more. He kissed her head, trying his best to calm her.

“I don’t exactly have the best relationship with my family. Haven’t talked to my dad in months, and the last time I talked to my mom was a phone call and she yelled at me for almost 20 minutes about how I was gonna ruin the family legacy.” She sighed, then began to explain more. “My mom’s a lawyer, dad’s a doctor. Fancy and rich lifestyle. They wanted me to follow in their steps. Go to law school, or marry into a rich family, preferably both. I hated that idea. I mean, look at me. I’m working what is honestly a dead-end job at a failing newspaper, making just enough to survive, but I love it, I’m happy. They don’t like that idea.”

He opened his mouth, ready to bitch about her parents already, but she just kept going.

“The call I mentioned, I told her about you. It was just last week, and when she offered, for the hundredth time, to set me up with the son of one of her billionaire friends, I said that I was actually dating someone. When I said it was you, she got pissed. Said I was betraying my heritage and my culture by being with an Avenger.”

His brows furrowed, confused. “Betraying your heritage? What is that supposed to mean?”

She sighed and finally met his eyes, though it took her a second. “I guess I never did tell you, did I? I’m Sokovian. Well, sort of. Mom and dad were born and raised, and I was born there too, but we moved stateside before I was even a year old.”

He had wide eyes now. “You’re Sokovian? I can’t believe I never even noticed. Why didn’t you tell me this? This is amazing!”

She chuckled. “I don’t know. Sokovia just really isn’t a big part of my life. I’ve never been there, and my parents always spoke English around me. The closest I’ve ever been to it was when my mom would make burek and boza. You’re really happy about the fact that I’m Sokovian?”

“Yeah! I mean, maybe it’s silly, but it’s sorta nice, having this connection with you, you know?”

She smiled. “I guess so, yeah. I don’t fully understand it, but I like that it makes you happy.” She kissed him gently then, sliding a hand into his hair.

He held her tightly, rubbing her back. “Well, if there end up being issues with you having a roommate, you can always stay here with me. I would love to have you.” He smiled gently.

She kissed his cheek quickly before moving to sit up. “I probably should go ahead and go home, it’s almost 10. Do you mind walking me home?”

“Of course not. Just let me grab my coat.” He got up quickly and pulled his jacket on, then grabbed Adelina’s.

Once they were at her door, he pulled her close again. “I have to go on a mission tomorrow…”

She frowned and looked up at him. “Do you know how long you’ll be gone?”

“Should only be about a week, but I can’t be certain. I’ll have to go radio silent too, so I won’t be able to talk to you until it’s over.” He sighed. “I’m really sorry, I meant to tell you earlier, but I got distracted. I did say I love having you over, right?”

She chuckled at his pretty obvious nerves. “It’s okay, Pietro, I understand. I wish you didn’t have to go, but I’ll see you when you get back?”

“Of course, dragă. I’ll call you as soon as I’m free.” He smiled and kissed her head. “Sleep. I hope everything goes well with the landlord tomorrow.”

She smiled even more and gave him a very quick kiss before going into her apartment and closing the door. Pietro walked back home, blissful and smiling the whole way.

----

Pietro checked his phone again nervously, frowning when he still hadn’t gotten a response from Adelina. He huffed and set his phone back down before he got up and started to pace. They had gotten back from the mission, but Steve was forcing him to stay with the medics until they cleared him to go. Due to other more serious injuries, they hadn’t gotten to him yet, so he was just waiting, getting increasingly frustrated.

Tony came in and sighed when he saw the behavior. “She still hasn’t texted you back?”

He nodded, looking down. “I know it’s stupid, but I haven’t seen her in like 2 weeks. I miss her.”

Tony just smiled slightly, coming over and resting a hand on Pietro’s shoulder to stop his pacing. “I’m sure it’s no big deal, she’s probably just busy. You said she was working on a piece for the paper, right?”

Pietro couldn’t help but smile. “Yeah, uh, the mutant piece. When I left, I remember she was trying to schedule a meeting with her editor to discuss the story.”

“You really like her, huh?”

“God, you have no idea. It’s barely been a month since I’ve met her and yet I can’t stop thinking about her. I just want to do so much for her. I wish I could show her how serious I am about her, but I don’t know how.” He grabbed his phone, fiddling with it and checking for a response again.

Tony watched him for a second, considering. “You could take her out to dinner. And I don’t mean take out or McDonald’s, an actual dinner. A nice restaurant with actual chefs and good food.”

Pietro chuckled. “That’d be nice, but there’s no way I could get a reservation at anywhere nice anytime soon, not to mention, those places are always super expensive.”

Tony just looked at him incredulously. “You can’t be serious, Sonic. You know who you work with right? I could get you a reservation tonight for the most selective restaurant in the city if you wanted. Just let me know where you want to go and when, I’ll get it done. And everything will be billed to me too, don’t worry.”

Pietro smiled a little. “Thank you, Tony, really. That means a lot.” Before any more could be said, the medic came in and started examining him. Pietro still nervously checked his phone whenever he got the chance, but he still hadn’t seen a response.

----

When he finally got to leave, he still hadn’t seen anything from Adelina, so he was starting to stress. As soon as he was out the door of the tower, he super sped all the way to her building. He frowned as he saw a woman who looked strangely similar to her getting into a car and driving away. He hurried up to her apartment, knocking on the door.

“Adelina, are you there? Come on, I’ve been texting you all afternoon, is everything okay?” He was about to bust down the door when she finally opened it. She was sniffling and her eyes red, making it obvious that she had been crying. He frowned worriedly and immediately pulled her close.

She fell apart then, clinging onto him and starting to cry into his shirt. He gently rubbed her back, leading her back inside and closing the door. “Come on, let’s go sit down.” He eased her down to the couch, still holding her. He ended up just rocking her and letting her cry. “I’m here, it’s okay. I’ve got you.” He kissed her head gently.

After almost 20 minutes, she finally stopped crying, but there were still sniffles as she tried to sit up. “I’m sorry, I’m such a fucking mess.” She looked down, but he still held her tight.

“No, hey, it’s okay, Lina. You don’t have to be sorry.” He kissed her head again, sliding a hand into her hair and resting his head on top of hers. “I’m here, I just want to help. Do you want to tell me what happened?”

She hesitated before nodding quietly. “My mom came over. She literally came over for the sole purpose of yelling at me, all just to tell me everything I’m doing wrong.” She sniffled, the tears threatening again.

“What was she mad about?” He pulled her tighter, rubbing her back still.

“Everything. About my career, about my life, about you. She just barged in and proceeded to tell me every single way I’ve failed her. How I’m a disgrace of a daughter.” She was starting to shake then, the stress of it all becoming too much. She leaned into his hold, burying her head in his chest when the tears started flowing again.

“Iubirea mea, just breathe. I’m here, it’s okay.” He whispered gently, rocking her back and forth. He could feel the hatred for her mom boiling up inside of him, but he pushed it away for now, focusing on her.

“I feel so ridiculous. I shouldn’t care what she thinks, but I’m falling apart just because she got mad and yelled at me…” She clung onto him tighter.

“It’s not ridiculous, Adelina. She was rude and aggressive, and the things she said were horrible. You are allowed to be upset about this.” He sighed. “I’m staying with you tonight, alright? I don’t want to leave you alone like this.” He frowned worriedly and kissed her head gently.

He held her like that for another 20 minutes before he pulled away. “Have you eaten yet tonight?” When she shook her head, he frowned even more. “You need to eat, Lina. I could cook dinner or order takeaway, what do you want?”

“Maybe just order some pizza? I’d rather you stay here..” She grabbed his hand, holding it tightly. He nodded and grabbed his phone, quickly ordering two pizzas for them. He also sent Tony a text, asking about getting reservations for dinner the next night. After that, he turned his phone on silent and set it aside, ready to keep Adelina close and help her through the night.

----

When the morning came, they were still on the couch. They had fallen asleep there, Pietro holding Adelina tightly. He woke up before her and couldn’t help but smile when he looked down at her. She looked so peaceful compared to the other night, and it was beautiful to see. He kissed her head gently and extracted himself from her grasp, going into the kitchen.

By the time she woke up and trudged into the kitchen, he already had two steaming mugs of coffee ready, with hers flavored exactly to her liking. He passed it over to her and turned back to the bacon he was cooking. She took a sip and hummed softly.

“Shit, that’s amazing, P.” She smiled a little at him. “Thank you. For the coffee, but also for staying… It really helped.”

He just smiled happily. “Of course, dragă. I’m glad I could help. Now, eggs, how do you want them?”

“Oh, uh, scrambled is fine.” She watched him, unable to stop smiling.

After he was done with the breakfast, they moved to the kitchen table and sat down together. He let her eat for a while before he actually said anything.

“So, I, uh, I want to take you out tonight. Like on an actual date, a nice dinner date, not just pizza and movies.” He looked up at her nervously.

She smiled though. “I would love that. Where do you want to go?”

“Uh, Gramercy Tavern.” He shifted a little awkwardly. Adelina’s eyes widened at that.

“Pietro, that’s really high-end. That place is almost impossible to get into, not to mention really expensive.” She frowned a little.

“Yeah, uh, I know. But Tony has pull when it comes to things like this. He was able to get a reservation, and he offered to pay for it. I know it’s a lot, but I just want to do something nice for you, Lina, something special.” He turned to her, grabbing her hands. “It’s completely okay if this is too much for you, but I would really love to do this for you, to treat you to a nice, fancy dinner.” He smiled slightly.

She smiled at that and moved close, squeezing his hands gently. “I would love to go out with you tonight. Just let me know what time, I’ll be ready.”

He got excited then. “Alright, so the reservation is at 7. I could pick you up at 6:30. I actually do have to go do team training, and a bunch of other crap, so I won’t see you till then. Shit, I’m actually so excited about this!” He smiled happily, making her laugh.

“God, you’re adorable when you’re excited.” She pulled him into a kiss, holding him close for a minute before letting go. “Go do your Avenger stuff, I’ll see you at 6:30, speedy.” Smiling like a fool, Pietro kissed her head before hurrying out the door.

----

When she opened the door at 6:30, Pietro was stunned into silence. Her dress was a deep blue, subtly reminiscent of the colors in his Avenger’s suit. The whole outfit was so simple, but he was in awe, thinking that she was just absolutely beautiful.

She grinned up at him. “You look great, Pietro. I honestly didn’t expect you to own a suit.” She chuckled, looking him over appreciatively. He somehow looked even more handsome than normal with the suit.

He rolled his eyes. “Yeah, uh, I didn’t until today. Apparently, Tony already had all our measurements and had an almost perfectly tailored suit ready for me. It just had to be altered in the shoulders a bit, but he had it ready.”

She smiled at that. “That’s really great. Let me just grab my jacket, then we can head out.” She grabbed her coat and closed the door, quickly moving closer to him. “Fuck, it’s so cold out here.” She chuckled a bit.

He smiled and wrapped an arm around her. “Come on. There’s a car waiting for us.” He started leading her down the stairs.

Her eyes widened. “A car? This is really fancy, Pietro.”

“Yeah, uh, that’s Tony again. We’ve got a private driver for the night.” They got out of the building then, where a driver was already waiting to open the door. They got in and sat close to each other.

“That’s really nice of him. It sounds like he cares a lot about the team, with all the stuff he’s willing to do for them.” Adelina looked up at him, holding his hand gently.

He smiled even more at that. “Yeah, people don’t see how much he does for us. I mean, just as far as the Avengers, he makes all of our suits, our gear, funds the team himself. He’s constantly working on something for one of the team members, not to mention all the work he does for Stark Industries, plus being Iron Man. He cares so much, not just about the team, but about everyone. He doesn’t get enough respect or credit for everything he does.” He looked down at her and chuckled when he saw her practically beaming.

“God, P, you’re amazing you know? I love seeing you get excited about stuff. I can really tell that you care about Tony, about all of them.” She sighed happily. “It sounds like they’re basically your family.”

He smiled quietly, looking down. “Pretty much, yeah. I mean, obviously I have Wanda, but all the Avengers, we’re a family. Steve and Tony are basically the group dads. Steve is the protective one, trying to ensure nobody dies, whereas Tony lets us do fun shit and gets us in trouble with Steve.” He chuckled.

Adelina smiled happily. “What about the others? I’m suddenly very interested in the Avengers family dynamics.” She chuckled a bit.

“Alright, well, there’s Clint. I guess he’s the crazy brother who has all the stupid ideas that get him hurt. There’s Natasha. She’s sorta separated from the others. Honestly, she’s kinda scary. Clint’s the one she’s closest with, and it’s not quite clear what their relationship is, but she somehow both reprimands him and encourages him to do stupid shit.” He smiled even more. “And then, of course, Thor. He’s basically the family puppy, like a giant labrador who badly wants to be a lap dog. He doesn’t quite understand our customs or culture, so bringing him out into the real world is always pretty damn entertaining.” He grinned a little.

She just smiled more. “I love hearing you talk about this. You get so happy whenever you mention the Avengers.” She leaned over and kissed his cheek.

He smiled. “Would you, uh, would you want to meet them?” He met her eyes nervously.

She hesitated then, looking down. “I don’t know Pietro. I’d be a little intimidated, I think, meeting them.”

He frowned. “Oh come on, they would love you, I promise.” Seeing how hesitant she still was, he sighed. “Alright, how about not all of them? We could just try and set it up so you could meet Clint and Wanda, they’re who I’m closest with anyways.”

She took a breath and nodded. “Yeah, I think that’ll be good. I’d be okay with that. It’s just nerve-wracking, it’s like I’m meeting your family. Also, all of them are superheroes.” She chuckled a bit.

He pulled her a little closer. “You don’t have to worry about them. They might be a little protective or defensive, but I’m so sure that once they meet you, they’ll love you.”

That made her smile more. “You really think so?”

“Yeah, of course I do! You’re wonderful, there’s no reason they wouldn’t. Now relax, alright? Tonight we can just have fun, don’t worry about anything.” He kissed her gently, holding her waist to keep her close.

She returned the kiss happily, sliding her hands into his hair, then pulled away after a few moments. “You’re amazing, Pietro…”

He just smiled and kissed her again. They kept kissing until the car pulled up at the restaurant. Pietro actually pouted a little when the door opened, not wanting to stop. Adelina just rolled her eyes and grabbed his hand, pulling him out of the car.

Despite the restaurant being absurdly full, they got their table quickly. It was tucked away in the corner, mostly private from the rest of the restaurant. They sat down and quickly put in their drink orders. Almost immediately, for some reason, the ease and comfort between them dimmed. Pietro still attempted to start a conversation, but for some reason, it was forced and awkward now. Everything just seemed to come out wrong.

“So, uh, did you talk to your mom any more today?” He asked, his third attempt at having some form of interaction. He almost immediately realized how wrong of a choice that was, seeing her tension and discomfort.

“No, uh, definitely not. I’d be fine if I never saw her face again, to be honest.” She snapped, a bit bitterly.

Pietro frowned. “Shit, Adel, I’m sorry, I don’t know why I said that.” He sighed and looked down. “It’s no excuse, I know, I’m just so uncomfortable. This really isn’t my thing, the whole fancy dinner stuff. I feel so out of place, and I feel like our connection has just snapped for some reason, I have no clue what’s going on.”

She looked up at him though. “Oh thank god, you’re uncomfortable too. I hate this, P. It’s so formal and stuffy, I feel like I’m gonna get yelled at cause I used the wrong fork or some shit.” She sighed, but then smiled when Pietro laughed.

“I’m really sorry, Lina, I thought this would be nice, but I’m thinking this just isn’t the right scene for us. Everything we’ve done before, silly movie nights and pizza, they’ve all been great. I get the feeling we’re not meant for fancy restaurants and special dessert spoons.” He chuckled a bit and reached over grabbing her hand.

She smiled happily. “Do you wanna get out of here? We could stop by a food truck maybe? Then go do something ridiculously fun?” She grinned when he nodded, and they both jumped up. They ignored the looks they got from the staff, hurrying out, giggling the entire way. They both hesitated when they got to the car.

Pietro glanced at the driver, then back down at Adelina. “Maybe we could just walk? The car seems like a bit much, doesn’t it?”

“Definitely.” She smiled happily. They walked down the street then, getting to one of Pietro’s favorite food trucks before long. Pietro ordered and paid, getting two enormous and hideously greasy burritos. He couldn’t help but laugh at the difference between what they were having now and what they would have been eating at if they had stayed at the restaurant.

“So, what do you want to do? Preferably something inside, this dress is shorter than is suitable.” Adelina grinned, taking a huge bite out of the burrito. Something about the sight of her shoving a burrito into her mouth while wearing her nicest clothes just set him off and he started laughing happily. She pouted, but with the food in her mouth she just looked like a chipmunk and he laughed even more

“I’m sorry, but you’re adorable.” He giggled and pulled her close once he had got himself under control. When she had finished chewing, he leaned down and kissed her gently. “This night is so much more amazing now that we’re out of that restaurant.” He kissed her head.

“You’re being ridiculous, P.” She rolled her eyes but still smiled. “Seriously, what do you want to do? I think there’s a mini-golf place nearby, or we could go do one of those escape rooms you’re always talking about?”

He thought for a second, still holding her close and smiling. “I think mini-golf sounds amazing. Come on.” He slipped his hand into hers and started leading her down the street.

When they got there, Adelina quickly paid for them to play the course, then grabbed two clubs. She grinned a little when she saw a golf ball with the Captain America star on it, then tossed it at him. She grabbed her own ball and hurried to the first hole.

It was cheesy as hell, but he ended up helping her with almost every hole, wrapping his arms around her from behind and guiding her club. It was so rom-com, and they ended up bursting into giggles almost every time, but it was amazing.

Pietro felt so exhilarated by the time they got back to his apartment. They had gotten pretty handsy on the way, and once they were at his door, he ended up pressed against the wall, kissing her fervently while she clung onto him tightly. He only pulled away when he was completely out of breath, and even then, he held her tightly, his forehead resting against hers.

“Fuck, Adel, that’s…damn, Adelina, stay tonight, please? I know I said we should wait, but that was almost two weeks ago and I think I’m ready now, no, I know I’m ready now. Fuck, please stay?” He bit his lip, meeting her eyes nervously. She was starting to smile though.

“I’ll stay Pietro. I’ll stay as long as you want me to.” She kissed him again, this time stepping closer to him, crowding him so that he had to lean back against the door. Once she got it open, they stepped through, kicking the door closed behind them. Pietro groaned softly and felt for her waist, guiding her to the couch. He fell back onto it, pulling her into his lap.

“Fuck, P, you’re so amazing.” She breathed out and rocked against him, sliding her hands under his shirt. She pulled at it eagerly until he sat up enough for her to get it off, after which she started kissing and sucking at his neck, grinning at the little sounds he made.

“Shit, Adel, we… not on the couch? Let’s get to the bedroom, alright?” He looked down at her, unable to do anything but smile when he looked into her eyes.

She smiled as well and leaned up to kiss him again. After a few moments, she pulled away, still holding him close. “Yeah, bedroom.”

There was a nervous tension in the air, and both of them were smiling giddily. When they got into the bedroom, he rested his hands on her waist, pulling her in closer. They kissed again, slow and soft. His hands roamed across her skin, one stroking up and down her back while the other worked its way into her hair.

She slowly began to guide him back towards the bed until the back of his knees touched the mattress. He grinned and held her tight as he fell back. They both giggled, even as the fall impact made them bounce. They made their way back up the bed though, so that he was laying back and she was straddling his waist.

From there, they began to undress. He ended up rolling them so he was on top, then slowly undid the zipper on her dress, kissing her skin gently as it became exposed. The dress got tossed aside and she turned to face him, pulling both of them up their knees. She kissed him as she worked at getting his belt off. He quickly shuffled out of his pants, then eased her back onto the bed, holding her as close as he could.

She was laying down now, with him hovering over her. He pressed his lips to hers again, letting his hands wander. He cupped one of her breasts lightly, feeling the lace of the bra. His other hand went lower, brushing against her stomach before settling on the outer curve of her thigh.

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered smoothly, and when she blushed, he just shifted closer. “I’m serious. Every inch of you is perfect.” He started to kiss her neck then, going straight for the spot that always made her toes curl.

She cried out softly, sliding a hand into his hair and grabbing onto it. “F-fuck, Pietro.” She clung onto him, rocking up against him.

He pulled down her bra straps then, easing them off her shoulders. He went to undo the snap on the bra, then frowned a little when he couldn’t quite figure it out.

She chuckled at that and sat up a little, quickly taking her bra off and throwing it to the clothes pile next to the bed. Although Pietro was blushing, he leaned in and kissed her again, holding her tight. Tentatively, he reached down and brushed against one of her nipples. When there wasn’t much of a reaction, he pulled away slightly so he could properly look at her.

“Is that- do you like that or no? I wanna make sure this is good for you.” He tensed up a little.

She took a breath, ruffling his hair gently. “It doesn’t do much for me.” She leaned in to kiss at his neck, still running a hand through his hair. “Don’t stress, I can feel you getting tense. It’s okay.” Before he could worry too much, she leaned in for another kiss and stroked his back gently.

It worked and he relaxed quickly. He continued to explore her body, trying to find the different places that pulled the best sounds from her. By the time he got their underwear off, both of them were worked up and eager. He forced himself to slow down, taking the time to rub at her clit gently.

She whined softly and rocked up against him. “Pietro, please, I’m ready, I need you..” She started sucking at his neck then, holding him tightly, and that was more than enough to convince him.

He leaned over and grabbed a condom and lube from the nightstand. Not breaking eye contact, he slid the condom over his dick and coated it in lube, then lined it up. When he pushed into her, he moaned out softly and dropped his head into the crook of her neck. One hand was settled on her hip, the other bracing himself on the bed next to her head.

“Shit, oh god,, that feels so good.” He breathed heavily, unable to control it when his hips bucked. She cried out and clung onto him, her nails digging into his back tightly.

It took him a minute, but once he caught his breath, he started to actually move. He still moved slow, rocking into her and holding her close.  They attempted to kiss, but both of them were too breathless to do more than sloppily mouth at each other. They settled for his forehead pressed to hers, looking deep into her eyes as he rocked his hips. Even as he moved, he never let go of her, the hand on her hip gripping tighter and pulling her into him.

When he started to get close, he clung on to her tighter, moving a little faster. She moaned and wrapped her legs around his waist, using the leverage to rock into his thrusts.

“Fuck, Lina , I’m close, shit, I’m gonna-” He whined and had to stop moving so he wouldn’t burst quite yet. He clung onto her still, burying his head in her neck. He breathed out heavily, nearly panting as he tried to calm down.

“It’s okay, Pietro,” she whispered, stroking his neck gently. “Go ahead, come. You can still take care of me afterward.” When he still wouldn’t move, she took control, pulling him into a kiss and thrusting up against him more. She did everything she could to push him over the edge, tugging at his hair how she knew he liked and twisting her hips to switch up the friction.

When he finally did come, it was with a whimper of her name. After a moment of panting, where he still clung onto her like a lifeline, he pulled out of her and took the condom off, tying the end so it wouldn’t spill. He leaned in closer then, kissing her again and reaching down between them.

He slowly started to rub her clit, relishing in the moans coming out of her mouth. “You’re beautiful, Adelina, you really are… love seeing you like this, so glad it’s happening. Are you gonna come for me? Come on, baby, I want to see you let go, see you fall apart.” The dirty talk continued, him whispering into her ear as he worked her towards an orgasm.

She moaned louder and clung onto him tighter. “Fuck, P, that feels so good.” She whined and grabbed his hair tightly, using it to pull his face closer. “Kiss me, please.” She whispered gently.

He kissed her and doubled his efforts between her legs, going as far as to slip one finger into her vagina. He kept going while she started to tense and squirm more, and didn’t fully stop until she cried out his name and came, bucking against his fingers.

Afterward, she was so sated and relaxed, she almost fell asleep immediately. She sighed contentedly, closing her eyes and relaxing. “Pietro, that was amazing…”

He smiled softly and kissed her head, then got up off the bed. She lazily reached out for him, but he just grabbed her hand and squeezed it. He tossed the condom in the trash, then cleaned her up with a washcloth. After he was done, he curled up in bed next to her and pulled the blankets up over them. It wasn’t long before he drifted off to sleep with her in his arms.

Chapter Text

Adelina smiled when she woke up and saw Pietro still fast asleep. It took some maneuvering, but she managed to get out of his arms. She grabbed a random shirt from the floor and pulled it on, grinning when she realized it was Pietro’s and it basically swallowed her whole. She glanced at him once more before she hurried into the kitchen.

She started a pot of coffee and brought out the creamers, then dug through the fridge for some food. Before long, Pietro shuffled into the kitchen, right as the coffee finished. Without any words exchanged, she fixed him his coffee and pushed it over. He hummed, happy and content, and that itself made her smile even more. She ran a hand through his hair, gently messing it up before returning to the stove.

He got up and made his way over to her, leaving his coffee on the counter. He wrapped his arms around her from behind, resting his chin on her head. “I like the look of you in my shirt.” He grinned a little, then leaned down closer and started kissing along her neck.

She chuckled a bit. “P, I’m cooking breakfast, don’t get handsy.” She smiled though as she pulled bacon out of the pan. She turned to face him, resting her hands on his chest and smiling up at him.

He pouted. “I can’t help it, you’re so beautiful. I wish I could just keep you in my bed forever.” His hands slid behind her and under the shirt, holding her tight. She just smiled and leaned in closer, about to kiss him, but before she could even get to his lips, he had snatched a piece of bacon from the table. He grinned as he chewed it.

She laughed happily and leaned her head against his chest. “You’re so adorable.” Pietro just smiled and pulled her into a gentle kiss, holding her close.

The kiss turned passionate before long, her hands sliding into his hair to hold him close as he grabbed her ass. He was just about to pull his shirt off of her when the door swung open and Clint walked in, rambling about the new way he found to mess with Steve. He froze when he saw them kissing, and then he just started to grin.

“Pietro, I take it this is the girl you’ve been talking about? Sorry for the interruption.” He winked, but still didn’t leave, just laying down on the couch as if he hadn’t seen anything.

Adelina looked up at Pietro nervously. “That’s Clint, right? He doesn’t seem too terrifying, I think I can actually hold a conversation with him.” She chuckled a bit, making Pietro smile.

“I love you, dear.” He kissed her head gently, then happened to look over at the clock and groaned. “Shit, 7:30. You’ve got to go soon, don’t you?”

She sighed. “Yeah, I guess I do, I’ve got about ten minutes. Do you mind grabbing my clothes for me?”

“Not at all.” He smiled and sped off to the bedroom. While she waited, she made her way into the living room. Clint sat up as soon as he saw her.

“You’re Adelina? Pietro’s been talking about you a lot.” He smiled a little.

She blushed at that. “He has?”

“Yeah, almost non-stop. Gets a bit annoying, really, he’s like a schoolgirl.” He chuckled. “Listen, I’m not gonna give you the whole spiel about not hurting him. He’s found someone who makes him happy, and I support that wholeheartedly. I just wanna say that you need to consider what you’re getting yourself into. His life isn’t normal, it’s dangerous and complicated and there’s a chance you’ll get pulled into that. I’m not trying to scare you off, I’m just warning you that this probably won’t be idyllic and beautiful the whole time. What he does is hard on him, and by extension, hard on you.”

She took a breath and nodded. “I understand. I’ve already seen the toll it takes on him. But he’s helped me through some shit moments, I’ll be there for his.” She smiled, almost sadly. Clint started to say something, but Pietro ran back in with her clothes.

“Thanks, P. You’ll call me later tonight?” He smiled and nodded, so she kissed him on the cheek before going into the bathroom to change.

Pietro turned to Clint then. “So? What do you think? Do you like her?”

He just smiled gently. “She’s great, Pietro. How long has it been between you guys now?”

“About a month.” He sighed happily, sitting down on the couch. “I really love her, Clint. She just makes me so happy.” He smiled even more. “I think I want her to move in with me.”

Clint hesitated, watching him. “Pietro, you realize that that’s a really big step, right? You have only been together a month.”

“I know it’s early, but I love being with her, being around her. I think we could make it work.” He smiled wistfully.

Clint chuckled and shook his head. “Alright, well, as crazy as it seems to me, I'll support you. But you should go on a trip with her before you go full out and move in with her.”

“A trip?”

“Yeah. Go camping or something. Basically, anything where you're in enclosed spaces with each other for extended time and there's likely to be opportunities for the two of you to get frustrated with each other. If you can get through a weekend of camping out in the mountains and not want to rip each other's heads off, you'll probably be able to handle living with each other.”

Pietro considered that, watching the wall. “Makes sense, I guess. Seems weird taking dating advice from you, though. What's your longest relationship, a month?”

Clint rolled his eyes. “6 months, actually, thank you very much, and I can understand the theories of successful dating, I just can't apply them to my own life.” He sighed.

Pietro smiled a little as Adelina came back out of the bathroom then. “I can run you over to your work if you want?” He grinned down at her.

She smiled happily. “Thanks, but I think I'll just get a cab. I had fun.” She leaned up and kissed him gently. After a few moments, she pulled away and walked out, grabbing her coat on the way. Pietro watched, looking like a fool in love with the way he smiled.

----

Two weeks later, they were laying on the couch at his apartment when he finally got the courage to bring it up. He was definitely very happy with the response though.

She grinned excitedly. “Camping, huh? I never thought you’d be one to camp, but hell yeah, I’d love to go camping with you. On one condition though.”

He just smiled brightly, looking down to face her. “Yeah?”

“We’re doing this right, though. No luxury plane ride to the campsite, no cushy and cozy cabin in the woods. We are going to road trip to a campsite, pitch up a tent, and rough it for a week. Deal?” She smirked a little.

“Oh hell yes.” He couldn’t help but smirk too. “I can’t wait to have you alone where no one else can hear you.” It was an attempt at something sexy, but he realized almost immediately how sinister it could have sounded. Before he could even open his mouth to rephrase it, Adelina just burst out into giggles. It was a full 30 seconds of her laughing before she finally calmed down and started to catch her breath. When she noticed the pout on his face, she had to hold back more laughs, struggling to keep a straight face.

“Fuck, I’m sorry, I know that was supposed to be sexy, it just sounded so serial killer.” She giggled happily, looking up and meeting his eyes. “You’re adorable, you know? I love you so much.” She leaned in and kissed him gently, sliding her hands into his hair. When she pulled away, she was looking down at him with so much adoration, he couldn’t help but smile.

“I love you too. Even though you’re a meanie.” He playfully poked her in the side, then grinned when he saw her start to giggle again. “Oh, I forgot.” He smirked, not even attempting at mocked innocence. “Are you ticklish there?”

“Oh, Pietro, you ass, don’t you dar-” Before she could finish, he had pounced on her, his hands working over her sides blurringly fast. She couldn’t help but laugh, even as she squirmed and struggled to catch her breath. When it actually became too much, she whined and hit his arm. “Pietro, damn, quit it, speedy.” She pouted up at him and he stopped, still grinning.

“You’re beautiful, you know?” He leaned in and kissed her gently, pulling away after a moment, but only slightly, still close enough that she could feel his lips brush against hers as he spoke. “Ai toată inima mea.” He whispered softly, pulling her tighter to his chest and kissing her again.

She leaned into his touch, happily getting lost in the kiss. She actually whined softly when he pulled away, but still smiled up at him, using a hand in his hair to keep him close.

“I love it when you speak Sokovian. Your accent comes out so much stronger, it’s honestly so sexy.” She sighed, content as he started to kiss down her neck. “5 minutes ago we were talking about camping. How did we get so off topic?”

“I can’t help getting off topic when I’m with you. You’re just so stunning, I get distracted.” He got down to the neckline of her shirt and pouted, tugging on it gently. She just chuckled and pulled him up to kiss him again.

“We probably should actually plan the trip.” She smiled brightly. “I should be able to take next week off, I have a lot of vacation days. I’m guessing you’ll have to talk to Steve first?”

He sighed. “Yeah, but I think I can convince him. He’s pretty good about letting us get time off.”

“Well, good. I love you and I can’t wait to spend a week with you.” She kissed his nose and smiled even more. “We’ll have to get supplies. I haven’t been camping in so long, I don’t have my camp bags anymore. I know there’s a camping supply store close to the tower though.”

“I’ll ask Steve tomorrow, then call you as soon as I’m free.” He smiled down at her. “I’m so excited for this. I get to have a week to just be with you and relax.”

“It’s gonna be awesome, Pietro. Now come on, it’s getting late, we should probably get to bed.” She kissed his cheek gently before getting up and going to the bedroom, him following behind quickly.

----

The next day, Pietro groaned as he walked into the gym and saw Steve setting up for sparring practice. “Really, Steve, we’re doing sparring today?”

Steve just rolled his eyes, tossing a bottle of water over. “You can’t run away from every problem, you may have to actually fight someday.”

He huffed and sat down on the bench. “I know how to throw a punch, I’ll be fine.” He sipped at the water then, watching as Steve set wrestling mats on the floor. “So, uh, Steve, I actually wanted to ask you something.”

Steve stopped and looked over, immediately putting down the mat and giving Pietro his full attention. Pietro shifted, a little uncomfortable still at how intensely Steve cared about every conversation.

“So, uh, I was hoping that maybe I could get next week off? Adelina and I were hoping to take a vacation, go out camping for a little. We’d leave Sunday morning, then probably be back the next Saturday.”

To Pietro’s surprise, Steve didn’t even seem to think about it, just smiling a little. “That’s fine with me. You should make sure you turn your phone off, too. We should be able to manage any emergencies with who we have here, so I want you to fully relax, got it?”

“Wow, uh, that was surprisingly easy. Why are you so cool with this? I thought that was gonna take a lot more convincing.”

“Pietro, I know the team hasn’t met her yet, but I just see the way you smile when you talk about her, how happy she makes you. If you want to spend more time with her, I want to support that. Not to mention, you work so hard around here, you deserve a break.” Steve paused for a second, then grinned. “Also, Clint told me you’re head over heels and disgustingly in love with her, his words.”

Pietro groaned. “Of course he did. How much has he been telling you about her?”

“Not much, really. Just that she makes you happy and he thinks she’s good for you. I would like to meet her, though. You should invite her over to the tower, the whole team would love it.”

Pietro thought for a second before he brightened up. “She could come over Saturday. We could do dinner and cards like we always do, she can meet the team, stay over, then we’ll leave out Sunday morning.”

Steve smiled and nodded. “That would be great. I’ll let Tony know, make sure he plans for another person. Now come on, finish the water, this is still a training session.”

Pietro pouted but downed the water and stood up, preparing to have his ass handed to him repeatedly.

----

Adelina wouldn’t stop fidgeting from the moment she got into the cab. Pietro had to grab both of her hands and hold them tightly just to get her to stop and look at him, but she was obviously still nervous.

“Iubito, relax and breathe, okay? You don’t have to be nervous…” He kissed her forehead gently, but she just continued to frown.

“Of course I’m nervous, Pietro! For god’s sake, they’re your family, I’m basically meeting your family! This is a big deal!”

He sighed and smiled softly. “Darling, you worry so much. It probably will be a bit intimidating, yeah, but you’re going to be fine. Would it help if I went over any potential weird things tonight might present?” He smiled and when she nodded in response, he continued. “Nat might interrogate you a bit, and Tony will definitely try his best to freak you out. Oh, and Wanda can read minds. She tries her best to hold back and not invade, but any powerful emotions will definitely break through and allow her to see what’s going on in your head.”

“Wait, so I knew she could control energy and all, but telepathic, that’s awesome!”

He chuckled. “Yeah, it’s pretty great. Also kinda freaky at times.” He smiled and shifted closer. “You already know Clint, you’ve met him a few times. He does tend to be a bit more of a dumbass around the team. If Nat goads him enough, he’ll do pretty much anything. He’s pretty entertaining when he’s drunk. Steve is relatively normal, but he can get very competitive, he loves a challenge. Watching him play Wii Sports with Tony is amazing.”

Hearing him talk about the team seemed to calm her down a bit, so he continued rambling about them until they got to the tower. When the cab stopped, he grabbed their bags and helped her out, wrapping an arm around her tightly.

“I promise, you don’t have to worry. They’re going to love you.” He kissed her on the head gently before leading her to the elevator.

He could hear laughter and shouting before they got to the Avengers common floor, and he started to grin. Sure enough, when the elevator doors opened, Steve and Tony were on the couch playing Mario Kart, both men aggressively elbowing each other in an attempt to disrupt them. He chuckled softly, then glanced down at Adelina, smiling.

“Told you they were competitive. Come on.” He gently urged her forward, making his way up to the group. Clint happened to turn around and smiled excitedly when he saw them.

“Adelina! I’m so glad you came! The whole team is excited to finally meet you.” He leaned over and hugged her gently, then turned to Pietro, who was grinning.

“So you’re excited to see her, but not me? I see how it is.” Pietro mocked offense but actually huffed in indignation when Clint just smirked and ruffled his hair.

“I see your ugly mug enough anyway, speedy. Adelina, come on over, I’ll introduce you to everyone while Pietro takes your stuff to his room. Tony and Steve are currently in the middle of Mario Kart, we won’t get many actual responses from them until they’re done.” He chuckled and led her closer to the team.

Natasha and Wanda turned around to face them immediately, and the vibe from both of them was so different. Even though it was their first time meeting, Adelina already felt comfortable around Wanda, but Natasha just seemed so cold. She smiled nervously.

“It’s nice to meet you guys. Pietro talks about you all the time.” She shifted under Natasha’s stare, unsure what to say or how to act. Before it could get too insanely awkward, Clint stepped in.

“Come on, Nat, be nice. No biting.” He grinned a little. “Natasha gets a bit protective over her teammates, especially the kids.” Wanda started to pout at that, but Clint just smirked.

“For the hundredth time, Clint, Pietro and I are not kids!”

“Not technically, but we have a centenarian on the team, so compared to him you basically are.”

Steve finally spoke then. “Not actually a hundred years old, Clint, don’t be an ass!” Immediately after that, he shoved Tony hard, managing to actually knock the controller out of the brunette’s hands, just in time for him to overtake Tony’s character and cross the finish line. He jumped up in victory, shouting words wholly unbefitting to Captain America.

Wanda rolled her eyes and stepped over, gently grabbing Adelina away from Clint. “Ignore Clint, he’s a jerk but we love him. Obviously, you know who Steve and Tony are, the moody redhead is Natasha.” She grinned when Nat glared at her. “Bucky and Bruce are in the kitchen if you wanna go in there and meet them? I promise Bruce is much more relaxed than these children.”

With a smile, she led Adelina into the kitchen, where a man in a purple shirt was making sandwiches while a man with a large jacket on pulled beers out of the fridge. The first man turned and quickly introduced himself as Bruce.

“Bruce Banner, right? I’ve read some of your papers, really amazing work. Not that I understood a lot of it, I’m a journalism major.” She chuckled, feeling much more at ease when he laughed as well.

“I’m glad you enjoyed them. Would you like a sandwich? I’m making plenty anyway.” He gestured to what was already a small mountain of food and chuckled. “Bucky can grab you a drink too. If you don’t drink beer, we’ve got other stuff. Oh, your sandwich, what would you like on it?”

“Uh, just ham and cheese is fine. Lots of mayo. I’m okay with beer too.” She turned to the fridge, ready to grab a drink for herself, but Bucky was already there, pulling out a fresh one and handing it over. He gave her a small smile and she noticed he was only wearing one glove. She brushed past it though, not wanting to push, and grabbed the drink. She thanked him and turned to find Wanda, but found that she was gone. She sighed and went back into the main room.

Clint, Wanda, and Natasha were off to the side playing cards while Steve and Tony were still sitting on the couch, but they were no longer playing Mario Kart. Instead, Steve had Tony in his lap and they were kissing pretty intensely. She nearly choked on her drink in surprise, then blushed madly when her spluttering caused them to break lips and look over at her.

“S-sorry, I just, uh, sorry.” She quickly wiped the beer from her mouth, looking away nervously. She looked around the room, anywhere but at them, hoping that Pietro would finally get back from wherever the fuck he was. She was so jittery and focused on not looking at them that she didn’t realize Steve had walked over until he was resting a hand on her shoulder and smiling gently.

“Just relax, it’s okay. I promise we don’t bite.” He chuckled and led her over to the couch, where Tony was sat back and messing with his phone, smirking a little bit. He sat down next to Tony, thankfully leaving her to take the armchair close by. She sat down and looked up at them quietly. Before she could even open her mouth, Tony had suddenly pulled up a holographic display and was reading off of it.

“Adelina Dalca. Born July 1st, 1997. Born in Sokovia, became a US citizen in 1998.” He trailed off for a second, looking at her with guilt in his eyes, but when Steve reached over and grabbed his hand, he shook his head and kept reading through what was apparently a file on her.

“Got a degree in Journalism at Boston University, graduated summa cum laude, nice.” He grinned a little. “Mom’s a lawyer, dad’s a doctor… Wait, Clara Dalca. I know her, she applied to work at SI not long after she moved stateside. I wonder why I didn’t hire her.” He frowned, pulling up another screen with more information on Clara. “I should bring her in for another interview, her work is amazing.” He got distracted then, going through files and pretty much completely forgetting about Adelina even being there.

Steve sighed and turned to Adelina. “Sorry about him, he gets distracted easily. In another 5 minutes, he’ll remember we’re here and come back to the real world.” He chuckled, then seemed to notice she was uncomfortable. “Hey, is everything okay? You look tense.”

“Oh, uh, yeah, I’m fine, I just… I’m fine.” She smiled, though it was forced, and looked down at her beer.

Of course, Steve noticed and leaned a little closer. “Seriously, are you okay? I’m really sorry if Tony made you uncomfortable, I know he can be a lot sometimes.”

“No, uh, it’s not him, it’s just, my mom. I’m not a big fan of hers.” She chuckled awkwardly.

He just nodded in response. He was about to say something when Pietro came back. She breathed a sigh of relief when he sat on the edge of the chair. She leaned into him subtly, reaching up to grab his hand. He rubbed her back gently, helping her relax.

All of a sudden, Tony dismissed the screens in front of him and looked over at them, grinning. “A charge of drunk and disorderly when you were in college? Please, do explain.”

She blushed at that. “Okay, so, I must say, I was very drunk. I don’t even remember most of what happened, all I remember is going past a zoo with my friends and getting very excited. The next thing I know, I’m sitting in an enclosure with a chimpanzee in my lap while my friends are arguing with the cops outside. I think I yelled out something along the lines of “there’s no monkey business around here,” which of course I found very hilarious. I just started laughing my ass off, and then I woke up in a jail cell.”

Pietro reacted first, bursting into giggles. A similar reaction came from Tony almost immediately, while Steve just rolled his eyes.

“Oh my god, Adel, now I’m scared to give you any more beer!” Pietro laughed happily, leaning over and kissing her head.

“Yeah, haha.” She chuckled and rolled her eyes. “I was in college and a total lightweight, I can handle alcohol much better now.”

“Oh yeah?” Pietro grinned a little. “I sorta want to test that now. Tony, you can bail her out if she tries to steal any chimpanzees right?”

She shoved him gently, smiling still. “You’re an ass, Pietro.” She chuckled and grabbed his shirt then, pulling him down to kiss him. She only pulled away when Clint started making gagging noises.

The rest of the team had made their way over. Clint was slouched back on one of the couches, twirling a drumstick around, and Natasha was next to him, leaning back so her legs were in his lap and she was laying across the length of the couch. Bucky had sat down next to Steve, still wearing his jacket and gloves, despite it being ridiculously warm in the room. Finally, Bruce came in with sandwiches and more beer and set it on the table before relaxing in one of the other armchairs.

Adelina couldn’t help but smile when she saw how in sync they were with each other. They all practically dove for the food on the table. There probably should have been a whole mess of crossed arms and grabbing the same sandwich, but each of them was in tune with each other to the point where nobody even went for the same beer bottle.

The rest of the night went by smoothly, with Adelina slowly becoming more comfortable as the team accepted her into the group. Natasha was even a little calmer by her third drink. Bucky was obviously still tense, occasionally rubbing his left arm and stretching it, almost like it had fallen asleep and he was trying to regain feeling. At one point, Steve leaned over and muttered something, but Bucky just shook his head and pulled his jacket tighter. Adelina could see the look on Steve’s face, one of worry and disappointment.

She never did drink enough to get wasted and steal a chimpanzee, but when Clint started trying to do stunts across the rooms, everybody unanimously decided that they had probably had enough to drink. Pietro made his way to his room with Adelina, holding her close. When they closed the door behind them, she barely caught the grin on his face before he kissed her hard.

She grabbed his shirt to hold him tight, kissing back. When his hand started to slip underneath her shirt, she grabbed it and pulled away, looking up at him.

“Pietro, not tonight? I just feel a bit weird, doing anything when your sister is two doors down.”

He pouted a little but nodded, leaning in to kiss her forehead gently. “Come on, we can get ready for bed. There are spare nightgowns in the dresser if you need one.” He flopped down into the bed, pulling aside the covers so there was room for her when she came back. When she slipped into the bed, he pulled her close, nuzzling his nose into the back of her neck.

“I had fun tonight, P. Everyone was so nice.” She smiled a little, shifting closer to him.

“They loved you, Adelina, I told you they would. I’m really glad you liked them.” He sighed and yawned quietly. “I was sorta worried. I thought they might be too much for you, especially Tony.”

She chuckled. “Yeah, he is a lot, but he was cool, seemed really nice. Just very intense.” She thought for a second before continuing. “What’s Bucky’s deal? He kept that jacket and that glove on the whole time.”

“Oh yeah, he’s got a prosthetic, his left arm is entirely metal. I think it’s really cool, but he gets pretty self-conscious when new people are around. Give it a little while, he’ll eventually be comfortable enough to show you.” He rubbed her arm gently, then yawned again.

Adelina smiled a little. “Sleep. We’ve gotta get up early tomorrow.” She rolled over to face him, burying her head in his chest. When she heard him snoring softly, she smiled even more and closed her eyes, slowly drifting off in his arms.

Chapter Text

In the morning, Adelina had to drag Pietro out of the bed, yanking the covers off and pushing him onto the floor just to get a response from him. Even then, he grunted into the carpet and lazily tried to pull the blanket over himself.

“You’re ridiculous, Pietro, come on. It’s nearly 8, get up already.”

He whined at that. “Nearly 8? This is an ungodly time to wake up. I need coffee.” He rolled over and pouted up at her.

She sighed, watching him. “How about this? You go get a shower and get dressed, by the time you’re done, I’ll have coffee waiting.”

He grinned then and sat up. “Deal.” Before she could say anything, he sped into the bathroom. She just chuckled and went to the kitchen in his apartment. It took some digging, but she was able to find the stuff for coffee and got a pot started, then went about getting all their stuff ready.

Pietro had packed rather late in the game and very haphazardly, so she sat down and reorganized his suitcase. When he came out of the shower, half-naked and hair dripping, she was placing it by the door so it was ready to go. He made a beeline for the coffee, but she grabbed his arm and shook her head.

“I said shower and get dressed, Pietro. Get some clothes on, then coffee.” He pouted, so she shoved him gently towards the closet. She began to go through all of her stuff, checking to make sure she had everything.

“Why do you have so many bags, prinţesă? I thought you said we were gonna ‘rough it’ this week?” His tone was mocking, but she just rolled her eyes and continued what she was doing.

“I have two bags, it’s not that much. And anyway, it’s important. The big one is gonna stay in the tent, it’s got the big stuff, clothes, boots, sneakers, stuff like that. The backpack is for traveling and then hiking. While we’re in the car, I can keep anything I need on me in there, like chargers or my puzzle books. But then, if we do any hiking, I can use it to carry water, snacks, and emergency supplies.” She finished checking the bags and turned, finding him watching her. He had pants on, but he was still holding his shirt, and he was just watching her, smiling slightly.

“What are you looking at?” She raised her eyebrows.

“Sorry, I just, couldn’t help it. You’re amazing.” When she blushed, he stepped closer, smiling even more. “I’m serious. I mean, look at all of this. Going camping wasn’t even your idea, but you’ve planned so much, you’re so prepared for this. I love seeing how excited you get, how much you care.” By the time he finished speaking, he was right in front of her and he had reached for her waist.

“You’re too sweet.” She blushed a little, looking down to avoid the intensity of his gaze. He cupped her head though and made sure she was looking up at him.

“I don’t think I’m sweet enough sometimes,” he whispered and pulled her closer. “Words cannot describe how you make me feel.” With a sigh, he leaned down to kiss her. She went with it quickly, reaching up to slide a hand through his hair.

“I love you, you know?” She breathed out quietly after they pulled away. “I love you so much, and it’s so overwhelming sometimes, the things you make me feel…” She rested her head on his chest, gripping his hand just a little tighter.

He kissed her head gently. “You make me feel the same, dear.” They stayed like that for a while, holding each other close. It wasn’t until an alarm on Adelina’s phone started ringing that they finally separated.

When Pietro was finally fully functioning, he grabbed his suitcase, as well as Adelina’s backpack, despite her protests. He couldn’t wrap an arm around her with the stuff he was carrying, but he stayed close enough that their shoulders bumped occasionally.

Tony was waiting in the common room for them, and he happily tossed them the keys to the car they were borrowing. “It’s the blue Range Rover, should be on your left when you walk into the garage. Oh, and, try not to bang in the back of it? I’d rather not make anybody clean off the upholstery.”

Pietro just grinned, while Adelina blushed and looked away. He nodded to Tony, then made his way to the elevator. Soon, they had put their stuff in the car and were on their way out. Adelina gave him directions to the nearest camping supply store as he drove, at the same time as going over her checklist of what they needed to buy. Once again, Pietro was in awe at her and just how perfect she was.

When they were in the store, Pietro kept getting distracted. Tony had given him a debit card with an absurd amount of money on it, for the purposes of ‘your camping supplies and any other entertainment you require,’ as Tony had put it. Pietro gave it to Adelina and trailed behind her as she shopped. Occasionally he pointed out something that he thought would be a good idea, but he knew nothing about camping, so he was really just following her lead.

They got everything soon, and Pietro was surprised by exactly how much stuff there was. He had expected the tent and the sleeping bags, possibly even the miniature mattress, but that wasn’t even close to everything. There was so much stuff, Pietro was seriously doubting that it would actually fit into the car. Lo and behold, Adelina was obviously a wizard, because it all got packed in perfectly.

“That was seriously magic, Adelina, how did you do that? Are you crazy, there’s no way all of that should have fit.” He opened the passenger door for her, smiling even when she rolled her eyes at him.

“I’m a master at Tetris.” She grinned and kissed him gently before getting into the car and pulling the door closed.

He made his way to the driver side and, before long, they were on the road. They chatted idly for a while, but after about an hour, Adelina grabbed her earplugs and disappeared into her phone.

About twenty minutes later, while stopped at a light, Pietro happened to glance over at her and noticed that she was muttering quietly to herself. He grinned a bit, not sure what was happening, but it was her, so it was automatically adorable. The light turned green, so he drove again, but they hit another light before long, so he reached over and gently pulled the plug out of her ear.

“What are you listening to, iubirea mea?” He smiled softly, but she seemed to blank a little bit at the question.

“Oh, uh, it’s nothing. Just some music.” She quickly reached for the earplug, but he held it out of reach even as the light changed and he drove forward again.

“No. I may not be my sister, but I don’t have to read minds to know when you’re not telling the truth. What’s going on, Adelina?”

She sighed and looked down. “It’s silly, but I… I’ve been trying to learn Sokovian.” She bit her lip, not meeting his eyes.

He went quiet for a second then, staring straight ahead at the road. “Really? That’s, wow, uh. Why?”

“I don’t know, I guess it’s just one more way to be close to you? I sound so fucking cheesy, I know, but your language, your culture, it’s obviously so important to you and I want to share that with you. Plus, I mean, it is technically my heritage, it might be good to learn the language.”

He took a breath slowly, trying to calm the intense beating of his heart. “I love you so damn much. You’re just… you’re perfect.”

It took her a minute to respond, but when she did, her voice was shaky. “You really mean that, Pietro?” He heard a sniffle and glanced over to see her wiping her eyes as if she was starting to cry. As fast as he could, he pulled into a parking lot and put the car in park.

“Of course I mean that Adelina, how could I not?” He turned to her, grabbing her hands and holding them tightly. “You have brought so much light into my life, you make me so happy and I can’t contain it and yes, I love you.”

She was nearly crying but trying desperately to hold it back. “I just… I said it this morning, said I loved you, and you didn’t really say it back, and it’s stupid, I know it is, but I got scared. I thought I was moving too fast, you just weren’t there yet, weren’t ready for it.” She clung onto his hands tightly, keeping him as close as possible.

Pietro couldn’t stop himself anymore and he kissed her, hard. In her surprise, he was able to get his hands back, and he immediately cupped her face, holding her close to him. Her tears were starting to fall, and he could feel the wetness against his face, but he just held her tighter.

He didn’t pull away until it was absolutely necessary, but even then, he rested his forehead against hers.

“I love you, you’re amazing, and I think you’re one of the best parts about my insane life. I would have said it this morning, it just didn’t seem like it needed to be said, but I do, I really do love you.”

She breathed shakily, reaching up and holding his hands where they rested on her cheeks. “I’m sorry I freaked out. You just mean so much to me and I don’t want to lose you.”

“You won’t lose me, Adelina. I’m here to stay. I love you and I don’t ever wanna leave you.” He stayed there for a moment then, just holding her until he was finally relaxed. He pulled away from her slowly and met her eyes.

“Are you okay? We should probably get back on the road, but if you want to just relax for a little while, we can do that.”

She shook her head quickly, though she still held tight to his hands. “I’m okay, we should get going.” She took a second to breathe, then actually smiled again. “I love you, chipeș.”

He let himself be surprised only briefly before he started to grin. “I love you too, prinţesă.” He kissed her forehead once more, then got situated in his seat again. He started driving soon, but this time, he kept a hand at his side, holding Adelina’s gently.

“You know, if you want to learn Sokovian, I’d probably be a better teacher than some app.”

“Wait, Pietro, you want to try to teach me the language?” She looked up at him, surprised.

“Of course I do. Iubire, I love that you’re trying to do this, and I want to help as best as I can..” He squeezed her hand and glanced over briefly, still smiling.

“Okay, well, some basic phrases to start then?” She perked up, turning in her seat to face him. The rest of the drive consisted of him walking her through the basic phrases and terms and not so subtly teasing her whenever she mispronounced something and accidentally made it a much different word than it was. By the time they got to the campsite, she had a pretty good grasp on some very beginner terms, as well as some choice phrases.

Turns out, cursing in a foreign language is a lot of fun.

She had to walk him through pitching a tent, and halfway through, she just pointed a tent pole at him, vaguely threatening, and shook her head.

“You’re about as helpful as a cat.” She chuckled and smiled softly. “Go start unpacking some of our stuff? We should get a fire started soon, it’s getting cold.”

It didn't take long to get the tent set up, but Pietro had a fire started by the time she was done. He unfolded the camp chairs and made sure they were directly next to each other. When Adelina finally sat down next to him, he was smiling brightly at her.

They snuggled for the rest of the night until it was way too dark outside. Pietro put out the fire and yanked Adelina into his arms, and before she could really process it, they were wrapped in the sleeping bag together.

She chuckled softly. “Hmm, I guess the two-person sleeping bag was a good idea. You’re warm.” When he laughed, she just shifted closer, resting her head on his chest.

“What shall we do tomorrow, iubire?”

“Maybe just start with a hike? There’s a waterfall about 2 miles away, should be a nice walk.”

He hummed in response and kissed her head. “Whatever you want, my love.”
----
For the second day in a row, he was woken by being pushed out of the sleeping bag onto the tent floor. He groaned and covered his face with his hand.

“Adelina, you officially suck. There’s gotta be a better way to wake me up. What time is it anyway?” When she threw a jacket at him, he sighed and rolled over, pouting up at her.

“About 6:30. Come on, we have to get going before the sun’s too high, or it’ll be too hot to hike.”

It took lots of encouragement, but before long, Pietro was dressed and being practically dragged out of the tent by Adelina.

“You’re so excited about this, I love it, but seriously, it’s so early…” He whined a little.

“Oh come on, this is gonna be fun! Listen, by the time we get to the falls, it should be warm enough to swim.” She paused for a second, turning and grinning up at him. “Should be pretty secluded too.”

That was apparently enough to convince him because he brightened up. Without even hesitating, he snatched her up and sped off in the direction of the trails. He finally let her down once they were half a mile down the trail. He was grinning, eager and smug.

“Pietro, the point of the hike is to actually, you know, hike!” Even when Adelina pouted, he just snickered.

“Come on, prinţesă, you must admit that that was fun. We still have, what, a mile and a half? There’s plenty of hiking to be done.”

“You're absolutely ridiculous, you know that?” She smiled though, leaning in for a kiss.

They hiked up to the waterfalls then, and Pietro was in awe when he saw the cascading flows.

Adelina practically beamed, turning to him, excited. “They're beautiful, aren't they?”

“Yeah, it's like- it's like this mix of chaos and… and I don't know what the word would be. It's wild and untamed but… beautiful.” He smiled slightly, feeling like he was saying something wrong somehow. She was smiling though, she looked absolutely ecstatic, so he stepped closer and held her hand gently.

They shared a moment like that, just watching the water before Adelina broke the silence.

“Alright, let's go swimming!” She broke off from him and dropped her bag on the ground.

“Swimming? Adelina, I don't have any swim clothes, how am I supposed to go swimming?” He froze, then, as she was pulling off her shirt and then her pants and tossing them off to the side.

“Who said anything about clothes, dear?” She grinned as she shimmied out of her underwear. “Come on, live a little, P. Have some fun!” Before he could respond, she tore off her bra and ran for the little spring. Completely naked, she dove in with the biggest smile on her face.

Pietro laughed happily and shook his head. “God, I love you,” he muttered to himself, smiling and watching her swim around.
----
He did end up stripping and going skinny dipping with her. They swam in the water for hours before she led him in getting out of it.

“Come on. The sun's up, the rocks will be perfect to lay on.”

He followed her out and went for his pants, but she just went straight to the warm slabs of rock, laying naked on the ground. He had to stop for a second and force himself to breathe so he wouldn't get caught up in how head over heels he was for her.

Of course, he followed her lead, stretching out next to her. She had been right, the rock felt great against his back, but it was nothing compared to having her pressed against him. No urgency and no plan, just relaxing there with her, was amazing.

“I'm so glad you suggested this, Pietro, really. I mean, it was a surprise, but it's just been so amazing so far. I love spending time with you.” She rested her head on his chest then, and Pietro couldn't help but smile even brighter.

“I, uh, I actually did have a bit of ulterior motive in asking you on this trip…”

“Oh yeah? What was it? Wanted to get me alone in the middle of the woods for a week?” She grinned, looking up at him.

He chuckled slightly. “No, I mean, yeah, there's definitely an appeal in that. But mainly, uh… fuck, this is harder to say than I expected..”

She frowned a bit and turned so she could properly face him. “Pietro? Is everything okay?”

He sighed, rubbing a hand over his face. “Yeah, uh, yeah, it's all good, I just… okay, just gonna come out and say it, I want to move in with you. Or, really, you move in with me.”

She didn't respond right away and Pietro started to panic, but he forced it down, watching her and waiting eagerly for a response.

“Pietro, that's… wow, uh, that's amazing!” She giggled, almost nervous, but she leaned in closer. “I would love that, Pietro, God, yes. The answer is yes. A million times, yes.”

Unable to contain his excitement, Pietro grabbed her and kissed her. It was gentle but passionate, both of them filled to the brim with happiness.

“I love you,” he breathed out, resting his forehead against hers. “I love you so damn much and I can't contain it.” He chuckled slightly, almost in awe at just how intense this all felt.

“I love you too, Pietro.” She ran a hand through his hair, holding him closer, then closed the minuscule distance to kiss him again.

It turned passionate fast, the two of them gripping onto each other desperately. When Pietro got to a breaking point, he reluctantly pulled away from her.

“We should get back to the tent,” he breathed out, still holding her hips with a bruising grip.

“Oh hell yes.” She grinned and yanked him closer.
----
The next few days were a mix of hiking, campfires, and muffled tent sex. The one day they hadn't actually gone to the sleeping bag together was because Pietro had gotten kicked by a horse and was too sore to do more than whine.

Adelina wasn't gonna let him live that down any time soon.

Now, they were splayed out in the tent, post-sex, half dressed, and lazy. Pietro was giddy as fuck, unable to stop smiling every time he looked over at Adelina laying with him.

“Hey, dear?” At her acknowledging hum, he continued, “I'm gonna go grab some water from the cooler, do you want some?”

She smiled softly. “That would be wonderful. Could you also grab my book from my bag?”

“You got it.” He kissed her cheek, then got up to get their stuff. He was digging through her bag to find her book when he found something he was definitely not expecting.

“Hey, Adel? I, uh, found this in your bag..” He came back over to her, tentatively holding out the bottle of pills.

When she saw what he was holding, she quickly sat up. “Oh, yeah, uh… those are my antidepressants.”

He went quiet, staring at some point between her and the offending bottle. He couldn't quite get past the idea of her having to take these. He was starting to completely panic when she grabbed his hands, refocusing him on her.

“Hey, hey, chipeș, I see you freaking out. Stop, take a breath, sit with me, alright? This isn't as scary as you seem to think it is.” She pulled him down to sit with her and took the pill bottle from his hands.

“Not scary? Adelina, I've seen movies, I know about depression, this is terrifying! Are you okay? Is there something happening I can help fix?”

She chuckled, smiling softly. “God, you're amazing, I really don't deserve you. No, Pietro, there's nothing to fix here. And, let me tell you, movies really don't portray depression well.”

He frowned worriedly but nodded. “Okay, I… can you tell me about it? I just, I don't understand, and if I can help any, please, I want to.”

“Yeah, we can talk about it. Come on, let's lay down.” She pulled him to lay down with her, but he stopped her, shaking his head.

“No, I, uh… I want to be able to see you, your face,” Pietro said shakily, still gripping onto her hands.

“Alright.” She smiled a bit and squeezed his hand. “So, yeah, I have clinical depression. I was diagnosed about 6 years ago. And the actual science crap is confusing and I don't fully understand it, but basically, something in my brain doesn't work right.”

Pietro nodded slowly. “Okay, well, regardless of the science, how does it affect you? How does it make you feel?”

She had to take a breath then, figuring out how to answer. “Alright, well, um… there are levels, I guess? So, sometimes I'll just feel sorta crappy but it's not that bad and I can do different things to feel better until it passes. But other times, it's… not so easy. It's, uh, sorta like in episodes. I'll have a day or two where I feel kind of bad, but mostly fine. And then occasionally there'll be a bout of just feeling horrible. Like, absolutely terrible, everything sucks, I'll have no energy to actually do anything but lay in bed.”

Pietro was quiet for a moment then, considering his next question. “Have you ever, uh, considered…” He couldn't get it out, but the end of the sentence was obvious.

“No! Oh god, no, thankfully. It's not like that for me. I'd never consider it, even at my worst, I love life too much to leave.”

“Okay… and, uh, have you had any, what did you call it, episodes? Since we've been together?”

She smiled sadly then and grabbed his hands tighter. “Yeah, uh, a couple small ones. One big bad day. The night you came back from the mission and I was freaking out about my mom? That was the big one. It was just a bad day, and then she made it worse. But then you were there. And honestly, maybe it sounds crazy, but you helped. Just having you, knowing there was one person who cared and wanted to make me feel better, it pulled me out of that funk quicker than any self-care or even medication could.”

“God, Adel..” He pulled her tight then, burying his head in the crook of her neck. “I love you so much. I want to make you feel better, I want to be able to do that for you forever. I don't want you to ever have to feel that way again…”

“I can't promise I'll always feel great, you've been lucky to miss most of the terrible shit. But if you're down to try and deal with it and want to stick around, I want to keep you as long as possible.” She smiled, happier now, stroking his back gently.

Things were gonna be okay.
----
It was the last day and Pietro absolutely did not want to leave.

He was pouting, even though they weren't leaving until the next morning. He had just had so much fun, he wasn't ready to have to go back to real life.

They had gotten back from a hike and were snuggling by the fire now, and even though Pietro was nuzzling Adelina, maybe even trying to start something more, he was the first to notice the extra presence on their campsite. There wasn’t anybody out in the open yet, but something felt wrong.

“Hey, Adelina?” He asked, shifting away and looking around. Still nothing, but was that something in the treeline?

“Yeah?” She seemed to notice the tone of his voice and got concerned. “Is something wrong?”

“I think there’s someone watching us…” Without even intending to, he stood up, placing himself in front of her as a guard.

“Pietro, what are you talking about? There’s nobody here, we’re in the middle of the woods.” She frowned slightly.

“Yeah, we’re in the middle of the woods, nobody is supposed to be here, but I think someone is.” He was opening his mouth to speak again when there was the sound of a twig snap nearby. Adelina jumped up at that, immediately grabbing Pietro’s arm.

“Okay, yeah, I heard that. Fuck, okay, what do we do?” She looked up at him, nervous and concerned now.

“You go in the tent. If there’s somebody here, I can fend them off, but I refuse to let you get hurt.” He bent down then, kissing her quick but deep. He was finally pulling away, still holding her tight when all of a sudden something fluffy barreled into his legs at full speed.

He yelped, scared shitless for only a moment before he realized that there was now a small fluffy puppy jumping and yapping at his feet.

“Oh my god!” Adelina started laughing then, doubled over. “Oh my god, you- you were so terrified, holy crap, that was amazing!”

He pouted, but he couldn’t exactly be mad, not with the equivalent of a ball of fluff licking his ankles. He rolled his eyes and knelt down to actually pet the dog. When Adelina got control of herself, she knelt down too, and the dog immediately jumped into her lap.

“He’s so cute! How old do you think he is? Like 5 months maybe?”

“I don’t know, but he is adorable. Do you think he belongs to anybody?”

Adelina scoffed, even holding the fluff ball tighter. “No way. Look at the state of him. He’s in horrible condition, he had to have been born a stray.” She frowned deeply then. “God, he really is messed up. I can’t believe nobody’s seen this little guy and taken care of him.”

Pietro was quiet for a second, knowing that it was ridiculous and way too soon to say anything, but he blurted it out anyway. “We could take care of him.”

She looked up at him, smiling brightly. “You mean adopt him?”

He gulped and blushed a little. “Yeah, adopt him. I mean, we are moving in together, it would be fun to have a dog with each other, don’t you think?”

“Yes!” She jumped up, accidentally dislodging the puppy, and jumped into his lap. “Oh my god, yes, this will be amazing, we’re gonna have a dog together! Oh, what should we name him?”

Pietro thought for a second, still smiling happily. “Hmm, how about… Padfoot?”

“God, I love you.” Before he could respond, she kissed him, grabbing him tightly. She pulled away quickly, but he was already breathless and surprised. “I’ve found a man who wants to name our dog after a Harry Potter character, I must have done something right.” They both giggled at that and he pulled her closer.

“I love you too, prinţesă. Come on, let’s get this little guy cleaned up, alright?”

Chapter Text

For the hundredth time that day, Pietro grabbed Padfoot and pulled him out of a moving box. The dog kept trying to curl up in boxes, and while it was adorable, they were all far too small for him. Pietro pouted when Padfoot just licked his face and went back to sniffing around the room.

The room was filled with Adelina’s stuff in various states of unpacking.

He couldn’t even believe this was happening, really. After the best 2 and a half months of his life, Adelina was actually moving in with him. He was finally going to be living with her and be able to share his space, his life, with her.

Right then, she walked in from the bedroom, going to grab more clothes, and all he could do was smile like an idiot. Of course, she noticed, because she always noticed.

“I love that smile, Pietro. You just look so blissed out and happy, like nothing could bring you down.”

“That is because right now, nothing can.” He made his way over to her. “I love you, Adelina. And I love being with you and I am so ridiculously happy that you’re moving in.” He pulled her close then, leaning in for a kiss.

She melted into his touch, wrapping an arm around his neck and kissing him. Pietro thought somewhere in his mind that somehow every kiss with her was better than the last, but all he could truly focus on was the feeling of her pulled tight against him.

“I’m happy, too, I really am. Truly, for the first time in a long time, I feel like things are great and they’re gonna stay great.” She sighed and rested her head against him. “That’s you, Pietro. You’ve made me feel that way, and it’s beautiful.”

“No,” he said quietly, and that made her jerk her head up, which made him grin as he continued, “You’re beautiful.”

“Oh god!” She laughed happily, pulling away and shaking her head. “You’re ridiculous, you know that? Any opportunity for the cheesiest rom-com lines.”

“Aw, come on, iubire, you know you love it.” He grinned more and pulled her close again. “Would you rather I quote Star Wars?”

She chuckled and rolled her eyes. “No, but I still think you’re ridiculous, even though you’re cute.”

“You think I’m cute?” He mocked surprise, smiling brightly when it got another laugh out of her.

“Yes, Pietro, you’re absolutely adorable.” She looked up at him and was leaning in for a kiss when he suddenly picked her up. Before she could even begin to resist, he was pinning her against the wall and tickling her. She laughed and squealed, struggling against him, but she was powerless to his fingers.

He stopped a few minutes later when she was breathlessly begging, but he still kept her pinned against the wall. He grinned down at her, way too proud of himself.

“I fucking hate you, oh my god.” She pouted and shoved at him, but he just kept her close.

“No, you love me,” he said confidently, leaning in closer.

She chuckled, shaking her head. “I don’t know, sometimes you make me wonder, chipeș.”

“Come on, dragă, tell me you love me.” When she tried to kiss him, he just leaned out of the way, grinning. “No, no, not until you tell me you love me.”

“You’re stubborn, but I love it.” She smiled more and leaned in closer. “I love you.” At her response, he finally pulled her into a kiss. After god knows how long, he pulled away breathless.

“Let’s go, I want to break in the bed with you,” Pietro breathed out, his forehead resting against hers.

“Oh, yeah? Well let me down, I need to grab the bedsheets.” He looked up at her, confused, but she was smirking and all too smug.

“You're ridiculous.” He chuckled. “Come on, we're living together now! We need to have sex for the first time in our new home!”

“We’ve already had sex here though! Our first time was in your bed here!” She laughed happily, playfully smacking his arm. He grabbed her wrist though, gently held it against the wall.

“Alright, well, how about this? No breaking anything in, I just want to have sex with my beautiful girlfriend.” He leaned in closer, nuzzled against her neck, and grinned at the shiver that ran through her.

“I think I could get on board with that.” She grinned and pulled him into a kiss, carding her fingers through his hair. He moaned softly against her lips, rocked against her, then pulled her away from the wall, picking her up. Within seconds, he had sped them to the bedroom and dropped her onto the bed, smirking.

He crawled over her, his body slotting in with hers perfectly, and as he kissed her breathless, he couldn’t help but think about how lucky he was.
----
His phone started ringing just as they fell back to the bed, and he instinctively pouted. With a sigh, he grabbed it.

“Fuck, it’s Clint. Sorry, I should-”

“Just take the call, idiot.” She grinned as she cut him off, just slightly loopy. She kissed him on the cheek, then slid out of bed and disappeared into the bathroom.

He smiled after her and almost forgot to actually answer the phone, finally picking up on the last ring.

“Pietro! Oh my god, you took so long to answer, I thought you were dead or something!”

He glanced at the bathroom door, grinning. “Yeah, uh, let’s go with ‘or something,’ Clint.”

“Ugh! Wow, you’re gross, okay. Anyways, I was just calling to ask, would you guys want to come over to the tower? I think the dads are planning on poker or something, it would be great to have someone there who could actually beat Natasha.”

“Clint, when have I ever come close to beating her at poker?”

“Oh, not you, I’m talking about Adelina. Yeah, no, have you seen her with any video game? She’s probably awesome at poker. Come on! I want to see the team get demolished by your girlfriend!”

Pietro chuckled, smiling brightly. “I’ll have to ask her, but yeah, I think it’d be great to come over. I’ll text you in a little, alright?”

“Yeah, okay, cool. Come over around 5, see you then.” Before Pietro could respond, the line went dead.

He sighed and got up, making his way to the bathroom and knocking on the door gently.

“Yeah, P?”

“Mind if I join you in there, iubire?”

“You shouldn’t even have to ask, dear.”
----
When the elevator opened up on the common floor, the team was already sprawled out across the living room. Steve and Tony were at the console, just like the last time she had shown up. The others were messing around, Clint apparently doing his best to agitate Natasha as she set up the poker table.

Bruce was the first to notice them, and his eyes widened in surprise when he saw them.

“Oh my god, Adelina! Hey, we didn’t know you were still around.” Bruce laughed then, joking, but she was struck by the words. Did they think she was just going to leave all of a sudden? She didn’t have time to respond, though, because suddenly she was wrapped up tight in a hug and yep, Thor was there. She couldn’t help but smile.
----
Adelina grinned and laid out her cards, revealing the straight flush she had somehow managed to pull together.

“Holy crap!” Tony stared at her in shock. “That’s… this can’t actually be your first time playing!”

She chuckled and shrugged, pulling the chips she had won closer. “Don’t know what to say, I guess I’m a natural. Wanna go again?”

Everyone but Natasha shook their head, who had an intense look on her face. Adelina was still just vaguely terrified of Nat, but it was easy to forget about her abilities in the midst of a game like this.

“Okay, well, I need a break. Anyone want a beer?”

She kissed Pietro quickly before heading for the kitchen. Natasha ended up following her in, still mildly glowering.

“So, you’ve really never played before?” Her tone was measured and careful, those eyes watching Adelina like a hawk.

“No, first time. I take it you guys play a lot?”

Natasha nodded, leaning up against the counter. “Yep, it’s good team bonding. Clint loves to play, even though he sucks, same with most of the others. Steve’s the only one who can actually hold his own. But yeah, the team has been doing poker nights forever.”

She smiled softly, grabbing a whole pile of beers out of the fridge. “It sounds fun. Pietro mentioned that you guys play for chore assignment instead of money?”

“Yeah, unfortunately.” Natasha actually chuckled, a sound wholly unusual for her, at least to Adelina. “That game means I have to do laundry for a week. I’ll probably convince Clint to do it for me.” She smirked a bit then. “Let me tell you, the wonders of a relationship. It’s amazing.”

“Yeah, I think I sorta get it. Pietro maybe doesn’t realize it, but god, I am… so in love with him. I’d do anything for him, honestly.”

There was a sudden silence, with Natasha watching her curiously, and then she spoke up.

“So, you’re planning to be with him a while, eh?”

She frowned a bit. “Um, yeah. We are moving in together, I would consider it pretty serious.”

She seemed to notice that she had upset her, but she didn’t really try to backpedal. “Oh, no, yeah, of course, I was just wondering, cause like, you know?”

Adelina only frowned more, actually meeting Natasha’s eyes. She had an idea of what was being insinuated, and damn, it hurt. These were Pietro’s friends, his family, and they thought that she was just another hookup. She didn’t want it to, but it stung, to know that they expected her to leave so soon.

“Yeah.” She gave a quick response, forced a smile, and brushed it off. Everything was supposed to be perfect, she wasn’t going to let this mess up the night.
----
She was on her way to the bathroom, about to open the door, when she heard voices around the corner and she paused. The night had been weird and hard, with seemingly everyone questioning her, so she was at a new low. As horrible as it probably was, she stopped to listen, going as still as possible. When she was quiet enough to hear, she could tell it was Steve talking to Bucky.

“Buck, why are you so uncomfortable around her? I promise, she’s great, it’ll be fine.”

“Yeah, she’s great or whatever, but my arm! It’s not something I particularly wanna show to Pietro’s latest booty call, alright? She’ll be gone in a month or so, if not a week. It feels wrong for her to see this! We don’t know if we can trust her, and we may not even see her again after tonight.”

Adelina didn’t hear Steve’s response, moving quickly to get in the bathroom and slam the door closed. She hated herself for it, but her vision was already blurring with tears. She slid down against the door, sitting on the floor and trying not to completely break down.

It was no surprise, she knew that Pietro had dated a lot before her, but was that all the team thought of her as? She was just yet another girl to come through Pietro’s bed and disappear after a while. She had hoped that maybe actually moving in was a big enough commitment to prove that she was good for Pietro, but apparently not.

All of a sudden, the door was open and there was Steve, frowning and looking all too concerned for her. She jumped up, scrambling to dry her eyes even as the tears kept flowing.

“Adelina, are you okay?”

“I’m not just a goddamn booty call!” She hadn’t intended to shout, but it happened anyway. “I love Pietro, he loves me, and I am not just some random girl he decided to bang, okay? Whatever the fuck you all think, I’m not on my way out anytime soon, at least not by choice!” She shoved past him then, going straight for the elevator and ignoring Steve’s attempts to stop her. After a moment of consideration, she slammed the button for Pietro’s floor.

“Jarvis, can you make sure no one comes in but Pietro?”

“Of course, ma’am.”
----
When Steve and Bucky came back to the common room, Pietro knew immediately that something was wrong. Steve had that guilty look on his face, and even though Bucky was unreadable as always, there was something in his eyes that suggested despair.

Pietro was about to ask what was wrong when Wanda grabbed his arm, her eyes glowing red.

“Your floor , Pietro. Go to her.” She squeezed him gently before letting go. He didn’t wait, speeding up the stairs to get there as fast as possible.

When he walked in, she was curled up on the bed, crying into a pillow. He cursed and hurried over, sinking onto the bed next to her.

“Adelina? Iubire, what’s wrong? Please talk to me…”

“I love you, Pietro, you know that right? I love you and I don’t want to leave you and you matter so much and I just… I need to know that you know that.” She clung onto him then, burying her head in his lap.

“God, dear, of course. I know that, and I love you too. What’s going on, though? The night was so great, and now this… what happened?”

She shook her head. “No, I don’t… I can’t. Just, stay, please?”

“Yeah, I’ll stay, of course.” He kissed her head gently, rubbing her back. “It’ll be okay…”

Chapter Text

A month and a half later.

As soon as Pietro was alone in his room, he practically dove for his phone, eager to call Adelina already. He hadn’t seen her in over two weeks and it was driving him insane.

He waited anxiously as the phone rang, breathing out in relief when she answered.

“Pietro?” Her voice was slurred and lazy, and he could immediately tell that she had been sleeping. He checked the clock and felt supremely guilty. It was 2 in the morning where she was and, as much as he wanted to talk to her, he didn’t want to keep her awake.

“Iubire, it’s late for you. I’m sorry, I didn’t check the time before I called. Do you want to try again tomorrow?”

“No!” Suddenly, she sounded very awake, and he got a little more worried. “No, I don’t care how late it is. I need to hear you…”

He smiled softly and nodded, then remembered that she couldn’t actually see him. “Alright. How are you then? Tell me about your day.”

He listened, perfectly happy to just hear her ramble about nothing. When she was done, he started talking. He couldn’t say anything about the mission, but he talked about the stupid shit Clint had done, Tony accidentally blowing stuff up, and anything else he could think of.

He realized after about an hour that she was quiet, no longer responding. He called her name once, then heard her light snoring and actually chuckled.

“Goodnight, my dear. I love you,” he said to no one, then hung up the phone.

----

“I miss you. I wish you were here…” Adelina whispered.

“Me too, love.” And then, unbidden, he felt a tightness in his pants. He squirmed a little, debating whether or not to go for it, then quickly decided that it would hardly hurt to try. “What would you do if I were there?”

He heard her breath hitch and he grinned slightly. After a moment, she spoke up.

“I, uh, I’d kiss you? Of course, I’d kiss you.” She was quiet, and Pietro felt like something just wasn’t right, but now he was hardening up.

“I love when you kiss me, it’s magnificent. You’d go right for my neck, wouldn’t you? That one spot below my ear, it drives me crazy. You know just how to get me going, darling.” It seemed that she was nervous, so he took charge. His words weren’t particularly dirty, but he felt the weight of all of them. He desperately wanted to be with her, to be able to hold her and touch her.

He was taking a pause to set the phone down and put it on speaker when he heard sniffles over the phone. He frowned slightly and immediately grabbed it again.

“Love? Are you okay?”

“Y-yeah, I’m fine, I just… okay, no. I miss you, Pietro. God, I miss you so much, and it’s pure torture to- to hear you but know that you’re so far away.” Then there was straight up crying and he cursed.

“Oh, iubire… I love you so much. And I’m gonna be home in no time, I’ll be back and I’ll be right there and I won’t leave your side, alright? Now, how about this, we don’t have to do anything tonight. I’ll stay on the phone with you until you fall asleep. I think you definitely need to rest, you sound exhausted.”

There was silence, so long he was about to ask her what was going on when she finally spoke, quiet and subdued.

“Okay.”

So that’s what he did. He rambled for hours until he could hear her quiet snoring, and only then did he hang up.

----

Getting out of the car and walking up to his apartment was like a breath of fresh air. A month without Adelina had made him damn near crazy. He couldn’t wait to actually see her again and hold her close.

He pushed open the door, resisting the urge to shout in excitement. “Adelina!” He called out as he dropped all of his stuff. Without waiting for a response, he rushed into the bedroom, moving so fast that he had Adelina scooped up in his arms before he could even really see her.

“My God, Lina, I missed you so much.” He pulled away slightly, intending to go in for a kiss, and only then realized that she was crying.

“Adelina? Oh god, what’s wrong?” She just shook her head, crying even harder now. At a complete loss, Pietro held her tighter and just tried to comfort her.

It ended up being over an hour of her just sobbing and him struggling to not cry as well. He had no idea what was going on, all he knew was that he had never seen her this upset before and he didn’t know how to help other than holding her.

Eventually, she seemed to calm down slightly, so he pulled away to look at her. He still held her tightly, rubbing her back.

“Darling, please, I want to help you, but you… you have to talk to me. What’s wrong?”

She shook her head and tried to hide her face, clinging onto him, but he held her back, making sure she had to look at him. Her face was red and splotchy, evidence of all the crying, and she wouldn’t quite meet his eyes. He could feel a pit growing in his stomach.

“Pietro, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” she was speaking through tears and hiccups and he felt horrible, but she took a breath, struggling to get the next part out. “I cheated on you, Pietro.”

He completely froze. Even though he had heard the words, he couldn’t quite process them. It felt like he was getting stabbed in the gut as he stared at her. There was just no way that she could do that, right?

“You-you did what? Adelina, oh god, please tell me you’re joking or something, please!” He shook his head, resisted the urge to pinch himself. This felt like some horrible nightmare, surely he would wake up soon and he’d be with her, everything would be fine.

“No, I cheated on you.” She looked down, practically curling into a ball. “I was an idiot and I got drunk and I went to the bar and I fucked some dude in an alleyway. I cheated, and that’s that.”

He shook his head and stood up. He started pacing, desperately trying to find a way that it wouldn’t be true, but there was no way to avoid that she had gone out and had sex with another man. There was a bitter taste in his mouth and he could feel tears brimming, but he tried his best to push through.

“Okay, Adelina, I know this is bad, but please, we can work through this, can’t we?” He was desperate now. He couldn’t lose her, no matter what might have happened. “God, I love you too much to just lose you like this, so please?”

She shook her head again, not even responding, and yet again he felt a javelin to the chest. He was on the verge of tears, but then he just got mad, close to enraged. To think that she could do this and have the nerve to not try and fix it was starting to piss him off.

“You’re really doing this, then? I can’t believe that you cheated on me! And now I’m trying to fix it because I want to keep us going, and you’re not gonna say anything? For fuck’s sake, just get out! I’ll figure out how to get your stuff to you, but right now you need to leave!”

He couldn’t watch as she left, still crying non-stop. Still, he waited until he heard the door close behind her and only then did he fall to the ground and break down himself.

----

Four months. Pietro almost couldn’t believe it. It had been four months since he lost her, four months since his entire world came crashing down around him.

Everything reminded him of her, even when he tried desperately to forget. But the worst culprit was the damn coffee shop, the place he first fell head over heels for her. He passed it every day when he walked Padfoot and, even though he knew that it would be easy to find another route, he couldn’t quite bring himself to.

Lost in his thoughts, he almost dropped the leash when Padfoot started barking and yanking at it. He frowned, quickly grabbing on tighter, and looked around to figure out what had set him off. After a minute of searching and not being able to find anything, he finally looked over at the coffee shop across the street, and there she was.

She was sitting at the window seat, the table they had sat at. There was a coffee in front of her, but she wasn’t touching it. Instead, she was just staring out the window, and she looked so broken that Pietro desperately wanted to run in there and hold her tight.

He felt the tears brimming then, started to choke up, and he quickly looked away. No matter how much he wanted to, he couldn’t talk to her. Anger had been festering for months now, he honestly had no idea what he would do if he actually spoke to her now.

Padfoot kept barking, pulling on the leash in her direction, but Pietro just started walking again. The dog ended up following quickly, but his tail fell between his legs and he looked so sad, it was a disturbing mirror of Pietro’s own storm of emotions.

Chapter Text

A month later

Pietro frowned down at his phone, not recognizing the number. After a moment’s deliberation, he took a breath and answered.

“Hello? Hey, great, you answered, is this Pietro Maximoff?” The voice was familiar in a strange way, but Pietro couldn’t exactly put a finger on it. He frowned slightly, suspicious.

“It is. Who is this?”

“Oh, my name’s Jason, I’m Adelina’s landlord. Listen, I think something might have happened to her, and I hate to have to ask this, but could you come over to her apartment? Something just isn’t right, and if anyone would be able to figure it out, it would be you.”

He scoffed, rolling his eyes. A part of him ached for Adelina, wanted to find her and see her, especially if there was a chance that something might have happened to her. He couldn’t, though. He knew that it would just end in disaster if he saw her again.

“Have you tried the police, Jason? I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can help. Go talk to someone who actually can.” He was about to hang up when Jason cut him off.

“No! God, okay, I did, I tried to talk to the cops, but they said it hasn’t been long enough and that they won’t actually investigate yet. Please, I know how shitty this must be for you, but can you come over? I’m worried about her.”

He sighed, considering it and automatically hating himself for how desperately he wanted to go see her. Still, if there was a chance of her being hurt, surely it was his job to check it out? After a moment, he took a breath and nodded slowly, still trying to convince himself.

“Okay, I’ll be there in about 15 minutes.” He hung up and was immediately greeted by Clint and Wanda staring at him from the living room. Before he could even open his mouth, Wanda was up and talking.

“You can’t go over there, Pietro, it’s so stupid! You’re still hurting, do you really think walking into your apartment and seeing her is going to help you?!”

“I’m not going to see her, Wanda!” Pietro huffed, frustrated now. “Her landlord told me that she wasn’t there, that’s what this is about! He’s worried and thinks something might have happened to her. Regardless of my relationship with her, I’m an Avenger and it’s my duty to help people, so it would be pretty goddamn selfish of me to not at least check it out all because of my past with one person!” He didn’t let them try to convince him anymore. He pushed past them, getting out the door and automatically heading for her apartment.

The sky was dark and cloudy and Pietro briefly considered how upsettingly accurate that was for how he felt. He knew, deep down, that this wasn’t about his duty as an Avenger, or whatever crap he had spouted. He still loved Adelina, probably always would, and getting this close to her was going to be both painful and exhilarating.

When he arrived, Jason was hovering in the lobby, waiting for him. Immediately, Pietro noticed that something was very wrong. The man in front of him looked legitimately worried, like something horrible was happening and he had no idea what to do about it.

“Jason, hey. So, you want to tell me what’s going on? Why do you think something happened to her?”

“Yeah, uh, okay,” Jason stuttered, nodding and making for the elevators as he continued, “I guess I have to give you a bit of backstory first? So, I was in the lobby the night Adelina came back after you guys, well, you know. She was a wreck, an absolute mess, and completely wasted. I got her up to her apartment and ended up staying with her through the night and for a lot of the next day. After that, I just started taking care of her.”

Pietro frowned, suddenly feeling a surge of… jealousy? It was stupid, he knew it was, but the thought of another man being that close with her had him on edge. “Taking care of her?” There was a sharp edge in his voice, completely unintentional, but Jason definitely noticed and scrambled to fix it somehow.

“Yeah, I mean, I just… She was hurting, and that’s in no way your fault, I mean, what she did was horrible, but she still needed help. She’s not a bad person, just a normal one who made a bad mistake. Anyways, yeah, I took care of her. I would bring her food every day, spend some time with her, just trying to make sure she was okay.”

Pietro nodded slowly, not quite looking Jason in the eye. He hated himself, really. He was still so stuck on this girl that he was irrationally angry that somebody had dared to be around her at all. He didn’t really respond, just giving an encouraging sound so that Jason would keep talking.

“Okay, well, this morning, I went to her apartment with breakfast, and I do this every morning at the same time, but then her door was unlocked and when I went in, she wasn’t there. I thought at first that maybe she had just went out on her own, which was good, she had talked about actually going back to her job recently, but all of her stuff was still there. Her phone, wallet, keys, literally everything she owns, it’s still there, and she’s not.” They were nearing her door then, and Jason forced himself to take a breath, clearly stressed.

“Okay,” Pietro mumbled, then repeated it louder, resting a hand on Jason’s shoulder, “Okay. Let’s head in.” He forced a smile and pushed the door opened.

Right away, everything felt off. The apartment looked normal, everything was there, but that was the problem. It looked like any other home, not Adelina’s. He frowned and started digging around, not sure what he was looking for, but desperate to find something.

He got to her desk and almost froze when he saw a particular slip of paper. It was a receipt for a cheap burner phone with a phone number scribbled across the back. Pietro didn’t even realize what he was doing, but within the next minute, he was pacing as he waited for an answer from who he prayed would be Adelina.

“Hello?”

Pietro froze. It was actually her and he was not at all prepared for hearing her voice again. Months of not seeing her, trying to pretend that she didn’t even exist, and now he could hear her.

“Adel-” His voice cracked halfway through and he felt the tears brimming.

“Pietro? Oh my god, how did you even get this number?”

He tried to get himself under control, forcing himself not to cry. “I’m at your apartment, Jason called me, he was worried. Adelina, where are you?” He could hear her sigh, then a moment of silence before she responded.

“Somewhere in Georgia, I think? The place is called Hinesville. Doesn’t really matter, though, I’ll be gone in a couple of days anyway.”

He found himself getting choked up already. “Georgia? Adelina, come on, why? Why did you just leave?” Even after everything, all he wanted was her and the idea that she was gone had him broken into pieces.

“I can’t, Pietro. I’m sorry, but I can’t. Everything is too much. I can’t go anywhere without thinking of you, everything reminds me of you. I just needed to get out, to get away from that whole city.”

Pietro couldn’t control himself and he immediately started to cry. “Iubire, please, you can’t, just come back? Please, I know things ended badly, but don’t just leave like this!”

“I’m sorry, Pietro. I have to do this, I just do. Don’t try and find me, I’ll be out of Georgia in no time, and I’m not coming back. It’s better for both of us in the long run, me being around is just going to hurt you. I’m sorry, really, and I love you. Goodbye, Pietro.”

----

Adelina glared up at the man in front of her, still struggling against the ropes. “I’ve told you plenty of times, Lagsal, I know nothing secretive about the Avengers! I haven’t been in contact with them for months!”

He just laughed, though, leaning in close. “I highly doubt that. You were all cozy with the fast one, weren’t you? Now come on, doll, just tell me what I want to hear and this can all be over.” He reached out for her, going as far as to stroke her face, and she reared back and butted him in the head hard.

“Fuck. You.” She spat at him, still glaring and absolutely pissed. He physically growled in response, and the last thing she saw was him reaching for the wrench.

----

Pietro frowned slightly when he heard the knock at the door. After hesitating, he quickly made his way over and was greeted by Natasha, dressed in tactical gear and covered in some minor blood.

“Nat? What the hell, what’s going on? Oh, come on, get in, please!” He ushered her in quickly, shutting the door.

“Your security dude sucks, he was passed out behind the desk.” She still didn’t start to explain, just stripping off the outer layer to reveal much more blood. “You’ve got a first aid kit, right?”

“Y-yeah, I do, but god, how… did you get shot? Dammit, what were you doing?” He sped off and got the kit in no time, passing it over to her.

“My job. Tracked down some low-level Hydra goons to a dive bar down in Harlem, took them all out, but a few had guns. Still, you should see them, they came out worse than me.” She was no-nonsense, just cleaning the wound like it was nothing.

“Okay, but,” he was stammering, confused and shocked. “Is there a reason you came to me? Don’t you typically head back to the tower with stuff like this?”

She waved her hand dismissively. “I already sent Clint a report, he’s taking care of it. Here’s the deal, though. I heard somebody mention your girl.”

He froze, going completely still and just staring. He managed to shake himself out of the stupor after a moment, just enough to viscerally react to what she had said. “She’s not my girl.” He didn’t mean for it to be snappy, but the mention of Adelina had him on edge.

She gave him a look, one that said she didn’t believe him one bit, but thankfully, she pitied him and didn’t press it. “Whatever. Listen, she’s in danger, of some form. While I was watching the place, I heard two dudes talking and they mentioned a girl who’s being held because they think she has knowledge of the Avengers. They even said her name, Pietro, it’s her. And lord knows what they’re doing to her, but we’ve got to find her.”

He stared for a moment, then shook his head. “I don’t get it, why didn’t you call a team meeting on this? I want to find her, obviously, but I’m a little bit compromised, don’t you think?”

“Please,” she scoffed. “Compromised, my ass. That’s some bullshit Steve would spout to keep you on the bench. You know her better than anyone and, though you may want to deny it, you care about her more than anyone. Plus, this is too delicate for a full team, this is spy work. It’s just you and me, kid, and we’re gonna go find her and get her back.”

He took a deep breath and found himself nodding. “Okay. Yeah, uh, alright. I need to grab my gear from the tower, though.”

She stood up and grabbed the duffel bag she had carried in with her, then tossed it over to him. “No time to waste, get dressed and let’s get going.”

----

Adelina was in some dentist’s chair now and Lagsal was still leaning over her, pawing through the various devices laid out on the table next to him. Struggling was getting harder, but she still fought with everything she had. She had even managed to give him a solid black eye the last time that she was untied, and she couldn’t help a small burst of pride every time she looked at it.

“So, since you don’t want to play nice, here’s how this is going to work. I’m gonna ask you a question, and if you don’t answer it, I hurt you. Think that’s a good enough deal?”

“What do I get if I answer it? A cookie? Ooh, or maybe I could sock you in the face again, that sounds fu-” She was cut off when he punched her straight in the chest and the wind was knocked out of her. Unable to even breathe properly, she just laid there, trying not to cry, as he continuously wailed on her without relent.

This went on for hours, him asking questions and doing everything in his capacity to hurt her when she didn’t answer. She passed out around the time that he was taking a knife to her clothes.

----

Pietro sat back in his seat and passed over the binoculars to Natasha. “Take a look at the dudes on the bench, northwest corner. We’ve seen the one guy, Jackson, a couple of times, maybe he knows something?”

He waited as Natasha took a look. Two weeks. They had been on the road, tracking down members of this little sub-Hydra club, for two full weeks, and they still had no solid lead on where Adelina might be. He was absolutely exhausted.

“Good eye, kid,” Natasha spoke up, setting down the binoculars. “There’s some deal going down, but I don’t think they’re leaving any time soon, so let’s just chill and watch.” He sighed out, and she gave him a quizzical look.

“I’m dead tired, Nat. I mean, two weeks, and still nothing? It’s insane…” He looked down, not able to meet her eyes.

“You still love her, don’t you?” She asked him gently, even turning in her seat to face him. “It’s fine, I won’t tell Clint or Wanda. It makes sense, though. She was a huge part of your life, you guys had moved in together, you were in love. I can’t imagine it could be easy to get over that level of betrayal, but it’d be even harder to disregard all the love you two had for each other.”

He was left honestly speechless because she had hit it right on the head. He was struggling to come up with a response when she elbowed him and shoved over the binoculars.

“Look, he’s on the move. Let’s track him.”

They ended up tailing him for about 5 minutes before he finally turned down a darker alleyway. Pietro shared a quick glance with Natasha, then moved quickly to shove him up against the wall.

“Hey, what the hell!”

Pietro's forearm went to his throat, holding him there tightly. “We know who you work for, don't fuck around. Just tell us where the girl is.”

“What girl?” He struggled, trying to throw Pietro off, but he wasn't letting go.

Natasha unsheathed a knife and slid closer. “We can make this hard or easy, Jackson. I would love to finally use this knife, it’s new, but it would be better for you to just tell us what we want to know and then we'll let you go.” When he still didn't say anything, she brought the knife to his neck and he started to panic.

“Okay, okay, fine! I'll tell you everything! Please, just don't hurt me!” Pietro looked over at Natasha, then let Jackson down when she nodded.

“You’re talking about the brunette chick, right? Lagsal said her name was Anatira or something weird like that. He’s keeping her at some bunker upstate, I think, I’ve delivered packages there a few times.”

“Packages?”

“I’m his dealer, okay? So yes, packages, typically weed. He thought she might have some info about the Avengers, something he could bring to the higher ups, so he’s been trying to get it out of her. He snatched her like 3 weeks ago when he recognized her from some press photos he saw, I guess she was dating the speedy dude. Last I saw him, he told me she wasn’t saying anything so he was gonna step it up, push her harder.”

Pietro breathed in sharply, trying not to completely freak out. “We need an address, not vague directions. Where is she?” He growled a little, pissed.

“Why do you care so much about this bitch?” He frowned, watching Pietro for a moment, and then he began to grin. “Oh. You’re the speedy dude and the two of you were dating. Lagsal mentioned he fucked her about 10 months ago, is that why you two broke up? Maybe it’ll help to know, she didn’t want it to happen. He’s got video of her screaming and crying the whole way through.”

Before Pietro even realized it, he was holding Jackson against the wall by his throat, not choking, but the threat was there. Natasha stepped forward, resting a hand on Pietro’s shoulder, but didn’t pull him back.

“Come on, let him down. You don’t want to kill him, Pietro…”

He breathed heavily and slowly let the man down. He stepped back, closing his eyes and trying to calm himself.

“It’s okay, Pietro. We’ve got to find her, right? Let’s go.” She tugged on his arm gently and he relented, moving with her. He hated how he felt, but nothing else mattered now, he just had to find her.

----

Was this really it?

It certainly feels like it, Adelina thought. This was going to be the end of her, naked and crying on a table in some disgusting bunker, every inch of her body aching. Her right arm was almost definitely broken and the entirety of her ribcage was swollen and bruised.

“Aww, so sweet. You’re crying now? God, you’re a little wuss. Course, I learned that the first time we hung out. You just wouldn’t stop crying, would you?” He slapped her across the face, looking over her in disgust, then strolled over to his table of torture.

“You’re a lot tougher than I thought you would be. I mean, it only took one little pill to shut you up, but then almost three weeks and you still won’t give me the information. I know you have it, too, without a doubt, but you’re just so fucking stubborn.” He turned to her again, holding a blow torch now, and all Adelina could do was cry harder.

“I’m doubting whether you’re worth my while, honestly.” She could feel the heat against her skin, and it hurt too much to struggle, so she just gave up. “I think I’ll give you another day or two. If I don’t have what I want by then, I’ll dispose of you. That should be a good enough incentive for you to talk.”

She just shook her head and closed her eyes, as if that could stop any of this from happening. Just as the torch was mere inches from her skin, there was a loud bang from somewhere else in the building and everything froze.

After a moment, Lagsal dropped the torch and turned away from her. “What’s going on up there?!” He shouted but got no response, just the sounds of fighting traveling down the hall. Cursing up a storm, he rushed to grab one of the guns from the wall. Before he could, though, the door to the torture dungeon slammed open. There was a blur that Adelina just knew was Pietro and, in seconds, Lagsal was forced up against the wall.

“You fucking piece of shit!” Pietro was screaming, filled with an anger that Adelina had never seen, and it was honestly terrifying. She shrunk back, watching in horror as the man she loved brutally beat on Lagsal. She barely noticed Natasha freeing her until the cuffs were off and she could move again, and still all she could do was stare in shock.

Natasha rushed over as soon as possible, grabbing Pietro and pulling him back. They were talking, but Adelina didn’t process any of it. Unbidden, more tears began to fall, both relieved and terrified. Then, there were arms around her, familiar and warm, and she cried harder, leaning into the hold.

“Iubirea mea, I’m here. It’s okay.” She could feel tears dripping down from his face into her hair, but she didn’t care. He was here and she was safe and for once, everything felt okay.

Chapter Text

Pietro didn’t even jump when he felt a hand on his shoulder. There was too much going on in his head for him to truly care. Looking in on Adelina, fast asleep in the hospital bed, was harrowing. As happy as he was that she was alive and here, she still looked broken and it hurt.

“Hey, kid? How are you feeling?” It was Clint, and he was so quiet and gentle that it felt wrong. Clint was supposed to be funny and energetic and a bit of an asshole, not kind and careful. Unable to really respond, Pietro just shrugged, keeping his forehead to the glass and watching her. Always watching.

“Right, well, Steve’s called a team meeting, he said he’s got some stuff to talk about. If you feel up to it, you should go.”

Pietro took a breath and nodded, then turned to face Clint. He still didn’t say anything, just following him to the conference room. Right away, every face in the room was filled with pity, and Pietro freaking hated it. He didn’t need pity or sorrow, didn’t deserve it. The fact that everyone seemed to care more about him than Adelina had him pissed off. She was the one who had gone through all that, but they were giving him encouragement and support and it wasn't right.

He stayed silent during the meeting and didn’t really hear anything. He was completely spaced out until he felt Clint’s hand on his arm and he jolted out of his head.

“Hmm?” He looked around and noticed everybody watching him expectantly. He sighed after a minute and looked down. “I’m sorry. I’m not going to be any use to anybody right now, I’ll just go.” Before anyone could stop him, he was up and out the door.

-

“Pietro, hey. How are you feeling?” It was Bruce now, and at least that made sense, for Bruce to be all mama bear and caring. It still didn't make him feel better.

“I don't know.” He shrugged.  “Sorta crappy.” He looked over at the bed, where she was still fast asleep.

“Do you want to talk about it? A lot has happened, it might help to just talk through it.”

He sighed. “I guess. I just… I feel like everything just sucks. I nearly lost one of the most important people in my life and even though she's right there in front of me, I can't stop thinking about how fucked up all of this is.” He could feel tears brimming but he rubbed his eyes and tried to ignore them.

“I love her, Bruce. God, I love her, and yeah, I found her, but so much could have happened that wouldn't lead to her laying there in that bed. What if I had been too late and hadn't found her in time? Or I hadn't been able to find her at all? Or, god forbid, what if, when Natasha came to me about her, I had listened to that voice in the back of my head telling me to shut the door and ignore it?!”

“She's here, though, Pietro. None of that happened, and you found her.”

“But it could have! And after all of that, she would have died, alone in that damn bunker, thinking that I hated her!” The tears were falling now, he just couldn't help it. “I love her more than anything and I almost lost her, Bruce. I don't know how to deal with that.”

Bruce didn't say anything, just rubbed his back and stayed there, and it was enough. After a while, Pietro had no idea how long it really was, he pulled away and patted his shoulder one last time.

“I've got to go. I'll be back in a few hours to check on her.”

The fact that he would be checking on Pietro as well didn't need to be said.

-

The first thing Adelina saw when she opened her eyes was a row of fluorescent lights and she panicked. They were the same fluorescent lights that were in that damn bunker. Of course, she had somehow dreamed up Pietro rescuing her and she was still there. Any minute now, Lagsal would walk in with some other cruel instrument and resume the torture.

There was a hand on her arm and she jumped, then nearly started crying at the overwhelming pain. Everything hurt beyond belief. She was about to try and yank away from the hand before it pulled her close and she realized who it belonged to.

“Clint?”

“Hey, you need to relax. Lay down, don't try to get up, you'll just hurt yourself.” Hearing him, knowing that it wasn't just a dream, soothed her slightly and she did as he said, easing back into the pillows.

“Where am I? Is this the tower?” Her voice was shaking and she felt somehow cold and feverish all at the same time.

“No, we're at SHIELD. They have better medical labs than the tower, so we took you here. Better resources and all that crap.”

She nodded slowly, looking down at the blanket. “How did you guys even find me?”

“Well, we didn't, Pietro did. Him and Natasha, really. She heard some goons talking about you on a mission, so she got Pietro and the two of them tracked you down. The rest of the team didn't even know it was happening until we got the call for medical evac. And let me tell you, getting to that forest bunker was ridiculous, most inconvenient secret bunker ever.”

She couldn't help but chuckle a bit because of course, he would complain, but then it hurt to laugh at all or even breathe. It took a few minutes for her to be able to talk again.

“Why does everything hurt?” He actually laughed and she pouted slightly.

“They really messed you up down there, kid. Bruce patched you up, good as new. Well, mostly, but here's the rundown. Some cracked ribs, your left arm is broken. Crap ton of burns on your back and thighs. But the worst thing? You've still got that face.” He grinned, cheeky and shit eating, and she rolled her eyes.

“Okay, you little shit.” She shot him a look and he just grinned more.

“I promise, Adelina, my shits are anything but little.”

“Oh my god, you're disgusting! If I wasn't in this damn bed, I would…”

“What? Would you sic Pietro on me?” He was smirking, but automatically, the air got tense. She looked down again, silent and fidgety.

“Shit, kid, I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking. But, we really should talk about him, you know?”

“What is there to say? I fucked up and I feel like crap and he doesn't want me in his life.” She picked at her nails, trying to avoid looking up at Clint.

“I wouldn't be so sure about that, Adelina.” He nodded towards the other side of the bed, smiling sadly. When she looked over, she was suddenly unable to breathe. Pietro was fast asleep in one of the chairs, his eyes red and puffy.

“He hasn't left that chair for about a day. He is extremely worried about you, he cares, and trust me, he wants you in his life more than anything.”

She shook her head slowly, still staring at the man she loved. “I don't know, Clint. With everything that happened…”

“If he asks you to be with him again, what do you think you’ll say?” He asked quietly and she didn’t even hesitate.

“Yes. God, of course, I would say yes. He’s the love of my life, not having him around after everything was the worst and I would take any chance he would give me to fix things. I just don’t see why he would. What I did was horrible, I’ll never stop regretting it.” She hesitated for a second before looking up at him. “Do you want me to say yes?”

Clint actually laughed out loud. “Oh my god, yes!” At her surprised look, he continued, “he loves you, Adelina. More than I ever could have expected when he first met you. Every ounce of love each of you has for each other shows in literally everything you do, even when you’re apart. Both of you are so obviously happier when you’re with each other. I would be crazy if I didn’t encourage you to stay with him. You make each other better and, most importantly, you love each other like crazy.”

She rubbed her eyes gently with her good hand, trying to hold back the tears. “Goddammit, Clint. I can’t hug you right now, get your ass over here.”

He chuckled and pulled her into a half hug, avoiding the worst spots of pain. “I’ve got to get back to my actual job, now, but think about what I said, alright?”

She smiled and nodded slightly.

----

When Pietro finally woke up, Adelina had managed to sit up in bed. She had gotten Steve to bring in some crossword books and so she was working away at had to be her twentieth puzzle. She didn’t notice Pietro had awoken until she heard the sharp intake of breath from him. Their eyes met and both of them just stared until she broke the silence.

“You look like crap, chipeș.” She smiled softly and he actually chuckled.

“You’re one to talk, fraier.” He grinned a little. "I think the cast suits you though. Shame Clint hasn't drawn anything on it yet.” She laughed at that, but then it hurt and she was wincing and clutching her chest. He cursed and hurried over to her.

“Fuck, I’m sorry, are you okay?”

“Yeah,” she breathed out, trying to get it under control. “Just… laughing and all sorta hurts. Clint said my ribs are cracked?”

He sighed slightly, lowering to sit on the edge of the bed. “Yeah. We have a full report of everything he did to you. The sick fucker confessed to everything like it was an achievement.” His hands were clenching into fists, so she reached out with her good hand and held them gently.

“Hey, take a breath, Pietro. It’s over now and I’m here.” After a moment, he nodded, visibly relaxing.

“I missed you so much, Adelina. Please, I know so much has happened, but… can we give this another try? After I almost lost you, I realized I don’t care about the past, I just want a future with you.” Adelina was taken aback by the intensity in his eyes. He looked so earnest and it nearly made her cry.

“God, Pietro, of course.” She tried to pull him closer, overcome with the urge to have him there and never let go. “I love you, Pietro. I love you so damn much and I want to have that future too. I’m still so damn sorry and seriously, I will never stop regretting what I did, but I want to fix it. If you’ll let me.” She frowned then as he seemed to get tense. Before she could ask what was wrong, he was speaking.

“You have nothing to regret or fix, Adelina.” She opened her mouth but he was apparently on a roll and he kept going. “No, I don’t understand. Nothing that night was your fault! Lagsal confessed, we even have security footage from the bar, nothing that night was consensual. So, please, for the love of god, tell me why you are so insistent that you cheated on me and you need to repent or whatever!”

She gulped, looking down. The idea of fully admitting everything that had happened was terrifying, but she couldn’t lie to him. Not anymore.

“It was easier.” She hated how quiet her voice was. He just stared at her incredulously, so she kept going. “I was in a bad place, Pietro, everything was fucked up. After what happened, I knew there was no way he would have gotten any retribution for what he did, and with my stupid brain the way it is, I decided the best thing would be to put the blame somewhere else: me. It was easier to say I fucked up than to admit that he hurt me the way he did.”

Pietro frowned deeply, shaking his head. “That’s- how does that even work Adelina? He hurt you, did things against your will, but it’s easier to say it was voluntary, that it was somehow your fault?!”

“I never said it made sense!” She could tell he was getting angry and she couldn’t blame him. The entire situation was so fucked. “I wasn’t taking my meds, nothing was working right in my head, it was a mess! And now I see how stupid it was, but I was struggling and hurting and none of it made sense!”

He got up and started pacing, then froze and turned to face her. “You… did you say you weren’t taking your meds?” She nodded, confused why he was upset about that of all things. “Adelina, what the hell?! Why would you do that? How long had you been off of them?”

She shrugged, keeping her head down. The truth of it was worse than she even wanted to think about. “About a week. I was trying to switch to a new type of meds when it all happened.”

“I still don’t understand why you would just stop cold turkey like that. Don’t you normally like ease into new medication? And wouldn’t you have actually had the new pills before you stopped your old ones?”

She sighed and shook her head, getting frustrated. “I had to stop cold turkey, there was no other choice.” She took one more deep breath before continuing with the hardest thing she was going to have to say that day. “The meds I was on were known for causing… complications.”

He stopped for a second, not looking angry anymore, just confused. “Complications? What are you talking about?” She breathed out shakily and rested her good hand over her stomach. She watched as about 30 different emotions flew over his face. She could see the confusion, the worry, and then the understanding, but last of all, the absolute horror. All tense lines and wide eyes, he looked like he had just seen the worst thing in life twice over.

“Oh my god. Adelina, oh my god! You were- I can’t believe this. While I was gone?” He was back at her side instantly, tears welling up in his eyes as he rested his hand over hers, still looking in horror at her blanket covered stomach.

“I realized not long after you left that I was a couple of weeks late. I thought maybe it was just my cycle being weird, I’ve been really late before, but I figured I should go get it checked out. So, I went to the doctor, took a piss test, and lo and behold, there was a baby!” She clenched his hand tightly, needing him, her rock, her lifeline.

She felt as the first tear dropped onto their joined hands. “So, the meds. They were gonna, what, hurt the baby?”

She gulped and squeezed his hand, trying to comfort him while also trying not to break down herself. “Maybe. It was up in the air, but I didn’t want to risk it. I was talking to my psychiatrist about switching cause I… I wanted to be ready. Just in case, in the rare, beautiful, one in a million chance, that you would come back from the mission and want that with me. I wanted to do my best to keep the baby safe. But I lost it anyway.”

When he finally broke and the tears came out full force, she broke with him. Before long, they were awkwardly curled up in the bed, struggling to hold each other while avoiding all her injuries. She rested her head in his neck, holding on tightly, and he kept a hand to her stomach almost constantly.

“I love you, Adelina. I love you more than anything in the world. So much has happened to you that you don’t deserve and I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that. I am going to be here though. For as long as you’ll have me, I will be by your side to help you however I can. And, if one day, you want to try again, I would love to have children with you. But right now, I’m just here for you. And that is never going to change.

“I love you, draga mea. And I always will.”