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Road to Healing

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When Thanos won, you didn't have time to grieve. Immediately on the battlefield, you were responsible for helping to heal the wounded. And you were exhausted when it was over.

And then S.H.I.E.L.D. was triggered, and you knew they would take Vision if they found him. You thought Wanda wouldn't want that. And you ignored the intense pain you felt at the thought of her, and repeated to yourself that you wouldn't want that either. So you used Tony's technology to bring Vision's body back to the Avengers compound. And then you told them that Thanos had destroyed him along with the jewel, and that's what they wrote in their reports.

When you finally returned home, you only slept after you had organized a memorial for him. You didn't ask your colleagues to participate. The remaining avengers just seemed empty. So you left them alone.

Your hands trembled when you touched the knob of Wanda's room. You were looking for a picture of Vis. You found it eventually. When you left the room, your shirt was wet with your tears.

You thought Vision would like a view of the sea. So you left his body in a black wooden coffin, and buried it on the edge of the hill a few meters from the exit of the complex. You figured that Vision wasn't religious, so you just used the 3D printer to create a little iron plate, and stuck it against the ground. 

You could not sleep that night. And the next. When you finally did, your panic attacks started. But the emergency calls started coming in, and you knew you had no time for grief. The world needed you now.

You learned to deal with the panic, but the nightmares continued. So you accepted more assignments, until you were too exhausted to dream. And then you got used to it. 

And like the snap of a finger, five years passed. 

When you defeated Thanos, you fell to your knees. You couldn't find Natasha. And then you couldn't breathe. You realize what was happening, you knew they were back. But you can't go through this again. Because the world needs you again. And then you calm down, and you stand up. And then you are walking.

Steve doesn't come back. You think you hear Bucky crying in his room. But you don't say anything, because he doesn't like to talk about it. 

You take Wanda to the tomb of Vision two days before Tony's funeral. She sobs against you as you hug her, your own tears preventing you from seeing your surroundings clearly. You haven't left her side since.

After Tony's funeral is over, you destroy the items in your room with a bat. When you fall to the ground, Wanda sits beside you quietly, and holds your hand. She doesn't mind you shouting Nat's name along with your sobs.

- I can't stay here anymore. - You tell her the next night, while you are in your room. - I can't breathe in this place. - You confess with tears on your face. - I feel like I'm going to die. 

Wanda intertwines your hands. 

- Let's leave then.

You let out a long sigh, trying to control your tears. And then you nod.

Your mood improves considerably once you are out of the compound. You don't think about Nat, or Tony, or Steve, because if you do, your hands start to shake. But you think about healing. You think about being there for your best friend. 

And then you decide to live. And you hold both of Wanda's hands when you tell her that you are going to travel. Travel to all the places she hasn't visited in the United States.

You want to remember that there are still things to live for. You want Nat to be proud of you.

When Wanda nods in agreement, you smile, and hug her. And then you get a truck, and you let Wanda hold the map.

 

It is hot and humid, and you drum your fingers against the steering wheel, humming softly the pop song playing on the radio.

Wanda fell asleep against the passenger seat some time ago, and it has been a few hours since you left the small motel where you were staying after leaving the Avengers compound.

You are hungry, so you stop the car at the first dinner you find. The loss of movement of the vehicle awakens Wanda.

- Hey sleepyhead. - You joke as you take out your key, and look for your wallet in the glove compartment. - Let's go get something to eat.

You walk to the diner, which is practically empty. Wanda doesn't seem to be fully awake yet, but smiles at you when she catches you looking. You sit down on opposite sides of the table.

- I'll have the eggs and bacon, and pancakes, please. - You tell the waitress, and Wanda gives you a curious look. She orders cereal and chocolate waffles.

- Why are we having breakfast for dinner? - she asks with a smile.

You shrug, laughing lightly.

- It's always time for pancakes.

Wanda looks at you for a moment, and you look back. And then you are having a blinking contest. The waitress gives you a judgmental look when she interrupts the game, but you and Wanda smile and thank her for the food.

You finish eating first, and are distracted by one of the crossword puzzle magazines that the restaurant leaves under the tables. 

- Hey, Wands, help me with this one. - You say slightly distracted as you run your pencil across the paper. - "One word. Destined for belonging. Companionship. Devotion" Do you have any idea what it is?

- Soulmates. - Wanda says before chewing another piece of waffle. You let out a contented exclamation when the word fits, and smile at her, who just winks at you, smiling back.

- Does this taste good? - you ask, watching her eat. She nods, pushing her plate toward you. Wanda hands you her own fork to taste the waffles. They are very good, but you don't want to eat any more.

You can't finish your crossword puzzle, and you return the magazine to the table compartment before you leave the restaurant.

And then it is Wanda's turn to drive. You sit in the passenger seat, and turn up the radio as you get back on the road. You wish you could stay awake at night to keep Wanda company, but it only takes four songs for you to fall asleep. 

 

It is morning when you arrive in Virgina. And it is cold enough for you to wrap Wanda in a scarf when she refuses to warm up properly. She just laughs with flushed cheeks when you let her go. You rent a room with two beds, and after you shower, Wanda goes into the bathroom.

You are browsing through the channels when she comes back with a towel wrapped in her hair, she smells good even from a distance.

- Do you want to go out to eat, or do you want to order a pizza? - you ask.

- Pizza. - She replies as she lies down on the bed.

You need to go out and look for a pay phone, because both of your cell phones are off and in the bottom of one of the boxes you are carrying in the truck.

- Shall we watch a movie? - she asks when you come back into the room. 

- Comedy or horror? - You counter with a question as you kick off your shoes. Wanda bites her lip thoughtfully.

- Both.

You smile as you hang your coat on the door.

You have been watching "Scary Movie" for twenty minutes when the pizza arrives. Wanda pauses the movie while you stand up and pay the delivery man.

She uses her powers to drag the coffee table into the space between the two beds, and you place the pizza on top of the wood and sit cross-legged on Wanda's bed.

Eventually, you finish the pizza and wipe your hands with napkins. And then Wanda lets the movie sequence continue, and you remain in her bed with the excuse that it was cold. You fall asleep at the end of the second film, but you wake up in the early morning hours with Wanda's hand against your waist. You don't think you should get used to the feeling, so you get up and go back to your bed.

 

Wanda cries when you arrive in Virginia Beach. You know it is the view of the sea, which reminded her of the tomb of Vision. You stand silently beside her as you entwine your hands. Wanda doesn't let go until you get back to the car.

It's cold, and you shouldn't have ice cream. But you do it anyway. You and Wanda stop at a drive-thru, and have your milkshakes while you drive toward Tennessee.

You let her have the rest of your ice cream even though she's had many tastes already.

On one of the roads, you stop the car on the roadside. You try to normalize your breathing. 

- I'm here. - She says next to you in a gentle voice, as she lets you squeeze her hand over your lap. - You are safe. 

You exchange directions for a while. 

- So you have never been to Disney? - You ask between one lighthouse and another, somewhere in North Carolina.

Wanda denies it with a smile and a nod. She has only one hand on the wheel, and her hair is shining in the sun. You scold yourself for looking.

- Since we can't afford Disney, we should pick something cheap to do - You tell her while looking at one of the tour guides you found at the motel.

- I don't mind just driving around. - she says. You bite the smile from your lips.

- Yeah, me neither.

 

It takes two weeks for you to talk about Natasha. You have changed routes many times now, and then you sit in the back of the truck, and look at the stars. And Wanda asks you about your nightmares. You say that you dream that Nat is falling, and that you can never reach her. You fall asleep together in the back of the car, many blankets wrapped around you.

When you wake up holding each other, neither of you really minds.

 

You are near Chicago when you drag Wanda to an arcade in the late afternoon. 

You and Wanda try out all the toys that are allowed for you. It's fun, and loud. And you laugh so hard your cheeks hurt.

And then you eat hamburger and fries with soda sitting in a parking lot. You push Wanda's shoulder lightly with yours when she steals one of your fries.



You are in a clothing bazaar when you see Wanda's breasts for the first time. In between trying on various strange outfits for fun, the fifth or sixth time you return to the changing room, Wanda pulls you into the cabin with her. And she smiles so much that you hardly notice them. 

When you get back to the motel, you bathe first. You touch yourself in the shower without really thinking about anything, but when you cum, the image of her breasts are in your mind.

 

In Michigan you bet on a race. And Wanda absolutely beats you. She has flushed cheeks and a sweaty face when you catch up with her. You think it's unfair that she looks so beautiful.

You watch the sunset, and Wanda thinks she has seen an owl. 

 

Your body begins to betray you when Wanda hugs you and you tremble. You decide that it is because you have been a long time without touching another person intimately and being touched in the same way. 

You joke with Wanda that you need to find a one-night stand, and she doesn't smile when she agrees with you.

As you drive towards Kansas, a waitress flirts with you. Wanda gets back in the car saying that she is tired, and you don't understand why kissing the waitress against a wall while she has one hand down your pants doesn't satisfy you.

 

You talk about death in Springfield. You are sharing popcorn while wrapped in a blanket sitting on the grass a few feet from the truck. 

- You can't die. - She declares suddenly and you raise your eyebrows in surprise.

- Wanda...?

- I won't... I won't survive.

You turned around quickly, and held up both your hands. 

- I wouldn't like that. - You tell her. You know it's what she doesn't want to hear, but you need her to understand that. - I would never want your life to depend on mine. 

Wanda sobs, lowering her head.

- I wish you would move on. - You nod to reaffirm her statement, your own face wet with tears. - I know... people expect me to say that I wish you would miss me, or not replace me. But I don't feel that way. - You confess. - I never want to be the reason for your unhappiness. If I die, and well, at some point I will, I want you to go on living. And enjoying it.

Wanda shakes her head, and jumps on your neck. She cries against your collarbone, but it's okay. You think she understood what you told her.

When she calms down, you are silent for several moments. 

- What will you do if I die? - she asks, looking at you. You keep your gaze on the stars as you shrug;

- I would die too.

Wanda bites back a smile on her lips, and hugs you. 

 

Bucky calls. You talk for five minutes. And then you text him that when he is ready you will be there to listen to him. You send a picture of you and Wanda, and when he calls again, you talk for five hours.

 

It takes four weeks since you left the compound to realize that you are in love with Wanda.

You are in a motel somewhere in Nebraska, and she is combing her hair in front of the television, a sitcom playing. And then she laughs, and you realize.

The realization doesn't surprise you though. You take a deep breath, and tell her you're going to get some air before you leave. 

You lean back on the balcony, trying to push the guilt away. You can hardly believe it happened so fast and so intensely.

You decide that everything is too recent, and that it would be disrespectful to Wanda's grief, so you guard yourself.

 

You fight for the first time in Colorado. You are being stubborn and rude, and Wanda is being distant and judgmental. And then you are arguing about the next destination. And then you stop the car on the roadside, and Wanda says she's not going anywhere with you. And you are silent for forty minutes before you two start to cry. 

You put your face against the steering wheel, and Wanda lifts her legs onto the seat and buries her face in her own arms. 

It takes a long moment for you to calm down. And then you wipe away your tears and Wanda looks away into the window, and you drive away again.

 

You are staying in Utah for a few days. It is the first time you ask for separate rooms. You want to cry again, but you just take the key. 

And then you can't sleep after four hours as you stare at the ceiling. 

You get up, and go out onto the veranda. And your feet guide you to the next door. But before you can knock, Wanda opens it, and jumps into you, hugging you tight. Your body instantly relaxes, and you cry as you both apologize, and promise never to fight again.

 

You get drunk in Las Vegas. Really drunk. You don't remember ever laughing as hard as you did that night. You think Wanda used her powers to win the games, but you can't prove it. And then you're back in the truck, stumbling and laughing, and she has a look on her face that makes your stomach turn with nervousness.

But you swallow your nervousness with a smile, and accept the bottle of vodka she offers you. And then you are in a karaoke bar, singing at the top of your lungs for two hours into the early morning hours. When the owner kicks you out, Wanda holds your hand as you both run around town. 

Back at the motel, you are laughing about something you can't remember, and then you fall into bed together, and instantly fall asleep.

When you wake up, you don't care about your headache.

 

You get the same tattoo in Las Vegas. Wanda holds and squeezes your hand while you are doing it, and you do the same to her. The tattoo artist thought you were married, and neither of you corrects him.

And then you take her to all the tourist spots, and you have ice cream and hot dogs. And Wanda's hand is warm against yours all the way.

On your last day in LA, you visit a nightclub. It is noisy, and lively, and has lots of alcohol. You find it hard to breathe when you see Wanda in a party dress, but she smiles and you follow her.

And then you dance and dance and dance, and you think about nothing. And then you're drunk again, and the girl at the bar is flirting with you. And Wanda's no longer smiling when she gets back on the dance floor. 

You think the girl at the bar has asked for your number, but you're looking at Wanda dancing. And she moves her body with sensuality, and then there is a man behind her. Wanda kisses him while looking at you through the lights. 

You take a shot of whiskey before leaving in a rage.

And when Wanda wakes up in the morning, she says she doesn't remember anything.

You think that you can no longer hide what you feel when you are on the road, heading for Oregon. But you just keep mumbling the song that plays on the radio.

Wanda bites her lip and has a lost look on her face, but when you ask her what's wrong, she looks away quickly as she says she was just distracted. 

You are entertained by the music again.

 

You get used to your feelings in Portland. The routine helps you keep them quiet and buried deep in your chest. 

You and Wanda begin to spend more time in inns, and camping, than on the road, but you still travel around the country. 

And then Wanda talks about Vision for the first time. How important he had been, how much she missed him. You listen, and she asks about Nat. And you say that it is exactly the same way. 

Neither of you cries anymore at the mention of their names.

It doesn't take long before the world needs you again. Sam calls. Stephen calls. You and Wanda throw your cell phones off a cliff, while toasting a lemonade.

- We are terrible superheroes, aren't we? - you ask looking at the horizon.

- The worst. - She replies before pouring her drink into her mouth.

You get your numbers back the same day by going to an electronics store.

And then you have to go back to New York.

 

Four hours down the road, and you both stop for a bite to eat in Cleveland, at a diner very similar to the one at your first stop.

Wanda walks ahead of you, hugging her own sweatshirt as she feels the late afternoon chill. You resist the urge to hug her.

- I'll have the waffles with chocolate and cereal. - You ask the waitress. Wanda stares at the menu for a few more seconds, biting her lower lip before speaking.

- I'll have the eggs and bacon with pancakes. - She asks right away.

You are silent for a moment, exchanging glances and quick smiles. And then the waitress returns with your plates.

- Are you ready to save the world again, Wandy? - you ask with a light irony in your voice before tasting your ceral.

Wanda smiles.

- Of course, of course. - She answers with humor. But her expression slowly falls, as if she is remembering something. You look at her with curiosity and concern.

- Are you all right?

- I just... - She begins. And then she straightens her posture, and diverts her eyes from yours. - What happens next? - You frown uncomprehendingly. Wanda looks unsure. - After we finish the job. This ends too?

You swallow dryly, feeling embarrassed and nervous. But you do your best to avoid showing it.

- Do you want it to end? - You ask.

- No. - She confesses as she looks into your eyes.- I'd like us to continue together.

- I'm not going anywhere, Wanda.  - You assure her with a smile. And then you bite the inside of your cheek, feeling anxious. - Don't you... don't you wish you had a fixed place to stay?

Wanda blinks in confusion, looking surprised at your question.

- I just... I love the road and all. Mostly because you're with me. - You say, and don't notice her blush at the last sentence. - But I'd like to have a house. Especially now that we're going back to work. I wouldn't mind living in New York.

- Are you inviting me to move in with you? - Wanda asks with a mixture of curiosity and embarrassment, and you feel your face heat up.

- Yes, I ... I'd like that. - You say, and seeing Wanda's surprised expression, you hasten to add. - But I understand if you just want the road! That's fine, I'll stand by you too!

Wanda reaches your hand quickly over the table, and she has a huge smile on her lips.

- I would love to live with you.

- Oh. - You sigh ruefully, feeling as if a weight has been lifted from your back. - Cool.

- Cool. - Wanda repeats with a mischievous smile and a twinkle in her eye.

And then you go back to eating in silence.

 

You are in the passenger seat while Wanda hums a song along to the noise of the radio. It is dark and she is waiting for the first motel she can find to park. And you look at her, looking so good, and comfortable, and happy. And your brain is screaming how much you love her in an endless loop, while your heart threatens to explode in your chest.

So you think you'd better face the landscape because you're getting out of breath. But then Wanda is parking the car on the roadside, and you think maybe she's going to pee, but then she doesn't come out. You turn and find her gripping the steering wheel with both hands as she looks ahead.

- Hey, what happened? - you ask worriedly. Wanda closes her eyes.

- I read your mind.

The confession shocks you immediately. 

- W-what? - You retort with a trembling voice.

Wanda opens her eyes, and lets go of the steering wheel. And she has a tender expression to calm you down.

- Hey, it's okay, I...

- No.

You mumble breathlessly, holding back tears, as you quickly unbuckle your seat belt and get out of the car.

You think you finally blew it. Wanda knew, and this was the end. 

Leaning against the car, you hugged your arms as you tried to calm your breathing with your eyes closed. You were startled when Wanda touched your shoulders, not even having heard her get out of the car.

- I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. - You cried when she hugged you. Your body was shaking. - I tried to avoid it. I'm sorry.

- Stop saying that. - She asked softly, letting her hands caress your back to calm you down. - You didn't do anything wrong. - She tries to say it, but you hold her tight, afraid she'll be gone at any moment. - Hey, look at me.

Wanda asks a few more times before you let go, trying to control your tears. Only when you look at her do you realize that she too has a crying face.

- I don't want to lose you. - You whimper. - I'll control myself, I can send them away. And everything will go back to the way it was before.

Wanda denies it with her head, raising her hands to your face. You think she's going to say you both can't do this anymore, and your stomach flips.

- I love you. - She confesses, looking up at you. - I love you. - She repeats as she wipes your tears with her fingers. You're too shocked to react. - I love you so much.

And then Wanda kisses you. And you stumble with fright, but the car behind you won't let you move away from her body. And then your eyes close, and you surrender. A long sigh escapes your lips as you feel Wanda's tongue on yours.

And you kiss until you are breathless. And then your body is warm, trembling, and Wanda kisses you again, and again, as she presses you against the car. 

And then you don't want to be dressed anymore, as Wanda lets her hands run all over you. 

You don't separate your mouths as you fall into the back seat, Wanda on top moaning into your mouth. 

The glass of the car is fogged as your hand slips on the window, trembling at Wanda's intimate touch, and delighting in the sounds she makes when you kiss her in all the right places.

 

You are happy. Fucking delighted. And you didn't want to keep driving, not unless it was to a house that was going to be yours and Wanda's. But Stephen and Sam were calling, saying that you were taking too long. Then you drove back to New York, and this time, Wanda's hand was entwined in yours.