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Accidentally Telepathic

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It had happened faster that Steve thought possible.

They had gone to an old Hydra base that was supposedly abandoned it was supposed to be an easy mission, a quick in and out with no problems, unfortunately he hadn’t taken into account that Hydra were still a bit sore about losing their two enhanced and had made weapons specifically for Wanda and her brother, they had barely been there for 20 minutes when he heard Wanda cry out and it had taken him another 10 minutes to find her due to whatever tech Hydra had that had cut their comms off basically as soon as she made the sound. Steve was horrified the sight that greeted him when he found her. There was Wanda, laying there in a pool of her own blood…There was a lot of it…

He had rushed to check her pulse, it was faint, but there, they needed to get her to medical quick and hopefully there wouldn’t be too much (or ANY) lasting damage… All he knew was they needed to move now but he couldn’t move her without a scan, he didn’t know whether she had any other injuries that could potentially be worsened, he suddenly heard his comms crackle to life, “Tony!” He practically screamed, “Wanda’s down I need you to get here so I can move her, quick!!” He heard Tony curse over the comm and didn’t even have it in him to say ‘Language!’ So, the team knew it was serious. Tony flew to where Steve was as fast as he could and when he saw Wanda, he had to stop himself from cursing again and he rushed over to Steve,

“What happened?” He demanded, “Do you know what happened?” Steve shook his head, “No, I heard her call out and spent nearly ten minutes looking for her and I found her like this, I didn’t want to move her in case it made it worse…” He trailed off, “Alright, shit.” Came Tony’s reply, “FRIDAY what can you tell me?”

“Boss, it appears she has severe blood loss, a concussion, a broken wrist and a stab wound on the left side of her stomach, you can move her, but she needs to get to medical as soon as possible.”

“Fuck, okay,” Tony lifted her gently and flew her back to the Quinjet, “Everyone get back here now!” He shouted over the comms. As soon as everyone had returned, he immediately flew back to the tower, he had the Medical Team wait for them at the launchpad and as soon as they landed, he handed Wanda over to them quickly on a stretcher, everyone on the team quickly followed and were stopped at the entrance to the surgery so they all sat in the waiting room,

“What the hell happened?” Natasha asked Steve, “I don’t know.” He answered honestly, “I heard her cry out and found her covered in blood against the wall I don’t even know how they got around her powers or how they managed to get to her.” He shook his head, “Shit…” Clint muttered, “I can’t lose another Maximoff this soon. I mean her brother just died, they’re kids!! They shouldn’t have to deal with this shit.” Clint looked around himself angrily, “We won’t lose her, she’s a fighter.” Natasha replied confidently,

It felt like days that they sat there in the waiting room waiting for any news on Wanda’s condition but in reality, it was maybe 3 or 4 hours before the doctor returned to tell them that she was stable but in a coma, “Will she be alright??” Sam asked hesitantly, “Yes, she should be fine when she wakes that should be about a week at most. She must stay away from any missions or training for about 3 weeks though, she lost a lot of blood and it’s lucky you got her here when you did, or she could have sustained some serious lasting damage. She may also need some physical therapy for her wrist.” The doctor replied. “Can we see her?” Tony finally spoke, he had been silent since the quintet landed, “Yes, you may, she’s in room 3B.” The doctor replies.

“Okay, Thank you.” Steve said sincerely. Everyone quickly rushed to Wanda’s room and paused at the door, she looks so young and vulnerable without her heavy eye-makeup, drowning in the white sheets and hospital gown, everyone seemed to suddenly remember how young she was, barely 17 years old, and no teenager should have to deal with all the things she has. After everyone’s momentary pause they all crowded into the room they set themselves around the bed and Tony went to reach for her hand, he needed to reassure himself she was here, alive, not dead. He hesitantly grabbed it and suddenly everyone’s vision was filled with a scarlet blur,

“What the fu…” Tony trailed off as a scene materialised in front of him, he was in a marketplace in the middle of the street and when he looked around, he noticed who the scene was centred around, it was some sort of young boy with shaggy brown hair and blue eyes he was smiling up at the woman on his left, ‘His mom? Maybe?’ Tony wasn’t sure. She was pretty with a kind face and bright eyes and similar brown hair to the boy; he then noticed the man on the boys right and the little girl in front of him. The man was tall and angry looking, he didn’t seem overly friendly (and if Tony was being honest, he actually found himself rather intimidated), the young girl, on the other hand, was pretty with a bright smile and green eyes that seemed to sparkle, she also had brown hair that was nearly identical to the other woman’s,

’Mom then,’ Tony mumbled to himself, it was then that he suddenly realised who he was looking at, ‘These kids are Wanda and Pietro,’ Tony thought, ’That means the man and woman are their parents.’ He suddenly felt a wave of guilt crash over him because he knew what happened and couldn’t help but feel bad for intruding on this obvious memory of Wanda’s even if he wasn’t quite sure how he had gotten here, ‘In the hospital room,’ He thinks, ‘I grabbed her hand.’ and then, ‘Oh shit, this isn’t good, I wonder what the others are doing, did they get dragged in too?? Are they seeing what I am?? Are they in the hospital room thinking Wanda’s attacking me?? That wouldn’t be good. He needed to send a message if they were, how would I do that??’

Right when Tony had started on this spiral of thought he suddenly saw somebody to his right, on closer inspection he realised it was Steve. “STEVE!” Tony yelled hoping Steve would hear him over the bustling crowd in the busy streets, “Hey Steve over here!” It was like Steve finally caught up because he looked straight at Tony before running up to him, “Oh my god Tony what happened? Where are we? Why are we here? Do you know what happened? Is anyone else here?” Steve rushed out hardly having a chance to breathe,

“Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, calm down I don’t know what happened or if any of the others are here, but I do know that I grabbed Wanda’s hand and I’m pretty sure the Family that I’m staring at are the Maximoff’s.” Tony responded, pointing to the family who were now laughing although the man remained stoic and cold. “Wait, is this a memory? Is it a dream?” Steve questioned, “I’m not entirely sure but if I were to hazard a guess… Yeah probably a memory…” Tony replied

“Okay, well, we need to see who the whole team is all here, maybe?” Steve asks and Tony nods, “Yeah, we can search through this crowd I’m sure we will find anyone we know.” He replies and Steve starts looking, “Okay let’s get to it…” After searching for a little while Tony and Steve soon found the rest of the Avengers, there was, Sam, Natasha, Clint, Vision and Rhode all huddled in a group completely confused as to where they were and what the hell was going on, when the say Steve and Tony coming toward them, they all had relieved smiles, “Okay can one of you explain what the HELL is going on??” Sam questioned impatiently, “Yeah I can actually but you need to follow me to see it,” Tony replied, “It’s a little bit confusing.”

“Okay…” The rest of the Avengers just agreed and followed Tony, soon they can to a stop near a children’s play park, there were a few kids playing tag and some were going down the slide but a lot of the seemed to be in the corner surrounding something, “Okay what the hell Tony?” Natasha questioned, “I asked for answers not a damn playground!” She was obviously frustrated by the lack of knowledge, Classic Natasha.

“I know and you will get them trust me I just need to find…” He trailed off eyes scanning around, “…There!” He pointed to the children in the corner and added, “Don’t worry I don’t think they can see us.” Then he tugged the rest of the Avengers after him to the corner. Once they got there, they noticed what was happening, there was a young girl in the corner against the fence, she had bright green eyes and brown hair, her nose was bloody and her face bruised as if she had been hit, all the other kids surrounding her were pointing and laughing at her and she seemed to shrink in on herself.

The Avengers were hurt by what was happening and all of them were overwhelmed with the sudden urge to protect the young girl, she couldn’t have been older than 8. Suddenly they hurt a voice shout out.

“GET AWAY FROM HER!!”

A young boy with shaggy brown hair who looked about the same age as the girl stood there facing the group of kids, he had a cold glare on his face. All the kids suddenly stopped and looked at the boy, he glanced at the girl and his face softened, he smiled a little as if to ask if she were Okay and the girl give a slight nod and weak smile in return, the boy smiled back then turned his gaze to the other children, face stony again.

“Who hit her?” He growled out his voiced quite low for a young boy, all the kids seemed to pause and look around at each other until one kid pointed weakly at the boy near the front of the group, he was older, maybe 10 or 11, and taller than the small brunette boy with shaggy blonde hair and a stern face. The younger boy, however, didn’t look intimidated, in fact, he looked almost happy, as if he was glad, he could fight someone who hurt someone he seemed to care about.

“C’mon then…” He smirked, “Pick on someone your own size.”

The older boy looked briefly stunned before her cracked his knuckles and grinned advancing on the younger brunette he swung for his face, but the younger boy was quick and ducked while jabbing the older boy in the side, the older boy was thrown off and stumbled to the side, he was quickly off-balance. The younger boy smiled again before attacking with fast, precise hits to the older boy’s upper chest and face, soon enough the younger boy had the older one pinned to the floor though not before the older boy got in a few hits of his own, the younger boy leaned down toward the older one,

“I don’t like bullies,” He breathed, panting slightly, “and I definitely don’t like those who pick on my sister.” Finally, with one swift kick to the older boys nose the younger brunette got up, “Come on sister,” He panted giving the young girl in the corner a hand up, “mama and papa are waiting.” The girl smiled at her brother as they began to walk off, “You didn’t need to do that Pietro,” she sighed, “papa isn’t going to like it.” Pietro shrugged and smiled, “You’re worth it Wanda.” He said simply, Wanda shook her head smiling to herself, “Thank You.” She said, “Anytime.” Pietro replied.

The scene suddenly paused as the Avengers took in what that was that they just saw, there was a stunned silence within the group as they all figured out what this meant and also what the hell, they had just witnessed Clint was the first to speak up, “We’re in her memories or something… right? This is her voodoo shit?” He asked, “Tony touched her hand, so we are seeing her memories…”

Tony turned to Clint and nodded swiftly, “That is my theory as well,” he agreed, “I saw the whole family when I was first here but there now we only saw Wanda and Pietro, I think she’s going to accidentally take us through all or her memories or at least the one most important to her, for instance Pietro standing up to her bully for her, maybe a day out with the parents, I think this is going to take a while if I’m being honest…”

“Shit.” Natasha said suddenly, when everyone turned to look at her, she sighed and said, “Important events right? Does that mean we see her parents die? Do we see Hydra? The experiments? What’s the line? Are we going to see Pietro’s death? Life at Stark tower? When does this end? This is an invasion of privacy and I don’t like the idea of poking around in someone else’s head, no matter how fascinating is may be.”

Everyone paused at that, the thought of seeing the girls’ parents’ deaths of seeing her and her brother in the hand of Hydra made everyone shiver, Tony blanched at the thought that he might have to see his weapons being used in that way and everyone was suddenly afraid, “Then we need to find a way out,” Steve said, “Vision, can you maybe find something that could pull us out?” Vision nodded, “Yes, Captain,” Vision replied, “Although I don’t expect many results, this is unexplored territory after all…”

Everyone nodded weakly at that then they noticed a doorway opening to their left, they all grabbed each other’s hand for support afraid of what was coming and cautiously walked through the door.

Chapter Text

Everyone nodded weakly at that then they noticed a doorway opening to their left, they all grabbed each other’s hand for support afraid of what was coming and cautiously walked through the door.

They saw a small, humble apartment and two young kids running through the door hand-in-hand, they looked the same as the last time, Wanda still had a bloody nose and bruised cheek and Pietro seemed to have gotten bruised knuckles from the fight which wasn’t all that surprising with the amount of hits he had gotten in, they both looked at each other and seemed to share a look that the Avengers didn’t quite understand, the apartment they were in was small and cramped, two doorways on one of the walls to the left and a small bed in the corner of the living room on the right, the living room itself, had a couch and a small television but was mostly bare. The kitchen was to the left of the living room except it had a wall separating it from the rest of the apartment, Pietro smiled at Wanda and grabbed her hand dragging her to the kitchen. The Avengers followed quietly and saw the twins in the kitchen with their mother,

“Where is papa?” Pietro asked his mother,

“Oh, he had to go take care of some business a little while ago, but he will be joining us for dinner so you two better get cleaned up before he comes home.” Their mother replied absent-mindedly as she went back to cooking whatever food she was making for dinner, “Okay, thank you mama,” Wanda replied, “C’mon Piet, let’s get you cleaned up, me as well.”

Pietro smiled at his sister and pulled her through one of the doors on the left wall which turned out to be a small bathroom. The Avengers followed curiously and, even though it was small, they all managed to squeeze in before Pietro locked the door and turned to Wanda who already had a wet rag in her hand, dabbing at her nose, Pietro looked at her disapprovingly before taking the rag from her hand, she silently turned toward him and he started to dab at her nose until there wasn’t any blood left,

*Thankfully*, Steve thought as the silently watched the interaction with curiosity, he was wondering why the twins seemed so familiar with this, maybe they got bullied a lot? He didn’t like thinking about it and, anyone who knew Steve Rogers, knew he didn’t like bullies. “Does it hurt sister?” Pietro’s voice broke Steve from his inner-musings and he snapped back to the scene in front of him, “No, Piet, not anymore,” Wanda answered, “Do you?” Pietro started to shake his head and protest, but Wanda cut him off, “Don’t lie I saw him hit you, he got your chest and stomach pretty good at least twice. If not more.” She gives an unimpressed look. The Avengers in the room stifled giggles at the sight of the twins, they looked so carefree, despite having been in a fight half an hour before.

Pietro sighed his sister was too damn observant for her own good sometimes, “I’m fine Wands, promise.” Wanda gazed at him in what looked like, utter disbelief, “Take off your shirt then.” She said simply. Pietro sputtered and shook his head looking slightly anxious, “Wha- Wanda I-I can’t,” Wanda smirked, “Why not?” She questioned easily and Pietro cursed quietly under his breath, “Sorry what was that?” Wanda said smugly, smirking at her brothers’ discomfort, “I hate you.” Pietro replied.

“No. I don’t think you do Pietro, and you never answered my question. Why can’t you take off your shirt?” Wanda asked, “‘Cuz it hurts…” He sighed looking at his feet ashamedly, Wanda sighed, “Piet,” Wanda put her hand under his chin raising her gaze to meet his, “Where does it hurt?” She asked softly as if scared he would run away, “My ribs,” he said raising his hand to where it hurt, on his left side, “It’s worse than last time…” he trailed off as if scared Wanda would be mad at him,

“I’m not mad, Piet,” at his look of disbelief, she shook her head and smiled a little, “Okay, well I was a little mad you lied about it but I’m not mad at you for getting hurt, you did it to protect me, Okay? I will never be mad for you protecting others or yourself, just don’t go jumping into every fight you can simply because you can, Okay? Be smart, think it through, Pro’s and Con’s, right? Pro: You help someone else, Con: You get yourself in a load of trouble, and possibly get hurt therefor it’s not worth it, alright? And I can handle a couple of idiots that think hitting me will make me cry and be weak, so you don’t need to protect me all the time, Okay? I’m strong too. Now,” she said looking over Pietro’s injuries and cataloguing them, “can I take off your shirt? I need to see your ribs.”

Pietro seemed to perk up at his sisters pep talk, “You always know exactly what to say and when, it’s like you can read minds,” he laughed, “If I got super-powers, I don’t think I would like to read minds,” He sighed, “I think it would be way too loud with everyone screaming at you all the time I would want something useful…like, invisibility!! Or Teleportation!!” Wanda sighed at her twins excitement, “We’re not getting super-powers, and even if we did I wouldn’t want mind reading or anything either, it would be so loud and awful and horrible, I would like something from your comic books, you know where that guy can move things with his mind or whatever, plus I think you would have super-speed or something crazy just so you could run to my side and try and protect me every time a punch gets thrown even though you know I can handle myself.”

Pietro looked off into the distance as if imagining it, “Yes! Super-speed that would totally be my power because I can run you away from danger and it’s also kind of like teleportation in a way I guess and also think about how good it would be in a fight! The guy would never see my coming! I would just be a blur!” Wanda sighed again, they were getting off track here, “Pietro we need to focus, Papa will be back soon we need to be presentable, am I allowed to take off your shirt?” She asked quietly and carefully, when her brother nodded, she smiled and said, “Brace yourself this might hurt.” He nodded his head, and she lifted his shirt carefully over his stomach to his chest, “Arms up.” She ordered and he obeyed although winced afterwards she nodded at him and gave him a grateful smile then turned to look at his bruises, “Your super-speed had better come with super healing the number of injuries you get, honestly.” She shook her head at her brother, and he grinned as if this was a great idea, she felt around his ribs for a little while and softly apologised every time he winced, but she didn’t stop. “Alright, bruised but nothing worse I don’t think, it’s going to be sore for a few days, but you should be fine in a couple days, I can give you some of those tablets for the pain, you know like mama takes all the time? Do you want some now to last through dinner and till bedtime? Or at bedtime that will last until the early morning?” She asked him,

He nodded in understanding, “I’ll have some now because papa will get mad if he sees me in pain but I’m guessing that means little to no sleep tonight huh?” He asked knowingly and she gave a small nod, “That’s alright, we should get you some makeup for your eye though, don’t want papa to get mad.” She nodded again, “You’re the fastest, Piet, into mama’s room, get some makeup, get out, Okay?” He nodded slowly and she followed up with, “Don’t stick around, you know papa will get mad and also maybe grab some gloves or something unless you want everyone to see these,” she said pointing out his obviously bruised knuckles.

“I’ll be back in a minute sister,” He said and went toward the door, she nodded again, “Be careful, play it safe. If Papa catches you, we are done for.” She told him. He nodded again and unlocked the door he walked out, none of the Avengers followed until Clint grabbed Steve, Tony and Sam and pulled them down the hall after Pietro, he was curious about what Wanda was warning him about and decided following might give him some insight, that left Natasha, Rhodey, and Vision alone in the bathroom with Wanda. They watched as she poked at her bruises carefully and even though she told Pietro it didn’t hurt and put on a brave face, she still winced a little and her hand reached for a bottle of pain meds next to the counter, she looked inside she shook out the only pill remaining, she could take this now and tell Pietro they were out of pills or she could leave it and give it to Pietro.

Natasha regarded the girl curiously, she then watched as Wanda lifted up her shirt showing blue and purple bruising right along her abdomen that looked like she had been kicked. Hard. Natasha winced, that looks painful. She looked to her left to see the other two guys looking at each other in alarm and watching at Wanda took the pill from the counter and held it in her hands, seemingly weighing her options, she then shook her head and sighed putting the pill back in the bottle presumably for Pietro. All Natasha could think was about how fucking selfless Wanda seemed in this moment…

Wanda quickly glanced at the door and then at a clock Natasha hadn’t even realised was there, she sighed deeply and took a step toward the door, she opened it and walked out, deeper into the small apartment, probably toward where Pietro went, Natasha and the boys followed quickly, “Pietro?” Wanda called out, “Brother are you okay? You have been gone a long while…” she walked through the door on the far-left hand side of the apartment (next to the bathroom which was closer to the door) and into what Natasha assumed was their parents’ room to see Pietro leaning against the dresser, he now sported a black eye and a bit of blood trickled from a new gash on his forehead,

“Sister,” He rasped out, “Wanda please,” Wanda froze recognising his tone immediately, “No, he’s not here, where is he?” She whispered and Pietro just mewled out one word and everyone in the room froze including the Avengers, “Belt.” Pietro breathed and instantly she grabbed Pietro and steadied him on his feet, he was swaying slightly. “We need to go, Now!’ She whispers shouted, “Pietro please, here take this.” She held out the pill from earlier, “Are you hungry?” She asked after he had swallowed it, he nodded, “Yes.” He breathed and Wanda glanced around the room quickly, “Okay, here’s what’s going to happen now alright? You are going to climb out that window and follow the fire-escape down until you reach the ground, then you are going to leave and meet me at our place where no-one can see you. You are going to meet me there and I will go get us food alright?”

He nodded confusedly, “Wait, Wanda what are you going to do?” She smirked slyly at him, “I dear brother am going to find us some money for food. I promise I will be right back out, Okay?” His head was starting to feel woozy from the pain meds and he nodded and headed for the window, she watched him climb down the fire-escape and quickly turned back around she needed a hiding place, fast. The Avengers didn’t really understand what was going on, but they had a fair idea.

Everyone glanced at each other and Tony blew out a gusty breath, “I- I don’t know what to say…” Clint nodded and then looked at each of them, “We need to split up again, same groups different twin?” Everyone else reluctantly agreed and they split up again this time Natasha’s group went with Pietro and Tony, Steve, Sam and Clint went with Wanda, they had saw a man in the bedroom shout at Pietro before giving him a slap for being in that room, Tony recognised the man from earlier but kept it to himself. They saw him hit Pietro then mumble about dinner and a belt and leave while Pietro couldn’t seem to move, frozen in fear no doubt. It wasn’t long before Wanda had come and seen him and quickly told him to leave when she, herself had stayed.

The three men watched as Wanda seemed to study the room before she then stumbled out of the room, carefully glancing around in case, who everyone presumed to be her father, was still around to see her leave the room. There was noise from the kitchen and even though it wasn’t loud it was easily heard as there was only a single, thin wall separating the kitchen from the rest of the rooms Tony recognised it as someone talking but he couldn’t make out quite what they were saying. Wanda snuck past the kitchen and rushed toward the living room and the small bed on the right-hand side of the apartment, in the living room, Clint realised that this must be where the twins slept, or at least one of them, Wanda pushed the hand under the mattress carefully and into a small tear in the bottom of it, she pulled out a few coins that didn’t look like that much money.

Tony watched with curiosity as Wanda carefully counted each coin and then split the coins and put half back under the mattress. As someone who has always had money, he didn’t fully understand the struggle of having to go hungry or save money, wondering when your next meal will be, but seeing it now, he figured he could understand some of what it’s like,

Wanda glanced around the apartment again which was now deathly silent, the sounds from the kitchen gone, she got up and walked carefully toward the door before a loud smash registered throughout the apartment, Wanda visibly blanched and spun around, she looked torn between running into the kitchen and investigating and going to find her brother she eventually settled on going to find Pietro and walked out of the door swiftly closing it quietly behind her. She made it down onto the street and glanced around once before walking toward the middle of the town, the men watched as she made her way toward the old church that they recognised as where they fought Ultron.

What- Tony thought but it was cut off where he heard Wanda calling for Pietro, “Piet, are you here?” She asked quietly before a flash of brunette hair tumbled into her, she hugged her brother back and asked how he felt to which he replied, “Hungry.” And she laughed and said, “So your superpowers are Super-speed, Super-Healing and… Hunger?” Pietro grinned and nodded, “High meta- met- the thing that makes me skinny."

“Metabolism?” Wanda guessed and Pietro nodded so she shook her head in faux disappointment before laughing at her brother, the twins sat down and huddled together against a far wall of the church and the scene paused. It was only then that Tony noticed the other three Avengers standing against the other wall to the left of the doorway they walked through.

“Anything interesting happen?” He asked quietly even though he knew, logically, that the twins couldn’t hear him. Natasha shook her head and Tony nodded before Clint spoke up from his right, “Do we know what’s happening yet? How have we got here? How are we going to get out? I don’t know about you guys but the idea of someone poking about my head like this. Seeing the memories I don’t want to share with anyone but myself and whoever else is in it? I don’t agree with that, so we need to stop this, and soon.” Everyone nodded quickly in agreement before Rhodey said, “Is that supposed to happen?” The Avengers quickly glanced around to see yet another door materialise and open before they walked through, cautiously.

Chapter Text

The Avengers quickly glanced around to see yet another door materialise and open before they walked through, cautiously.

Pietro was standing in the apartment from earlier, but he was taller and more muscular although not by much, Wanda, who was sitting on the small bed in the corner of the living room, looked slightly older and her hair was longer but other than that there wasn’t much difference, Tony estimated that the twins were around 10 here, maybe older and watched as Pietro moved around anxiously, like he couldn’t sit still.

Wanda watched her brother pace before sighing heavily and speaking, “Pietro, sit down, your pacing isn’t going to help, you’re going to put a hole in the floor.”

Pietro looked over at his sister and shook his head fiercely, “No Wanda, I won’t allow it. They can’t do this.” Wanda sighed, exasperated, and shook her head, “Then can, Pietro, and they are. It’s not even that bad, you’re making this out to be way worse than it is! Plus, we all know I’m way smarter than you anyways.” Pietro looked at his sister, “You know, I’m twelve minutes older than you.”

Wanda shook her head and patted the bed next to her, “C’mon, sit.” Pietro reluctantly moved to sit next to her, and she sighed, “I’ll be Okay, you know. I don’t always need you to protect me, I can take it.” Pietro ran his hands through his hair and shook his head, “Doesn’t mean I have to like it.” He said and she laughed, “Piet, I’m only moving grades, it’s fine.”

Pietro laughed and replied, “Yeah but you’ll be with the older kids and you won’t be able to let me copy your homework anymore.”

The boy pouted and the Avengers had to stifle laughs at the young boys’ antics as Wanda laughed at her brother and shoved him teasingly, “Plus, we all know that I’m smarter, it’s not that surprising, the only difference in grades is that there are harder mathematics and better English lessons, I’ll be able to read it soon I think.” Pietro nodded and gave his sister a hug before the scene paused on their smiling faces.

“Wanda got moved up a grade when she was ten?” Steve asked, surprised and Natasha nodded, “Yeah when I began to teach her some basics I assumed she hadn’t been to school in years, but she knows Sokovian, Russian, English and German, can read it too apparently. She also kept up pretty well during the maths and sciency stuff. Seemed particularly interested in computers and coding, said an old friend had taught her.”

Clint smiled at that and was about to say something when Tony shouted, “Maximoff!” And snapped his fingers as if he figured something important out.

Everyone looked toward him confused and he sighed before answering the unasked question, “When I was updating FRIDAY the other week, and I noticed traces of someone else’s code within her, I traced it to someone in the Tower but couldn’t figure out who, figured it was Romanoff, maybe Peter, but it was slightly better than either of their code and didn’t have the same signature, so I thought maybe Barton or Vision, but I didn’t understand why. I asked FRIDAY about it and she said nothing was different except the CCTV sometimes shuts off at seemingly random times. And that someone else has updated her and fixed some weaknesses in the code. Maximoff could’ve done it.” He looked at Natasha, “Right?”

Natasha nodded slowly, confused, “Why did she have the CCTV cut off though?” Tony only shrugged and the rest of the Avengers just agreed before Rhodey spoke up, “Wait, Maximoff helped to strengthen YOUR code? How did she know the weaknesses and figure them out before even you could?” Tony flushed slightly and replied, “I have no idea.”

The doorway appeared near them and Vision spoke while it was materialising and opening, “I have seen Wanda’s coding and she is really good at it; I wonder where she learned it.” Everyone looked at him in shock because one, he knew Wanda could code. And two, he just called her Wanda, not ‘Miss Maximoff’ like he does to everyone else.

Sam, surprisingly was the first to call him on it, “Since when have you and Wanda been on a first-name basis?” He tilted his head and Vision’s complexion seemingly darkened, Can synthezoid’s blush? Vision looked down bashfully and replied sheepishly, “She finds it amusing when I call her ‘Miss Maximoff’, so I only call her that when she’s within earshot.”

To say that everyone was shocked by this is an understatement and Steve broke the silence with a small chuckle, he went to reply but was cut off when the scene behind the door shifted twice and they hurried through.

The first scene was a young Pietro cowering behind his sister with a bloody nose while their father screamed at them, calling them stupid and a few of other choice words, Wanda just stood there before glancing at her brother, her eyes flashed something that Tony swore looked very close to her signature red before she started screaming back at her father, “YOU DO NOT GET TO TALK TO HIM LIKE THAT! YOU DO NOT GET TO DO THIS EVERY TIME YOU COME HOME FROM WORK DRUNK AND ANGRY! GOD I WISH YOU WOULD JUST DIE ALREADY SO ME AND PIETRO CAN LIVE ALONE IN PEACE!”

Most of the Avengers had been on the receiving end of Wanda’s anger at least once, but this was different, the young girl was hysterical and she ducked a blow that her father sent her way, “INSOLENT CHILD!” He screamed, “YOU WILL NEVER BE WITHOUT ME! YOU TWO THINK YOU CAN SURVIVE ALONE? GO ON THEN! OUT!”

Wanda was shocked by his shouting but shrugged and walked away, her brother trailing after her hesitantly, “STAY FOR DINNER! WE ARE A FAMILY!” Their father roared and Wanda screamed back, “FINE!” Before collapsing onto her bed and the scene changed quickly to a few minutes later.

“Pietro! Dinner!” The team saw Wanda and Pietro’s mother at the table with their father, Wanda having called her brother who was rushing in to sit down, fumbling with his shirt, the old one had been covered in blood from his nose so he had to get changed.

He finally got it over his head and sat down looking around and grinning, Wanda chuckled at her brother and ruffled his hair before their father cleared his throat pointedly and they both straightened instantaneously, “Wanda.” Their father’s voice was low, rough and gravelly, and Wanda straightened impossibly more at the sound of it, “Yes papa?” She asked, he continued as if she never spoke, “How is school? You have to keep your grades up; you know what will happen if you don’t.” His fist clenched and she visibly gulped before nodding, “Yes papa I know.” He nodded and they all started eating in silence.

In the distance gunshots were heard but none of the family flinched unlike the Avengers who all tensed, Tony visibly blanched when a loud bang was heard outside the window, at the bang, the family finally did tense, “Oleg.” The twin’s mother whispered, and Oleg sighed angrily but began eating again, glaring at them all until they followed his lead, suddenly there was another loud bang this one way closer, in fact, it was right under the family.

Everything happened so fast not even Natasha could barely even register what was happening, the bang was heard followed by a loud cracking and the floor fell through.

Pietro grabbed his sister lightning fast and thew her under the small bed in the corner of the living room as the twins watched in horror as their parents screamed and fell through the floor into the flames that made this seem like they fell to the fiery pits of hell, Pietro hugged his sister tightly, whispering reassurances and Wanda was silently staring at the hole her entirely face blank, she hugged her brother back and tucked him into her.

The roof began to collapse in, and a large hole was already in the wall that now was a smoking ruin, the rubble passed through the trespassing Avengers as if they were ghosts, then suddenly a large shell came flying through a hole in the wall right in front of the twins the name ‘Stark Industries’ on the side of the shell, everyone paled, Tony especially looked like he was going to throw up.

Suddenly a large CRACK! was heard and the Avengers saw Wanda throw her brother under her and lean over the top of him while part of the wall fell on top of the bed, burying it. Wanda’s shoulder and back were the only thing keeping it from crushing them, she cried out and Pietro seemed to snap out of whatever daze he was in quickly and reached up to help hold the rubble, the twins worked together and soon got arranged into something semi-comfortable with Wanda’s shoulder still holding most of the bed up but now Pietro was also helping support the weight.

Pietro nudged her quietly and looked up at the shell sitting three feet in front of them, the twins lay silently absorbing what just happened and staring at the shell for hours, finally there were voices shouting up, “Maybe they are here to help.” Pietro suggested excitedly but Wanda sighed, “Or maybe they are the ones who sent it.”

Pietro quieted down instantly, and Wanda shook her head in guilt, “Call them, we will be stuck here forever otherwise.” Pietro pursed his lips but followed the semi-order and began shouting until his voice was hoarse. The rescuers heard them and began asking if they were okay and if they could describe how their surroundings looked, Pietro answered all questions. He told them that there was two of them and that there was a shell that hadn’t gone off in front of them.

The rescuers promised to get them out soon and the twins agreed to stay where they were.

Later that night when Pietro was asleep next to Wanda, Wanda looked around and sighed before she began talking, seemingly toward the sky, “Let me die, please. If it keeps him alive, let me die. I can’t live without him, I can’t. I’ll go mad, I can’t… I can’t, I can’t…I’m sorry, I’m sorry Papa, I’m sorry…” she kept repeating it over and over and eventually drifted off to sleep.

Another door manifested near the Avengers and opened to the twins now walking out of the ruined remains of their apartment, the sun bright but the atmosphere dark. They looked utterly terrified as an old woman told them they would be safe now, they soon turned up at an orphanage and as soon as the twins saw it they began protesting that they can’t live there but they relented when the woman threatened them with the authorities.

Wanda and Pietro walked toward the orphanage as the scene paused and shifted again, the twins were sneaking out of the window now. Pietro went first, Wanda followed swiftly as they ran into the darkness of the night.

Chapter Text

Pietro went first, Wanda followed swiftly as they ran into the darkness of the night.

Tony and the other Avengers got increasingly pale as each event unfolded, by the time the sequence ended, the only three that didn’t look ill were, Natasha, who had her stoic cold mask on, Clint, who had a similar face to Natasha and Vision, who was a robot but still had a look of distress in his eyes.

Tony swayed on his feet and Steve caught him he looked incredibly pale and a light shade of green, he stumbled away from Steve’s grip and threw up on the ground. He coughed and spluttered for a few minutes before he turned back to face the team, popping a mint into his mouth from his pocket as he went.

“God…” He was speechless, “I mean I knew. Logically. I knew, but holy SHIT that was awful and that- and that fight? With her dad? MINUTES before?” Tony paled even more and shook his head, “She must have felt so guilty…”

Everyone nodded in agreement and barely registered the door emerging and opening behind them until someone shouted, “Pietro!” Everyone quickly spun toward the source of the sound and saw Wanda, now around age 12-13 as she called her brother over.

He rushed toward her and she smiled so he relaxed, when he got to her she turned to him and said, “Hey, so, Ivana asked if I wanted to get food, she’d pay, and I said yes, so I may not be at the church tonight and if I am I might be late, but I’ll bring you back some food okay? You can go flirt with one of your girlfriends or whatever it is you do and I’ll see you later.”

She went to walk away but Pietro spun her back around and gave her an incredulous look, “What?” She asked and Pietro looked around the busy street they stood on before lowering his voice, “Ivana? As in ‘oh my god Pietro she’s so gorgeous and funny and bubbly and fun and amazing and- oh my god I think I love her’ Ivana? You’re going on a date with THAT Ivana?” His voice taken on a mock Wanda tone and has also had risen as he spoke and Wanda shushed him and shoved him away.

“First, I do not sound like that!” Pietro tilted his head and lifted an eyebrow in a ’sure’ kind of way but Wanda just continued, “Secondly, It’s NOT a date.” She sighed, “We’re just friends. I TOLD you this.”

Pietro snorted, “Oh yeah cause all the kids from the street have so much money and really enjoy paying for things for other people, even friends.” Wanda blushed and shook her head, “I’m going to be late, don’t do anything stupid I’ll meet you at the church later… maybe.” She walked off and Pietro had a smug grin on his face as he whispered, “Go get ‘em sis.” To his sister’s retreating back.

The Avengers all found themselves smiling at the scene despite the confusion over the fact Wanda seemingly liked girls, this was new information.

There was a quick shuffle through the next door and five quick flashes of a girl with green eyes and blonde hair and soft lips before they stopped and the Avengers looked around what seemed to be a dark alleyway and saw Wanda backing the girl up against the wall, they were kissing and Wanda laughed at something that the others couldn’t hear, in fact, they couldn’t hear anything, it was really quiet, too quiet.

“Why can’t we hear?” Rhodey asked causing Natasha to smirk and look at him, “You really want to hear this?” she gestured to the two girls, Wanda now had the girls hands pinned above her head and was whispering in her ear and kissing her neck causing the girl to groan and push her hips forward which made Wanda to chuckle lowly, Rhodey conceded her point and let the subject drop.

The two girls' kissing got more intense and the Avengers felt the need to look away, uncomfortable, Like they were trespassing on something they shouldn't be seeing.

Natasha was the only one who didn’t seem to mind overly, her head cocked to the side and her eyes narrowed, assessing, while the guys turned to face the other direction, before the scene could go much further than Wanda flicking the button of the girl, Ivana's, jeans, a new door opened and the Avengers hurried through, Clint and Rhodey pulling a smirking Natasha through.

Wanda was back in the church now and the Avengers groaned in relief that they wouldn’t have to see that private moment, Pietro got up from where he was sitting his sister came in, he took one look at her ruffled clothes and hair and smirked,

“So it was a date?” He asked smugly and Wanda laughed and replied, “Pietro stop it. I don’t kiss and tell.” Although the smirk on her face told all, Pietro laughed and hugged her, “I’m happy for you sis. Now let’s sleep?” He pouted with puppy dog eyes and Wanda groaned and gave in, the twins relaxing into each other on the floor of the church.

The Avengers all glanced at each other and Tony looked at Vision who had seemingly gotten closest to Wanda, “She likes girls?” He asked and Vision nodded and said, “She is attracted to females, yes. I believe she is also attracted to males but prefers females.”

Everyone nodded, processing this information and Steve looked utterly baffled, “That’s a thing? You can like both?” Vision nodded and Steve continues, “I mean I know you can have guys that are attracted to guys or girls that are attracted to girls, but you can like both?” He mulled this over in his head and seemed deep in thought, everyone around him was slightly confused and worried for the Captain until Sam clapped Steve on the back, breaking him out of his thoughts, Steve looked at his friend in shock before smiling gently and turning to the group,

“Right, anyways, Vision, any ideas on how to get out of here?” He asked and Vision shook his head and replied, “No, I think we need to let it play out until we are kicked out. We shouldn’t worry too much about witnessing private moments that Wanda keeps dear to her as the last vision we saw seemed to block off anything personal, from what I’ve gathered, they seem to be her mind-blocks for things too intimate or painful for prying eyes.”

Another door opened to the right and they all braced themselves for whatever was next.

Chapter Text

Another door opened to the right and they all braced themselves for whatever was next.

This time Pietro and Wanda looked to be around the same age as last time maybe a couple months more ragged, living on the streets will do that to you.

Pietro was walking down the street and Wanda was watching him from her place at the other end of it, he quickly passed by a line of stalls that sold fruit and fresh bread and Natasha and Clint noticed him sneakily lift a few apples and shove them in his pockets, he continued down the street and when he passed the bread stand, he swiped two rolls so quickly the spies briefly thought they were imagining it.

He disappeared into the crowd as some commotion started from the man running the fruit stand exclaiming in Sokovian about how there was a little thief and pointed to Pietro. Pietro noticed this and started to run down the street, they saw Wanda do the same as her brother, dashing into an alleyway to her left.

The Avengers looked at each other questioningly and Tony was, surprisingly, the first to take off after the twins, zipping and weaving through the crowds and buildings. Pietro was fast and even Natasha had a bit of trouble keeping up with him but eventually the twins both made it to their predetermined meeting place.

They both took in each other’s dishevelled states and it was quiet for a minute before both twins burst out laughing, genuine joy on their faces that no-one had seen from Wanda before, “Brother,” Wanda wheezed between giggles, “How is it that you're faster yet I’m better at stealing? You always get caught!”

Pietro scoffed indignantly and exclaimed, “I do not! You never see me coming! It’s part of my charm!” He combed his hair back as he said it, smirking at his sister, “Oh yes.” Wanda replied sarcastically, rolling her eyes, “Cause you get all the girls with that ‘charm.’”

Pietro grinned cockily and swiftly replied, “Well not ALL the girls, considering how you keep stealing them from me…” Wanda groaned, “I do not.” She grumbled and Pietro lifted and eyebrow and replied, “Oh really? What about Olivia, remember her? I was chatting her up for weeks and then you swooped in and took her. What about Gertie? Practically the same thing, I would say the same about Ivana, but she’s always been just a friend to me but still! You smile that ‘charming’ Wanda smile, and all the girls just fall at your feet, and do you remember that one time-"

“Okay! Okay! I get it!” Wanda snapped and Pietro closed his mouth with a smirk knowing he won this argument, Wanda seems to come to the same conclusion because she speaks up again, “You are still worse at stealing than me.” Pietro laughs and nods his head,

The Avengers smile at the twins, their banter in a potentially dire situation knows no bounds and they really are siblings, most of the Avengers had never seen this side of Wanda before, after Pietro died a few months ago, she had been a wreck, everyone else had been too angry or too scared of her to do anything to help her.

Hell, Tony realised, he had never even had a conversation with her since Sokovia. He had been too afraid, too angry, for what she did, how she did it, the things she could make him see, to actually see her as a seventeen-year-old kid, she puts up a good front and is very mature, even now he could see her and her brother grow up faster than kids should, they even knew basic first aid by age 8! Wanda was smart, he could tell, but no kid should grow up that fast.

Lost in his own thoughts Tony doesn’t realise that every other Avenger except Vision is thinking along the same things,

Natasha had stayed away from the witch because she had been able to unravel her in 5 seconds, Natasha had been civil, had a few meaningless conversations, helped tutor her in basic high-school courses and pretended she didn’t hear Wanda puttering around the kitchen at 4am, pretend to not notice the dark circles under her eyes that were carefully covered by makeup, pretended that she didn’t hear her scream and cry at 2am when the witch finally got some sleep just to be awoke by nightmares and trauma, Karma, Natasha had thought each time, she deserves it, for what she did, with Ultron and her freaky mind-powers.

Now, looking back, all Natasha felt was guilt, the young girl had suffered enough, she just needed a friend.

Steve had tried to help Wanda but couldn’t let go of what she showed him, couldn’t get Peggy’s voice out of his head every time he looked at her, the girl was really good at masks, could put even Natasha to shame, because he knew that she knew what he was thinking.

She seemingly never let it hurt her and just smiled a sad smile before continuing the conversation she had been having with him or whoever was in the room at the time, he didn’t trust her then, but now, Steve realised he was being a bad leader, he was supposed to be helping her, she lived in a new country with strangers and her entire family was dead and these people, she now had to live with (Because where else would she go?) were pretty awful to her, he resolved to fix this.

Clint was thinking along the same lines, the kid’s brother had gave his life for his but afterward, he didn’t even bother checking in on Wanda before going back to his wife and kids, he hadn’t had a full conversation with her since, well, since everything, maybe a few odd phone calls here and there but nothing much, she seemed to be doing fine.

Now seeing Wanda and Pietro interact, acting like kids, talking about crushes, he realised just how YOUNG the girl really was, and now she lived with people who were afraid of or angry at her, she had no family just strangers that know nothing about her except what it said on some files that had a hell of a lot of gaps in them, hell they never even knew she liked girls! Or that their parents weren’t the best before they died! He promised himself that he would talk to her more.

Sam had actually spoken to Wanda a few times, she had never actually done anything to him he had only heard the stories about the dangerous witch from Sokovia who could tear your mind apart with the flick of her wrist, he, however, had only ever seen a young girl who was witty and funny and had an affinity for guitar.

He hadn’t known how much this girl had to have gone through in her 17 short years of life, he had figured, due to her age and the fact she was always ALWAYS smiling, that she would come to him when or if she wanted to get her trauma off her chest, he realised that that was an idealistic view because she was living in a place filled with people that didn’t trust her and she was a freaking empath so of course she wouldn’t talk to anyone about her issues, especially not Captain America's Best Friend.

Rhodey didn’t know this girl very well but he knew that he had never seen her smile like this, despite the fact she always seemed happy, he realised now this was an act and told himself he would help this girl if she ever needed it.

“Shit,” Steve said, effectively snapping everyone out of their thoughts because did Captain ‘Language’ America just swear?

“Wow.” Was all Tony could say looking at Steve like he had grown another head, “Did you just- am I- Did you just swear or am I dreaming?” He asks and everyone chuckled slightly before Steve replied, “Yeah I swore because I just realised how young she is, like I forget sometimes because she’s always happy and puts on a damn good mask, better than Tasha’s I think.”

Sam, Natasha and Tony nodded in agreement, before Clint spoke “Yeah I don’t think I’ve had an actual conversation with her since the whole,” he paused briefly but they all knew what he was trying to say, “I kind of just went back to see Laura and the kids, didn’t think about the fact she had just lost her brother and best-friend and then tried to kill herself.”

Everyone’s eyes widened at the last part and Clint looked around in confusion, “What?” He asked and Sam spoke quietly, “She what?” He asked his voice quiet as if he didn’t want to know the answer, Clint’s eyes widened in realisation and he spun around to face Vision who lowered his head, “You didn’t tell them?!”

Vision looked up briefly and then replied, “Wanda did not want to be a cause for alarm, she though the team had been through enough because of-" he cut himself off, but everyone knew what he was saying, “What!?”

It was, surprisingly, Natasha who spoken this time, “She didn’t tell us that she tried to kill herself because she thought that it would be an inconvenience?!” The team all looked at each other before snapping their eyes back to Clint, “Explain. Now.” Steve said in his ‘Captain America’ voice,

Clint gulped before speaking, “Back in Sokovia, after...Pietro,” he spoke slowly, “She went to find Ultron, get her revenge and all that, he told her that if she were to stay there she would die but she claimed she already had before ripping his...heart? Metal? Out right as the city began to drop, she didn’t care, she wanted to be with him and if it hadn’t been for Vision flying over to get her, she would have died in Sokovia with her brother, she even tried to protest Visions help and screamed that she wanted to be with Pietro before Vision calmed her down and took her to the Heli-Carrier.”

Everyone was shocked, to say the least, but before they could say anything else, another door that they hadn’t seen appear opened up to a new scene

Chapter Text

Everyone was shocked, to say the least, but before they could say anything else, another door that they hadn’t seen appear opened up to a new scene

The twins were resting against a wall In what looked to be an abandoned building then were probably around 15-16 now, Pietro had his head in his sisters lap as she stroked his hair, humming softly, at first glance it looked like a peaceful scene but on closer inspection, Pietro was shivering violently and sweat was dripping down his forehead, he looked deathly pale and Wanda looked exhausted, but awake, as soon as Pietro’s breathing evened out Wanda looked at the ceiling and bit her lip, holding back tears.

“He was right Piet.” She whispered suddenly but Pietro made no movement, “Papa, I mean, the last day, when he said we wouldn’t last out here alone, he was right.” Finally, the tears began to fall, and she stifled a sob, “You’re dying, Piet. I can feel it. We have no money, no medicine, you can’t die.” She looked down at her brother for a few minutes almost as if she were trying to memorise him, before her face turned steely with determination and she wiped her tears away.

“Don’t worry brother, I will not let you die, not alone, anyways. I promise.” She gently manoeuvred the sleeping boy onto a swaddle of blankets and crept out of the room.

The Avengers followed her silently as she walked toward a clinic, it was dark out so there wasn’t a lot of people on the streets as she walked. She eventually made it there and walked in confidently until she reached the woman at the desk, “Excuse me?” She asked and the woman looked up briefly before returning to the files she was reading, “I need help.” Wanda said and the woman finally looked up, gave her a once over followed by a glare, “You seem fine. What do you want from me, street-rat?” The woman asked with disgust.

Wanda stood taller at that and answered in a dangerously low voice, “First of all, don’t call me that, you have no idea what I could do to you and secondly,” she paused and gave the woman a look of repugnance before continuing, “My brother has tuberculosis and I need help. If you can’t help then can I at least get a knife or something?”

The woman paused at that and her face softened for half a second before she glared at Wanda, “It’ll cost.” She said finally and Wanda nodded, “Whatever it takes.” The woman looked her over again and then said, “Name?” To which Wanda replied, “Ivana Dulka.” The woman nodded and typed something on a computer in the far corner, “Ivana Dulka, parents dead, brother missing, presumed dead.”

The nurse muttered under her breath and then turned back around to Wanda, “Did I forget to mention that I knew Ivana? So, I know she died a year and a half ago. Tuberculosis, right?” The nurse gave Wanda a smug grin at her obvious shock and then asked, “How did you know my niece?”

Wanda tilted her head and narrowed her eyes, “Huh.” She said and, at the curious raised eyebrow the nurse gave her Wanda grinned and said, “You have her eyes, and mouth, Mother’s side? Or Father’s?” The nurse shook her head, “Father’s, now, how did you know Ivana, What’s your name?”

“What’s yours?” Wanda countered, the nurse shook her head at the deflection but answered anyway, “Karlinka Dulka, at your service. And you are?” Wanda clicked her fingers and pointed at Karlinka, “Right, yeah, she talked about you a lot, the aunt with a strict hand but heart of gold. I’m Wanda, Wanda Maximoff.”

Karlinka’s eyes lit up at that, “Charming Wanda with bright eyes and soft hair?” She mocked in a dreamy tone of voice and Wanda laughed and nodded, “Yes, she talked about you a lot too. Was going to bring you here I think, to meet me, but then with the…” Karlinka trailed off and the light-hearted atmosphere of the room disappeared.

“TB,” Wanda sighed, “Yeah, I remember.”

Karlinka nodded, “Yes, of course you do, did you ever go see her? She was calling for you the day before she…passed.” Wanda nodded slowly and answered, “Yes, the following morning actually, I was there when she woke up. We said what was needed to be said and I was with her until…”

Karlinka nodded and sighed, blinking back tears before speaking again, “Your Brother?” She asked quietly and Wanda laughed sadly shaking her head, “Yeah I have some sort of weird luck with this sort of thing, everyone and everything I love tends to leave.”

Karlinka nodded and moved around the desk to hug Wanda who allowed it for a few minutes before letting go and stepping back, she cleared her throat, “Can you help? I don’t want to see him die like that.” Karlinka paused, “How bad?” Wanda sighed, “Chills, Fever, He’s losing weight and has a horrible cough. I know it’s bad, I know how this goes, he’ll be dead by the end of the month, two at most.”

Karlinka smiled sadly, “I’m sorry, I don’t have the resources for curing TB, not when it’s this far along anyways, I can give him so pain meds at most, but I can’t do much else.” Wanda sighed and nodded, “I thought so, it was a long shot anyways,” she glanced around, “Can I- You own this place right?”

Karlinka nodded slowly, “Can I bring him here?” Wanda asked, “Just because I want him to be comfortable, I know what’s coming, we won’t be here longer than a month and then we’ll be gone. It’s better than the old, abandoned building down the road.”

Karlinka pursed her lips and looked Wanda up and down before sighing and nodding, “Only because Ivana loved you so you must be alright.” Wanda snorted, “She had the worst taste in girls though, do you remember that bitch Kaleen? God that girl was a nightmare.”

Karlinka laughed and nodded her head, “Yes! God I wanted to tell her to drop that girl so badly, but she seemed so happy.” Wanda laughed and shook her head, “The breaking point was her trying to get Ivana to drop me, Kaleen wanted Ivana to herself and could tell I was jealous, so she tried to split us up, god I hit her so hard I think I broke her nose!” Both women were cackling now, swapping stories between them of Ivana.

The Avengers watched the scene fondly and even laughed at few of the stories and the things Ivana and Wanda got up to and could easily tell how much Wanda loved this girl, and from the stories Karlinka told, Ivana loved Wanda just as much.

Soon enough another door revealed itself and when it swung open they saw Pietro laying on a sick bed, Wanda on the chair next to him, half asleep, with her feet curled up under her. Suddenly, Karlinka appeared in the doorway, “Wanda?” She asked and the young girl stirred and then turned to look at her, “Yes?” Karlinka smiled, “C’mon I want to show you something.”

Wanda, bewildered, got up and trailed after Karlinka, “Ivana said you were super smart, were moved up a grade when you were ten and that you like computers but don’t have enough money to buy one for yourself?” Karlinka questioned and Wanda nodded slowly, confused as to where this was going, when Karlinka dragged her into a room that had a desk and small laptop.

Wanda looked at Karlinka in disbelief and asked carefully, “What is this?” Karlinka laughed, “It’s my laptop, you can use it while you are here, I can teach you to code I’ve been told I’m pretty good at it, learnt when I was a teen, thought it could help take your mind off things.” Wanda’s face softened and she blinked back tears before hugging Karlinka tightly and thanking her repeatedly, Karlinka just laughed and said, “Let’s get started, shall we?”

*So that’s where she learnt it,* Tony thought, *while her brother was dying, and she needed a distraction.* Tony was interested in seeing exactly what the little witch could do but refrained from voicing this thoughts as it may be a sensitive topic, the two women were walking toward the computer when the next door showed up, this one opened and Wanda screamed, “KARLINKA!” Causing the Avengers to brace themselves before they walked through...

Chapter Text

The Avengers walked through the door...

They were not prepared for what they saw, the clinic was on fire, flames licking up the sides of the walls as Wanda stood outside, crying, and screaming, “KARLINKA! PLEASE!”

Pietro was nowhere to be seen but since Wanda wasn’t upset and looking for her brother they figured he was safe, the fire was getting worse before some firemen managed to put it out, Wanda rushed inside anxiously and started digging through the charred remains, “Karlinka…”

Her voice was so broken as she walked into the back room, The Avengers followed hesitantly and soon had to overcome the urge to be sick, there was a body on the ground, burnt almost beyond recognition, but the green eyes were unmistakable.

Wanda suddenly retched and threw up in the corner, crying and saying Karlinka’s name over and over, some of the men that helped stop the fire managed to drag her away but not until after Wanda had gotten the laptop and what looked like a USB pen that was only slightly damaged to bring it with her, Outside, there was a man who wore a white lab coat and glasses, List.

“Wanda Maximoff?” He asked and Wanda numbly nodded staring at her hands that had blisters on them. It was only then that the Avengers noticed the burned and tattered clothes she wore, she must have been inside when the fire began but managed to get out on time, unlike Karlinka.

“I understand that your brother has tuberculosis and I wanted to inform you that I can help him.” Wanda looked List up and down before snorting, “Yeah and I’m the fucking pope.” She deadpanned but List just continued, “AND I can help you get revenge on Tony Stark.” Wanda’s head snapped up at that, “Stark is the least of my worries, thanks.”

List pursed his lips, “What if I told you it was his weapons that destroyed your apartment building AND burned down this building, killing your friend.” Wanda’s jaw clenched and she growled, “Aunt.” List looked at her in confusion before she elaborated, “She was my aunt, not by blood, but she was my aunt.” List shrugged, “All the more reason to avenge her.” Wanda studied him, “Prove it. That it was Stark’s weapons that did this.”

List smirked and walked toward the clinic, gesturing for Wanda to follow him. Wanda did and there, on the floor, was the unmistakeable Stark Industries logo on an odd-looking cylindrical object, Wanda growled lowly and looked at List, “What’s the catch?” List chuckled, “Just a few experiments, maybe some physical evaluation.” Wanda swallowed, “And my brother?” List smiled, “He will be okay, I promise.” Wanda hesitated but nodded, “Fine. I’ll think about it.” She stormed off toward Pietro.

The Avengers turned to Tony, “What weapon was that?” Rhodey asked, confused over having never seen the design, Tony shook his head, pale faced, and fists clenched, “A nasty contraption made to take down building filled with terrorists, not a bomb exactly, but it was meant to release whatever the holder put into it, gasoline became fire, gas was dispersed, gunpowder made a bomb, etc. I invented it shortly after mom and dad died. I was angry and not thinking straight but I sent the specs to Stane, didn’t think he made any but apparently he did.”

Everyone, even Natasha, was shocked by this, “You made a weapon designed to destroy a building and didn’t think to check whether it was produced? Even after the whole Stane thing?!” Natasha shouted slightly louder than she wanted to, “God, Tony.”

Tony shook his head in guilt, “God no fucking wonder she wanted me dead, I thought it was just her parents, but it was the one person she thought wouldn’t leave her, god. She was JUST telling her about how everyone she loves left her, her parents were dead, her first love was dead, her brother was dying, and then her pseudo-aunt too? No fucking wonder she jumped at the chance to work with HYDRA, to keep her brother alive, dammit, and I was so fucking pissed, so untrusting thinking that she joined for selfish reasons like revenge for something that happened 7 years ago that was out of my control AND NOW IT KEEPS HAPPENING! I KEEP RUINING HER LIFE! THEY WANTED ME DEAD, TEAMED UP WITH ULTRON AND NOW HER BROTHER IS DEAD AND ITS MY FAULT! AND THEN SHE WAS THRUST INTO LIVING IN A TOWER NO-ONE SEEMS TO WANT HER AT AND SHE CAN FUCKING FEEL THAT DISTRUST AND GOD I FUCKING RUINED THIS GIRL! ITS MY FAULT, ITS MY FAULT, ITS MINE, ITS ALL MY FAU-" Tony’s sudden outburst had dissolved into sobs and no-one knew what to do, they all stared anxiously at the genius as he tore himself apart.

Suddenly, Pepper’s voice was heard, “Tony.” She said gently and Tony looked around wildly, “Pep?” He asked, it was only then everyone noticed that their surroundings were just a room, dimly lit, but had a bed in the corner and when Tony finally spotted Pepper he went to rush to her but Pepper put her hand up to stop him so he complied and she said, “I’m not Pepper Potts, I am merely a figment created due to Tony being on the cusp of a mental breakdown, I will only know what Wanda knows about Pepper Potts so I am sorry if my response is not to your liking.”

Tony stared, baffled, and almost jumped when Clint asked, “So, You’re Wanda? She knows we are in her head?” Pepper (or, rather, Fake Pepper, god this was confusing) shook her head, “No. Wanda knows something is happening because she can feel it, but she is unable to disconcern what it is due to her comatose status. And I’m not Wanda, or at least, not in the way you think. Let me try and explain, so, imagine that in Wanda’s mind there is like a library okay?” Everyone nodded so Faux-Pepper continued,

“Okay, so, everyone that Wanda meets, a new book is added to the library, the more she learns of a person, the more the pages fill until the book is finished when she either no longer has anything to know or she cannot learn. The first book was her Mother, she was maybe 3/4 filled before she died, her Father was second, he was only about 1/4 filled, the third was Pietro, his book was so long, his was finished but there is always more to know. He is complete. He is the only one complete except for Vision which is close seeing as she has known him from when he was created, and Ivana who Wanda knew intimately as well as being her best friend, Still with me?”

The Avengers nodded, understanding somewhat, of what Faux-Pepper was saying, Faux-Pepper continued, “Pepper Potts is only around 1/3 full, seeing as Wanda has never had a conversation with the woman, she is unable to fill the book but Tony’s loud thoughts and feelings around her, along with how you all talk about her, is enough to get the general gist.”

Tony paused, “Thoughts? I don’t want her reading my damn thoughts!” Faux-Pepper paused, “Trust me, neither does she.” Faux-Pepper (Fapper? Fepper?) smirked and rolled her eyes, “You think loud sometimes. Especially in situations of high-emotion or stress, similarly, Captain Rogers and Agent Romanoff are the same except it’s not due to emotions it is linked to their super-soldier serum, or the botched one that the KGB gave Agent Romanoff. At least, that’s what Wanda thinks.”

Everyone nodded briefly at that and then Steve asked, “So she can read my thoughts all the time?” Faux-Pepper laughed and shook her head, “No. Only when you think loud such as when it’s about her and how much you don’t trust her because she joined HYDRA and everything HYDRA did to James, or when you are overthinking everything and she has to leave the room or certain times of… heightened… emotion.”

Steve blushed at that and the team looked at him curiously, but he shook his head firmly, silently telling them not to go there. Natasha viewed Faux-Pepper wearily, “And me?” She asked and Faux-Pepper’s smile drops, “Similarly, when you think about her, but it also happens when you are calculating the easiest way to get out of a room or how quickly and easily you can kill someone, she can hear it, its loud and annoying but that’s about it, she’s not overly bothered, and it gives her the quickest escape routes without having to look for it herself.” Faux-Pepper grinned at that even though Natasha winced, some of those thoughts are about her…

Faux-Pepper laughed at that, as if she knew what she was thinking, come to think of it, she probably did.

“I told you, she’s not bothered.” Natasha nods in acceptance, not quite believing her, “Is that it?” She asks and Faux-Pepper hesitates before, “No, She…um…” The hesitation made the Avengers uneasy, “She what?” Natasha asked, dreading the answers, Faux-Pepper nodded slightly, “Can I ask you all a question?” The Avengers nodded, “How are your dreams?” Everyone paused, not expecting that, “What?” Sam asked at the same time that Rhodey said, “Good.” Faux-Pepper looked between them and then directly at Natasha, “And you?”

Natasha had always been prone to nightmares, has had them since she was young, she has learned to compartmentalise it until Wanda fucked with her head and she couldn’t sleep anymore, Natasha started talking before she could register what she was saying, “Good, actually, haven’t had any problems since…”

She trailed off and Faux-Pepper gave her an expectant look, Natasha thought back to the last nightmare she had, about a week or so after Ultron, since then her sleeping has been fine except for Wanda waking her up in the middle of the night screaming or cursing in Russian.

Natasha’s eyes went wide with realisation, “No.” She said, Clint looked at her, worried, “No, what Tasha?” Natasha shook her head, looking at Faux-Pepper, “Please tell me she hasn’t been somehow…” Faux-Pepper nodded silently, and Natasha felt her knees go weak, she walked over to the bed and sat down.

The Avengers looked completely baffled and Faux-Pepper looked at Steve, “What about you Captain? When did you last have trouble sleeping?” Steve looked confused but answered almost immediately, “A few nights after Ultron, just after Wan- “he cut himself off, his eyes widened, “Is she- Can she- I mean- that’s… no that’s impossible right?”

Faux-Pepper grimaced, and Steve paled, sitting next to Natasha, Faux-Pepper looked at the obviously confused Avengers and explained, “Wanda struggles to get her powers under control when she is unconscious, how do you all think you ended up here?” She gestured around them,

“So, because she struggles to block out two super soldiers while she is conscious, she cannot do so when she is unconscious, the first few nights, after Ultron, she experienced the dreams alongside Agent Romanoff and the Captain but after that, she started drawing them to herself, she didn’t mean to, hell, she didn’t even realise is until she stopped being awoken by Natasha’s Russian swearing and instead was awoken by her own, she eventually realised what she was doing but decided to continue it as it was, ‘Karma’ and ‘Further penance for her actions with Ultron and her powers.’” Faux-Pepper said with a pointed look at Natasha who paled.

“She heard that?” Natasha asked and Faux-Pepper nodded, “Heard what?” Tony asked quietly, “Agent Romanoff’s thoughts are loud, especially at 2am when Wanda wakes up screaming and wakes Agent Romanoff up as well, those type of thoughts were mostly what awaited Wanda when she woke from the red-room and she believed them.” Faux-Pepper answered slowly, and Clint looked at Natasha, “She’s a kid, Natasha! You can’t just let her struggle with PTSD that wasn’t even her own, alone, at 2am!”

Natasha looked ashamed but before she could reply, Faux-Pepper stood up walking toward a newly materialised door, “I have to take my leave, Tony, it wasn’t you, you have given her food and shelter and water and tonnes more than anyone else has, she is grateful.” Faux-Pepper said right before she walked through the door leaving the Avengers in the room, alone.

Chapter Text

Another door appeared soon after, breaking the awkward silence within the room and the Avengers silently piled through it, the HYDRA symbol on the wall was the first thing they saw, the screams echoing down the corridors were the first thing they heard and the smell of blood and death were the first thing they smelt.

The Avengers looked around wearily, until they heard Strucker shouting, “BITCH! DO YOU WANT YOUR BASTARD BROTHER TO DIE? I COULD KILL HIM! RIGHT NOW. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?” All 7 of them span on the spot to see Strucker dragging Wanda behind him, “INSOLENT, IDIOT CHILD! I WILL TEACH YOU NOT TO MESS WITH MY FUCKING FILES!”

He threw her into a room and signalled for two guards to followed him, “I need to teach you something, huh?” Wanda smirked and spat in his face, he flinched and then gestures with his hands, the two guards began to grip Wanda while Strucker aimed a few kicks at the girl who laughed, this continued for half an hour at least, Strucker and one of the guards taking turns to beat the shit out of Wanda who was… smiling?

Eventually, they left her in the room, and she laughed before turning, painfully slowly, to face a bed on the far wall that the 7 adults had not noticed, “How was that?” Wanda asked, smirking as a brunette girl got up from the bed and walked toward her, “Wands, I told you to cause a bit of trouble and get yourself thrown in isolation, NOT try and steal Strucker’s files and then get the shit beat out of you.”

Wanda shrugged, standing up with a grunt and felt her whole-body scream in protest, “Nothing is broken, I don’t think, and I’ve had worse.” The girl smiled fondly, and Wanda smiled back, “Plus, now we’re alone…” Wanda said leading the girl back toward the bed, “Wanda, you’re injured.” The girl protested.

Wanda looked at the girl and pouted, “Malyshka, I promise I am fine, now let me take care of you,” The girl laughed, and Wanda pushed her back onto the bed slightly, “You, Wanda Maximoff, are going to be the death of me.” The girl whispered and Wanda kissed her forehead, “Not if you kill me first, Nadia Tiutchev.”

A door opened behind them and the Avengers walked through, “Pietro!” Wanda shouted as Strucker took her brother for yet another test, “Take me! What are you doing to him!” Wanda screamed and Strucker turned to face her.

“Fine then.” He said and Wanda sighed in relief, Strucker walked toward her cell, yes, cell, and dropped Pietro on the ground, he groaned weakly but managed to stand, “Wanda, please, don’t.” He begged but Wanda shook her head, “They have taken you 3 times this week, I have only been taken twice, it is fair.” Pietro groaned but nodded and Strucker took Wanda down the hall.

“You bastard.” Wanda spat and spent the entire time walking down the hall screaming profanities at Strucker when they heard the ground shake, and a loud BANG! Making Wanda, Strucker and all the Avengers jump, “It’s in the city.” Strucker said and tried to drag Wanda with him, she wouldn’t move.

“Move girl! It’s nowhere near you!” But Wanda shook her head, “Nadia.” She whispered and Strucker looked at her like she was crazy, “What?!” he screamed, and Wanda yanked her arm out of his grasp, “Nadia! Number 27! She snuck out!” Strucker seemed to realise what Wanda was saying as she quickly took off toward Nadia’s cell and he followed, when they got there, Nadia was nowhere and Strucker inhaled sharply grabbing Wanda and dragging her back to her cell.

“No!” Wanda screamed, “NADIA!” Pietro, looking toward his sister in confusion as she was dumped in the cell with him and immediately began punching the wall screaming Nadia’s name, quickly caught onto what had happened and grabbed Wanda’s waist, holding her still as she fought against him for a few minutes before turning around and crying into his chest, he stroked her hair comfortingly as she cried and eventually she fell asleep.

It was silent for a few minutes until.

“Fuck.”

Everyone agreed with his sentiment, well said Sam. They walked through another door,

“WHAT DID I TELL YOU WANDA! YOU WOULD BE THE FUCKING DEATH OF ME YOU BITCH!”

The Avengers spun around quickly and saw Nadia being dragged into a cell opposite Wanda’s by two bulky guards as List followed behind with a clipboard, they heard Wanda shout back, “I THOUGHT YOU WERE FUCKING DEAD! I’M SORRY THAT I PANICKED BUT FUCK! SERIOUSLY?!”

The two girls continued fighting as the Avengers slowly figured out what had happened, Nadia had snuck out but hadn’t died in the bomb like Wanda thought, obviously HYDRA would be pissed for that and were now going to take her to get, “tested.” No doubt by the sceptre. Wanda stopped shouting by Nadia hadn’t, “YOU’RE BAD LUCK WANDA MAXIMOFF, EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH, DIES, YOUR BASTARD BROTHER WILL BE NEXT!”

She pointed to a cell at the end of the hallway and started shouting in a sing-song voice, “WATCH OUT PIETRO, WANDA’S GOING TO GET YOU KILLED!” Wanda opened her mouth to shout back when she suddenly dropped to the floor and started screaming in pain.

Nadia kept shouting, “OH! DO US A FAVOUR AND DIE WANDA! NO ONE WANTS YOU ANYWAYS, YOU THINK I LOVED YOU? STUPID BITCH! I ONLY WANTED YOU CAUSE YOU WERE A DAMN GOOD FUCK, SO GO ON, DIE!” Wanda clutched her head and started screaming louder until her eyes opened, glowing bright red, she glared at Nadia who looked slightly scared but didn’t stop her taunting, *Stupid.* Natasha thought,

“OOOHHH WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? HMM? BLIND ME WITH YOUR FAKE CONTACTS?” Nadia taunted and Wanda growled lowly and suddenly let magic flow from her hands, she sent it through the bars of her cell into Nadia’s and NOW Nadia looked scared, backing up against the wall, Wanda’s magic went into her head and Wanda tilted her head.

The Avengers didn’t get WHAT was happening, just that the girl started to whimper and Wanda began crying, the next thing they knew they were in a cell that was smaller than Wanda’s barely containing a bed and a toilet with a small mirror on the wall and Wanda sat up groggily, she looked around and seemed to recognise it because she groaned and flopped back onto the hard concrete slab of a bed.

Tony realised that they must have sedated Wanda and that was why there was a gap in the memories, the others seemed to come to the same conclusion and watched Wanda slowly get up and walk toward the mirror on the wall.

They watched her lift her shirt to show a lot of bruises all over her torso, obvious boot markings from where she had been kicked, some were purple and clearly fresh whereas others were more of a green-yellow colour, clearly having been there for a while, she groaned miserably and checked her split lip and looked around curiously at the room.

“C’mon!” She shouted at a camera in the corner, “What’d I do this time?” It was like as soon as she asked, she remembered, because her knees gave out and she fell to the floor, “Nadia…” she breathed shakily, and she started to cry gently, “shit, shit, shit, shit, shit,” Wanda repeated over. And over, “God, not another one, I can’t live with another one please!”

She gripped her head as her eyes glowed red again before flickering out, but she was still holding her head, “STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP,” Wanda was curled in a ball in the corner of the room, holding her head, “Mama, make it stop, please. PLEASE! PAPA? PLEASE I WANT IT TO STOP, THEY ARE LOUD! KARLINKA! CAN YOU HELP? WHAT? NO, NO PLEASE I’M SORRY, I’LL GET BACK AT HIM I PROMISE, I’LL AVENGE YOUR DEATH I’M SORRY! IVANA! NO DON’T GO AWAY NONONONONONONONO!”

Wanda continued crying out, claiming they were ‘too loud’ until Strucker’s men came in to sedate her.

Chapter Text

Wanda continued crying out, claiming they were ‘too loud’ until Strucker’s men came in to sedate her.

Another door formed next to the Avengers and they walked through, they were now in the cell with Wanda who was playing with her telekinesis and some building blocks, they watched as three men walked into the cell next to her and she paused,

“Pietro?” She ran to the glass of her cell, “Pietro! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HIM?!” The Avengers watched as the three men drug Pietro from his cell he was kicking and looking around wildly, “Wanda, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.” He kept repeating over and over as Wanda screamed for them to stop, suddenly her eyes went red, and she started talking without moving her lips, Telepathically, Sam figured.

*Piet. It’ll be okay, everything will be fine, I promise.* Pietro paused and locked eyes with Wanda for a second before he was drug around a corner, *I’m scared Wanda.* He thought quietly and Wanda nodded, *I know, Piet, I was too but it’s going to be alright, I promise.*

Wanda continued to think to Pietro as he was taken to wherever he was taken, *Just walk forward and then it will be over.* Wanda said and they heard Pietro’s hum of confirmation before he cried out in pain, *Wanda! MAKE IT STOP!* Wanda sighed and closed her eyes, *Piet, it’s okay, I know. I know it hurts okay? I do but- AH FUCK!* Wanda dropped to her knees and held her head briefly, before shaking her head and standing back up,

*Wanda? Wanda? What’s happening are you okay? * Pietro thought, *Wanda it hurts. Are you okay? * Wanda gritted her teeth, *Yeah Piet, I’m fine I just- I think…I think I can feel what you feel. * Pietro was quiet until, *Wanda, let me do this alone, I’ll be fine. I don’t need you being hurt to.*

Wanda shook her head despite the fact Pietro couldn’t see, *No Pietro, you don’t have to do this alone, I’m fine.* Pietro sighed but clearly conceded this point as he was quiet except for his cries of pain, the Avengers could see Wanda holding in her own cries, clearly trying not to show Pietro how painful this was, she was curled in the corner, shaking and sweating and if they didn’t know any better they would think she had a fever.

Another door opened to their left and the Avengers all glanced at each other until Clint shrugged and walked through, the rest following silently, they saw Wanda who was laying on her bed, staring at the ceiling while wisps of scarlet swirled around her, they could also hear a vague THUD! Against a wall to the left and watched as Wanda took a deep breath before closing her eyes, they assumed she must be doing something to stop the thudding because it quieted down considerably,

*Pietro,* Wanda’s voice said, *You need to calm down or you’re going to end up with something worse than a broken arm and rib.* The team could not see her lips moving and all glanced around in confusion before realising that she was probably talking to Pietro telepathically again and being in her mind allowed them to hear what was being said.

*Sister, you may have control on your freaky red wiggly-woos but I have not stopped running into walls all week, it only helps when you do your voodoo. * Pietro replies, Wanda laughs at her brother and shakes her head, *I don’t have control over it. The voices are so loud sometimes, and I can HEAR Strucker’s distaste, and I could feel the others dying. Nadia is dead now, they killed her last week, they thought she lost it because she wouldn’t stop screaming but… I did that.*

Pietro is quiet when his sister is speaking but when he does speak its lowly and cautiously, *It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t know what you were doing, you couldn’t stop it. It wasn’t you. * Wanda laughs humourlessly, *Wasn’t it?*

The twins fall silent, each consumed by their own thoughts until Strucker’s men come to take them away. Wanda sighs and she goes willingly, urging Pietro to do the same.

The team look at each other and follow silently as the twins are taken to a large room, there were large, concrete, blocks in the corner of the room, each of varying sizes, and through a window they could see what looked like a running track that stretched about 4 miles long, Strucker was in a glass observation room above the room, the twins were both thrown down onto the ground as the guards walked out.

Wanda looked at Pietro as he helped her up from the ground, both twins had a look of quiet exhaustion in their eyes and then Strucker’s voice came through the intercom in the room, “Lift the blocks girl, you know what to do.”

Wanda nodded quietly and walked toward the concrete blocks in the corner of the room, she started off small, lifting the blocks with her telepathy from one side of the room to the other, and then progressed to the larger blocks, when she reached one that was nearly twice her size, they saw her arms tremble with exhaustion but as soon as she went to take a break Strucker barked, “Keep going girl! You won’t like what I do to your brother otherwise!”

Wanda shook and continued lifting the large blocks, she was trembling, when her knees buckled from exhaustion after around ten more blocks, she kept going.

The Avengers looked around for Pietro and saw him getting carted off to the running track and then Strucker told Wanda to stop, “Get your bastard brother to cooperate!” He yelled and Wanda nodded as her eyes turned red, *Piet.* Tony could practically taste her fatigue and had to commend her for continuing through her exhaustion,

*Please just listen.* she begs and Pietro sighs, *We need to get out of here Wanda, we have our powers, we can go get Stark! Get justice for mama and papa! * Wanda shook her head, *Not yet, Piet, we don’t know how to use these, what if we go and get ourselves killed? What kind of justice is that?*

Pietro nodded in determination, *Then we will learn. * He then took off around the track in nothing but a blur, going faster and faster until, *Slow down Pietro! * Wanda cried out, *I- I can’t! * Pietro answered, panic clear in his voice, *Dammit! Pietro, listen to me, I can feel you and you are going too fast, you are going to tear yourself apart!*

Wanda was shaking in her effort to slow her brother down and the Avengers watched in horror as they heard Pietro’s arm crack, more cracks followed, his bones breaking as he cried out in pain, *Wanda! I can’t see! * Wanda nodded, *I know, brother, your eyes can’t keep up, you are going to fast you need to calm down, um, Oh! Do you remember when we were 12 and I got my period for the first time and you were so worried you thought I was dying? Remember how you ran to that woman’s house and she had to take me to the bathroom and explain what was happening while you had to sit there with her husband?*

Pietro laughed and seemingly calmed down a little as the Avengers watched his blur slow, *Yeah, worst 2 hours of my life. I had to sit and listen to him talk about sports, which wouldn’t have been that bad if he had known what he was talking about. * Wanda laughed as well, *Yes that’s right, you complained the whole way home. *

Pietro was calming down more now as he started to slow to a stop around the starting line of the track, as the twins continued to reminisce about how awkward that whole day was, then Strucker’s voice cut through the haze, “Mach 3! That’s faster than ever! Well done boy! Take him back to his cell. Girl, keep lifting those blocks, we aren’t finished yet.”

Wanda nodded and stood back up on shaky legs before lifting more blocks, she managed to lift around 3 or 4 to the other side of the room, each getting progressively bigger before she lifted the fifth one, she was shaking fiercely and looked about ready to collapse, she managed to get the fifth one halfway across the room before passing out, landing on the ground with a thud and the scene suddenly shifted to Pietro’s view.

Wanda was lying on the ground and Pietro watched as they lifted her and dragged her back to her cell following behind him, he watched as they unceremoniously threw her in the cell and then put him in his, his arm was killing him and his whole body hurt but he didn’t care because he didn’t know if Wanda was alive or not.

The Avengers could feel his worry as he paced, sometimes accidentally causing his super-speed to send him careening into a wall, the Avengers didn’t know how long it was before they found themselves in Wanda’s cell, she sat up groggily and made it to her bed, *Pietro, please be quiet.* She thought and Pietro paused and answered, *Wanda? Are you okay? * Wanda shook her head, *It’s all fuzzy, what happened?* she asks.

Pietro sighed, *I don’t know, you passed out. * Wanda nodded, *And everything hurts because…? * Pietro paused, *What? * Wanda sighed, *Everything hurts. I think I used too much power I feel…heavy. * Pietro laughed a little, *And I went so fast Wands. * He seemed so happy with this revelation and Wanda laughed too, *I know Piet. *

Another door opened next to them and Natasha was about to step through, seeing metal tables and straps, when it slammed shut in her face...

Chapter Text

Another door opened next to them and Natasha was about to step through, seeing metal tables and straps, when it slammed shut in her face...

“Umm okay, what?” Rhodey asked, Natasha shrugged, and Tony answered, “Perhaps it’s private?” They all seemed to agree with his assessment and then another door opened, and Steve walked through,

“Give it to my brother.” Wanda said as a scientist tried to give her food, “Don’t tell him it’s mine but he needs it more. He hasn’t had food in three days.” The scientist looked sceptical but nodded and walked out of the cell into the one next to him, Pietro spoke to Wanda, *Wanda, they are giving me food again, are they giving you some?* Wanda looked around and then answered, *Yes Piet, they are. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to hold it longer.*

Pietro scoffed, *Just because you couldn’t hold a fucking concrete block four times your size for half an hour doesn’t mean that they can just, not feed us. They want to torture us, make us ‘better’ plus this isn’t unlike the streets. We’re used to it. * Wanda nodded and replied, *Yeah Piet, I know. But I’m sorry that they took your food too, I’ll do better next time. * Pietro laughed, *It’s not your fault Wands.*

Another door opened and they all walked through, the room was bigger this time with no wall between the twins’ cells, Wanda was smiling while laying on her bed and Pietro was in the room with her on his own bed, he also looked really happy, the room outside of the cell was pitch dark and the Avengers figured that it was night-time,

“Wands?” Wanda turned toward him, “Hmm?” She hummed and he smirked, “We are getting better.” He laughed and she nodded and smiled wider, “Yeah. I know.” Then she used her telepathy but her eyes weren’t red like they usually are, *Do you think you could get me a laptop?* She asked and her brother nodded, *Yeah, of course.* Wanda nodded, *Don’t get caught.* She then used powers the Avengers had never seen before, the glass on the front of their cells changed into dust and fell to the ground, she did that with a flick of her wrist and Pietro smirked,

*I love your reality manipulation.* he sighed almost dreamily and Wanda laughed, *Me too but no one else can know, got it? They will just be more afraid alright? * Pietro nodded, *Of course. * Before he was a blur, he returned a few seconds later and shoved a laptop under Wanda’s pillow and she used her (Reality Warping? Seriously how fucking powerful is this girl?) powers to return the glass to normal and also build the wall between their cells and put them again just as the HYDRA guards ran through the door to see both twins sleeping peacefully, or at least that’s what they thought, but the Avengers could see the slight glean of red power in their eyes that told them Wanda was using her powers on them.

The guards all turned to leave and as soon as they were gone Wanda took down the wall again, “Thanks Piet.” Pietro smiled, “What are you going to do with it?” Wanda laughed, “Find our files, delete anything that I don’t want people to find, and maybe some research.”

Pietro looked confused, “Research? On what?” Wanda laughed, “Don’t worry brother I’ll tell you later, now, sleep they want you to train in the morning.” Pietro nodded and soon fell asleep as Wanda opened the laptop and sat against her bed, they saw her lift her hand and the room was bathed in a low red light, She then started typing on the laptop.

The Avengers all watched in fascination as she bypassed the password and pulled up the files that had, “NADIA TIUTCHEV”, “PIETRO MAXIMOFF” and “WANDA MAXIMOFF” on them, she skims each file, quickly copying it to a USB stick that she pulls from her mattress (they recognise it as the one she took when the clinic burnt down) before carefully erasing parts on the original copies, the twins birthday, their age, the parts about how her powers had affected Nadia’s head, tears filling her eyes as she reads the part about Nadia screaming about seeing old family members and that she seemed to trapped within her own nightmares.

She quickly blinked them away and deleted it all, writing that she “died during a bombing in the city” she then deleted any information of the relationship that Nadia and her had and also a relationship Pietro seemed to have with a girl called “Iva Topol” who had apparently “died during experimentation” she basically got rid of everything that is unnecessary in the files so that one could use any of it against her, this only takes her about half an hour, maybe more, and then a further 10 minutes of covering her tracks so that no one can tell that there is information missing, “Thank you, Karlinka.” She mutters as she continues typing.

Natasha was impressed at the younger girls’ skill, she herself had read through those files meticulously and couldn’t find any extra information about the twins other than their names, a brief backstory and powers, Tony was also impressed and made a mental note to get Wanda to help him upgrade some code he couldn’t seem to figure out when they get out of here.

Wanda then pulls up a search engine and starts looking for information on all of them, she gets basic info, when they were born, who they were, their families or people close to them, some basic backstory etc. she then cross-references this with the files HYDRA/SHIELD had on them and begins making her own file on each of them, putting it all on her personal USB, the files, each with a picture, reading.

Name: ANTHONY “TONY” STARK

Age: 44

DOB: 29/05/1970

Gender: Male

Place of Birth: Manhattan, NY, United States

Family: Howard Stark, Father, DECEASED: (17-12-1991)

            Maria Stark, Mother, DECEASED: (17-12-1991)

            Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Best-friend

            Virginia “Pepper” Potts, Assistant/Girlfriend/Current CEO of Stark Industries

Education: Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, (1977-1984)

           BS, Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, (1984-1987)

Employment: CEO, Stark Industries: (1992-2010)

Alias: Iron-Man

Mission Qualifications: Iron-Man suit makes impenetrable armour protection with basic flight capabilities and the arc reactor powers whole suit and his pacemaker.

 

Name: STEVE ROGERS

Age: 97 (?)

DOB: 04/07/1918

Gender: Male

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, NY, United States

Family: Joseph Rogers, Father, DECEASED: (08-05-1918)

            Sarah Rogers, Mother, DECEASED: (15-10-1963)

            James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes, Best-friend, Status Unknown as of (12-01-2014)

            Margaret Elizabeth “Peggy” Carter, Friend/Girlfriend

            Samuel Thomas “Sam” Wilson, Friend/Known Associate

Education: George Washington High School, Brooklyn, NY, (1932-1936)

                  Auburndale Art School Brooklyn, NY, (1937-1938)

Employment: Newspaper Boy, (1939-1943)

Alias: Captain America

Mission Qualifications: Captain Rogers is a super soldier because of a serum made by Dr. Erskine. Captain Rogers is one of the first enhanced individuals, all physical attributes as well as cognitive abilities are enhanced to peak efficiency, this combined with his Martial Art skills and his uniquely designed shield makes him one of the finest combatants on earth. His enhancements allowed Captain Rogers to survive frozen in ice for sixty-six years, (1945-2011) until he emerged to find the word was not as he left it.

 

Name: NATALIA ALIANOVNA ROMANOVA (NATASHA ROMANOFF)

Age: 30

DOB: 22/11/1984

Gender: Female

Place of Birth: Stalingrad, Russia

Family: Parents Unknown- Presumed Deceased

            Clint Barton, Best friend

Education: Classified- Russian KGB involved

Employment: S.H.I.E.L.D Agent

              Employed to Stark Industries under alias “Natalie Rushman” (May 2010- June 2010)

Alias: Black Widow

          Natasha Romanoff

          Natalie Rushman

Mission Qualifications: Highly trained in Judo, Karate, Aikido, Savage, Boxing and multiple styles of Kung-Fu. She is an excellent acrobat, Olympic class gymnast, athlete and aerialist, she is an expert marksman in sharpshooting and knife throwing, a master interrogator and tactician. Talented hacker, seductress and assassin. Her master skills in espionage, infiltration, disguise and demolition have put her as one of the highest-ranking Agents in S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Avengers watch as Wanda reads Natasha’s file a few times before tilting her head, “Damn.” She mutters, “Don’t want to piss her off.” and they all laugh lightly at the young girl. Wanda shakes herself from the trance she was seemingly in and continues filling in their files,

Name: CLINT BARTON

Age: 43

DOB: 07/01/1971

Gender: Male

Place of Birth: Waverly, Iowa, United States

Family: Harold Barton, Father, DECEASED.

            Edith Barton, Mother, DECEASED.

            Charles Bernard “Bernie” Barton, Brother.

            Natalia Alianovna Romanova, Best friend

Education: High school, (Unfinished)

Employment: S.H.I.E.L.D Agent

Alias: Hawkeye

          The Hawk

Mission Qualifications: Highly trained in various kinds of martial arts such as, Krav Maga, Kung Fu and karate. He is an expert acrobats, athlete and gymnast. Master in combat tactics and a grandmaster marksman specialising in archery, knives, darts, bolas and boomerangs. He is proficient in handling more weapons like the S.W.O.R.D., nun chucks and staffs with extreme, unerring accuracy. He can hurl objects with extreme speed and accuracy both in direct aim and complicated rebounds/interactions. He favours the bow and is very rarely seen without one.

“Damn, they know a lot.” Sam muttered, “I didn’t know you had a brother, Barton.” Clint sighed, “I don’t, not anymore.” The venom in his voice warned everyone that this was a sensitive topic, so they dropped it, Rhodey spoke next, “They know more about us than we know about each other.”

Everyone nodded in agreement before Natasha reminded them, “Shield was HYDRA and HYDRA was shield so of course they know a lot. They have or HAD access to all shield’s files.” Steve nodded, “Plus some extra HYDRA files, do you reckon Buck’s will be here?” Natasha shrugged and shook her head, “I mean, possibly? I can’t be sure.” Tony finally spoke up, “Will you shut up I want to see what she has and on who.” They all nodded and continued watching Wanda makes files on all of them.

Name: DR. BRUCE BANNER

Age: 42

DOB: 17/05/1972

Gender: Male

Place of Birth: Dayton, OH, United States

Family: Brian Banner, Father, DECEASED: (02-09-1996)

            Rebecca Banner, Mother, DECEASED: (02-09-1980)

Education: Desert State University, Navajo, NM, (1989)

                  Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, (1990-1992)

                  California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, (1992-1994)

Employment: N/A

Alias: The Hulk

Mission Qualifications: Dr. Banner is a genius intellect that specialises in Gamma Radiation, Under the guidance of General Thaddeus Ross, Banner’s research at Culver University was put into either replicating the super-soldier serum made by Dr. Erskine in 1944, (See above) or finding an alternate formula for it. However, Banner was genetically transformed after being exposed to an unprecedented amount of gamma radiation and now, whenever angered or provoked, he transforms into the Hulk, a giant, green skinned ‘monster’. Banner tried to hide from his condition by isolating himself but now works with the Avengers as another super-powered individual.

 

Name: THOR ODINSON

Age: N/A

DOB: N/A

Gender: Male

Place of Birth: Asgard

Family: Odin, Father, DECEASED

            Frigga, Mother

            Loki Odinson/Laufeyson, Brother

Education: N/A

Employment: N/A

Alias: King of Asgard

          God of Thunder

Mission Qualifications: Thor is a god; he has super-strength and a hammer that only he can wield. He can use his hammer to summon the ‘power of Thor’ which allows him to conduct and wield lightning, He is well versed in combat.

 

Name: SERGEANT JAMES BUCHANAN “BUCKY” BARNES

Age: 98

DOB: 20/03/1917

Gender: Male

Place of Birth: Shelbyville, IN, United States

Family: George Barnes, Father, DECEASED: (12-04-1926)

             Winifred Barnes, Mother, DECEASED: (20-11-1930)

             Rebecca Barnes, Sister, DECEASED: Date Unknown

Education: George Washington High School (Dropout)

Employment: Newspaper Boy (1927-1930)

                      Assistant Grocer (1930-1932)

                      Construction Worker (1932-1934)

                      US Army (1941-1943)

                      Assassin (1954- N/A)

Alias: The Winter Soldier

          Asset

Mission Qualifications: Barnes is an escape artist, he has agility and gadgets and implants in his body, such as a metal left arm, he is a good leader and was a brave soldier, an expert marksman with stamina, strength and super strength, in 1943, Barnes fell from a train in a sure to be fatal fall but survived due to a re-creation of Dr Erskine’s super-soldier serum that was injected into him weeks before. He was then consequently kidnapped by HYDRA and experimented on and brainwashed, he didn’t emerge again until 1954 where the first of his assassinations began, since 1954, over two dozen assassinations were carried out. The times in between assassinations, Barnes was placed in Cryogenic Freeze to keep him alive for almost 70 years. Barnes was and is a well-known associate of Steve Rogers, being his Best friend until his believed death in 1943. Captain Rogers then went into the ice for 66 years in ’45, before confronting Barnes during the destruction of the Shield Heli-carriers in 2014, After this, Barnes dropped off the map and has been missing since, his status is currently unknown.

Steve froze at the last one, “She has a file on Buck.” Natasha nodded grimly, “Yeah but no recent info, everything on there we knew already, except for the fact that he was a construction worker in 1932, it’s nothing we can use to find him.” Steve nodded and they continued watching Wanda make files,

Name: LOKI ODINSON/LAUFEYSON

Age: N/A

Relationship to Avenger: Thor’s Brother

Possible Threat Level: High

Qualifications: Loki is very well-versed in magic; he had a powerful sceptre during his attack on NY and also stole a powerful artefact/power source named the Tesseract. Loki’s magic is so far unmatched by anyone on earth however his physical combat skills are not as well-practiced. He is currently in a cell on Asgard for his invasion and attack on NY, he is an expert in deceit and trickery and is often referred to as the ‘God of Mischief.’

“He’s dead now, isn’t he?” Sam asked and Clint nodded, “Good fucking riddance I still haven’t gotten over the mind control.” Everyone nodded, having forgotten that was a sensitive topic around Clint and Sam apologised quietly but Clint shook him off.

Name: COLONEL JAMES “RHODEY” RHODES

Age: 46

Relationship to Avenger: Tony Stark’s Best Friend

Possible Threat Level: High

Qualifications: Owns one of Starks Iron-Man suits, he is a U.S Armed Forces Officer and has combat training as well as being an expert marksman and tactician, he is a military expert, expert engineer, expert hand-to-hand combatant and a novice medic.

“Hey! I’m there! And known as more than just ‘Tony Stark’s Best Friend’.” Rhodey exclaimed and everyone laughed in amusement, Sam shook his head, “And I’m still “Steve Rogers’ friend and known associate.” Natasha shook her head and pointed to the screen, so everyone turned around to look,

Name: SAMUAL THOMAS “SAM” WILSON

Age: 34

Relationship to Avenger: Friend of Steve Rogers and Natalia Alianovna Romanova

Possible Threat Level: High

Qualifications: Sam Wilson is a former US Air Force Pararescue Airman who left active duty when his wing-man, Riley, died during active combat. Sam Wilson was pictured helping Captain America and the Black Widow on 12/01/2014 to take down SHIELD and OPERATION INSIGHT, Wilson uses Mechanical Wings from the US Military to fly, this makes him an aerial asset and due to his military background he also has combat training, marksmanship and tactical knowledge.

“Damn! I am there!” Rhodey and Sam each high-fived each other and the others laughed at their excitement until Vision spoke, “There’s one on Miss Potts too,” Tony turned, “What?” And looked at the screen and sure enough,

Name: VIRGINIA “PEPPER” POTTS

Age: 42

Relationship to Avenger: Known to be in contact with Tony Stark, Assistant/Girlfriend, Relationship Undefined. Current CEO of Stark Industries

Possible Threat Level: Unknown, most likely Low but she is able to deal with Tony Stark so…

Qualifications: Pepper Potts is highly trained in handling Tony Stark and his Iron Man suits as well as his company, “Stark Industries” It is unknown whether she has any combat or tactical training, she studied at Empire State University in the Business Administration and was rumoured to be Tony Stark’s assistant/Girlfriend until he made her CEO of Stark Industries in 2010.

“This girl is good, doesn’t let much past her huh?” Clint says and Natasha snorts, “Threat level Unknown, most likely Low but she is able to deal with Tony Stark so…” She says and everyone laughs loudly but Rhodey exclaims, “I mean, the girls got a point!” Getting everyone to laugh louder.

Tony looked a cross between annoyed and amused the Avengers were so caught up in their own laughter to notice Strucker’s guards entering the room until the heard Wanda mutter, “Shit.”

They all looked toward the commotion and saw the guards walking right toward Wanda’s cell, she jumped up from her spot on the floor and used her powers to somehow change the USB stick into one of those building blocks she had in the corner of her room, she made sure to make sure it had a faint ‘W’ on one side so she could identify it later, she then managed to change the laptop into a blanket identical to the one on her cells' bed (leaving the Avengers highly confused about what THAT was about) and draped it over it, she lay down staring at the ceiling and the red shimmers disappeared from the wall as the guards broke into the room...

Chapter Text

She lay down staring at the ceiling and the red shimmers disappeared from the wall as the guards broke into the room.

 

“Maximoff.” One says and Wanda sat up and turned to face him, “Yes Divan?” She asked and the guard glares at her then grunts, “Get over here, we are searching your cell, we know your brother stole something yesterday and If I find anything not as it should be, there will be consequences.”

 

Wanda nodded and then used her telepathic link to Pietro to tell him what was happening, *Piet, they are searching my room, what happened to not getting caught? This is your shitty stealing skills again, always getting us in trouble dammit.* Pietro sighed, *What can I do?* Wanda looked around, *I have two blankets, get rid of yours?* Pietro hesitated and then sighed, *I swear to god if I freeze to death…* he muttered and Wanda concealed a laugh.

 

The guards searched the whole room but found nothing except her two blankets, it was only then that the Avengers noticed the faint shimmers in the guards eyes and when they looked at each other they saw the same,

 

“What the hell?” Clint asks and Vision answers, “Miss Maximoff can alter reality but she cannot change the material only density of a material, so breaking down the wall and the glass was simply her dissolving them both into pieces of concrete or sand and glass particles, the dust, however, was still the material from before but changing a laptop into a cotton blanket or a USB stick into a wooden block is sort of outside of her powers so she has simply cloaked them, altered what everyone else around her sees rather than actually changing the material.”

 

Everyone stared at Vision in shock and Tony speaks up, “But to have the power to alter what everyone around you sees, without anyone realising it, and without someone seeing what the altered item actually Is, would require an insane amount of power, much more than anything Wanda has displayed in the past.”

 

Vision nods but then pauses, “Perhaps Miss Maximoff is afraid that if she uses her powers to their full ability, she will scare you, more than how afraid you already are, of course, and then treat her as an outcast.”

 

The team pause at that, but Clint asks, “What do you mean, ‘more than how afraid we already are’?” Vision levels him with a look of confusion, “I mean that, anytime Wanda waves her hands in a certain way, or tilts her head, or uses her powers in any noticeable way, you all flinch or step back or move away or just stand there and she can feel the terror radiating off of you, she has spoken to me, in length, about how I’m the only one that is not afraid of her, that even though she can control me way easier than she can control you all, I still remain, unafraid.”

 

Everyone takes a minute to process this, “I don’t flinch or step back, I’m not afraid of her.” Steve says and Vision turns to him, “You, Captain, are easily the most afraid, afraid of what she can show you and how she can so easily take down the great Captain America, similarly, Agent Romanoff has this reaction and, while you both display no outward reaction, Wanda can still feel the worry and the terror, as if she is, and I quote, ‘a ticking time bomb waiting to go off’ In fact, due to the serum and whatever happened to Agent Romanoff in the Red Room, you both have enhanced brain function, therefore, enhanced thoughts and feelings, Wanda has had to leave the Tower just to get away from it all multiple times.”

 

Steve is about to respond when a loud BANG! rings through the room,

 

The Avengers spin around to see Wanda now pressed against a wall as the guard walks toward her, she shows no fear on her face, but the team can feel that feeling of terror permeating the room, filling it until they all feel the need to take a deep breath, the guard advances further and Wanda stands frozen,

 

“Tell me how you got it.” The guard sneers and Wanda laughs, despite the fear she is drowning in, “I told you, I stole it from my brother, go check.”

 

The guard nods to his companion, who leaves with a sick smile on his face, and continues advancing toward Wanda, “Your little girlfriend was really good you know.” He is right in front go Wanda now, his face inches from hers and she freezes, “What?” She asks quietly and he grins, Natasha notices his hand moving to Wanda’s thigh and quickly realises what is happening, her jaw clenches and she notices the other Avengers have similar murderous expressions.

 

Wanda stiffens at the contact and pales when she connects the dots. The guard grins and continues, “Oh yeah, we had lots of fun, what was her name? Natina? Nidina?”

 

Wanda’s glare is murderous and her eyes flash red, similar scarlet tendrils wrapping around the hand on her leg she shoves it off of her body and uses it her powers to pin him to the wall, “Her name was Nadia. You Bastard.” Wanda growls and the guards face flits from cocky to surprised to afraid so fast that Wanda laughs, “Oh yeah, be fucking afraid, you know, you aren’t the first to try some shit like this. Normally my brother comes to my rescue and if he doesn’t, well, I can throw a mean fucking punch when I want to, it happens when you live on the streets for years, I’m pretty much used to it.”

 

Natasha growls lowly in her throat at that, no one should have to “get used to” something like this, Wanda continues, “I can protect myself now though, could kill you like that,” she snaps her fingers and the guard flinches and braces himself, “But no, I won’t do that, in fact, I’m going to make this so much worse.”

 

The Avengers watch as a few tendrils of red reaches his head, “You are going to freak the fuck out anytime you come near a person in an unwanted sexual advancement or any unwanted advancements, anything without explicit consent, especially toward underage kids, the younger, the scarier.”

 

She grins and roots through his mind for a few minutes before she lets him go, he stands in a daze for a few minutes before noticing Wanda standing in front of him, he grins and walks toward her as if he doesn’t remember what just happened, “So where were we huh?” He walks close but only gets a few steps before his breath hitches and he looks at her with pure terror in his eyes, he freezes and then hightails it out of her cell.

 

Wanda sighs and then places her hand on her thigh, lifting the bottom of her skirt she notices the red/purple blotch on her thigh swiftly forming into a bruise, she sighs and touches it gently before shaking her head. *Piet, You okay? * She asks telepathically and Pietro who answers quickly, *Yeah I’m okay but are you? I know what Divan does to kids, what kind of man he is…* Wanda blows out a breath, sliding down the wall to sit on the floor, *Yeah, I’m fine he tried but at this point so have half the men in the city, never really worked out well for them. *

 

Pietro chuckles and answers, *Yeah, we both beat the utter shit out of them, do you remember that one time I wasn’t there and when I finally found you the guy was already bloody on the ground?* Wanda laughs, *God, I have never been so violent.*

 

Pietro hums in agreement before quietly asking, *I heard what he said about Nadia, I can hear the questions rattling around your brain, do you know if he was lying?* Wanda sighs and shakes her head, *I didn’t want to know, I’m a coward when it come to that.* Pietro blow out a breath and they sit in silence for a few minutes until, *So how was your research?*

 

Wanda laughs, *Great, No-one will know much about us except the basics, thank god for Karolina and Ivana. And I also found a lot on the Avengers, we can pinpoint their weaknesses, except Black Widow is a fucking bad ass.* Pietro laughs, *Do you have a crush? * He draws the word out and Wanda flushes, *NO! Not like that I just-* she sighs, *Fuck it, Pietro have you SEEN her? Seriously?*

 

Pietro laughs fully at that, *Fuck, yeah, I know exactly what you mean. * Both twins laugh and continue swapping stories, but it is drowned out by another door opening next to the Avengers,

 

“Wanda has a crush on Natasha?” Clint asks looking around wildly, Tony laughs, “Yeah Natasha, you have the Maximoff twins both crushing on you.” Natasha, uncharacteristically blushes and punches Tony in the arm, “Shut up Stark.” Clint snorts, “Natasha, are you blushing?” Natasha punches Clint and he winces before smirking again,

 

Natasha puts her neutral mask on again and walks through the door that had appeared, the rest followed silently with a few raised eyebrows.

Chapter Text

The rest followed silently with a few raised eyebrows,

 

“Piet. We need to get out of here. It’s getting worse, they’re agitated, whatever the Avengers are doing to the other bases is annoying them, they will accidentally kill us at this rate.” Wanda’s voice sounded as soon as they were through the door, “And go where? We can’t just spend our whole lives on the run, we couldn’t even get into America and any other country will kick us out, no citizenship, no jobs, no money, no home. What would you rather us do?” Pietro argues and Wanda throws her hands up, “We kill them!”

 

The wall between their cells is down again and the Pietro is sitting on his bed looking defeated while Wanda is pacing near hers, she looks agitated and angry.

 

She continues pacing back and forth, “Brother, I know you want revenge, but if we kill them and escape then we can go live in Sokovia, alleviate the war, save lives.” Pietro looked at her in confusion, “And you don’t?” Wanda sighs, “Don’t what?” She asked, “Don’t want revenge? Justice for mama and papa, for Karlinka and everything that happened with Nadia.”

 

Wanda paused, “Nadia was my fault Pietro, we can’t just shift the blame cause it’s hard to face and Karlinka… How do you even know about that?” Pietro gave her a look, “I heard it, in your head, you were upset one day and tired too weren’t concentrating properly and you didn’t have the energy to block me, I could read you for once, I know you think it’s your fault but it’s not.” He paused briefly, “It’s Stark’s.”

 

Wanda shook her head, “Pietro, maybe we should abandon this quest, maybe I’m just bad luck.” Pietro shook his head fiercely, “No. Think about Mama, about Papa, what would they say about you abandoning them! Letting their murderer get away! Doing nothing when you have the ability to do SOMETHING!

 

Wanda fixed her brother with a glare, “Pietro, just because you can’t accept the fact that Papa was an ABUSIVE DRUNK and that Mama was often so drugged up on cheap, shitty, pain meds that we had to sit up until 3am some nights trying to wrap up any cuts and burns she had because she couldn’t FEEL anything, just because you won’t accept the fact that they were BAD parents doesn’t mean I can’t, I don’t want revenge anymore! This stupid quest we had for revenge is over, I will not join you in it any longer!” Wanda was crying by the end of her speech and Pietro’s face hardened,

 

“You cannot say that about mama and papa, YOU USED TO DO THAT! YOU WOULD PICK FIGHTS THAT I WOULD HAVE TO SAVE YOU FROM AND THEN AS SOON AS PAPA TOLD YOU OFF YOU WOULD COME CRYING TELLING ME HE HURT YOU! WE WERE HAPPY! WE HAD FOOD AND CLOTHES AND HAPPINESS AND YOU RUINED IT! MAMA WAS SICK! SHE WAS SICK BUT IT WAS OKAY BECAUSE SHE WOULD STILL LOVE US! YOU CANNOT BLAME PAPA FOR SOMETHING YOU STARTED!”

 

Wanda shook her head at her brother, “You’re delusional. How many times did I have to patch you up because he hit you? How many times did he break your nose or crack your ribs and I would be the one to fix it? How many times did I take the fall for you and get the shit beaten out of me FOR YOU?”

 

Pietro looked at his sister in anger and Wanda shook her head, “Yeah.” She used her powers place the wall between them back up and walked away from Pietro and went back into her own cell, she lifted the laptop that is disguised as a blanket and masked the room with her red magic again, she went to lift the USB stick from the corner and once she got it she plugged it in, she takes a minute to breath as tears fall, unbidden, from her eyes, she then sakes her head, sighs and leans back against her bed, wiping away her tears, the Avengers watch as she opens a folder than contains multiple documents with different consecutive dates, dating back around nearly 2 years ago, pausing, and then beginning again, they watch Wanda open a new document and begin typing again,

 

“Hey milaya devochka, 

It’s been a while, I know, I’m sorry. You died just over two and a half years ago now, if my dates are right. I still miss you, you died way too soon, and I wish I would’ve gotten you the same treatment I got for Pietro a year ago, but I know you wouldn’t have wanted to be subjected to this, I wouldn’t want it for you anyways. I’m sorry you had to leave so soon though.

Oh! I met your aunt! Probably mentioned that in one of my previous letters but I can’t know for sure, fuck it’s been so long. Yeah, I met Karlinka, we swapped stories, she told me about how when you were eight, you decided that you could do a backflip in the park and you managed to sprain your wrist, I told her about how you wanted to play chase and fell down the stairs when we were 12, she taught me a lot about computers, you know I always loved them, that’s how I’m writing to you now, actually.”

 

“I wonder when her strange fascination for computers began.” Sam wondered idly and everyone nodded slightly, “Maybe she was just one of those kids that were intrigued by them and then whenever Karlinka showed her how to code she knew that she really liked computers.” Tony shrugged and Steve eyed him, “Like you?” Tony looked at him, offended, “Well, yes. But that wasn’t what I was getting at.” Everyone just nodded and continued reading,

 

“She died though, about a year ago I think, there was a fire at the clinic, I tried to save her, I swear I did, but she was in the back and I needed to get out.

Everything started falling apart from there I think, there was a man outside when the fire was put out, he claimed he could save Pietro, he was sick you see, like you, tuberculosis, that’s how I met your aunt, looking for treatment at her clinic, she let us stay for a few weeks and he was dying, the man offered a cure and I couldn’t lose him, not like I lost you, like I lost Karlinka, and mama and papa.

I took him up on his offer about a week later, Pietro was getting worse, and I panicked, I met a girl here, in the castle, I know you wanted me to move on, you told me yourself, the night before you were gone.

So I tried, I met a girl, her name was Nadia and I think I loved her, not nearly as much as you but I know that I will always love you, but me and Nadia, we didn’t get much time, a few months in, kids began disappearing after they were taken for their “tests” we knew what was happening, could hear the screams.

I still hear them sometimes, in my dreams, but by then, well, there wasn’t a whole lot we could do. Pietro was getting better though! He was getting stronger, he met a girl too, I really think he loved this one, her name was Iva and they adored each other, I can feel it when he talks about her, she was another one that didn’t come back after her “tests” he was so sad.”

 

Everyone felt sympathy for both twins, they had been through so much at such a young age and they were still going, Well, Tony winced, one was.

 

He didn’t let me know though, but I did, I always do. I feel everything now. 

Anyways, one day Nadia snuck out, told me she wanted to head into the city, I allowed her to go, didn’t even attempt to talk her out of it, I was going to be taken for my tests, I didn’t want her to hear.

On the way there a bomb went off in the city and I panicked, I didn’t mean to! But I couldn’t lose another one, So, I panicked and told Strucker (that’s the asshole who is experimenting on kids, I knew that if you were here you’d kick him in the balls, so I did it for you, a few times actually. Got me a few weeks of Isolation each time.)”

 

Clint snorted and Tony laughed, “God why is this STILL funny when she is literally writing to her dead girlfriend?” Tony asks and the Avengers all throw him questioning and mortified looks.

 

“What? Oh, c’mon like you all weren’t thinking the same thing!” Everyone shook their heads and continued reading Wanda’s letter, “Isn’t this kind of private?” Natasha wonders aloud and Clint shrugs, “We have seen most of it happening, this is just her retelling it in her own words.” Natasha seems to take that as an answer as she silently continues reading,

 

Anyways, I told him that she snuck out, he threw me back in my cell and I thought she was dead, the next day there was no word but Strucker dragged me off for my “testing” there was a weird sceptre in the room and when I walked in it flew toward me and the glowing yellow rock in the centre touched me and it burned like hell, it was so painful I thought for sure I would die, but, I survived.

I was one of the few that did actually, they were looking for my powers to manifest but I didn’t show any signs of change until the following week, turns out Nadia was still alive and snuck back into the castle, she was caught and Strucker got pissed, he was going to take her for testing and she was so angry at me for telling on her.

She said she never loved me and only wanted me cause I was a good fuck (guess I’ve got you to thank for that, huh?) and then my powers began to manifest, it hurt a lot and she was still screaming that she hoped I died and that I would kill Pietro next, and I got so ANGRY I didn’t know what I was doing and I used my powers on her, apparently I can read minds and control them, I accidentally made her relive nightmares, hers and mines, she watched her parents die, shot by soldiers in front of her, and watched her sister flea Sokovia, leaving her alone.”

 

They all collectively winced at that, even Vision pulled a face.

 

She watched the clinic burn, Karlinka still inside and felt the pain I felt, then her friends on the street, many disappeared, some died others were with her until she signed up for the experiments, she wanted the power to stop the war, similar to me and Pietro except Pietro seems to be hell-bent on revenge against Tony Stark.

I left her there, relive our worst nightmares over and over. It was weeks before they killed her, she was basically catatonic, but they wanted to experiment, see exactly what it was that I did, I didn’t mean to! I swear I didn’t! I hope you don’t hate me too much because of what I am now, I’m not even sure what I am anymore, except tired, I’m so fucking tired Iv, I have days when I want it to end but then I have to worry about Pietro and keeping your memory alive, Karlinka’s as well, you were both good people, you didn’t deserve to die.

I’m sorry we didn’t have a lot of time, you were my best friend long before you were my girlfriend and then my first love, I’m really sorry Malyshka, that I couldn’t save you, couldn’t save Karlinka, it was my fault I think, I have some sort of bad luck where anything and everyone I love dies, I can’t possibly imagine what I would do if Pietro died,  Imagine the Maximoff twins but without a Twin, it just wouldn’t work.

Anyways, Moya lyubov, I hope you are doing well, wherever you are, I hope you got to see your family again, tell Karlinka I said hi and that I miss her, I miss you too, remember that and remember I love you and that I hope you are at peace. Goodbye.

Tvoya lyubov,

Wanda.”

 

It’s silent for a good five minutes after that, each person too afraid to move or speak, Wanda saves the document and closes the laptop before putting her head in her hands, “Idiot.” She mutters before she pulls the USB out of the computer, she looks at it for a few seconds before hurling it at the wall with a frustrated growl, she throws it with enough force to easily break it and the Avengers watch, worried before her powers stop it from hitting the wall, sending it back to her.

 

Wanda seems to get more frustrated by this and cloaks the USB into a building block again and throwing that across the room, she throws the laptop away and then stands up, suddenly she screams and starts to trash her room, her bed being flipped over, her shitty military-style pillows and blankets strewn all over the place, the metal medical cart gets thrown into the opposite wall.

 

“Fucking Idiot.” She says again, she starts to hit one of the walls, “SHES DEAD! SHES DEAD! JUST GET OVER IT ALREADY! JESUS CHRIST, YOU’RE PATHETIC!” She continues hitting the wall with more frustration until her hands are bloody, “Fuck!” She whispers brokenly and then turns around to lean against the wall.

 

She slinks down until her back is against the wall and she is seated on the floor before pulling her legs up to her chest, she looks around the ruined room, “Fuck.” She whispers again and then buries her face in her bloodied hands, she starts to sob and the Avengers hearts break for the young girl, Clint bends down to put his hand on her shoulder but finds that he can’t get close enough, some invisible barrier blocking him,

 

“Clint.” It’s Natasha who speaks first, Clint glances up at his friend and sees her gesturing to another door that had appeared while they were distracted by Wanda’s breakdown he stands and walks toward it...

Chapter Text

Clint stands walks toward it,

 

He tries to walk through but is barricaded by an invisible wall, Natasha tries next but the same barrier is there, a different door appears to the left and Clint goes to walk through it, this one allows him through, “I think she only wants select people or a select person to go through there,” he gestures to the door on the right and Tony tries to go through it, it lets him this time and everyone else follows attempting to walk through the door, but only Tony is allowed, they all look at each other in question before shrugging and walking through the doors assigned, Natasha, Clint, Steve, Sam, Rhodey and Vision go through the door on the left and Tony goes through the right one.

 

They all emerge at the same place, the main room of the castle, Steve goes to join Tony but is blocked by a seemingly invisible barricade, they all turn to the scene in front of them, Wanda and Pietro are being dragged into the room and Strucker turns toward them, “The Avengers have decided to attack this base, you two would do well to stay out of sight, got it?”

 

Pietro and Wanda nods and Wanda turns to her brother, *We can get out of here. * She speaks telepathically, *We can finally get revenge on Stark. * Pietro replies and Wanda sighs, *Yes, Pietro, we will get revenge on Stark. * Pietro nods and answers, *I knew you would come round; you finally remember all he took from us? Our parents? The last living connection to the girl you love? * Wanda nods, *Something like that. *

 

Pietro nods and the twins wait anxiously for signs of the Avengers, the alarms blaring around them fade into background noise, List turns to Strucker, “Send out the twins…” but Strucker cuts him off, “They are not ready.”

 

List tries to argue, “It’s what they signed up for.” I signed up to protect my country, not fight your battles. Wanda’s thoughts say, Strucker denies them, and Wanda gets frustrated, *If they don’t let us out, run us away. * She communicates to Pietro who nods, the scenes shift to Strucker trying to motivate his men, “NO SURRENDER!” He shouts and then turns to List, “I am going to surrender, you delete everything.”

 

Coward, Wanda thinks and then looks at Pietro who nods and runs her to a different part of the castle before running off again, “

*DON’T DIE! * Wanda shouts after him and he chuckles and continues running.

 

Wanda stays there for a few minutes before shaking herself, “You didn’t see that coming?” She hears Pietro say and laughs at her brother’s cockiness, *Piet, that cockiness will get you killed one day.*

 

Pietro laughs, *Hey! It’s a signature move now! * Wanda shakes her head and senses someone coming into the castle, *Stark’s in here.* She informs Pietro who growls, *Should I come? * Wanda shakes her head, *No, this is the first time you’ve been out in months, enjoy it.*

 

Pietro hums in agreement, *I see your Black Widow, is it? She’s with the Archer who is hurt. * Wanda rolls her eyes, *She’s not mine, her name is Natalia, or Natasha I think she likes and ‘the archer’s name is Clint. * Pietro laughs, *Okay Fangirl. * Wanda shakes her head, *No. Just a thorough researcher.*

 

Pietro laughs and continues running while Wanda gets distracted by Steve confronting Strucker, they watch Wanda practically hands Steve’s ass to him before walking away, *I’m going after Stark.* Wanda says and Pietro voices his agreement.

 

The Avengers follow Wanda to the underneath of the castle, kicking List when she passes him knocked out on the floor, she sneaks up behind Stark and puts her magic in his head, Tony rewatches the nightmare he saw that day and looks toward the other Avengers, "Can you see that?" He asks and they all shake their heads. Tony sighs in relief and answers his own question, "Must be why I had to go through a separate door." He says and everyone nods,

 

They watch Wanda stop her brother from attacking Tony and he lifts her and runs her away, they end up in the church in the middle if the city again, it is way more run-down looking than last time the Avengers saw it and Pietro comments, “Someone let this place go.”

 

Wanda laughs and Pietro nods, “I think I’m going to go get us some food, clothes money if I can. I should be back in two days at most.” Pietro says and Wanda nods, replying, “I might head to a bar, god I haven’t had vodka in so fucking long.”

 

Pietro laughs, “Fake-ID?” Wanda levels him with a look, “I can literally alter people’s perceptions, I’ll be fine. See you in a few days.” Pietro nods and runs off and Wanda looks around and sighs, “God, I need a fucking drink.” She sighs and begins walking through the city, she stops at a small bar tucked away in the corner of a street, she looks at it and then shrugs walking in.

 

A door opens to the left of the Avengers and they all walk through. They see Pietro, handing out medicine and food to a group of people surrounding him, he. Hands out a few blankets before turning and rummaging through the bag he brought, he pulls out a small football and hands it to a pretty girl with blonde hair, “This is for your brother.” He says and she thanks him quietly.

 

He then turns back around to his bag and reveals a sparkly silver dress, “And this…is not for your brother.” He states cockily and the girl stammers, speechlessly, Wanda takes that as her queue to walk past,

 

“Is every girl in Sokovia getting a dress from Paris?” She asks, “At least Gertie’s looked warm.” She says, then walks off and watches as Pietro laughs nervously, whispering, “She’s kidding.” While the blonde girl gives him a questioning look, He then rushes after his sister,

 

“You’re jealous you’re not getting a dress.” he taunts causing Wanda to  scoff, “You keep stealing, you’re going to get shot.” Pietro scoffs as well and shakes his head but Wanda slaps him, “I mean it. At speed nothing can touch you but standing still-"

 

Pietro cuts her off, “Do you think I want to be? You said wait, I’m waiting. I don’t know for what. We had Stark, Helpless, all these years and you-"

 

He is cut off by the girl from earlier, “Costel!” She shouts, rushing toward a younger boy, her brother, presumably, “Costel where did you go?” Costel looks at the twins,

“The church, the man says you need to come to the church.” Wanda looks at him in confusion, “What man?” Costel pauses, “The Iron Man.” He says, the twins look at each other before making their way to the church.

 

A door is opened to the left of them and they step through, they know most of what had happened with the twins and Ultron and watch as Wanda’s memories fill in the gaps.

 

They watch the twins walk into the church, Wanda trying and failing to read Ultron’s mind, the shock at the reveal of what Ultron was and Wanda asking if he’s come to end the Avengers, they watch as Ultron brings them back to the castle to show them his bodies, his robots.

 

They watch as Ultron tells them to see the bigger picture and Pietro claiming that he doesn’t have the big picture, he has a little picture, that he takes out to look at, every day. 

 

Ultron says that he saw the files but Pietro replies, “The files are not the picture." Wanda attempts to stop him but Ultron tells him to carry on,

 

"We were 10 years old, having dinner, the four of us, when the first shell hits, it makes a hole in the floor, its big, our parents go in, and the whole building starts coming apart I grab her and roll us under the bed and then the second shell hits, but... it doesn’t go off, it just… sits there, in the rubble, three feet from our faces, and on the side is one word…”

 

Wanda speaks for the first time, eyes flashing with power, “Stark.” Pietro continues, “We were trapped, for two days,” Wanda chimes in again, “Every effort to save us, every shift in the bricks, I think ‘This will set it off’ we wait for two days for Tony Stark to kill us.” She says and all the Avengers wince Pietro nods his head, “I know what they are.” He says, Ultron looks at them, “I wondered why only you two survived Strucker’s experiments, now I don’t.”

 

The Avengers watch as time seems to speed up around them, flicking through a few scenes with Ultron, a couple where she talks with Pietro, until they get the shipyard in Wakanda, they watch Wanda’s POV as the twins talk to Klaue, how Ultron got the vibranium, how he cut off Klaue’s hand.

 

They then watch as the Avengers fill the room, Wanda easily noticing Barton and Romanoff hiding above them out of sight, she easily communicates this to Pietro who nods imperceptibly and then watch as Ultron and Stark joke, anger filling every ounce of her being because *This guy has the balls to fucking joke like this?*

 

They watch Pietro get annoyed and walk forward, “Ah he’s funny, Mr Stark. It’s what? Comfortable?” He gestures to the missiles around them, “Like old times?” Stark looks down, “This was never my life.” Steve speaks up, “You two can still walk away from this.”

 

Wanda looks at him, “Oh, we will.” She assures and Steve replies, “I know you’ve suffered.” The Avengers can hear Wanda’s thoughts as she thinks, *You have no idea how much. I made sure of that.* And they all wince, Steve cringes the most, “Probably not the best thing to say…” he mutters, and everyone nods in agreement.

They watched the fight play out, Pietro getting injured and Wanda’s mind screaming at him to GET UP! They watch Wanda getting into everyone’s heads. Only Steve and Natasha can see their nightmares, “Wait, she sees them too?” Natasha asks quietly and Tony nods, “Yeah that’s how she knew what mine was.” They all nod,

 

“At least her head is giving us a semblance of privacy.” Steve murmurs and Natasha nods in agreement. They watch Wanda sneak up behind Clint, about to put her magic in his head when he turns around and puts the shock arrow on her head, he says, “I’ve done the whole ‘mind control’ thing, not a fan.”

 

He is about to take the arrow off when Pietro speeds over and throws him away, grabbing Wanda who can only focus on Pain, Pain, Pain, PAIN. Pietro runs her outside, and she sits down, “What can I do?” Pietro asks and she winces but doesn’t answer, “It hurts.” She says instead and Pietro nods, “I’m going to kill him,” he says, “Be right back.” But Wanda grabs his arm, “No.” She says, and then looks at then quinjet, *God help me.* She thinks, “I want the big one.” She says and Pietro grins.

 

The Avengers watch Wanda put her magic into Bruce and watch as he runs away, changing into the Hulk, *I’m sorry.* She thinks and then her brother hugs her and they run away.

 

The Avengers watch as they make it to Dr Cho’s lab and Ultron intimidates her, while they are having their conversation, Wanda sneaks away and goes to a computer in another room, she opens it to the desktop and then starts looking for something, the Avengers can’t see what she’s searching for but she seems to find it eventually, She turns the computer off and takes a breath, she then telepathically links to Pietro, can feel excitement and anxiety buzzing in his chest along with anger and sadness, she sighs,

 

*Piet.* She says quietly and he tilts his head slightly to show he heard her, *We cannot kill the archer.* Pietro pauses, *What? Why?! He hurt you! * He asks, anger rushing to the surface, Wanda sighs, *We can’t Piet, he has a family, kids. * Pietro scoffs in disbelief, *What do you mean?! None of your files say that!* Wanda sighs again, *I saw it, in Black Widow’s head, he has a pregnant wife and two kids, off-record, he wants to protect them so no-one except Black Widow and their boss knows.*

 

Pietro lets out a laugh, *And you believe a spy’s mind?* Wanda shakes her head, frustrated, *Yes, but I have proof, Birth Certificates, for a Lila and Cooper Barton, Well, they have their mother, Laura’s Maiden Name, but they are his kids, We can’t kill him.* Pietro blew out a breath of frustration, *And the others? Any secret families we should know about? * Wanda shook her head, *I don’t think so. Just don’t kill the archer, we don’t want his kids to lose a father or his wife to become a widow. * Wanda could feel Pietro’s annoyance, but he agreed with her and they both went back to listening to Ultron talk to Cho.

 

Clint blew out a breath, “I didn’t think they knew.” He said and Natasha looked at him apologetically, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to give it away.” Clint waved her off, “Damn, she would have found out anyways.” Sam and Rhodey turned to Clint and Sam laughed, “Wow I still can’t believe Barton was the first married.” Everyone laughed at that and looked back at the scene they should’ve been watching,

 

“I can read him. He is dreaming.” Wanda says and Cho shakes her head, “I wouldn’t call it dreams, its Ultron’s base consciousness, Informational noise. Soon,” Ultron cuts her off, “How soon? I’m not being pushy.” Cho replies, “We’re imprinting a physical brain. There are no shortcuts, even if your magic gem-"

 

Whatever she says next is drowned out by Wanda trying to read Vision for the first time, she sees the world being torn apart, a meteorite striking it. She cries out, Death, destruction, pain, death, pain, pain, pain, PAIN, DEATH. Is all that is going through Wanda’s brain, on a loop, Death, DEATH, PAIN, PAIN, PAIN, DEATH, PAIN.

 

She notices Pietro, his hands on her face, holding her, his gaze worried, concerned, she takes a minute to collect herself and then turns to Ultron, “How could you?” She asks, “How could I what?” Ultron asks and Wanda breathes shakily, “You said we would destroy the Avengers. Make a better world.” Ultron tilts his head, “It will be better.” Wanda looks at him in horror, “When everyone is dead?”

 

Ultron gets annoyed, “That is not!” he takes a breath, “the human race will have every opportunity to improve.” Pietro turns to him, “And if they don’t?” Ultron looks at him, “Ask Noah.” Wanda smiles, “You’re a madman.” Ultron looks at her, “There are more than a dozen extinction-level events, before even the dinosaurs had theirs. When the earth starts to…settle, god throws a stone at it, and believe me, he’s winding up. We have to evolve, there’s no room for… weak.”

 

Wanda uses her powers to remove Dr Cho of the Mind-Control as Pietro distracts Ultron, “And who decides who’s weak?” Ultron Laughs, “Life. Life always decides.” Pietro looks to his sister, *We have to go.* He says telepathically but Wanda shakes her head, *No. Wait for a few minutes, we can’t let him have the…* she points subtly to Vision, Pietro silently agrees and kisses her on the head before Ultron says that they have to move, Cho tells him that that’s not a problem and then pauses the download, Ultron groans before shooting her and Pietro runs the twins away, *Pietro we have to see if she-* Pietro shakes his head, *Wanda, if we stay, we die.* Wanda sighs, frustrated, *But she could be dead!* Pietro shrugs, *She could not be, is it worth risking your life for a stranger?* Wanda laughs, *Of course it is.*

 

Pietro sighs and then spots the quinjet by the lab, he stops and sets Wanda down in one of the streets, *The Avengers have it covered.* Wanda nods and they walk around the street.

 

The twins watch, worried, as they see news reports of the Avengers fighting Ultron, Wanda looks at Pietro, “We created this mess, we have to stop it.” Pietro sighs and nods, “Where are they?” Wanda closes her eyes,

 

“There is a train, over there,” the twins rush over toward where Captain America is fighting Ultron, or, getting his ass handing to him by Ultron, Pietro runs past and shoulders him, Ultron advances toward him but is blocked by Wanda’s powers, “Please, don’t do this.” Wanda looks at him before she replies with venom, “What choice do we have?” Ultron turns to fire at Pietro who ducks but Ultron takes out the driver, leaving the train speeding up with no way to stop it.

 

The train goes off rails because the track is not finished, Rogers shouts at Clint to leave and then turns to the twins, “Civilians in our path.” Wanda nods at her brother who rushes off, *What was that about not risking your life for strangers?*

 

She jokes through their link and he laughs, speeding up, *I learn from the best, sister. * Wanda smiles but then turns back round to Rogers, “Can you stop this thing?” He asks and she nods, she can feel Pietro zipping around the place, his heart beating at super-human speeds, *Piet, be careful please, I don’t need you injured.* Pietro nods, *We trained for this.* He replies and Wanda sighs, *Yeah.* She then uses her power to slow the train down, Pietro getting everyone out of the way while she does so, she does it with ease and then rushes out to find her brother, “I’m fine.” He insists, sitting down, “I just need to take a minute.”

 

Steve cuts in, “I’m tempted not to give you one.” He says, Wanda looks at him, “The cradle. Did you get it?” She asks and Steve nods, “Stark will take care of it.” Wanda’s heart drops, “No, he won’t.” She says and Steve eyes her questioningly, “You don’t know what you’re talking about, Stark’s not crazy.” I never said he was. Wanda’s mind protests but she lets it go, “He will do anything to make things right.” She insists and Steve sighs, “Stark, Come in.” He says into his comm and Tony doesn’t answer, “Stark.” He tries again, “Anyone on comms?” Wanda hears silence and sighs quietly, “Ultron can’t tell the difference between saving the world and destroying it. Where do you think he gets that?” She asks and Steve looks doubtful now.

 

They make it to the tower in record time, to find Banner and Stark working on the Cradle, Wanda looks to Pietro, *Told you. * She says mentally, and he rolls his eyes, Steve walks forward and confronts Stark, “I’m going to say this once.” He says and Stark sighs, “How about ‘none-ce’?” Steve sighs, “Shut it down! You don’t know what you’re doing.”

 

Banner looks up, “And you do? She’s not in your head?” He asks, pointing toward Wanda, Pietro growls next to her but she puts her hand on his, *It’s well-earned Piet.* She mumbles mentally and Pietro sighs, calming down, she steps forward, “I know you’re angry,” She starts but is cut off, “Oh, we’re well past that. I could choke the life out of you and never change a shade.”

 

Wanda shows no outward amusement, but she telepathically talks to Pietro, *Kinky* Pietro huffs in amusement, and she laughs in her head The Avengers watching this laugh a little too, happy for the comedic relief, the four of them start fighting and Pietro gets tired, running around in circles, pulling out cords, “No, no, go on, you were saying?” He asks and Wanda shakes her head, *Piet someone Is under you get away from there. * Pietro hesitates just as a bullet comes through the floor he is standing on, the glass gives way underneath him and he falls,

 

“Pietro!” *Pietro! Are you okay? Pietro! * Wanda shouts mentally and physically, “You didn’t see that coming?” Clint asks and Pietro looks up at him in surprise, *I’m fine sister, the archer got me. * he sighs and Wanda laughs, *and used your damn catchphrase against you. * Stark tries to reroute the upload, letting Vision live, but Steve stops him by throwing his shield. Tony gets a gauntlet and blasts him back.

 

Wanda attempts to help by using her powers but Banner gets her in a chokehold, “Go ahead. Piss me off.” He says and she looks at him behind her in surprise, Tony and Steve begin fighting each other and Wanda sends her magic through her chest to push Banner off, she then uses it to throw him against a desk as Thor bursts in.

 

He uses his lightning to power the cradle, ignoring the protests from the other Avengers, and after a few minutes, Vision jumps out. Wanda watches him curiously for a few seconds before he jumps at Thor, Thor instantly throws him off, sending him flying through glass toward a floor length window where he stops, gazing at the city. They all get ready to attack but Thor stops them, holding up a hand. Vision looks at the city for a few minutes before changing his clothes and flying down toward them all, “I’m sorry that was… odd.” He says and looks at Thor, “Thank you.”

 

Steve looks at Thor, “Thor. You helped create this?” Thor replies, “I’ve had a Vision. A Whirlpool that sucks in all hope and life and at the centre is that.” He points to the mind stone, “What the gem?” Banner asks and Thor replies, “It’s the mind stone. One of the six infinity stones, one of the greatest powers in the world, unparalleled in its destructive capabilities.”

 

Steve looks confused, “Then why would you bring it to-" Thor cuts him off, “Because Stark is right.” Pietro looks at Wanda, *This is stupid. Why are we here? * Wanda replies, *Because we made a mistake, now we have to pay for it. Isn’t that what papa said? * Pietro shakes his head, *Whatever.* “Oh, it’s definitely the end times.” Banner says, “The Avengers cannot defeat Ultron.” Thor says and Vision cuts in, “Not alone.” Steve looks at Thor, “Why does your Vision sound like JARVIS?”

 

Tony answers, “We reconfigured JARVIS’s matrix, to create something new.” Steve scoffs, “I think I’ve had my fill of new.” He says, “You think I am a child of Ultron.” Vision states, “You’re not?” Steve asks and Vision shakes his head, “I’m not Ultron. I am not JARVIS I am… I am.” he says, Wanda finally speaks up again, “I looked in your head and saw annihilation.”

 

Vision looks at her steadily, “Look again.” He says, Barton scoffs, “Her seal of approval means jack to me.” Wanda gazes at Vision and then speaks to Pietro, *We can trust him. * she states mentally, *What did you see in his head? * Pietro asks and Wanda replies, *I didn’t. * Pietro looks sceptical but agrees with Wanda, Thor speaks finally, “Their powers, the horrors in our heads, Ultron himself, they all came from the Mind Stone. And they are nothing compared to what It can unleash. But with it on our side- “

 

“Is it?” Steve asks, “Are you?” He turns to Vision, “On our side?” Vision looks down, “I don’t think it’s that simple.” He says, “Well it better get real simple, real soon.” Barton replies and Vision glances to him, “I am on the side of life.” Vision states, “Ultron isn’t. He will end it all.” Tony looks at him, “What’s he waiting for?” He asks, “You.” Vision replies, “Where?” Bruce questions and Clint answers, “Sokovia, he’s got Natasha there too.” Bruce looks at Vision, “If we’re wrong about you. If you’re the monster Ultron made you to be…” he trails off,

 

“What will you do?” Vision asks and no-one answers so Vision continues, “I don’t want to kill Ultron, He’s unique and he’s in pain. But that pain will roll over the earth so he must be destroyed, every form he’s built, every trace of his presence on the net. We have to act now and not one of us, can do it without the others. Maybe I am a monster. I don’t know if I would know If I were one, I’m not what you are, and not what you intended. So, there may be no way to make you trust me, but we need to go.”

 

He hands Mjolnir to Thor, successfully leaving everyone stunned for a few minutes, the Avengers watching with their past selves, amused and the ones that weren’t there laugh a little.

 

“Right.” Thor says and he walks over to give Tony a pat on the back, “Well done.” Everyone else stands shocked for a few seconds until, “Three Minutes.” Steve says, “Get what you need.” The twins walk toward a cupboard and Pietro grabs a shirt and some trainers, he puts the trainers on and then the shirt, while he is getting changed.

 

Wanda is watching Vision and Thor converse on the balcony, she looks away when Pietro throws a red leather jacket at her, she looks at it in confusion and then glances at her brother who smirks, “What? Red is your colour!” Wanda shakes her head but puts the jacket on anyway, “Little witch stole my jacket and still hasn’t given it back.” Natasha grumbles prompting laughs from the men.

They get on the quinjet and get ready to fly toward Sokovia...

Chapter Text

They all get on the quinjet and get given comms, Pietro looks at his sceptically but puts it in his ear, Wanda’s stomach is fluttering anxiously and she sits on the quinjet listening to Steve’s speech, The Avengers viewing this watch as the jet lands and Pietro rushes off, they hear Wanda warning him to be careful but he shakes her off, Wanda walks into the centre of town and uses her powers, *GET OUT OF THE CITY, NOW.* She tells everyone, they all listen, abandoning whatever they are doing in order to leave their homes, They watch as the sun rises, leading to a new day and Wanda walks toward the bridge to help Clint with the evacuation.

 

When Ultron’s bots start attacking, she quickly uses a shield to protect the people but is momentarily distracted and one of the bots gets a good hit in, she falls to the ground, “Shit.” She swears and then jumps up, *God, why was Strucker worse than evil killer robots?* she asks Pietro, Steve winces and the rest of the Avengers grimace in sympathy, Pietro laughs at his sisters question, *Maybe if you didn’t piss him off so much, he wouldn’t have hurt you as bad.* Wanda laughs, *When have you ever known me to not piss someone off?* she asks and Pietro grins, *Touché.*  Tony smiles at the twins, “I love how they can just banter in the middle of potentially dying.” He says and the rest of the team laughs in response, nodding.

 

They continue fighting and Wanda can feel Pietro’s amusement, *Are you having fun? * she asks and he grins, *You know it sis. * Wanda laughs lightly but soon turns serious when the ground under them rumbles, *What is happening? * she asks Pietro frantically, *I-I don’t know! * Pietro answers and then they hear Stark’s AI say, “Sokovia’s going for a ride.” Wanda feels dread settle in her gut, she watches as Ultron’s robots start making a speech but all she can think is, *My fault, my fault, my fault.* she sees Clint firing arrows at the bots but she feels frozen, *My fault, my fault, my fault, my fault.* The team watch Wanda’s meltdown in confusion, they don’t remember her breaking down like this during the battle, she seemed so calm and collected… at least until her brother died, Steve has to remind himself to try and look past Wanda’s mask of indifference next time he talks to her.

 

She barely registers Stark’s AI talking about Global Extinction as the guilt consumes her, she knows she should get it together, push through like she always does, but for once in her life, she can’t, she stands frozen, as robots surround her and Clint, she knows she should be fighting, Clint’s got a family to go home to, she can’t let him die, but she feels paralysed, she vaguely hears Steve’s inspirational speech and can feel her brother’s fatigue, “You get hurt, hurt ‘em back, You get killed, walk it off.” The team wince, knowing how this end. Wanda she sends a thought to her brother, concealing the terror and guilt she feels right now, *You better not die on me dumb ass.* he laughs and answers, *You better not die on me either then asshole.* Wanda nods in agreement and looks around.

 

She is invigorated by her brother’s banter and snaps into action, pulling civilians to safety while Clint covers her, she sees one coming straight at her and uses her powers to send it crashing away from her. She looks around and spots them being surrounded by 5 bots, her and Clint are easily overwhelmed so Clint grabs her and pulls her into a near-by abandoned building, she thinks that maybe she and Pietro slept there once but doesn’t have much time to think about it as her guilt come rushing back, “How could I let this happen?” She mutters she hears Clint ask if she was okay, but she can’t answer, “This is all our fault.” She hears Clint talking,

 

“Hey, look at me. It’s your fault, it’s everyone’s fault. Who cares? Are you up for this?” He asks, “Are you? Look, I just need to know cause the city is flying, okay? Look, the city is flying, we’re fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense.” A shot comes through the wall on their left and Wanda gasps as Clint fires another arrow through the hole, “But I’m going back out there cause it’s my job. Okay? And I can’t do my job and baby-sit. It doesn’t matter what you did, or what you were, if you go out there, you fight, and you fight to kill, stay in here, you’re good, I’ll send your brother to come find you, but if you step out that door, you are an Avenger.”

 

Sam laughs, “Look at you go, you’re almost as good as Steve with the pep talks.” Tony laughs and nods in agreement, “I mean it’s better than, ‘get hurt em back, get killed walk it off,’” Clint shakes his head and laughs, “Hey! I had to give Natasha the same speech before she joined shield.” Natasha just shrugs and nods and Sam fake-gasps, “Plagiarism?” Tony shakes his head, “Is it plagiarism if you said it first?” Sam shrugs, “I don’t know man.” They are shushed by Steve who points back to the scene and, oh right, they remember what they were meant to be doing.

 

Wanda stares at Clint for a minute, and Clint stands up, “Alright. Good chat.” He loads his bow and stands next to the door, “Yeah the city is flying.” He takes a deep breath and then bursts out of the door, firing his arrows in quick succession, Wanda watches him go and pushes her guilt away, *My city needs me.* she thinks, and she digs deep to find the remnants of her courage, she stands up and breathes deeply for a few seconds, “Just like always, keep going, don’t stop, don’t think, just fight. My city needs me, my brother needs me.” She gathers her power and then walks forward, bursting through the door in dramatic fashion, she grabs one of the robots on her right and tears it in half, smashing it into another robot, she then creates a ball of red energy and fires it at the three remaining robots, all of them being destroyed in a matter of seconds. “Badass.” Rhodey says quietly and no one can find it in themselves to disagree. Although they can’t deny that they were all a little afraid, they remember how hard those robots were to break.

 

Clint nods at her and she nods back, they look around for any other robots but find none, “Alright, we’re all clear here.” Clint says and Wanda hears Steve reply, “We are not clear, we are very not clear.” Wanda speaks to Pietro, *Come get me, bring me to the Captain. * she says and he nods, *Okay I’ll be there in a second. * she nods, “Alright coming to you.” Clint says on her left, just as Pietro comes rushing toward her, picking her up, “Keep up Old-Man.” He jokes and she hears Clint’s faint retort in the distance, “Nobody would know. Nobody.” He starts running toward the bridge, “‘The last time I saw him, an Ultron was sitting on him. Yeah, he’ll be missed that quick little bastard. I miss him already.” Wanda giggles and Pietro laughs, The Avengers watching laugh as well before remembering how this ends, and it just becomes kind of sad.

 

Pietro continues running for a few seconds before dropping her off in front of a few police officers that are shooting at some bots, The Police Captain holds his hand up to tell them to cease fire and Pietro jokes about how its funny that they are helping the police now after spending years running from them. The twins start destroying the bots, suddenly Wanda feels a sharp pain in her left arm and looks at it to find nothing damaged, she realises Pietro must be hurt and sends him a thought, *You okay?* She asks and he answers back quickly, *Yeah, Some rookie officer fired off a late shot, grazed my arm.* Wanda nods, trusting her brother when he tells her that he’s fine, they continue fighting.

 

The Avengers watching are intrigued by watching Wanda’s POV of the battle of Sokovia as at this point, they were all doing their own things, not really paying attention to each other much, too focused on the bots they are fighting or civilians they are saving to notice the details Wanda seems to see, she can feel the minds of those surrounding her, knows that there are exactly 24 people behind her, surrounded by 3 bots, she doesn’t have to look to kill the bots, they notice how Wanda always knows where her brother is, not in a distracting way but more of a ‘if I turn two paces to my left and stand at a 45 degree angle, Pietro will be right in front of me’ way.

 

She knows exactly where he is and where he is going while also calculating any way that she could bring this city down safely, Pietro seems to catch on to her thought process because he says, *If we get everyone off the city, we could blow it up.* Wanda hums her agreement, helping civilians into buildings, away from the robots, *Yeah but how do we get everyone off?* she asks and Pietro pauses, *Could you, I don’t know, lift them?* Wanda snorts, *Oh sure, I’ll just lift thousands of people off a flying rock hundreds of feet in the air so that we can blow it up, no biggie.* Pietro laughs as well, *Well when you put it like that I sound stupid.* Wanda giggles, *We always knew I was the smarter twin.* Pietro scoffs and says, *Shut up.* before Wanda is distracted by trying to help more civilians.

 

“Avengers, we’re moving the civilians to the town hall, try to meet us there.” Steve says and Wanda walks up behind him as Natasha walks around the corner, “Rogers.” She says and Steve answers, “Romanoff.” Natasha then notices Wanda, “Is that my jacket?” She asks and, while Wanda doesn’t outwardly reply, The Avengers can now hear her conversing with her brother, *Pietro, I swear if you gave me Romanoff’s jacket, I’m going to kill you. * Pietro laughs at his sister and replies, *What? Red is your colour, and it was in the cupboard!* Everyone laughs and Natasha says, “I like being able to read her mind for once.” Tony nods in agreement, “Yeah it’s really fucking funny.” Everyone agrees and they continue watching.

 

Wanda sighs as Steve continues his conversation with Natasha, “She’s with us.” He says and Natasha looks confused, “That still doesn’t explain the jacket.” She replies as Clint comes around the corner, Wanda turns away and shouts at her brother telepathically, *Screw you, damn I’m going to have to give this back now, and it was such a good jacket.* Natasha smirks because it has been six months now and she still hasn’t gotten the jacket back. Wanda can hear Pietro’s responding grin, *What? I didn’t want you to get cold!* he says and Wanda sighs and focuses back on the conversation the three Avengers are having, “The air’s getting thin, we go up much higher, people will start dropping.” Clint says and Wanda scans around, “There are people in the city, still hiding.” She tells Steve who nods, “Root them out.” He says and then nods at Clint, “Barton.” Clint nods, “I got her six.” He replies and follows after her, they walk closer to the city and Wanda can hear her brother talking, “Today? We fight robots today? Or is next month better for you?” Wanda smiles, *You’re being cocky again, what did I tell you about making fun of people for being slow just because you’re fast?* she asks and Pietro smirks, *Oh? What are they going to do about it? They can’t exactly catch me.* Wanda shakes her head, *Romanoff can find a creative way to catch and kill you if she really wanted, you did read the file, right?* He pauses, the Avengers watching with suppressed grins before Pietro replies, *Oh shit. * and they all burst out laughing, Wanda also grins and continues walking with Clint, finding people in the city.

 

Steve asks Tony what he has, and Tony tells him that he has a way to blow up the city if they can all get clear, Steve says he was asking for a solution not an escape plan, Tony informs them that the impact radius is getting bigger every second, they have to make a choice. Natasha tells Steve that the people are going nowhere and that if Tony can find a way to blow the city up she is cut off by Steve protesting that he wouldn’t leave until everyone is safe, she tells him that there’s worse ways to go and points to the horizon, “Where else am I going to get a view like this?” She asks, Wanda starts talking to Pietro over the link, *Are we staying?* she asks and he pauses so she continues, *I will go down with my country but if you want to go, just say the word.*

 

She waits for Pietro’s answer and he takes a few seconds to think it over, *We have to stay, what kind of person would I be if we didn’t, heroes, right like my old comics?* Wanda nods and they wait for a few seconds for the Avengers to make a decision, when suddenly a deep voice comes over comms, “Glad you like the view, Romanoff. It’s about to get better.” Wanda spins around and see’s the helicarrier and reads whose voice that was, *That’s Nick Fury, Ex-Director of Shield. * she tells Pietro who hums in confirmation and rushes toward the Helicarrier,

 

“Nice, right? Pulled her out of Mothballs with a couple of old friends.” Fury says and The Avengers briefly see a glimpse of… something in Wanda’s head but she blocks it too fast to understand what it was, “She’s dusty, but she’ll do.” Steve grins, “Fury, you son of a bitch.” Fury laughs, “Ooh! You kiss your mother with that mouth?” Someone else’s voice chimes in, “Altitude is 18,000 and climbing.”

The Avengers briefly see Wanda tilt her head before muttering, "Maria Hill, Fury’s right-hand woman, Badass like Romanoff.” She smirks a little and then hears the whirring of machines as the lifeboats float toward the city, “This is S.H.I.E.L.D?” She hears Pietro ask and Steve replies, “This is what S.H.I.E.L.D’s supposed to be.” Pietro grins, “This is not so bad.”

 

She starts getting the people to the boats with Clint and vaguely resisters quips between Stark and someone else, she quickly Identifies them as James Rhodes and remembers him from her files, she focuses more on the civilians and then she hears Thor say they are out of time. Her and Clint rush toward the church to find most of the Avengers already there. Pietro runs toward her, “You good?” He asks and she nods her head, “Yeah.” She says she hears Stark make a quip about Romanoff and Banner and rolls her eyes, she can sense Natasha making her way to the church and the twins and the Avengers all stand around the core in a circle, Romanoff fills the last spot and Thor see’s Ultron coming toward them, “IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN DO?” He shouts and Wanda watches as waves and waves of robots make their way toward them, she hears Rogers say, “You had to ask.” And finds herself wholeheartedly agreeing with his exasperation.

 

Ultron begins making some speech, but Wanda tunes him out in favour of gathering her power, bringing her magic forth until its tingling under her skin, she vaguely hears Tony say something before all the robots come charging forward and the fighting begins.

 

She can feel Pietro rushing about and she can also, oddly, feel Vision, she assumes it has something to do with the mind stone but pushes it to the back of her mind, she needs to focus, she needs to fight. The fighting continues for a few minutes until most of the bots are destroyed she looks around and smiles at Pietro, Steve is the first to speak, “We gotta move out, even I can tell the air’s getting thin. You guys get to the boats, I’ll sweep for stragglers, be right behind you.” Everyone nods, “What about the core?” Clint asks and Wanda nods, “I’ll protect it.”

 

They all turn to her and she looks at Clint, “It’s my job.” She says and he nods. Him and Natasha leave, and she watches Steve go too. Pietro stays behind, “Get the people on the boats.” She says but he shakes his head, “I’m not going to leave you here.” Wanda looks around, “I can handle this.” And notices a bot running towards her, she pulls it apart with minimal effort, and Pietro gives his head a tilt like ‘Fair enough’ Wanda doesn’t look at him, “Come back for me when everyone else is off, not before.” Pietro grunts in annoyance and she looks at him fiercely, “You understand?” She asks and he smirks, “You know, I’m twelve minutes older than you.” She smiles and laughs a little, “Go.” She says and he rushes off. The team laughs briefly at their banter, but they cannot help but gear up for what they know if coming.

 

She stands in the church, fighting off the occasional robot and can hear Pietro’s mind whirring as he speeds around the place she smiles, happy that she has her brother here with her, that she hasn’t gotten him killed yet. Its peaceful, she thinks, in some weird, twisted, way, standing here in the church that was like a home, in the only city that she knew, thousands of feet above the earth, its quiet, the only sound is the occasional crashes and bangs, no different than the bombs usually were, her brother’s mind whirring at its usual fast pace.

 

She contemplates her life for a few seconds, she always thought she was bad luck, everyone she had known and loved had died. But here she and Pietro were, surviving experiments when nobody else did, surviving evil killer robots and bombs in their home, surviving. Alive. She felt at peace. The Avengers feel Wanda’s thoughts and wince because they KNOW, they KNOW what happens next, they watch on in horror and sadness as they prepare view Pietro’s death from his sisters POV.

 

And then she heard it, the sound of gunshots from a machine gun, she heard the Archer, Clint’s, mind cry out, she heard the whirring in Pietro’s mind grind to a halt, only one thought in his mind, *I’m sorry. Heroes, right?* she was confused for a split second, but then connected the dots, she knew what was about to happen, she always was the smarter twin, figuring things out way faster than him despite his speed, *Pietro!* She screams...

Chapter Text

*Pietro!*

 

Her mind screamed as she felt twelve bullets pierce her body, one for each minute he was alive without her, he thinks, she felt his mind slipping as his last words were imprinted on her brain, “You didn’t see that coming?” She almost cried at the cockiness, it was fake this time, she could feel the terror he felt at the idea of dying, she felt the cold concrete and rocks touch her cheek, no, his cheek, the shock and horror Clint felt, she knew he blamed himself, but she couldn’t focus on that right now because Pietro wasn’t there anymore, she reached for his mind but was met with cold empty nothingness.

 

No, this wasn’t right, he was the good one, he wasn’t supposed to die, it should have been her, but she was here in this church while her brother was dead and everything hurt and her brother was DEAD and her city was going to be destroyed and HER BROTHER WAS DEAD and she couldn’t think all she could feel was cold, he was dead, dead, dead, dead, DEAD. So, she did the only thing she can think of, she SCREAMED.

 

The Avengers watched on in horror as Wanda screamed, they could feel her agony, her confusion, as her brain struggled to grasp that another person she loved was so cruelly ripped away, they watched Wanda collapse, saw her scream and scream and scream, saw the power flow out of her, obliterating any bots around her, they feel the pain, the sorrow, the terror, the absolute NEED for revenge against the person who did this.

 

Wanda doesn’t remember a lot after that, she vaguely registers the power, flowing out of her body, disintegrating everything within its path, she thinks she felt her knees hit the concrete as she collapsed but felt numb to everything, she was screaming for her parents, for the first girl she loved, for the aunt that she loved and lost, for the life that had been taken away, for her city that was about to be destroyed.

 

She screamed for Nadia and the unfairness of the circumstances in which they met, for the people of Sokovia, that had all lost so much, but mostly, she screamed for her brother, her cocky, stupid dumbass of a brother, her best friend and soulmate, she screamed because of the emptiness she now felt when she reached for him, she screamed for her uncertain future now.

 

The team watched, sympathetic, as the young girl screamed, the grief she so carefully hid her whole life from her brother, making sure to be the strong one, the one that stood up to the bullies for everyone else but never for herself, she fought her parents for Pietro but allowed herself to be kicked around because she didn’t care about herself, the grief that had been slowly building since the first time their father laid his hand on them, amplified only by her parents’ death and the guilt surrounding it. That was brought to a simmering when Ivana died, nearly boiling when Karlinka followed. Boiling underneath her skin since Nadia, only now spilling over because of Pietro. The Avengers could not help but admire her strength, this girl, no, woman, this young woman that had been through so much in her short 17 years of life and was STILL GOING.

 

Wanda doesn’t remember when she stopped screaming, when she got off the ground, making her way to the thing that killed her beautiful, sweet, caring brother. She doesn’t remember getting there either, she only seems to snap back into reality when she sees him. The Avengers watch as Wanda walks like a robot up to Ultron, *That Thing,* Wanda’s mind supplies as she brings her powers to the surface, wrapping around her hand, her wrist, then, that thing notices her, “Wanda.” It says, “If you stay here. You’ll die.”

 

 

Doesn’t he get it? She has died, he killed her, her better half, her twin, her brother, the essence of her being, the adults watching this unfold aren’t actually sure what happens here, but they had a vague idea, Wanda had killed Ultron. “I just did.” Her voice is cold, and it is enough to make even Natasha flinch slightly, “Do you know how it felt?” Her power reaches her eyes, and she throws her hand forward, she wraps her powers around his heart, *If he has a heart.* And pulls, she hears him grunting in pain, but she doesn’t care, she pulls harder until the light leaves his face and she has the metal in her hand, “It felt like that.” She says. The Avengers are horrified by what they have just seen, the whole time they have known Wanda, they have never known her to be so cold or cruel.

 

Suddenly, the world around them falls but Wanda doesn’t care, “Pietro.”  Is all she can think because if she falls with the city Pietro will be there with her. She ignores the voice in the back of her head telling her she doesn’t really want to die and allows herself to fall. “Shit.” Sam says and Rhodey nods in agreement.

 

She feels The Vision coming toward her, searching for her and she opens her eyes, the reality of what is happening hits her like a tonne of bricks but all she can think is *Pietro.* she doesn’t care, she wants to go.

 

“Wanda…” Steve sounds a mix between guilty and heartbroken as he watches this young girl accept her death, they know she feels Vision getting closer to her though and then she spots him flying right toward her, he picks her up, maybe later she will thank him, tell him she appreciates that he saved her, but in that moment? In that moment she feels nothing but anger, she wants to fall, because without Pietro what else does she have? She needs to see him again, what the hell is the point in life without her brother? Where will she go? Where will she live? Everything she loves, dies, Pietro’s death just confirms that, so why should she stay alive?

 

The questions flitting around Wanda’s head breaks each of the Avengers hearts, but it isn’t until she screams, “LET ME FALL!” And tries to push Vision away that their hearts shatter, they watch her struggle in his arms for a few minutes before giving up and collapsing into him, sobs wracking her body, he holds her and gently flies her toward the Shield helicarrier, once she notices where they are going the team watch as she puts herself back together, a mask of indifference on her face looking as if she didn’t literally try and kill herself a few minutes before, as if her brother wasn’t dead, as if everything was fine and her whole world hadn’t just tipped upside-down and then fallen apart.

 

The Avengers watch, heartbroken for this girl as Clint tries to lighten the mood, jokingly stating that, “She has a better resting bitch face than Natasha.” But the atmosphere is so dense that it falls flat.They watch as Vision sets her down gently, telling her he has to destroy any remaining bots and she nods; he flies off.

 

She walks into the carrier and follows a few directions from people’s minds to get to medical. She registers some recognition in people’s eyes when they see her, all giving her varying degrees of sympathy, she shakes them off, resting bitch face in place meticulously as she ignores a few people’s thoughts that she is ‘heartless’ because her brother just died and she seems fine, *SEEMS, being the key word.* she thinks.

 

Clint attempts to approach her when she reaches the door of the room where he brother was, *To apologise, probably.* She thinks. She can practically SMELL the guilt coming off him, she doesn’t have to be a telepath/empath to register that, “I need to see him.” She says and Clint steps back quickly, nodding, she walks into the room, taking a deep breath, and there he is, her beautiful, cocky, twin brother she lets out a little laugh-sob and sees Captain Rogers at the other side of the room, she smiles at him and gets sympathetic eyes back, she doesn’t want him to pity her, she doesn’t want his sympathy, so she lets out a breath and composes herself, the time for crying is later, she needs to figure out what to do next first.

 

“Where will I go now?” She asks and the Captain looks at his questioningly, she knows that isn’t what he expected her to say but she doesn’t care, she needs to keep it together because as soon as she loses it, she doesn’t know if she’ll get it back, “My city is gone, my brother is dead.” The words are forced through gritted teeth as reality hits her hard and she has to blink back tears, “So what happens to me?” The Captain sighs, “You will come with us.” He says and she nods, *They are going to lock me up, great. Should’ve let me fall.* she thinks, The Avengers watching wince and look at Steve who scratches his head, “Her bluntness caught me off guard, she’s so young and I was expecting her to fall apart, I could’ve worded that better.” They all nod and look back toward the scene,

 

“Where?” Is what she says instead, The Captain, *STEVE* she reminds herself, shrugs, “America. You can come live at the new Avengers Tower, train with us, join the team.” *Ah, so I’m a weapon, not a prisoner?* Again the Avengers wince and Steve groans, “This is not good.” He says and they all nod, “And if I don’t?” Wanda asks and Steve looks confused, “Don’t what?” Wanda sighs, “Don’t want to come with you, train. Be an Avenger.” *Be a weapon.* she thinks but doesn’t say the last part as Steve looks at her in confusion, as if he hadn’t expected this,

 

“Well?” Wanda prompts and he sighs, “I’m sure Tony can hook you up with fake ID, new papers, you can get on a plane and live anywhere you want. The only condition would be you not using your powers.” Wanda seems to think this through, *Be a weapon, live with strangers, potentially save the world. OR live a happy life, get a family, not worry about bombs but hide and essential part of me?* She hesitates and then, *Easy Choice. Piet always was a goddamn hero.* “Okay.” She says, “Okay?” Steve repeats and Wanda sighs, “I’ll come with you, be an Avenger, train.” Steve breathes out a sigh of relief and nods, he looks at Pietro’s body and then back to Wanda, “I’ll give you a minute.” He says as he walks out and Wanda nods, grateful.

 

As soon at the door closes, Wanda rushes toward her brother, tenderly brushing the hair from his eyes she sighs, tears rolling down her cheeks, “I’m going to regret this, right?” There is no answer, but the Avengers swear they hear a distant, “Live a little, baby sister!” It’s Pietro’s voice, Wanda must hear it too because she laughs a watery laugh and presses a kiss to his forehead, “You’re an asshole, you know that? Leaving me all alone, no-one to protect me.”

 

She says it with no venom, a bittersweet tone taking over her voice as she continues, “You know, if you were alive you would be saying that that’s why I love you and that I don’t need protection and I would be agreeing with you ‘cause I’ve been telling you that for years.” She gives a watery smile, “Remember when you were sick and started trying to say goodbye? And I told you to save it ‘cause there was no way you would die?” She laughs again but it’s closer to a sob as she whispers, “I really would’ve liked a goodbye this time.” She allows a few tears to fall faster and stares down at her brother for a few minutes when she is shocked out of her trance by the sound of crashing and some muffled curses behind the door. She straightens instantly and wipes her tears, walking toward the door and opening it.

 

Clint is outside of the door, having knocked over some crates of medical supplies, he looks up when he hears the door open and his face pales, “Wanda.” He breathes and she sighs when he continues, “I am so sorry.” Wanda nods her head and goes to thank him for his condolences, but he keeps talking, “I just wanted you to know that he died saving me and a young boy named Costel,  so he died a hero. I am so sorry.” Wanda pauses at that, “Costel?” She asks and Clint nods, “Yeah, you know him?” Wanda nods her head and asks, “Did Costel see him? Like that?” She gestures behind herself, keeping tears at bay as she remembers what he looks like on that table, cold and alone, Clint looks at her for a second, completely bewildered and nods slowly. “What’s happening?” Tony asks quietly and Natasha shakes her head and shrugs, “I don’t know.” She says,

 

Wanda thanks him and rushes off to find Zrinka and Costel, she finds the sitting on a medical bed in a nearby wing, Costel is silent and staring into space while Zrinka is getting a head wound checked, watching her brother worriedly, Wanda marches over and Zrinka spots her first. “Wanda.” She breathes and Wanda tries to smile but it comes across more like a grimace, “Hey Zrinka.” She says quietly and Zrinka looks at her, “I heard about your brother, I am so so sorry.”

 

Wanda nods numbly and breathes, “Did you know it was for him.” She nods at Costel and Zrinka shakes her head, stunned, Wanda sighs, “Hey, I know he is too young to remember your parents, so he doesn’t remember how they died.” She keeps her voice low so Costel doesn’t hear, “But you remember what it was like, yes? The bodies?” Zrinka nods a look of understanding crossing her face as she looks back at her brother and Wanda nods grimly, “Can I talk to him?”

 

Zrinka nods and Wanda crouches down, “Hey Costel, remember me?” The young boy looks at her and some recognition passes through him, his eyes start to water, and Wanda smiles kindly, “Yeah, I know, c’mere.” She says and holds her arms out, Costel dives into her and starts crying, she runs her hands through his hair comfortingly, gently shushing him and speaking lowly in Sokovian.

 

The Avengers watch stunned at Wanda’s kindness, here is a girl who just lost her brother, comforting someone else holding herself together through everything, they saw a brief glimpse of her breakdown earlier, but it was gone so quickly that it’s easy to forget, they know, however, that the pain is just lingering under her skin, in the back if her mind, pushed away but not forgotten, they know she is bound to breakdown soon and are worried for the explosiveness of her emotions.

 

Costel cries in her arms for a solid 10 minutes before pulling away slightly, “He- he-" Costel whines and Wanda waits him out, waiting for him to find his words, “I thought I was going to- and then he- he- he was right there- and I was so scared and I never got to say goodbye to Zrinka and then he just- he-"

 

The words are broken and some had sobs in between but Wanda understands, “I know.” She says quietly, “I know. But you can’t remember him like that okay? You have to remember him like he was, happy and healthy and a bit stupid at times and god, so annoying.” She laughs but she has tears in her eyes, “You have to remember him as the boy who got you a football, and your sister a pretty dress, I think he had a crush on her.” She says, whispering the last part and nudging Costel who giggles as if it’s a secret, Wanda smiles at the young boy, “Can you do that for me?” She asks, “Remember him as he was, not like that?” 

 

Costel nods at her and whispers, “I promise.” And Wanda nods back, giving him one last hug before fishing something out of her pocket, “Oh! I found this for you.” She says as she hands him a bouncy ball, coloured like a football where she got it, the Avengers have no idea but Costel seems happy and picks it up, “I thought I had lost it!” He exclaims and Wanda shrugs, “Well I am magic so…” he grins, and she smiles back, she then turns toward Zrinka who is watching the two and smiling slightly,

 

“Thank you.” Zrinka mouths and Wanda shrugs her shoulders with a smile, “Anyways, I have to go, hope you two have a good time wherever you end up.” She says, “I will hopefully see you again.” She smiles and Zrinka thanks her again, sending her condolences for her brother but Wanda just shrugs her off with an, “It’s the least I could do. It’s what he would’ve wanted anyways.” She then gets up to leave, heading toward the bridge in search of the other Avengers...

Chapter Text

Wanda ignores everyone as she passes, the whispers, the looks, she doesn’t care, let them think what they want, she knows who she is. Right now she just wants a computer so she can sit and write and forget the world, maybe code for a little while, hack into a few files, anything so she can forget what has happened today, forget for a few hours that she is alone in this world now, that the last person who loved her is dead and the people she has to stay with now are afraid of her and they haven’t even seen half her power, forget that her future is uncertain and her city is gone, she just wants to forget.

 

So, she walks toward the bridge, she hears the Avengers talking or, she assumes its all the Avengers because she can hear Natali- Natasha and Steve talking she walks closer, not intending to eavesdrop but she can’t help it, “We can’t have her stay with us!” She literally messed with our heads!”

 

The Avengers freeze, they didn’t realise Wanda had heard this particular conversation and they remember some things that were said and cringe.

 

Tony she recognises his voice, and she knows they are talking about her, “Her brother is dead! Where else is she going to go!” That was Steve, the room is quiet for a few minutes before, “We could use her. She could be useful.” Natasha. “She’s not a weapon!” Clint. “Isn’t she?” Natasha again, *I mean she isn’t wrong.* Wanda thinks to herself, “Look, Bruce is gone, Thor will have to return to Asgard, Clint needs to go home, we are running low on numbers! She could help us!” Steve again. “She isn’t even a US Citizen!” Tony.

 

“Having a witch on the team could be of use.” Thor.

 

*Witch.* Wanda thinks, *is that an Insult or compliment?*

 

“Well, I don’t trust her!” Tony. “You don’t have to, but her brother gave his LIFE for mine, he sacrificed his LIFE for ME!” Clint.

 

Wanda could FEEL the guilt rolling off him in waves, apparently Natasha could too, because she spoke, “Clint, that wasn’t your fault.” Clint shrugs and Wanda knows he doesn’t believe it, “I tried to apologise to her, but she heard me mention the boy he saved, said they knew him and then rushed off down the hall.” Clint huffs, “Yeah I know what you mean. Her first reaction after seeing her brothers dead body was what would happen to her.” Steve.

 

“She doesn’t seem awfully affected by it, does she? I mean her brother is DEAD and all she cares about is herself, do we want someone like that on the team? What if there is a choice one day, between saving a civilian or herself and she chooses the selfish choice?” Tony.

 

It was a low blow, Wanda knew, *What would you prefer? Me breaking down here, in front of everyone, having them pity me and potentially losing control of my powers like earlier, bringing the ship down with me? No thanks. I would kill myself to save someone every time, you fucking narcissist.* she thinks.

 

The Avengers watching cringe at that since they know it’s true, “She’s still thinking about everyone else,” Steve says, sighing, “Despite what everyone else seems to think she isn’t selfish.” Everyone nods in agreement and Tony looks on in guilt for the awful things he is saying about this girl.

 

“That’s not fair Tony.” Steve. “Isn’t it?” Natasha. “I mean, the girl just doesn’t seem to care about others, their thoughts, feelings, entering someone’s mind without permission just shows that, pulling their deepest thoughts and fear to the surface reinforces that fact. Her and her brother literally signed up to a Nazi organisation for something as petty as revenge.”

 

Wanda sighs, *If only you knew…* but she doesn’t move to correct Natasha or stand up for herself. “Well.” Steve says, “We don’t know their reasoning-" he is cut off, “We do, actually, because she tried to fucking kill me.” Tony.

 

Wanda sighs, she looks around the hallway, desperate for a distraction while they finish their debate but finds none, she waits until the room quiets down a bit before making loud footsteps toward the door of the conference room that the Avengers are in, she knocks on the door and Rhodey answers, he narrows his eyes in suspicion and she inwardly sighs before looking around the room.

 

“I just came to ask if I could have access to a computer? Laptop? Anything?” She asks thumbing the USB drive in her pocket, the Avengers look confused and Tony sighs turning around, he finds a laptop on a table behind him and hands it to her, “Its new, don’t break it.” He says coldly and she smiles mockingly, “Of course.” She says,

 

*Doesn’t he fucking remember I grew up with nothing, I wouldn’t break this even if you paid me to. Fucking asshole.* she reaches her hand out and takes it, not missing the subtle flinch and clench of his jaw as soon as her hand moves, she sighs inwardly and resists the urge to roll her eyes, *If I wanted you dead, you’d be fucking dead.* she thinks and then turns to leave the room but not before hearing, “See? Heartless. Her brother is fucking dead. She asks for a fucking laptop.”

 

That was Tony and Wanda actually does roll her eyes this time, making her way to a small janitors closet she had passed on her way there, she walks in and sits against one of the shelves filled with cleaning supplies, finally letting a few tears fall, she opens the laptop and checks it for any bugs of viruses, she, unsurprisingly, finds some key logging software readily installed and quickly disables it in a way that doesn’t alert the user who made it.

 

After checking for any other monitoring software and disabling any she finds, she plugs her USB in and opens her files, she opens the letters to Ivana and the Avengers watching can see at least five date in between the last letter they saw her write and the new one she is currently writing with today’s date displayed,

 

May 6th, 2015, she stretches her arms and begins to type,

 

Hello, dorogoy,

                          It’s now May 6th so that means it’s been about a month or so. A lot has happened, and I mean, like, a lot. Whew, where to start? I met the Avengers! They attacked the castle and got rid of Strucker and List meaning me, and Pietro were free, he wanted revenge and I was stupid, I went along with his plan and a lot of people got hurt.

It wasn’t his fault though, it was mine, would you still love me if you know I’m responsible for my own brother’s death? Yeah, you heard or well, read, correctly. Pietro is dead. Wow, that’s the first time I’ve said it out loud, well, written it down, I guess.

That makes it real, huh? I need to move past that right now though because I’m on a floating aircraft/boat thingy. Yeah I don’t know either, but I do know that if I get too emotional right now I might bring this whole thing down, I don’t want that.

Um, I’m moving in with the Avengers I think, none of them actually want me there, though, it’s kind of just, like, a thing they have to do now that Pietro’s dead. Let me explain what I mean, The Avengers came to the castle, Me and Pietro attacked them, Tony Stark then built a massive sentient robot that went crazy and wanted to destroy the world. Me and Piet were so wrapped up in our revenge we didn’t even realise he wanted to destroy the world until later.

So, we joined his ranks. I hurt the Avengers, bad. Made some of them relive their worst fears. I made Hulk go crazy too, I hurt a lot of people. I didn’t mean to, I didn’t think about the consequences of my actions because I was so, angry, but yeah, I hurt a loads of people, innocent people, it is my fault.

Anyways, Ultron then brought us to and attacked a lab in Korea, Dr. Helen Cho was there and he used Loki’s sceptre from New York to mind-control her, to build him a new body, a synthezoid made of the strongest metal on earth, Vibranium.

She started creating what everyone is calling ‘The Vision.’ and I realised I could read him, what he was thinking, it was Ultron’s base-consciousness, and it was the world being destroyed and, god it hurt to look at, Me and Piet realised we were on the wrong side, that Ultron was an utter madman, he didn’t just want the end of the Avengers, he wanted the end of the world.

I used my powers to free Dr. Cho from the mind control and she stopped the upload into the new body. Ultron shot her because of it, another potential casualty of my idiocy, I need to ask about her, actually. Anyways, Pietro ran me away despite my protests and we got clear, we could’ve left then, disappeared I suppose, we would be found eventually of course but, maybe he would still be alive. But no, we saw Captain Rogers fighting Ultron on a train and knew we needed to help, we created this mess, it was only fair we fixed it.

The train went off the rails and Pietro ran everyone out of the way while I used my telekinesis to stop the train, we eventually convinced Rogers that “The Vision’s body should not be left with Stark because he would not destroy it, we rushed back to Avengers tower to discover that I was right, everyone began arguing and Pietro super-sped to disconnect the wires and end the argument. 

Then Thor came in and used his hammer to power the machine and “The Vision” jumped out of it, he attacked Thor but stopped after a few minutes and told us we all needed to stop Ultron and that he was in Sokovia, so we all travelled there and I helped get everyone out using my powers, I told them they needed to leave while Piet super-sped around telling everyone to leave.

Then the fighting began, and we had to fight evil-killer robots until the whole city started flying, Yes, like, actual flying. Basically, Ultron’s plan was to make the city fly high enough to impact the earth and cause global extinction, we were all fighting robots on a flying city and trying to get civilians to safety. We all thought we would have to blow up the city at one point, that we’d all die, until S.H.I.E.L.D or at least the ex-director and a few agents came to the rescue with this massive floating aircraft/boat thingy, I think they call it a Helicarrier, but I can’t be sure.

So anyways, Shield came to the rescue and we started loading civilians onto these lifeboat that also flew? It was insane! And then we all had to protect a key in the middle of the city, the thing making the city float, and we defeated all the robots and I told them I would stay and watch the key while they all got to safety, Pietro was meant to come get me but Barton and Costel, (do you remember Costel? Zrinka’s younger brother? Yeah him,) well they were in the path of a machine gun and Pietro decided to be a hero and save them, I can’t even be mad, I tried, believe me I did, but I just…couldn’t, Clint’s family need him and Costel was the last person Zrinka had, he is also a child, but Pietro was the last person I had, and I had to feel twelve bullets fly through him, had to feel his mind slipping away, the pain and terror.

God, I got so angry that I went and pulled Ultron’s heart out, well, what counts as a heart anyways seeing as he way a robot. But that was reckless too as a bot probably made it to the key and the city fell, if anyone had died that would’ve been my fault too.

I started falling and god, all I could think about was Pietro, was YOU, I just wanted to see you both again, I really wished for it and I waited for the impact with the ground, Vision saved me though, “Vision” huh, I like that.

Anyways, he saved he and I was so mad at him for it, I eventually calmed down enough to go see my brother, I learned that apparently I’m going to live with the Avengers then I went to visit Zrinka and Costel, I wanted to make sure he was alright. I then went looking for a computer or laptop so that I could write to you and, I overhead the Avengers debating whether I should be allowed to stay with them or not, they called me heartless, selfish and might as well have said narcissistic, and I have to go and LIVE with these people? I don’t know how I’m not going to die.

But yeah, like I said, a lot’s happened! I feel better now writing to you, moy dorogoy, ya skuchayu po tebe. I don’t know where to go from here. With Pietro gone and no-one else left, I’m not sure what will happen, I do hope, however, that I may see you soon, either in my dreams or in person.

I also hope Pietro is there with you, safe and happy and content, I hope you are both proud of me, I may not be perfect but I’m trying damn hard to be a hero. I hope you see that.

Tvoya lyubov, Wanda.”

 

The guilt Wanda feels over everything is tangible. She clearly blames herself for everything that has happened and, while some of it is her fault, not all of it is. She didn’t make Stark build Ultron, she didn’t shoot her brother, she didn’t kill that last person she had in this world.

 

The Avengers watch on in sympathy for this young girl, having lost so much so soon and they begin to wonder, not for the first time since all this began, how they could possibly have been so mean to her. The Avengers watch as Wanda continues to type for a short while, silently updating some of Shield’s code.

 

Letting herself get lost in the words, numbers and formula’s, she types until her fingers cramp and then types some more, the time passing outside the world she has created for herself barely noticeable it is so peaceful in here with Wanda that the Avengers find themselves falling into the quiet lull of silence, broken only by the clacking of keys from the laptop.

 

They are so immersed that they find themselves jumping when someone knocks on the door and Wanda looks up, “Come in, Vision.” She calls and Vision phases through the door to get to her. “Miss Maximoff, I don’t mean to disturb you, but I couldn’t help but notice how you were missing, I thought I should come check on you.” Vision says and Wanda smiles at him, “’Miss Maximoff’ sounds so formal. Call me Wanda.” She laughs and Vision nods, Wanda closes the laptop, placing it down beside her, discreetly placing her USB in her pocket, she then pats the space next to her on the ground.

 

Vision looks at her in question, standing awkwardly, and she laughs, “Come. Sit.” She says and he does so, hesitantly, he looks at that laptop, “May I ask what you were doing?” he asks, and she smiles, “Oh. Um, a bit of coding, some writing. Nothing important.” She looks sad as she says it and Vision doesn’t press the topic, “You know how to code?” he asks instead and she nods, “Yeah I, um, an old friend taught me a few years ago, been dabbling ever since.”

 

Vision nods and silence encompasses the room for a few minutes before, “Are you alright?” Its Vision that asks and Wanda takes a deep breath before looking at him, “Does it bother you?” she asks quietly and at his blank look she shakes her head sadly, “The looks, the whispered words, wondering what you are and whether you could fall apart and go crazy at any given second?”

 

Vision tilts his head, debating, and Wanda waits silently for him to answer, “I think I know what you mean.” He says and she nods, “I like to think that people just don’t understand us. Me and you, we are…different, humans don’t take nicely to things that are different. I was created to be a weapon, something responsible for mass genocide. You were created to be the same, a weapon, albeit in a different way. At the end of the day, we are or were both weapons.”

 

Wanda nods again and is silent for a few moments and then she laughs, Vision looks at her in surprise, but she just waves him off and continues laughing, “I like you, Vision. You’re honest. Most people would brush me off, offer comfort in the form of false statements but not you, you tell it how it is.” Vision watches her, “This is a good thing?” he asks, and she nods, “It is to me.”

 

He smiles to himself and they keep their meaningless conversation going, ignoring the world around them in favour of laughing with each other, until Wanda eventually begins to fall asleep, the day taking its toll on the young girl.

 

Vision lifts her carefully and carries her to a bed in another room, he sets her on the cot gently and with a quiet, “Goodnight Wanda.” He leaves.

 

The Avengers watch in amusement as Wanda and Vision bond, enjoying the jokes and sarcastic comments from Wanda and the confusion and logic from Vision every time he doesn’t understand, it’s nice to see Wanda laughing even though she is in denial of, well, everything, she can still enjoy herself for a few hours before reality settles in.

Chapter Text

Wanda wakes up screaming. Her powers crashing about the room, tipping things over and creating a mess, the team watch in sadness and Natasha and Tony cringe, they know what happens next. Sure enough, Natasha and Tony come barrelling through the room just as Wanda comes back to herself, catching her breath. “Maximoff!” Tony shouts and they watch as Wanda cringed slightly before pulling herself together, “I’m sorry.” She says and Tony looks at the mess of a room,

 

“I know you’re angry but trashing a room isn’t going to make you feel any better!” he shouts, and Wanda shakes her head in response, “No! I wasn’t-“ she is cut off by Natasha, “Look, if this happens again, we’re going to have to put you in isolation. We just don’t want anyone to get hurt.” 

 

The way Wanda freezes slightly at those words isn’t noticeable in the dark to Tony and Natasha in the doorway but the Avengers watching this from Wanda’s mind notice it and hold their breath, Natasha looks incredibly guilty having not noticed how something like that might have triggered Wanda, “I’m sorry. Won’t happen again.” She says and Tony nods, “Good. You’ve done enough damage.”

 

Wanda nods in agreement and Tony and Natasha leave. Clint turns to Natasha and Tony, “The girl wakes from a nightmare and you shout at her?” He asks angrily and Tony shakes his head guiltily, “Look, I was biased because of what she did, I didn’t even know she was so young and when I came into the room to find it trashed I just assumed she had gotten angry.” Natasha nods and the other Avengers shake their heads, disappointment and sadness in their eyes.

 

Wanda looks around the room, quickly using her powers to put it back the way that it was before and she looks toward a wall on her left, “Go away, Vision. I don’t want to talk right now.” She says and waits for a few minutes until Vision leaves, she takes a deep breath, trying to stop herself from falling apart as sobs fall, unbidden, from her mouth, tears streaming down her cheeks, she tries to catch her breath and struggles for breath for a few minutes until she manages to ground herself, choking on sobs as she does, she looks around the room and has the urge to wreck it again but she remembers Tony’s words and Natasha’s warnings so she decides to leave it, anger making her powers swirl angrily until she pushes them down, now wasn’t the time.

 

Another door appears next to the Avengers who look at it in surprise, it’s been a while since they last had a time-skip but Steve shrugs and walks through, they are at the Tower now, a few days after Ultron.

 

They had been staying on the helicarrier for a little while and rarely saw Wanda and all figured she had just been grieving, The Avengers watch Wanda step off the quinjet, their past selves follow and Wanda barely looks around the tower before rushing off, running to the elevator to go down, ignoring the shouts of the Avengers as they debate running after her but she was fast, The Avengers watch as Wanda runs by them and see their past selves looking confused, about to chase the girl when Natasha holds her hand out, “Let her go. She’ll come back when she’s ready. Hopefully that’ll be never.”

 

Natasha winces at that and they all follow Wanda into the elevator, leaving their past selves behind, confused.

 

Wanda just keeps running, at this point Clint feels like he’s ready to drop dead, this girl was so fucking fast! They have been racing after her down the street for close to twenty minutes now and Wanda shows no sign of stopping. They can see scarlet tendrils spouting from her hands as she runs, concealing them in her pockets getting more and more angry every second, Clint feels the need to take a breath and is about to ask the others when Wanda finally stops, she stops in an abandoned building and falls to her knees, crying out and power rushes to the surface similar to what they saw earlier as power surrounds her, decimating anything in its path, it happens so quick that the Avengers wonder if they just imagined it.

 

They hear Wanda cry out and turn to her she has her hands over her eyes and she is sobbing, “He’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone, I’m alone, I’m alone.” They watch, helpless, as the young girl breaks down in front of them Wanda stays there until it starts to get dark, she finally looks around herself and see’s that the sun is going down, she sighs to herself and stands, her eyes red and puffy and slowly makes her way back toward the Tower.

 

It’s completely dark by the time she gets there, and she sighs walking around to the door and then walking through it. The Security in the tower tries to stop her but she just holds up a hand and some of her power flows into his mind, *You will always let me in.* she thinks and the guard nods, before blinking his eyes open, “Miss Maximoff! Come on in! I’ll let you up.” He says and she nods and thanks him tiredly, she stands against the back wall of the elevator, leaning heavily against it and sighs, looking up, her eyes flash red and she groans.

 

Most of The Avengers watching have no idea why but Natasha understands, she sighs and walks backward to hide behind Clint who gives her a questioning look and she shakes her head,

 

The elevator doors open with a “Ding!” And Wanda manages to take about two steps before, “Maximoff!” Natasha.

 

She sighs and turns around, she is exhausted and sad and annoyed, and she could not deal with Romanoff and her condescension right now, she turns to face the woman anyways, “Yes?” She asks and hates how timid and quiet her voice comes out as, she had screamed herself hoarse it seems, “Where were you?” Natasha asks suspiciously and Wanda shakes her head, resisting the urge to roll her eyes, “It’s none of your business.” She replies and the spy levels her with an unimpressed look, “Actually, at least one of us should be aware of your position at all times just in case anyone starts causing any… trouble.” She looks at Wanda suspiciously as she says it and this time Wanda can’t quite contain the eye-roll,

 

“I wasn’t out destroying the city, if that’s what you’re asking Romanoff?” Wanda questions and Natasha looks at her, untrusting, she takes a menacing step forward, “If you put one foot out of line, you will be out of here faster than you can protest. If you mess with ANYONE’s head while you are here, out. If you do anything that we don’t agree with, out.” She steps forward again, practically in front of the young girl who, surprisingly, doesn’t look intimidated, “Watch your back, Witch.” She stalks off, leaving Wanda staring after her in mild amusement along with some conflicting feelings.

 

*Better than HYDRA, my ass.* she thinks, causing the Avengers watching to wince, Natasha’s face filled with guilt but almost immediately Wanda corrects herself, *No that isn’t fair, no one has beat me yet and I fully deserve their distrust.* she shakes her head, about to go to sleep when she suddenly realises she doesn’t have a room, she sighs and walks down one of the corridors, she walks for a short while before she finds a bed in one of the rooms, it is slightly bigger than a broom closet and has a bed tucked away into one corner, she sees a lock on the door and figures that no-one would be disturbing her here so she settles in and is soon fast asleep, exhaustion winning over her tired body.

 

Sam looks at Natasha, “So, let me get this straight. This girl had to conceal and force her feelings about her brother’s death away in order to stop us all from, well, dying. Then she managed to get away and let some of her feelings out at losing her brother and then her home and now living in a completely unfamiliar environment, with people that don’t trust her that she thinks hates her, just to come back to where she is supposed to be staying to be threatened and then had to sleep in a bed that is situated in a broom-closet and none of us thought to check on her?”

 

The Avengers pale as he speaks, knowing it is true and Natasha looks regretful and guilty for her actions, “Didn’t you arrange a room for her?” Vision asks Tony who shakes his head, “I don’t remember doing that, I assumed one of you did.” He answers and Vision looks at each of them in question everyone shakes their heads, and he blinks, “That does not make sense.” He says, “What doesn’t?” Clint asks, “I asked Wanda about the sleeping arrangements like last week because I often find her in the communal kitchen at odd hours, she told me that one of you gave her a bedroom next to Natasha’s.”

 

Natasha nods, “She has been in the room next to me, I mean, I hear her screaming.” Tony shrugs, “Either the kid sorted herself out or Pepper helped.”

 

They all nod, contented with this answer and watch the scene around them speed up, watch Wanda get out of bed, still in the Shield clothes she’d been given the day before, and walk out of the small room in search of a bathroom, she wanders around aimlessly for a few minutes before FRIDAY speaks up, “Do you require assistants, Miss Maximoff?” She asks and Wanda jumps, spinning around, eyes flaring red, “Who’s there?” She asks and FRIDAY replies, “I am Mr Stark’s AI, I am here for your assistance.”

 

Wanda visibly relaxes and mutters, “Of course Stark has a fucking AI in his tower.” Before she faces the ceiling, “Do you have a name?” She asks and FRIDAY hums, “Yes, Miss Maximoff, Mr Stark called me FRIDAY.” Wanda snorts, “And that stands for?” She asks and FRIDAY replies instantly, “Female Replacement Intelligent Digital Assistant Youth, Miss Maximoff.Wanda actually laughs at that, “Okay, FRIDAY, can you tell me where the bathroom is?”

 

“Two rights and a left, Miss Maximoff.” FRIDAY replies and Wanda smiles, “Thanks Friday, and call me Wanda okay?” She asks and Friday replies, “Of course, Wanda.” Wanda heads off toward the bathroom and gets ready, disappearing for a few minutes while the Avengers stand outside.

 

When Wanda emerges she looks better, her bloodshot eyes hidden behind makeup, he hair in a neat ponytail and overall, she looked more confident, stood taller, shoulders back, ready for the day. She walked silently toward the room she slept in and manages to find the elevator and, consequently, the common room and kitchen. Most of the Avengers were already there and she finds herself groaning internally,

 

*This is going to go well.* She thinks and acutely registers that Thor and Banner are nowhere to be seen as she attempts to smile when Steve calls her name, Steve turns away quickly and goes back to ignoring her so either, she isn’t good at faking a smile anymore or Romanoff just elbowed him under the counter, *Probably the second one.*

 

God if Pietro was here right now- she cuts THAT train of thought off quickly, she can’t think about him right now, she will break down if she does.

 

She pushes thoughts of her brother to the back of her head and steps forward to find something for breakfast, she doesn’t want to hang around long and is about to make a quick exit when, “Ow!” Someone groans, falling into her and shoving her into the counter, her hipbones and abdomen connect and she holds back a groan but, *Fuck that HURT.*

 

She twists to look at who crashed into her and sees a man that she thinks she vaguely recognises, she thinks back to where she knows him from when it clicks, *Sam Wilson, Known associate of Captain America and Black Widow during the fight at the triskelion.* she registers, trying to recall any and all information she can on him when he decides to introduce himself, “Sam Wilson, nice to meet you.” He says and Wanda laughs a little, despite her abdomen throbbing in protest, “Wanda Maximoff. You too.” She says and see’s Sam’s eyes widen in recognition as he glances toward Steve and Wanda internally groans, *Great.*

 

Sam turns back to her and nods his head, moving swiftly over toward Steve, she is about to leave when she hears, “So, Wanda, what age are you, really?” Clint asks, he was leaving to see his family later that day, Wanda remembers vaguely overhearing the conversation.

 

“Yeah, we know you are young, like, early 20’s?” Steve asks and everyone else nods Wanda turns to look at each of them for a few minutes, *Lie, they think you are older, lie.* she thinks while her mouth begins to move, *Lie say you’re twenty-one, LIE.* her brain screams and she hesitates.

 

“Um, Sixteen.” She says as her brain protests, *Great. Now they will Pity you or kick you out, leave you alone. Fucking idiot, you should’ve lied.* Fuck.

 

She registers everyone’s faces morphing into shock and decides this was the time to make her hasty exit, so she does, walking down one of the corridors.

 

Missing the hushed conversation that breaks out behind her.

 

She gets pretty far down before realising she has no idea where she is going so she looks at the ceiling, “Hey, Fri?” She asks and FRIDAY makes a sound that Wanda thinks sound likes a hum, “Is there a spare room I may have?” She asks and FRIDAY replies, “Yes, Miss Maximoff, there is a room next to Miss Romanoff’s.” Wanda nods, “Thanks, Fri. Also, I thought I told you to call me Wanda?” She asks and Friday replies, “Of Course, Miss Maxi- Wanda. Your new room is dead ahead, second on your right.” She says and Wanda thanks her moving toward the room as directed.

Chapter Text

Wanda thanks her moving toward the room as directed.

 

“I did always wonder why she didn’t lie about it.” Steve says and everyone nods, “Yeah, we thought she was at least 21, not 16.” Clint adds causing Natasha and Sam to nod in agreement, another door appears to their left and they walk through it as directed, it brings them to Wanda, getting into bed that night, she falls asleep and they watch, fascinated, as the scene around them morphs into the dream scape, images flashing so fast they take a minute to register.

 

Red and Blue mixing into a deep purple,

Hands joined, holding on as one turns cold,

The purple twisted back into a dark red, blue draining out,

Pain, pain everywhere,

Red like blood, red like love, red like death.

 

And then the scene twists again,

 

Steel tables with scalpels and pain,

Straps on a bed,

Handcuffs rattling against bed posts,

Dancers, Ballerinas, dancing until their feet bled,

“Love is for Children.”

“You are marble.”

Shots sounding out in a darkened room.

 

The scene shifts again, morphing almost,

 

Sadness and deep loneliness,

Cold, so cold,

“Bucky!” Shouted, pain raw in his throat,

“Steve.” A voice with a British lilt to it,

“A week, next Saturday…At the Stork Club. Don’t you dare be late.”

“I can do this all day.”

Pain, Pain, pain.

 

The scene shifts for a final time,

 

“Pietro!”

No, no, no, no, no, NO!

Ultron, metal twisting and morphing as shots sound,

Mama! Papa!

No!

A loud bang as the pain hits, STARK.

The bullets, ripping through her body painfully, 12, one for each minute without her, he thinks.

Pain, Pain. Pain.

 

Wanda awakes screaming, her voice hoarse telling her that the screaming had been happening for a while, she calms herself down and takes a few minutes to just… BREATHE.

 

That had been happening a lot recently, the nightmares, the feelings that weren’t hers mixed with the ones that were, she reaches out with her mind and, sure enough, finds Romanoff and Captain Rogers awake, always those two, she figures it has something to do with the fact that they both seem to have enhanced brain function, Captain Rogers’ from the super-soldier serum and Natasha from whatever happened in the Red Room, as she had come to know it. She just couldn’t seem to block out their thoughts sometimes. They were so LOUD.

 

Wanda sighs, she pulls herself out of bed and makes her way toward the kitchen, her throat dry from her screaming and she stumbles deliriously out of her bedroom, she makes it there mostly without incident (There was a slight issue with finding her way in these corridors.) and pours herself a glass of water. She downs it quickly and decides to sit in the kitchen for a few minutes, she knows that no more sleep will come tonight and almost groans at the realisation that it is only around 2am, she sits there for what feels like ever, but its only about an hour and a half, before leaving the kitchen and walking back to her bedroom, finding it way easier to get back there now she knows the route. She makes it back to her room quickly and surveys the room, she tries to find something to do, something distracting, something to make her FORGET as she walks slowly toward the desk in the corner of the room, in front of the widow.

 

The Avengers who had been watching in fascination up until this point, trying desperately not to glance at Steve and Natasha, watch as Wanda makes her way toward the desk, she pauses before sitting down, staring out the window in curiosity and amazement, NYC is bigger than she had ever imagined. She surveys the city in all its glory, lights blinking up at her in the night sky and she finds herself, oddly perhaps, comparing it to the stars.

 

She had always had a fascination with them. On the nights she could see them in Sokovia she would lay for hours, watching the twinkling lights and feeling a sense of utter insignificance in the grand scheme of things. The lights are like that, she thinks, Pietro would’ve liked it here. As soon as she registers the thought she is blinking back tears and shakes them away, *No,* she thinks, *I cannot think about him right now.* she sits quickly after that and pulls out some paper and a pencil, beginning to draw. The Avengers hesitate, “She can draw?” Steve asks, having been quite an artist himself and Clint tilts his head before replying, “Looks like it.”

 

They watch quietly as Wanda draws something before she looks down at the page and tilts her head. Time becomes meaningless as she continues her drawing. Eventually she finished and the Avengers approach cautiously, peering over her shoulder to see what had been depicted, they all gasp as they see figments from her earlier nightmares, twisted into darkness.

 

They see two hands, one blue, one red, the only colours on the page. They see medical tables with scalpels and equipment, they see the flag of America, stained red with blood as a hand reaches out toward something, falling down. Words are etched across the page, ‘Pietro’, ‘Peggy’, ‘Bucky’, ‘I can do this all day’, ‘with you till the end of the line’ along with ‘marble’, ‘love is for children’, ‘sloppy’, ‘weak’, 'Pretending to fail?' and in bold letters at the very top, ‘STARK’ They each feel their hearts crack, just a little bit more.

 

She sighed when her drawing was finished, the shading was rough and uneven, further exhibiting the darkness and sadness and anger that surrounded the drawing, she stood slowly from her place and folded the slip of paper into a small square, she then placed it in a small book that she found in her desk before noticing the sun had risen, she decided to wait until a decent time to be awake, 9am, maybe? 8am? She sits, restless, and hopes this day will be better.

 

Time seems to shift again the Avengers waiting curiously for where it will stop and are shocked to see that Steve and Natasha are staring back at them in the hallway as Wanda passes, she flinches imperceptibly and not even Natasha had noticed it and, had she not be in her head, she probably wouldn’t have. She sighs as she sees her past self, still angry about Johannesburg, giving the young, vulnerable sokovian a death glare that can make grown men shiver, *God, Black Widow and Captain America hate me.* Wanda thinks and a distant part of her brain replies, *You deserve it.* and she sighs inwardly and agrees, she attempts to continue walking but Steve calls out, “Maximoff!” 

 

She freezes momentarily, taking a moment to collect herself and plaster a smile on her face, “Yes?” She asks sweetly, hoping her voice doesn’t waver (It doesn’t.) and turns toward the two, “We think you should start training soon , learn how to control and contain your…abilities.” Natasha replies, disgust evident in her voice and Wanda takes a minute to breathe, “I know how to control my abilities.” She states and Natasha raises an eyebrow, “Really? You’ve had them for, what? 6 months? You’re a teenager, you cannot have abilities like yours and not know how to use them.” She says and Wanda resists the urge to roll her eyes at the assassin, “Yeah, and I spent that year and a bit with Hydra, you know what thats like, at least, you know what’s it like to be controlled, weaponised, right? So, excuse you, I may be an inexperienced teenager, but when I say I have control over my powers, I mean I have control over my powers.”

 

She takes a slight step forward and doesn’t miss the way the two Avengers tense, *Good.* she thinks, *Let them be scared.* 

 

“Listen here, little witch, I don’t care what you saw in my head.” Natasha begins and Wanda sighs imperceptibly, *Still see.* she thinks bitterly, “But you are not allowed to use that against me, that was an invasion, a violation and I will not forgive you for it, alright? You need to learn hand-to-hand at least so that you can go out on missions and we need to be certain that you aren’t going to fuck with our heads every time you have a teenage tantrum, okay? So you will do as we say, or, you will leave.” Natasha finishes and is about to walk away when Wanda shouts, “And go where?”

 

Steve is the one to answer, “Go live wherever, with a family friend, a relative, on your own.” Wanda shakes her head, “With what money? What family? What friend? My brother and parents are dead, my city is destroyed and I have no other relatives, family, or friends. I have no money and can no longer have a legal job in America considering I am not a US citizen, I don’t have a citizenship which, by the way, takes around 2 years to get, I have no intention of taking Stark’s money so, what? Am I meant to go live on the streets? Steal for a living? Eventually get caught? Arrested? Killed?” She asks, 

 

*Wouldn’t be the first time.* she thinks and can feel the slight pangs of sympathy coming from the Captain, *Of course* she thinks, *He’s lost everyone too.* but it is drowned out by the anger and pain radiating from the assassin, “I don’t care where you go, witch, but seeing as you seem to be out of options, I suggest you stick around and do as you’re told. Mandatory Training, everyday, 9AM. Don’t be late.”

 

The assassin tugs Steve away with her even though Wanda can feel Steve’s protest, his need to help her, *Classic Captain America, huh?* she thinks and makes her way toward the kitchen, she finds the liquor cabinet in the expansive room relatively quickly and makes her way back toward her room, she vaguely registers FRIDAY’s protests but waves the AI off, telling her to be quiet.

 

On the way past the stairs leading further up the tower she pauses, makes a quick decision, and heads up toward the roof.

 

On the roof, the air is cool, refreshing and helps rid Wanda of any anger she currently feels and she sighs, leaning back against the wall next to the door and opens the expensive vodka she stole from Tony, the liquid is smooth as it slides down her throat and she relishes in the burn, her and Pietro used to drink a lot, with no parental figures to say no, the kids on the street would always have alcohol and Wanda and her brother often joined them, her thoughts turn to Pietro and, before she knows it, tears are streaming down her face as sobs rack her small frame, she sits for hours, sobbing, drinking, thinking, before she stands up and feels the effects of the alcohol, making her sway slightly as she stumbles toward the edge of the roof, she knows she shouldn’t but cant help but climb quietly to the edge, her drunk brain making her sway a little as she gazes silently towards the city below.

 

The Avengers watching all hold their breaths at the scene in front of them, they all know, logically, that Wanda doesn’t die here, that she is actually curled in a hospital bed right now, next to them, but they cant help but be fearful for the young woman, they are, unfortunately pulled from their reverie by Wanda’s thoughts,

 

*It would be so easy,* she thinks gazing down at the streets below, *Just, lift your foot, and fall. It would be so peaceful, so easy.*

 

There is a slight pause before, *Where else are you going to go? Family, dead, friends, dead, girlfriends, dead, they Avengers don’t want you so what do you have to lose?* The Avengers watched worriedly as she lifts her foot off of the ledge and dangles it over the edge, *so easy…*

 

She is startled out of her thoughts by her phone ringing and she stumbles slightly before pulling herself back from the edge, very nearly falling over, she looks at the caller ID of the Stark phone Tony gave her that reads, “Clint Barton.” And she answers it instantly (Clint had left to go see his family a few days ago and Wanda had to say she was glad, the guilt she feels rolling off of him made her shiver.)

 

“Hello?” She asks and clears her throat at the creakiness, “Hey kiddo.” Clint says and Wanda swears she can feel his guilt even through the phone, “Are you okay? Settling in well?” He asks and Wanda resists the urge to sigh, “Yeah, everyone has been really nice and welcoming, how are the kids?”

 

She winces slightly at the lie and deflection but Clint doesn’t seem to pick up on it and he goes on a spiel about the kids and their awful sleeping habits and Wanda laughs for the first time since she had come to Avengers tower, 

 

The Avengers watch in amusement as the two talk and Clint tries to recall this call, he hadn’t thought anything was off with Wanda, certainly not that she had literally been standing on a ledge around 30 seconds before, they sit and watch as Clint and Wanda talk for an hour or so, Wanda lying to him about how good the tower is and how everyone is welcoming, she doesn’t want Clint to know that she was literally just contemplating her own death minutes beforehand and that she had never felt more alone in her life.

 

They watch Wanda say bye to Clint and hang up before lifting the bottle of vodka to her lips and taking a drink, she notices that half the bottle has already been drunk and sighs, she will have one hell of a hangover tomorrow, she shrugs and makes her way back downstairs, toward her bedroom when she gets there she sits down on the floor near her door and drinks her overpriced vodka, contemplating life.

Chapter Text

The scene around them shifts little, the room is now dark, empty vodka bottle on her nightstand and Wanda is asleep in bed, almost peacefully, at least until the dreamscape morphs around them, 

 

“I’m with you until the end of the line, pal.”

Wanda! I’m scared.”

“Make it stop, it hurts! 

“Only the breakable ones.”

“I have no place in this world.”

“Get away from her!”

“Karlinka Dulka, at your service…”

“I’m Wanda, Wanda Maximoff.”

“Charming Wanda with bright eyes and soft hair?”

“Nadia!”

“Pietro!”

“Kill or be killed.”

“Sloppy, pretending to fail,”

“Bucky! Peggy!”

“A Dancing Monkey?”

“Who the hell’s Bucky?”

 

Its the same as the Avengers are used to, everyone purposely avoiding Steve and Natasha’s eyes until the scene shifts once more,

 

“Pietro?” A teen with white hair turns toward Wanda as she starts to cry, he smiles and walks forward, “Don’t cry, sister.” He pleads and Wanda nods, “I miss you.” She says and he smiles sadly, looking around at their surroundings, they are in the church in Sokovia and Wanda nods, “Of course we are here.” She says and her brother lets out a short laugh, giving his sister a hug. Wanda smiles at her brother before it turns sad, “What am I to do, Pietro?” She asks quietly and he also smiles sadly, “Fight.” He says, “Fight for what you believe is right. Be strong, dear sister, and be an Avenger. Make me proud.”

 

Wanda laughs humourlessly, “How? They hate me.” She asks and Pietro sighs, “The opinions of few don’t matter, sister, just believe in yourself like I do and others will too.” He replies and Wanda nods, “I promise, I will, I will fight for you and our family and friends, I will be the hero you always wanted to be. That you were.”  Pietro nods silently and smiles sadly towards his sister, “I have to leave now, I will see you in your dreams, little sister.” He grins and Wanda scoffs, “You’re only twelve minut-“

 

Wanda bolts awake, “-es older than me!” She exclaims and then looks around, realising her brother is no longer there she sighs and looks at her clock, 7:33am, she groans, flopping back onto her bed and lays there, silently staring at the ceiling for a few minutes before she gets up and makes her way around the room, seemingly taking it all in. She feels her head pound with a hangover, surprisingly not as bad as she thought It would be and checks the time again, 7:47, she sighs, remembering what Natasha said about training ta 9am and makes her way toward the bathroom next to her bedroom, she showers relatively quickly and towel dries her hair, putting it in a quick bun, gets dressed and heads to the kitchen, she notices that the clock now reads 8:06 and decides she needs some food.

 

She is not surprised to find some of the other Avengers In the kitchen and quietly pours some coffee, grabbing an apple as she goes to make her way back toward her room when, “Maximoff!” She rolls her eyes and turns, smiling, “Yes, Captain?” She asks and Steve surveys her for a few minutes before saying, “Training starts today, 9am, just in case you forgot.” Wanda nods and goes to turn away when, “Miss Maximoff?” She turns and smiles at Vision, the only one who has been relatively kind to her throughout all of this, “Yes, Viszh?” She asks and can see him visibly brighten at the nickname, “I was wondering if you would like to take a walk with me? Before training, of course.” He says and she nods, “Yeah sure.” She nods, walking toward him and ignoring the questioning looks and muttered, “When did they get so close?” Coming from the kitchen.

 

The air outside is nice and Wanda enjoyed walking with Vision, it was peaceful and they just had some meaningless conversation, it was the most peaceful Wanda had felt since Pietro died, she felt…content almost, the thought brought tears to her eyes as she felt unworthy of being contented without her brother in her life but remembering her dream From last night she realised Pietro wouldn’t want her living her life in pain, afraid to live without him and she knew there would be days for that, days in which she cried herself to sleep or remembered him and felt sad, she knew that it would suck at times, especially now, living in a foreign place, no friends, no family, but she would be okay, eventually. She would be a hero like her brother.

 

The Avengers watching in fascination and awe as Wanda, who had lost more than they could’ve imagined, was still kindhearted, still good, still fighting. They felt horrible for ever hating this young and vulnerable girl out of fear out of judging her on past mistakes. That sentiment hit them all hard, Natasha and Tony especially, as they had all come from pretty bad mistakes, mistakes that had a multitude of consequences and a life time of making up to do. They were all plagued with an immense guilt that they knew would haunt them for a while.

 

Eventually, Wanda and Vision made it back to the tower, it was 8:56 when they arrived back at the tower and walked down to the training room together, Wanda quickly thanked Vision for the distraction and hurried into the room, Vision floating behind her as she was determined not to be late for her first Avengers training. 

 

Training begins with some basic warmups, everyone wearily watching Wanda and Vision with distinct fear that Wanda can feel permeating the room, her powers allow her to feel everyones base emotions at every given time and she hates the atmosphere but she supposes it is better than the sympathy that Steve seems filled with, under his fear and apprehension or the guilt that literally rolls off of Clint in waves so bad that it makes her feel sick.

 

She bares it though and resolves to not let the team know about this, she also decides that there is no need for them to know of her reality manipulation, after all, they are fearful enough already, she doesn’t need to give them any more reason to be.

 

The Avengers are learning a lot, it seems, about Wanda right now. They learned earlier about the reality manipulation and knew, to some extent, about her altering perceptions and her telekinesis and obviously fear projection, they didn’t know she could feel emotions but they guessed that it made sense, they now also knew why the teen neglected to tell them about it all and are curious as to what the girl is still hiding, obviously, she likes girls, and she has lost everyone and everything she holds dear, her parents were not as loving as they all thought they were, so her childhood was completely fucked up, she joined HYDRA because her brother was ill and they were promised help and power, she took revenge against Tony mostly because of her brother but also because she had lost everyone because of Stark Industry weapons, she was really good at hiding her emotions and was a lot more powerful than they gave her credit for.

 

“She hides so much.” Clint sighs and everyone nods in agreement, “I didn’t know any of this…” Steve says and Sam nods, “I thought she would like…come to me, talk at least about what was troubling her but no, she just smiles and hides it away.” The Avengers continue watching Wanda warm up for training,

 

“Maximoff! You’re sparring with me.” Natasha voice rings out and Wanda sighs, “Do you know how to throw a punch?” Natasha asks and Wanda nods, “Yes, Agent Romanoff, I think I know how to punch someone.” She says and Natasha rolls her eyes, “Don’t be sassy, get into stance.” Natasha replies and Wanda nods, getting into a basic boxers stance that she saw in one of the Hydra Guards’ minds, she can feel Natasha’s surprise and resists the urge to roll her eyes, she can also feel the carefully concealed anger flowing out of the Russian and Wanda internally winces, knowing she is probably going to get her ass kicked.

 

*Wouldn’t be the first time.* a voice that sounds eerily like Pietro replies and Wanda hides a grin. 

 

“Good. Now, come at me.” Natasha smirks and Wanda nods suddenly nervous, she goes for the obvious move knowing Natasha will expect that from her but quickly uses her left hand to hit Natasha’s briefly unprotected side as she attempts to counter Wanda’s first move, she jabs the Russian lightly and steps back, hiding her smirk as Natasha looks briefly stunned, *Always Underestimating.* she sighs in her head but gears herself up now that Natasha knows that she is no beginner. 

 

Between the guards she often poked with her powers and trying to learn how to defend herself in the streets of Sokovia with Pietro’s teachings, she knew how to do basic self defence techniques, how to counter and block certain moves, but going against THE Black Widow was a lot harder than going against a few bullies or men trying to attack her at night.

 

She braced for the upcoming fury that she can feel under Natasha’s skin and sure enough, finds herself pinned under the Russian a few minutes later, she knows how to take a hit and she likes to think she put up a good fight, clearly better than the other Avengers had been expecting from the orphan girl from Sokovia as she can practically taste the surprise in the room.

 

Natasha has what looks like the faintest hints of a surprised smirk on her face and Wanda holds back a grin, she had impressed them. She doesn’t let that go to her head, knowing, full well, that anyone in this room can kill her in a second if they so wished, especially the woman that currently had her pinned.

 

Natasha jumps back up quickly and Wanda follows, they go for a few more rounds, Wanda, having adjusted slightly to fighting Natasha, holds her own for longer each time and by the end of it is sweating and holding back a smile, she can feel the others’ eyes watching them until Steve finally calls it a day and tells her, “Good job, Maximoff.” Before he leaves the room, Wanda heads for a shower and then resolves to stay in her room for the rest of the day, practicing her powers.

 

Another door opens and the Avengers step through, they barely have time to register what was happening before Wanda shoots up out of her bed, “Blyad'! Otoydi ot menya! Net! Net! Stop! Pozhaluysta!” She yells and they quickly identify the  language as Russian catches the tail ends of her shouts, (Fuck! Get away from me! No! No! Stop! Please!) Natasha translates quickly and they realise that the girl must have been having a nightmare, whose? They have no idea.

 

They watch Wanda gather her bearings and looks around the room before flopping back onto her bed with a groan, covering her face she then sits up and looks around, a faraway look in her eyes that have gained the barest tinge of red and Natasha voice is heard, *Third time this week, when I’m finally getting some sleep?* Wanda sighs guiltily and is about to stand and apologise to the Russian before, *Good, she deserves it, Karma.* the redheads voice grumbles and Wanda pauses, she sits still for a moment and shakes her head, she does deserve it she thinks, it’s penance.

 

Natasha winces, she hadn't meant for the sokovian to hear her.

 

She goes to sit at her desk, opening the laptop that Stark had given her on the helicarrier and pulling out the USB drive from a hidden compartment in her desk, she opens a file that read, ‘Night’ and they see a bunch of documents with different dates, all within the week Wanda had spent in the tower, she opens a new one titled, ’17/05/2015’ and begins typing,

 

‘Similar to last three days, my dreams are a combination of those I believe belong to Captain Rogers and Agent Romanoff along with my own. My powers need to be controlled better when I am unconscious before someone gets hurt. My room was not, however, destroyed as it was the last two nights so I believe I am getting better at that aspect. The last few days have been different though, I am no longer awoken by Natasha’s swearing but, rather, my own. I don’t understand why this is happening exactly but I believe I am sort of drawing them into myself meaning that Agent Romanoff and the captain get to sleep peacefully while I get their nightmares. NEED FURTHER INFORMATION.’

 

She saves the file and closes it before sighing, dropping her head into her hands and taking a moment to breathe. She normally would have Pietro to pick this apart with right now but he is gone so she haas to do this alone. She had briefly thought about writing to him like she does to Ivana but dismissed that thought as that was something reserved only for her even though she knows that Ivana would have preferred her to move on already, she can't.

 

She shakes her head at herself and goes to the kitchen, telling herself that she will be able to sleep after a cup of tea, she reads the time to be 3:23 and briefly reminds herself to be quiet, no use in waking anyone else at this time.

 

She makes her way to the kitchen and grabs a mug and some teabags, quietly making herself some tea when she realises that she is hungry. She tries to think of the last time she ate and blanches when she realises she cant remember, hunger was something she was used to so she sometimes forgets what it is like to actually have food. She decides that she needs a taste of home and, even though it is nearly 4am, she decides she will make some Varenyky or Pierogi, Pietro’s favourite.

 

She sighs at the reminder of her brother but smiles when she remembers his face when mama made them for dinner, she gathers the ingredients quickly, unsurprised to find Tony Stark’s kitchen is fully stocked with anything and everything she could possible need and starts making the dough.

 

The Avengers watch, fascinated, as they learn this new skill Wanda has she moves around the kitchen with elegance, making dough and chopping ingredients with skill, that is, until she is started by a loud Bang! From outside and the knife slips, cutting her hand right across the palm and part of her finger, she winces and shoves her hand under the sink, blood dripping from her fingers as she turns the tap on, she is about to bandage it up when she pauses, examining the cut. 

 

She has an odd look on her face that turns into determination as she gathers power in the other hand, she tilts her head slightly looking unsure about wether this will work, before she shrugs and sends a single strand out toward her palm, nothing happens for a minutes but suddenly Wanda gasps, looking at her hand and sending  more magic toward it.

 

The Avengers look at her hand and are shocked to see the skin seemingly stitch itself together, Wanda twists and turns her hands and twirls her fingers in strange ways, almost as it she were actually stitching a cut, and before long her hand is perfectly healed with nothing but a faint scar left to show that she was ever injured in the first place, she gasps, obviously as shocked and stunned as the Avengers feel and takes a few minutes to trace the scar on her hand before looking around in wonder, she finally snaps out of it and decides to get on with the Peirogi, she wraps the dough and places it in the fridge before turning and getting the rest of the ingredients.

 

When Wanda finishes the pierogi, she sits quietly and begins to eat, she has a vague bittersweet expression on her face as she eats and the Avengers can't help but feel their hearts break, she finishes the food quietly and leaves some left-overs on the counter for someone else to try. She makes her way back to her bedroom and is not surprised to see that the sun was rising, she glanced at her clock and sighed when it read, 6:03am, she shakes her head and decides that there is no point in going back to sleep so she may as well shower.

 

The day passes in a blur for the Avengers as time seems to swirl, they catch glimpses, Wanda got breakfast, went training, hacked into Stark Industries, pulled up FRIDAY’s code, tweaked it, and sat in her room for the rest of the day lost in thought.

 

Chapter Text

She sat in her room for the rest of the day lost in thought.

 

The next day is the pretty much same, memories blurring together long enough for the Avengers to begin wondering why another door hadn’t appeared when it suddenly stops, Wanda is walking down the corridor and sees a young boy with brown hair who looks quite lost,

 

“Are you okay?” She asks carefully, afraid to spook the boy, “Hi! Um…I’m…uh, P-peter, Peter Parker.”

 

The boy stutters and Wanda smiles kindly, holding back a laugh at the teen, “Can I help you find something?” Wanda questions and the boy looks briefly confused, “Do you know Mr. Stark?” He asks and Wanda nods, “Yeah, are you looking for him?” She queries and Peter nods, “Okay well I’m Wanda, I’m 16 and its very nice to meet you Peter Parker.”

 

Peter brightens at that, “I’m 14, It’s nice to meet you too Wanda.” He smiles and Wanda smiles back, “Come on then, lets get you to Tony, FRI?” She asks and the AI responds, “Mr Stark is currently in his lab, I will tell him to expect you.” Wanda beams at the ceiling, “Thank you, Fri.” She says.

 

The two walk quietly until Peter speaks up, talking about some science thing that Wanda clearly has no clue about, but she nods along anyway, they chat idly for the rest of the walk and Wanda turns to the boy outside of the lab doors, “Well, here you are. I am afraid I must take my leave but it was very nice meeting you Peter Parker. I hope to see you again soon.” 

 

Peter grins at Wanda, “You too, Wanda…?” He trails off and Wanda pauses before replying, “Maximoff. Wanda Maximoff.” She states and Peter smiles wider, “See you around, Wanda Maximoff.” He says just as the lab doors swing open and Tony steps out, ignoring Wanda completely,

 

“Peter!” He exclaims and gives the boy a fatherly smile before nodding his head in Wanda’s general direction, “Maximoff.” He says coldly and Peter looks confused about the interaction but shrugs it off and turns to Tony, “H-hey Mr. Stark.” He greets shyly and Tony grins at the teen, “Well, come on in.” He says.

 

Just before the lab doors swing shut Wanda hears Tony say something that sounds like, “Stay away from Maximoff, Peter. She’s dangerous.” Before she shrugs and ducks her head, trudging back to her room. She doesnt want friends. Thats not why she was here.

 

Tony grimaces at his own arrogance, anyone with eyes could clearly see that within a few minutes with Peter, Wanda was happier than she had been in a while, and he had possibly ruined a great friendship with his own biases. Another door appears next to them, startling Tony out of his thoughts as they all quickly make their way through.

 

The date on the calendar says that it is a week after the previous day they had seen and Wanda is in the kitchen this time, cooking by the stove, when Peter strides up behind her, “Hey Wanda! Long time no see!”

 

Wanda would’ve jumped at the sound had her powers not alerted her to his presence beforehand and she turns around and grins at the excited face that Peter has.

 

“Hey Pete, you know you aren’t supposed to be near me right? I don’t want to ruin your Stark Internship.” She says and the tone of voice conveys that she knows something else about it and Peter blushes, looking away before turning back to Wanda, “I don’t care what they say you did or didn’t do, I only care that you are an Avenger now and that you have been nothing but kind to me.” He says earnestly,

 

Wanda smiles blushing slightly for the care the young boy has toward her, he reminds her or Pietro with his unusually happy attitude and outlook at the world.

 

“Thank you Pete, you are very kind.” She says and turns back to the stove, “Whatcha making?” Peter asked innocently and Wanda chuckles, “Paprikash, it was one of my brothers favourites.” She smiles sadly and Peter knows he shouldn’t press the subject, “Well, it smells delicious, definitely better than the stuff my Aunt May makes.”

 

The boy beams and Wanda suppresses a laugh, “Come try.” She says and Peters smile widens as he walks toward the pot, she ladles some out and hands it to him so he can take a sip, his face brightens and he looks at Wanda in amazement, “You’re a great cook!” He says and Wanda actually laughs this time, “Thanks Pete.” She smiles,

 

Suddenly Wanda tenses slightly, noting a few new presences on the floor that she identifies as Steve, Natasha and Sam she turns back toward the pot and Peter, noticing the change, decides to sit back on the stool by the kitchen island.

 

Just as he settles, the three Avengers stride in and Steve notices Peter first, “Peter! Its good to see you again! What smells so good?”

 

The super soldier glances around and notices Wanda as the mood in the kitchen visibly deflates, “Hey Steve!” Peter exclaims, drawing most eyes off of Wanda although she can still feel the suspicious looks she telepathically links to Peter quickly and sighs, *I will leave in a minute, I need to finish this, tell the others that they are free to have some.* she feels Peters nod of affirmation and decides to finish it quickly, plating some for herself before disappearing to her room. 

 

She turns her laptop on and quickly hacks into the CCTV footage of the kitchen wanting to make sure Peter isn’t completely ambushed for being near her. She hears the tail ends of Peters ramble, “-and then MJ helped me up and asked if I was okay! Well she said, “You good, loser?” But that is as close to caring as MJ gets!”

 

He sounds so excited and Wanda smiles, remembering that he told her about his crush on MJ a few days ago when they sat in the common room, swapping brief stories about their childhoods. Wanda left out a lot but the boy never pushed he just accepted that she didn’t want to share as she told him about Pietro being a dumbass and spraining his wrist when they were 9, and a few other stories about her brother. Peter had a way or worming into your heart and Wanda adores him for it.

 

She is pulled from her thoughts as Peter makes his way to the pot on the stove, “Do you guys want some?” He asks, getting a bowl for himself but everyone else shakes their head and Natasha steps closer to the boy, “Are you sure she hasn’t poisoned it?” She asks and Peter laughs but the joke obviously doesn’t sit well with him,

 

“Of course not! She wouldn’t do that!” He exclaims and, although it is supposed to be joking, it comes off more seriously than he intended causing Natasha to raise and eyebrow, “And how can you be sure? Tony told you she was dangerous, right? Messed with our heads, went with Ultron? She cant be trusted.” The spy tells Peter who flinches unnoticeably but Wanda picks up on it.

 

She is about to go and save the poor boy when Peter pipes up, “Just because you all don’t like her doesn’t mean I cant.” He says and Wanda, although touched by his care for her, knows what is about to happen next. 

 

Sure enough Natasha glares at him, slightly softened by the young boys face and replies, “Tony doesn’t want you around her Peter. There is a reason for that. You are too young to see.” She sighs, “I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

 

Peter glowers, taking even Wanda back by the intensity of it, “So, what, exactly, do you know about her? Hmm? Apart from, lets see, she has awesome powers, hasn’t hurt anyone since she realised her mistake, had a brother who died, what? 2 months ago? Is now living in a new country and she’s 16?” Peter pauses and when silence fills the room he shrugs, “Thought so.”

 

The venom in his voice is unmistakeable and Wanda had never heard him be this cold toward anyone, ever. 

 

She is shocked ot say the least, Peter makes his way out of the kitchen and Wanda feels him heading toward her room and she sighs, a quick decision tells her that she has messed up the boys relationship with the Avengers enough and seals off her room so no one can enter, sure enough, Peter knocks on the door minutes later and Wanda ignores it, guilt gnawing at her as the boy shouts,

 

“Wanda! Let me in! Please?” He begs and Wanda resolves herself to not but practically feeling the puppy dog eyes through the door, she sighs and lifts her hand, opening the door for Peter alone, the boy walks through hesitantly and catches sight of her laptop on the desk, still open with the CCTV camera and she curses at her stupidity, *Should’ve closed that, idiot.* she thinks and Peter pauses, “You heard that? All of it?” He asks shyly and Wanda nods before rushing toward the boy and pulling him into a fierce hug. 

 

Peter squeaks inelegantly, obviously surprised by the display of affection, and Wanda goes to pull back before the boy wraps his arms around her tightly, and Wanda groans internally, *Super Strength.* she thinks, but doesn’t make an attempt to move, when they finally break apart a few minutes later Wanda smiles, “Thank you, Peter, but you didn’t have to do that… not for me.” She sighs, looking at the ground as she says it but he just shrugs, “My Uncle Ben was a firm believer in doing the right thing. You’re a good person Wanda, I know it.”

 

Wanda smiles gently, pulling Peter toward the bed and handing him her bowl of Paprikash, “I’m not hungry anyway.” She shrugs, having seen Peter leave his bowl when he stormed away from the Avengers, she pulls up some old Sitcom re-runs because she knows both her and Peter enjoy them and the teens take a minute to relax, soaking up the comfort of the room.

 

The Avengers cannot contain smiles at the young teens, they are glad to see that Wanda has had someone throughout all of this and cannot remember her looking this happy, well, ever, really, at least, not in their presence 

 

The evening passes in a blur, the teens just having fun, spending time together and swapping more stories until Peter realises that he should probably get home, she doesn’t want him to go but knows he has to so she gives him one last hug, telling him to be safe on his journey home, but, unluckily, Tony happens to round the corner as soon as Peter steps out of the door, Tony looks positively murderous when he realises just who Peter had been with and softens his face as soon as Peter looks at him. Peter wishes them both well, telling them that he will see them soon, before he leaves to head toward the elevator. 

 

As soon as the door shuts, Tony whirls on Wanda, “You stay away from that boy, Maximoff. He has been through enough without you disrupting his life anymore or messing with his head.” Wanda contains a sigh, knowing she will never hurt Peter, but Tony’s tirade doesn’t stop, “You do ANYTHING to mess with his head, you even look at him wrong and I will end you, got it? Don’t think I cant.”

 

Wanda has brief memories of Karlinka, Her parents and Pietro and Tony laughs harshly, “See? You know I will, Maximoff. You go near that boy again, and I will end you.” He stomps off as he says it, leaving Wanda standing alone with tears in her eyes by her bedroom door. 

 

She stomps into the room, slamming the door with a CRASH! And looks around the room, she sees Stark Industries printed on everything and her only thought is, *What would they think now?* Before she is throwing things around, she has the foresight to hide her valubles, her laptop is placed carefully in her closet, knowing she cannot damage it along with her USB and few personal items.

 

She takes a moment to breathe before anger flairs within her again, the next thing she knows, she is sitting with her back pressed against the door and the room around her trashed, she looks around at the destruction and starts to sob,

 

*Monster, look what you’ve done!*

 

She cries harder,

 

*Stay away from that boy or I will end you.*

 

The thoughts are on repeat constantly as her head flashes from Pietro to her Parents to Karlinka and then, subsequently Ivana and Nadia and everyone she has every hurt, each of the Avengers come to mind as she finds herself struggling to breathe, feeling slightly light headed as the sobs come harder and louder and she cant breathe and her head feels light and she’s not breathing and her vision is getting cloudy and she cant BREATHE and she cant breathe, cant breathe, cant breathe, and- 

 

 

Suddenly everything goes black.

Chapter Text

 

The Avengers are shocked by what had just happened and Tony feels guilt crawling up his throat as his breathing is constricted, Peter and Wanda were friends, and he ruined it by reminding the young girl of his past crimes against the people she loved, including her recently dead brother, just so he could threaten a sixteen year old kid? Not much older than Peter himself?

 

He feels like he is suffocating and he feels light headed. He is no stranger to panic attacks or PTSD but the thought that this is what he had caused Wanda to face? Alone? Makes him feel ill and he barely registers the others asking him if he is okay as he tried to regain his breathing. He recalled something an old therapist taught him and after a few minutes he was at least breathing correctly but the guilt he felt was overwhelming.

 

He took a few minutes more and the Avengers didn’t push even though he could feel their worried gazes directed at him.

 

After a long while Tony finally opens his eyes, not remembering when he closed them, just to be met with worried gazes from everyone, “I’m okay.” He croaks, voice hoarse, Had he been crying? He doesn’t remember but the wetness on his cheeks leads him to believe that yes, he had been,

 

He sighs shaking his head, and quickly wipes the tears away, “Sorry.” He mutters but Rhodey and Steve walk toward him and shake their heads, “Nothing to be sorry for Tones.” Rhodey says softly and Tony nods.

 

It is quiet for a while, the Avengers had quickly realised that time in Wanda’s memories had no meaning, they had no idea how long they had been here for and no idea how long Wanda had been passed out on the floor of her bedroom in this current scene, she is breathing slowly and, if not for the wreck of a bedroom and the fact she is on the floor they would think she is sleeping peacefully, the team soak up the comfort of just being for a short while and eventually Wanda’s breathing changes, she is waking up.

 

When Wanda woke, she immediately noticed three things:

One, she is on the floor of her bedroom.

Two, the room around her is completely wrecked.

Three, there is a load banging coming from somewhere.

 

It takes a few minutes to gather where she is and what had happened as memories come rushing back, she sits quietly replaying the memories over and over before the banging gets louder, she snaps out of it and realises that someone is banging on her door, she hears her name being called and jumps up quickly, she realises she probably looks like shit and one glance at the room around her would tell anyone everything that they needed to know.

 

She sighs and wipes her eyes the best she can, trying to look presentable at the very least, before she walks toward the door, opening it a small bit to see Natasha standing there.

 

Wanda, never one to show weakness, smiles and tries to ignore how fake it feels, how her makeup is probably running down her cheeks, how the room behind her is absolutely destroyed.

 

Natasha’s eyes flash with something that Wanda thinks might be concern but it is gone too quickly to tell, she feels foolish for thinking that Natasha, the woman she had broken with her powers mere months ago, would actually be concerned about her.

 

Natasha has her cold mask on, one Wanda has come to identify as her protection, similar to her smiles, not letting anyone break through and see underneath. “Can I help you?” Wanda asks, trying to make her voice sound steady and firm (and fails miserably, her voice is obviously hoarse with disuse and probably the crying she did earlier.) 

 

Natasha blinks once and then, “Yes, actually. When was it that you were last in school?” She asks and Wanda pauses, out of everything she expected the Black Widow to ask it was not that,

 

“Oh! Um, when is was, um, about 10, I think…11, maybe?” She says and Natasha sighs, unsurprised, “Right, well, we think It would be good for you to get a proper education, finish the basics anyways, so we are starting lessons. Meet me in the common room a noon tomorrow, okay? Training is cancelled tomorrow anyways, Steve and Sam are out on mission.” 

 

Wanda nods, the prospect is almost…exciting. She had always enjoyed school and was interested in many of the few subjects that the school in Sokovia had but she was bullied a lot.

 

The excitement almost vanishes with that thought and her face falls slightly, sure, school was okay, but school with Natasha? The Avengers? Who hated her guts and didn’t trust her? That didn’t sound particularly enjoyable.

 

She smiles at Natasha anyways and is about to close her door and leave Natasha to it when the woman speaks up, 

 

“Are you alright?” The assassin asks carefully and Wanda hesitates for a split second before realising Natasha probably pitied her, she was only asking to be respectful, not because she cared.

 

Wanda nods her head, smiling brightly and it feels forced, “Of course, just been thinking. Anyways I am tired, see you tomorrow?” Wanda asks and Natasha hums an affirmative before turning and walking down the hall swiftly without a second glance.

 

Wanda closes the door, turning toward the abomination that is her room right now, before she uses her powers quickly to correct the room, this was a common occurrence, where her powers would go haywire while she is asleep (the few times she actually gets sleep anyways.) and this causes her room to be a tip in the middle of the night.

 

It had taken a while to do it correctly but within minutes her room is back to normal, she gathers her things from the closet and places them back where they belong before flopping down onto her bed with a groan, her head hurts and she feels sick. 

 

It is only then she realises she never actually ate the paprikash she made herself and she glances in the mirror, seeing her ruined makeup and bags under her eyes, she swiftly heads to the bathroom, washing her makeup off quickly, she glances in the mirror and see the quiet defeat in her eyes, the bags underneath them, she looks like shit and barely recognises herself, she remembers back when her and Pietro were on the streets, the times he stole makeup for her and when he would laugh and tell her she looked like shit when she had none on.

 

She remembers how he once told her he actually prefers her without makeup but just likes to make fun of her when she wakes up in the morning looking half-dead. She chuckles at the memories but it quickly dissolves into a sob as she remembers that he is gone, that he’s not coming to tease her this time. 

 

The Avengers would have loved him, she thinks, he would’ve been playing pranks on them all, Clint would’ve probably been his best friend, laughing at the stupid shit they pulled, he was always so much better at making friends, outgoing and funny where she was awkward and shy. Her brother, her twin, her soulmate.

 

She is crying fiercely now, her body wracking with sobs because he is gone. He is gone and she can never have him back. She doesn’t know how long she sits there, crying on the bathroom floor, but when she opens her eyes again it is completely dark out and quiet in the tower.

 

She pulls herself up from the ground, feeling drained, and washes her face, trying to look presentable even though she cant hide her puffy red eyes. 

 

Her stomach rumbles and she feels the hunger pains, so familiar and yet so different. She walks out of the bathroom and searches her drawers for something to wear, she finds a black hoodie that is too big and some sweatpants, getting changed quickly and making a mental notes to ask someone about how she could get money for some of her own clothes, she has been wearing the standard issue ones that she had found in her closet a few days after moving in and they are so not her style.

 

She pulls the hood up over her face and walks out of her room, heading for the kitchen and praying no one is there.

 

When she makes it to the kitchen she is pleasantly surprised that her prayers had been answered as the kitchen is, miraculously, empty. She wants to use her powers to scan for anyone but feels too tired and drained to try, she trudges over to the, now cold, paprikash and decides to heat it up quickly before making herself a bowl and retreating back into her room, she eats quickly before noticing that the clock on her nightstand reads 4am and internally groans.

 

How long had she been in the bathroom?

 

She places the bowl next to the clock and falls asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow.

 

The Avengers spot another door opening and trudge through, this had become routine now.

 

The first thing they see is Wanda in the common room, sitting on the couch and Natasha sitting next to her. There are textbooks spread out in front of them and Natasha speaks, “Alright, first I want to gauge how much you do know, okay? I just want to see where we are.” Wanda nods and Natasha continues, “Okay, lets start off easy, how are you with languages?” She asks and Wanda blinks, “Do you mean what can I speak, read or write?” She asks Natasha who replies, “Any.” Wanda pauses, debating, “I can speak, read and write Sokovian, English and Russian, I can read and write some German and speak a little, and I know a few words of French, Spanish and Romanian.” She says and Natasha nods, “Very good. Which do you want to start with?”

 

Wanda hesitates, “Russian?” She asks assuming it would be what Natasha is most comfortable with, Natasha nods, “Хорошо, тебе удобно говорить это до конца урока?” (Okay, are you comfortable speaking like this for the rest of the lesson?) She asks and Wanda nods, “Da.” 

 

The lesson continues like that and Natasha occasionally changes the language up but Wanda seems to understand and they go through some textbooks on Math and Science, Wanda seems to be a fast learner and seems to understand a lot of it, the Avengers are curious as to how she knew most of it when she hadn’t been in school for nearly 6 years.

 

She kept up and answered most of the questions set correctly, until Natasha calls it a day, telling Wanda that she did well before disappearing into the kitchen, Wanda smiles and looks at the textbooks left on the coffee table, picking them up carefully she makes her way back to her room.

 

She drops the books off on her desk and lays, staring at the ceiling on her bed for a while before she seems to remember something,

 

“Fri? Where can I get money for clothes and stuff?” She asks and FRIDAY replies, “Miss Potts has left a Bank Card in the drawer of your desk, there should be more than enough on there.”

 

Wanda jumps up from her bed, “What?” She asks, how had she not noticed it in her desk before now?

 

FRIDAY doesn’t reply so Wanda heads toward her desk, she ruffles through a few stationary items that had also been in her room where she showed up at the Tower and notices a small envelope stashed in the back with her name on it in neat cursive, it was thin and small, easily missable. 

 

She pulls it out carefully and opens the envelope to see a small card and letter, “Is it mine?” She asks carefully and FRIDAY hums, “Yes, Wanda, it is yours.”

 

Wanda shakes her head, “How-?” She asks and FRIDAY answers, “Ms. Potts stocked your room with anything you may need and made a small amount in your name which she tied to the card. It has a relatively small sum of money that should be more than enough for nearly two years worth of clothing items.”

 

Wanda nods and opens the letter, reading it carefully, it has basic instructions on how to use the card and her PIN and Account number and a few other details, she blows out a gusty breath at the amount of money on the account, “Small Sum?” She mutters in disbelief and reads the letter further, it has an introduction from Pepper and she smiles,

 

“Fri, please thank Miss Potts for her foresight and generosity for me?” She asks and FRIDAY hums.

 

Another door opens and the Avengers walk through.

Chapter Text

Another door opens and the Avengers walk through,

 

Wanda is in the busy city now, looking around her with amazement, as she takes it all in. *Its amazing.* she thinks and comes across an interesting little thrift shop on one of the streets.

 

She walks in and picks out a few clothing items before she spots twin necklaces, the ones that you are supposed to split with someone, one side is a shade a pale blue and the other a deep red, *Pietro.* she thinks and walks toward it, the look on her face mesmerising as she sighs, she plucks it off the stand and walks toward the counter, paying quickly with cash they figured she had gotten from a ATM somewhere. 

 

She steps out of the store and puts both necklaces on, she clutches them tightly and beings walking again, bag in hand, coming across many stores and getting clothes for relatively cheap, at least in Tony’s eyes, he would never shop in small stores like these, tailored suits and expensive jeans are what he normally gets, but going from a life of stealing to having a lot of money must be a shock so he understands why Wanda would buy more relatively cheap things. 

 

At about midday she makes her way to a small corner cafe that only has three of four other customers, she order some tea and sits with it for a while, staring into space.

 

When she leaves the cafe she heads toward a small bookstore that looks like it doesn’t get a lot of customers and makes her way inside, smiling kindly at the owner, she peruses the shelves for a while, picking out a few books she thinks looks interesting, some in English, some in Russian and, surprisingly, some in German.

 

She makes her way to the till and pauses when she sees a medium-sized, brown, off the shoulder, book bag, she picks it up and walks toward the counter.

 

The owner is nice and Wanda makes some conversation about her choice of books as the owner tells her that she will set some aside for her that she thinks she’ll like if she wants.

 

Wanda beams and agrees quickly, “That would be lovely, thank you.” She says and the woman smiles back happily, she has a very strict librarian look to her and seems motherly, Wanda leaves with her new book bag filled with books, smiling profusely and promising to return soon.

 

Wanda is walking down the street when something catches her eye, a small art store tucked away into the corner of some street, Wanda walks toward it quickly and the Avengers realise the rhythm to her shopping, how she always seems to visit the smaller stores, less used, not the bigger ones that people normally go to like the mall.

 

Wanda makes it into the art store and smiles at the two men behind the counter kindly as she looks around in amazement, “Can I help you with anything?” One of the men ask kindly, stepping toward Wanda who smiles, “Yes, actually, I was wondering if you had a few sketchbooks and pencils, maybe some water colours and a canvas?” She asks.

 

The man laughs, “Of course, this way.” Wanda nods and walks toward the aisle directed, “This is probably what you want especially if…” the man talks passionately with Wanda who responds in kind as she buys a few sketchbooks, some pencils, some pens, a few small canvases, some paints a few other art supplies, smiling as she leaves the store, smiling at the men.

 

The Avengers are shocked that these strangers who have known Wanda for five minutes seem to know her better than they do when they have known her for six months, they realise this just shows how neglectful of Wanda that they had been, never striking up conversation and never looking below the surface.

 

These small moments with random people she meets just show them how kind this girl really is, how happy she can be when she feels comfortable somewhere, how people who know her for five minutes can be affected by the young girls kindness.

 

The day continues mostly like that, Wanda heading into thrift stores and makeup stores, jewellery stores and cafes as she makes her way around the streets of New York.

 

They watch Wanda notice a young boy drop his ice cream and quickly buy him a new one, his mother thanking her profusely as she waves her off, it was the least she could do, she says.

 

They watch as her arms become ladled with bags until she has no more room.

 

They watch her seem content in exploring this new city.

 

She walks around for a while, smiling to herself, and suddenly looks around, realising she doesn’t know where she is, she panics momentarily before walking toward a teenage girl sitting by herself, reading in the corner of the cafe Wanda just entered,

 

 “Excuse me?” She asks and the girl looks up, “Yes?” Wanda looks around and laughs quietly at herself, “It would appear I am a bit lost, could you help me find my way to Stark Tower? I know how to go from there.” She says.

 

The girl smirks back, “Sure, Michelle Jones, by the way, but everyone call me MJ.” Wanda laughs, “Wanda Maximoff, nice to meet you Michelle Jones. Do you know a Peter Parker?” She asks kindly and MJ’s eyes widen, “Yes, um, Peter is a good friend of mine.” She stutters and Wanda smirks, “He says the same about you, we met a few weeks ago.”  

 

“Michelle Jones? I know that name.” Tony says and the Avengers look at him questioningly, “Peter’s friend, he talks about her and Ned all the time.” The Avengers nod, “Oh yeah, he talks about MJ a lot.” Steve says and they watch the girls walk down the street, talking absentmindedly about everything and nothing.

 

They talk about Peter and they discover that Wanda and MJ have similar sarcasm and cynical views of the world, the girls seem to bond over pointless things and talk about some philosophical thing that none of the Avengers get.

 

The walk is long and after about two hours MJ and Wanda pause outside of Stark tower, “Well, here you are.” MJ says and Wanda thanks her, 

 

“I still don’t know how you ended up in Queens from here.” MJ laughs and Wanda grins, “I was just wandering and ended up wherever it was I found you, I’m pretty new here.” She says and MJ laughs, “I can tell."

 

The two teens exchange phone numbers as MJ stalks off, heading back toward Queens. Wanda smiles and she goes back into the tower and puts all of the items in their correct places before flops backward onto her bed with a content smile, she is still wearing the blue and red necklace that she got earlier and clutches it tightly.

Chapter Text

The scenes finally stop for a few minutes, giving the Avengers time to process that, before a new scene begins, Wanda is texting someone and a quick glance over her shoulder shows that it is Peter Parker.

 

Wanda laughs at something the boy said and replies, this exchange happens for a while before a video call from Peter comes through, “Hey Wanda!” The younger boy shouts excitedly and Wanda grins, “Hey Pete, You’re able to come to the tower later, right?” She asks and Peter nods his head, “Do you wanna come watch Star-wars? You got me intrigued.” 

 

Peter grins, “Yes! Although, I don’t want you to get in trouble again.” He sighs and Wanda smiles slightly,

 

“I’m more worried about you getting in trouble to be honest, hanging out with the witch and all…” she trails off but Peter shakes his head,

 

Like I have said before, I don’t care who you were or what you’ve done, I just care about the fact that you have been an amazing friend to me, someone who listens, someone who protects me when she can.” 

 

Wanda smiles, “Thank you, Pete. So? Movie Marathon? I will disable the cameras just in case, I would rather they think I’m doing something shifty than you getting in bother for being near me.” She mutters.

 

Peter pauses, “Sure, Wanda, but I don’t mind getting in bother if I can hang out with you. You still haven’t told me where you learned to hack and code.” Wanda laughs, “Story for another time Pete.” Her tone is wistful, reminiscent and Peter whines, “You always say that!” Wanda chuckles, “I will tell you tonight, promise.”

 

The conversation lulls after that, Wanda and Peter talking about everything and nothing before the conversation turns back to Wanda, 

 

So, how’s the lessons with Natasha going? What about training?” Peter asks and Wanda pauses, contemplating, “Surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be, I can defend myself better now and the lessons are okay, I guess, almost…fun? Is that horrible to say?”

 

Peter snorts, “Why would it be horrible to say?” Wanda shrugs, “I don’t know. It feels weird, being here, having fun, when Pietro is gone.” She sounds so sad and Peter nods, “I know what you mean…” Wanda smiles, “Anyways, see you later?” She asks, changing the subject, “Smooth, Maximoff, but yeah I will.” Peter replies and Wanda smiles as Peter presses, ‘End Call.’ 

 

The day seems to pass in a blur for the Avengers, Wanda goes training, gets her ass kicked by Natasha but not without landing a few of her own hits, gets a shower, goes to the common room for her lessons and then goes to lie in her bed for a while.

 

She waits quietly until there is a knock on the door and she smiles, she has already disabled the cameras in the corridor to her room and she knows that it might look odd, especially because the others don’t trust her, but she can’t seem to care, she just doesn’t want Peter to get in trouble for spending time with her. 

 

She lifts a had briefly and uses her magic to open the door and was unsurprised to see Peter about to knock, hand raised as he laughed, “You’re so cool.” He says and she shrugs, “I know.”

 

They look at each other seriously for a few seconds before bursting out laughing, the genuine joy on each of their faces briefly shocks the Avengers and they find themselves wondering why on earth they hadn’t noticed the friendship forming between the two teens.

 

Wanda quickly jumps up and gives Peter a hug, “And how are you, sunshine?” She asks mockingly and Peter shoves her jokingly, “I told you not to call me that!” He whines and Wanda is visibly holding back a laugh. 

 

Wanda pulls Peter into her room and places him on the bed before turning around to shut the door, “No, but seriously, how are you today?” She asks and Peter shrugs, “I’m okay, I guess.” Wanda nods in understanding, “How’s Ned?” She asks and Peter viably brightens, “He’s great, he will literally die if I tell him you know his name. Actually yesterday…”

 

Peter’s ramble continues, Wanda listening intently and nodding at all the right times, Peter stops talking for a few minutes so Wanda speaks up again, “And how is our dear MJ?” She asks teasingly and he shakes his head with a groan, “She’s good, Wanda. I don’t see why you always ask about her, just text her yourself!”

 

Wanda laughs, “I like teasing you, sunshine. It’s funny, also I do text her but lots of sarcasm is invloved.” She replies and Peter shakes his head in disbelief.

 

The teens stay in Wanda’s room for the rest of the day, they talk for a little while and eventually Star Wars begins playing, the conversation cuts out at times, too private for anyones eyes but Wanda and Peter's presumably.

 

Peter gets so excited about everything going on in the movies while Wanda grumbles about not understanding ‘American Movies’ but gazes at Peter with an almost sisterly affection in her eyes every time he goes on a rant about a particular part Wanda asks about. 

 

The teens seem to be having a great time and eventually Peter begins to fall asleep, Wanda tells him to go lay down for a while and soon he is fast asleep in her bed, she smiles fondly before making her way toward a sketchbook on her desk, she flicks through few sketches of Pietro, some of New York from Wanda’s window and finally settles on a blank page, she glances back at Peter and begins to draw.

 

It is almost 2 hours later before Peter rouses from his slumber and spots Wanda drawing at her desk, “Whatcha doing?” He asks and Wanda shrugs, “Sketching, helps me concentrate and, um, focus? I guess?” She says tilting her head like a puppy.

 

Peter chuckles, “Can I see?” He asks and Wanda nods, handing him the sketch she had begun around half an hour ago after she finished drawing Peter.

 

It is a basic sketch of the buildings outside her window, people walking on the streets, there is a slight blurry blue streak in the middle of the bustling crowd as a figure runs through. 

 

Peter gazes in awe for a few minutes before pointing to the vibrant blue, “Is that Pietro?” He asks carefully, not wanting to spook her, Wanda, however, just smiles and nods and Peter runs his fingers across the details in the drawing,

 

“It’s beautiful.” He says quietly and Wanda looks out toward the city, “That it is…” she shakes her head almost in disbelief and looks at Peter, 

 

“Shouldn’t you start heading home?” Peter looks faux-scandalised, “Trying to get rid of me already, Maximoff?” He asks and Wanda laughs, “No, sunshine, I just don’t want to face the wrath of your Aunt or Tony, for that matter.”

 

She winces at the memories of the last time Peter was in her room and he looks at her sympathetically, “Yeah, you are right though, I should go…” Wanda sighs, getting up to give him a hug which he quickly returns, “I’ll see you soon, sunshine. Keep me updated, yeah?”

 

Peter nods and Wanda uses her powers to quickly sense any presences near her room, having learned from last time. She finds none, Natasha and Steve are in the training room, Sam is in the common area, Vision is floating around somewhere and Tony isn’t even in the building.

 

She releases Peter and tells him that she will talk to him later, she smiles sadly as she watches the young boy leave and decides she is actually kind of hungry and makes her way toward the kitchen.

 

Sam is there and she smiles at him kindly before gliding around the kitchen in search for some food. 

 

“Have you eaten?” She asks Sam who looks up at her from his phones, “What? Oh! Uhhh, no?” He asks skeptically and she holds back a sigh, “Would you like to try some Borscht if I make it?” She asks and Sam pauses, “What is it?” He asks and she attempts to explain,

 

“Its a very popular dish in Russia and a few other Eastern European countries but we had it all the time in Sokovia, Its made mostly with, um, beetroot? With like, meat and vegetables it Is like a soup?” She tilts her head contemplating wether she made sense then or not, she was nervous, okay? Sue her. This was the Captain’s best friend.

 

“Sure.” Sam says, smiling kindly, and Wanda nods, beginning to make the dish. 

 

“Mm, wow, this is amazing.” Sam moans eating his food that Wanda had made and she smiles, “Thanks, I learnt to cook when I was around 13, I think. Been doing it since.”

 

She skips the part that she learned how to cook in order to work in a small sokovian diner when she was 13 and Pietro and her were practically starving so they had to steal and get jobs wherever they can, she also avoids the part that she didn’t get to cook a lot when she lived in Sokovia because of the lack of money, the most food she and Pietro could get were bread and maybe soup.

 

Sam grins, “Well this is amazing so well done, Do you wanna watch a movie?”

 

Wanda is shocked but manages to get her head to nod, faking nonchalance, Sam drags her over to the TV in the common room claiming he had a movie she ‘had to see’.

 

And thus Wanda’s friendship with Sam blossomed.

 

She didn’t feel so alone now she had Sam and Peter, maybe even Vision too, they always made sure to go for a walk at least once a week to catch up  on everything that had been happening recently. 

 

Sam smiled, remembering this day and how calm and at ease Wanda looked, also how young. He would have never guessed that she was nervous this whole exchange had he not seen it first-hand.

 

The other Avengers were happy Wanda felt she had someone even if she though they hated her (Which, to be fair, wasn’t far off, they were all weary and anxious around her and tried to stay away as far as possible.) but were still glad to see Wanda making friends.

 

Suddenly another door opened and they walked through, hearing laughter on the other side.

 

They walk through slowly and see Wanda walking toward the common room before she stops, she hears the laughter coming from the room and pauses,

 

“I cant believe you insist on team bonding, Steve.” Natasha says and the laughter gets louder,

 

“Damn, I know! Even Vision is here!” Sam exclaims and the laughter gets even louder, “Should we invite Miss Maximoff?” Vision questions and Wanda smiles knowing that he at least enquires about her, there is a pause as the laughter quiets down.

 

“Nah, the witch is probably sulking in her room.” Tony says and Wanda blinks, *I sulk? You would too if your brother just died and you live with people that hate you.*

 

“Yeah, but shouldn’t we at least try?” Sam asks,

 

“Have you all forgotten that she sided with Ultron, fucked with most of our heads?” Natasha asks coldly,

 

Wanda finds that those words stung worse than the idea that the Avengers were doing ’Team Bonding’ and hadn’t thought to invite her, *Part of the team, my ass.* she thinks but she didn’t expect that from Natasha, they had spent a lot of time together training and with her lessons and Wanda had thought that maybe they had begun building a tentative almost friendship, that maybe, in the future, her and Natasha could be friends being the only women on the team, and maybe, Natasha could forgive her for Ultron or at least let her apologise rather than shutting her down when she attempted to broach the topic.

 

Natasha cringes, it wasn’t that she didn't like the kid, per say, but rather that she didn’t trust her, she hadn’t been aware Wanda had heard this or that Wanda even vaguely considered them almost friends at some point, she didnt even realise that the girl had attempted to apologise but did remember her beginning conversations a few times but, seeing as they had nothing to do with training or teacher her basic school things, Natasha had shut her down.

 

“C’mon Natasha, she’s a kid!” Clint exclaims and Wanda finds she hadn’t even been aware he had returned, maybe just for the night, and feels a small pang of disappointment fill her.

 

She scans the rooms and is unsurprised to find Tony, Natasha, Clint, Rhodey, Steve, Sam, Vision and even Pepper in the room, everyone except her. She shrugs the disappointment off, she was not here to make friends.

 

After all… everyone she loved, died. 

 

With that in mind she reminds herself to distance herself from Peter more, a thought that had plagued her for the last few days.

 

Becoming close to the younger boy had been a mistake, she couldn’t let anyone get close to her anymore, not when Nadia had been right, everyone she cared for, died. She couldn’t think about having Peter’s friendship because he was too good while she, was a monster. She couldn’t ruin the poor boy.

 

Tony and the rest inwardly groan at that, they recognise that Wanda must have been having these doubts from the start and the obvious distrust and pure dissent that they had displayed about the teens’ growing friendship had probably impacted and reinforced her beliefs that everyone she cared for left her in one way or another, that she was a monster, a being of pure destruction.

 

Damn, she was a kid! Natasha felt herself seeing a lot of herself in Wanda, she, herself, had spent years keeping everyone at bay for fear she would ruin them or turn them into her, a monster. 

 

The laughter begins again, pulling her from her thoughts, and she sighs, heading back toward her room.

 

She refuses to cry about the fact the Avengers are doing team bonding without her because she doesn’t care, but the idea of Peter, and reminder of Pietro and everyone else, dying, because of her is enough to bring tears to her eyes as she collapses onto her bed, sobbing. 

 

She is crying so hard she doesn’t register Steve walking toward her door, ready to knock before hearing her cries and sighing, walking back to the common room, prepared to tell Tony he was right.

Chapter Text

The Avengers don’t remember hearing Wanda by the common room that night, they do, however, remember the conversations that they had about the witch. They were shocked, to say the least, the no-one had noticed the teen, Steve and Natasha had enhanced hearing and surely Friday would’ve informed them… right?

 

They began to doubt just how much Wanda had heard about herself spoken from the Avengers, they all try and recall any and all information that they had spoken aloud about the witch and start to question just how many conversations she had heard…

 

Wanda cries herself to a fit-full sleep, tossing and turning all night before waking up the next morning at groaning when she sees the time, 5.47am, she sighs deeply, pushing herself out of bed and walking toward the kitchen, she finds that the Avengers have made a mess of the common room between empty beer bottles, glasses and even some spilt popcorn, *Definitely Sam.* she inwardly jokes and immediately begins cleaning.

 

She knows Stark probably has cleaners for this type of thing but she needs something easy to focus on. A distraction from the thoughts plaguing her mind about Peter about the Avengers, about herself. She spends a while cleaning up after her “teammates” and when she glances back at the clock it reads 6.23am, she decides to quickly make herself some food and go back to “sulking” in her room

 

The Avengers don’t miss the wording she uses there, repeating the words of Tony from last night as they all seem to realise what impact these things being said to her constantly might have for the witches mental health, of course if she lives in a tense environment, hate and distrust mirroring her from all sides, the young teen might start to believe what was being said about her.

 

She was used to it, living on the streets, many people talk and gossip, but at least then she had someone to complain to, someone to reaffirm that she wasn’t any of those, and they were supposed to protect her, care for her, be teammates, but they just weren’t.

 

Steve sighs guiltily but no-one says anything.

 

Wanda contemplates a lot that day, during training she is noticeably more closed off and vaguely registers confusion from Natasha, she knows that the spy doesn’t trust her, so why should she try to be nice to her?

 

She doesn’t talk a lot during her afternoon lessons, can’t find it in herself to even pretend to care, doesn’t eat anything, ignores Peter’s texts throughout the day, ignores the looks she gets from Natasha when her phone dings every few minutes, ignores, ignores, ignores, ignores.

 

*Smile through the pain,* she always used to joke with Pietro, *Pretend everything is fine.* She begins to question her relationships more,

 

Steve has showed no outward signs of hate or distrust but she can feel it off of him, hears it in his head but smiles anyway, continues talking with Sam. The Captain is visibly torn, he wants to trust her, befriend her even, she knows Sam has tried to talk to him about it, but he cant seem to, he just remembers the woman, *Peggy’s,* her mind supplies unhelpfully, voice when he sees her.

 

He was also conflicted about her age but she didn’t want him to pity her, force himself into uncomfortable situations with her, so she does as she always has done, tries to appear older, more matured, tries to act like an adult. It isn’t hard, she hasn’t been a child in a very long time, hasn’t allowed herself to be because she isn’t anymore. It’s how she survives. How all the kids did. How Pietro did…until he didn’t.

 

Steve is… well, Steve is alright she supposes.

 

Sam is kind, they banter a lot and it reminds her of her and Pietro, their humour is the same in most ways, she tries to stop telling the self-deprecating jokes that Pietro would’ve found funny because when she did that at the start the man had grimaced and she had felt his pang of pity. She likes to say their friends, almost. She won’t let him get any closer than witty jokes or superficial conversations, can't let him get any closer than that.

 

Sam is funny, she thinks, kind too.

 

Vision is probably the closest to her within the tower, they talk a lot, she finds herself confiding in him sometimes. She knows that it would be pretty hard to kill him, he wasn’t fragile like the others, like Pietro, like Ivana, won’t succumb to illness or bullets, no flesh that can be torn and ripped away while she screams for him, so, she talks about life, here in America. She says close to nothing about Sokovia apart from the odd times she will reminisce about Pietro and, subsequently, end up either sobbing on his shoulder or into her pillow.

 

She is trying to associate Pietro with his happier memories, instead of how cold he felt after… instead of his cold, lifeless eyes, she tries to thing of his charming smile and the slight spark in his eyes when he was about to do something stupid. She’s trying.

 

She likes Vision, she decides.

 

Natasha is the same as ever, cold and calculating, careful and meticulous in her movements, graceful, like the ballerinas in her dreams. She is drawn to Natasha in some ways, they are…similar, the tired pain in their eyes, the way that they have known too much loss in their lives, the guilt over the things they have done. Natasha intrigues her.

 

She is well-versed in knowing people, from a glance or a look or an expression, but Natasha, Natasha is an enigma. She confuses Wanda and intrigues her. Wanda knows that the other woman doesn’t trust her, doesn’t like her, but she doesn’t mind all that much. After all, not many people like her or trust her here.

 

Wanda thinks Natasha is strange, she doesn’t trust her, but she will stay cordial toward the spy.

 

Clint is, well Clint is Clint. He feels immense guilt because of what happened in Sokovia but Wanda cant find it in herself to hate him. He is a good man, with a family, with a wife and kids, a good man who she talks to sometimes, who doesn’t despise or hate her or think she is a monster, but the guilt is crushing and Wanda can't handle spending prolonged periods of time in the same room as him, he calls, sometimes, talks about Laura, his wife, and his kids, Lila and Cooper, checks in to see how she is, “Fine” she always replies, or, “Good, how’s Laura?” If she needs to keep the conversation off of her, she likes the archer too, but cant let herself get closer to him than those artificial conversations, mostly a way to assuage his guilt, she thinks.

 

Clint is okay she guesses.

 

Rhodey is, well, she doesn’t talk to Rhodey but she knows he doesn’t like her, thats okay, not many people do, it seems. Rhodey is fine, he hasn’t done anything to hurt her so she will remain civil.

 

Tony, she avoids Tony as best she can and when she cant, he usually sends a jibe her way but thats just Tony, Sam assures her, she finds him insensitive and rude but knows that is just her biases talking. After all, growing up in a country that had mostly been destroyed by his bombs and then having to live in a tower with his name plastered on the side of it? Not very fun.

 

She knows, somewhere, Tony is a good man, trustworthy, traumatised, hurt, but that doesn’t mean she has to delude herself into thinking that she could be friends with the man anytime soon, the memory of Karlinka’s lifeless face flashing quickly behind her eyes as she shudders.

 

She isn’t sure what to think of Tony, but she doesn’t like him.

 

Pepper is nice, she has never met the woman but from the way Tony talks and the kindness she had shown a complete stranger with the clothes and money, Wanda decides she is trustworthy and decides that if she ever formally meets her, she will make sure to thank her, repeatedly.

 

She likes Pepper.

 

It had never occurred to the Avengers much that the way they feel about Wanda might not mirror the way the girl feels about them. The fact that they dislike her or don’t trust her, doesn’t necessarily mean that Wanda dislikes or doesn’t trust them, they know that the witch doesn’t exactly trust them either, doesn’t like them exactly, hell, they haven’t given her a reason to like them and trust them, all she got was hate, anger, distrust, fear and vague disgust. 

 

Chapter Text

When Wanda goes to sleep that night, it is with her contemplations in mind, she doesn’t sleep well, images of ballerinas and men dying around her, memories of bullets ripping through her as her mind grinds to a screeching halt, she wakes with a shout, breathing heavily and sweating, damn it.

 

She jumps in the shower and gets changed into soft sweats and a t-shirt before glancing at the clock, 6:23am, she shrugs and heads down to the gym, she needs to distract herself. 

 

When Wanda finishes in the gym it is nearly 8am and she quietly makes her way back to her room, she know that Natasha and Steve are in the training room, having woken up shortly after she, herself, had. She also is aware of Vision floating around somewhere and Sam still asleep in his bed.

 

She hops in the shower again and gets dressed into jeans and a hoodie that is slightly too big for her, it has some band she remembers Pietro listening to when he could, she has no clue about them but saw it in the store and decided to buy it. 

 

The scene shifts, its midday now and Wanda is curled up on her bed, sketchbook in her lap as she sketches Ivana’s features, afraid that if she doesn’t, she will forget her, what she looks like, what she felt like. She does the same for Pietro, a few for Karlinka too, her sketchbooks filled with them. She tried with Mama and Papa but found it harder, their features always seemed off, their faces fading from memory and she immediately feels awful about it, how could she even think about forgetting them?

 

She shakes it off and continues sketching when there is three dull taps on her door, she freezes, she knows that knock, but Peter wasn’t supposed to visit the tower today, right? She had been ignoring him for the past two days, surely he got the hint? She barricades her door with red and hears the knocking get louder.

 

“Wanda!” Peter shouts but Wanda shakes her head, No. She can't do this, “Wanda, what’s wrong? Let me in! I just want to talk!” Peter yells but Wanda ignores him, digging out her headphones, and turning her music up full blast.

 

“Wanda, Please!” It’s muffled but not even her music can hide the desperation in the younger boys’ tone, “Go away. Leave me alone, Peter!” She yells back and heads a brief pause, sighing relief thinking that the younger boy had finally got the hint, leaving her alone, her heart breaks slightly at the thought but, *Its for his own good.* she thinks.

 

Peter knocks again and Wanda almost groans, she questions how she could’ve possibly let this boy get so close to her, she can’t have that. “I mean it Peter!” The knocking pauses and she closes her eyes, briefly linking to his mind, she feels sadness and hurt and tears fill her eyes as she knows she caused it,

 

*Just like the others said, I will hurt you.* she thinks toward him sadly and she can feel him shake his head, *That isn’t true, Wanda!* he thinks back and she lets the tears fall, *Really, Pete? Call Tony, let him know you are even remotely close to me, hell, call any of them. Just leave me alone.*

 

She feels defeated, drained, *Wanda, please, don’t do this.* he replies and Wanda breathes deeply, tears falling faster, *Peter, please.* she hears her own desperation and Peter must hear it too, she feels him turn, ready to leave, *Did I do something?* he asks finally and she sighs sadly,

 

*No Pete, I did. I’m sorry.* Peter shakes his head, *Can I get a reason?* he asks and she sighs again, *Its for your own good.* she feels Peter’s doubt, his hurt, his sadness, she expects anger but receives none, he is such a good kid.

 

*I’m sorry.* she sends finally, unlinking from his mind, feeling him walk, resigned, to the elevator is heartbreaking and Wanda curls up in a ball and sobs.

 

The Avengers are hurt at this display as Tony recalls this day, Peter had come to his lab after this, not as happy or excited as usual, he had asked him about it and the boy had smiled sadly, “I think I just lost a friend. We had a bit of falling out, do you know when people push you away for seemingly no reason?” He had asked and Tony had smiled back, “Yeah, but there has to be a reason behind it. I’m sure you guys’ll work it out.”

 

Peter had contemplated this but soon got distracted by Tony’s new design of his Spider-Man suit. 

 

Another door opens and the Avengers begin to walk through, Wanda is on the quinjet and they recognise this as the first mission she had joined them on, around three months or so after Ultron, Wanda sits anxiously as she is unsure about what to expect, “We are raiding an old HYDRA base, this is a routine mission, go in, clear the place out, get out.” The Captain had said but she doesn’t know where she fits into the equation, she decides to stick by Steve until he says otherwise.

 

The Quinjet lands as Wanda’s stomach rolls with a mix of emotions, fear, uncertainty, excitement, worry, anxiety. She takes a beat to just breathe and follows the Captain out of the quinjet, “Alright, Wanda, how many are there?” She is stunned he actually is asking her to use her powers, she had a few times but the Avengers are still weary of it so she mostly practices in her room, she is getting stronger though, she feels it building.

 

She scans quickly, her eyes not even changing colour unlike the Avengers are used to, “A hundred or so.” She says and the others (Steve, Natasha and Tony) nod, “Alright, so, seem procedure as always, Wanda, stay close to me.” The Captain says and she nods in agreement.

 

The mission is quick and mostly uneventful, Wanda had briefly been surrounded by agents but her powers and training helped her get out of the situation with nothing but a ‘light stab wound’, *Hurts like hell, though.* she grimaces, hiding the injury, it wasn’t deep, mostly superficial, and her black shirt and red jacket hides the blood so she doesn’t mention it. She has bruises on her arm from where one of them grabbed her harshly and a few minor cuts on her abdomen and probably arms, she’ll catalogue later.

 

The Avengers sigh at the fact the young witch was hiding her injuries from them she shouldn’t do that. They were a team, supposed to trust each other, they had not done very well in being teammates.

 

“Alright, everyone okay?” Steve asks when everyone is safely back on the quinjet. Wanda nods, despite the blood she feels staining her shirt, and sees everyone else nod in confirmation, she breathes through the throbbing pain in her side as she they fly back to the tower. The flight is mostly uneventful and she makes it back to her room quickly, the blood-loss making her slightly woozy. She knows that the injury isn’t deep but is still bleeding and when you allow an injury to bleed for four consecutive hours, it starts to take its toll.

 

She hops in the shower and catalogues, stab on her right, just beneath her ribs, deeper than she thought, minor cuts and bruises on, well, all over her, really, a few from kicks she had failed to block, a few from falling on the ground at some point throughout the fight, her shoulder is sore from what she thinks was an elbow as she got briefly overwhelmed but her powers quickly helped and she was fine, she has purple mottled bruises on her upper left arm and a few other minor aches from fighting. 

 

She showers relatively quickly and considers her wound, she remembers the night in the kitchen, when she healed herself, and decides to try it again. She uses her powers for a few minutes and the injury seems to stitch itself back together, its a draining and lengthy process but soon the wound is completely healed, she considers trying it with the other minor injuries but decides against it, she feels slightly drained.

 

She makes her way back into her room and throws on some underwear and a pair of black sweats and a white henley shirt before heading toward the kitchen, in search for food.

 

She is surprised to find a box of pizza on the counter with her name on it and when she opens it she finds that a few slices have been left for her, she glances around, wondering who had left it and wants to reach for a piece, she really does, but she is worried.

 

Who left it? Why did they leave it? Was is an Avenger? Someone else? If so, who? The questions keep coming and she suddenly feels slightly ill, pushing the pizza away and opting for some cereal instead.

 

The Avengers glance at Sam, knowing he had left the pizza that day, they hadn’t thought about the younger girl and were arguing slightly over who gets the last two slices when Sam spoke up, “What about Wanda? She did well today.” He had said and they had all reluctantly agreed, after all, the girl had deserved it. Sam had scribbled her name on the box and left it for the younger girl before they all left the kitchen.

 

Now, Sam looks slightly upset but mostly just sympathetic, “Does Wanda think we’d poison her?” He asks carefully and they all take a minute to think about this, “She wouldn’t, right?” Steve asks but even he sounds doubtful of his own words, Natasha shrugs, “I mean, the evidence is right there.” She says and they all look worried, it made sense, they supposed, why Wanda never joined them for meals, never ate the food offered, only the things she had made herself. They seriously need to make it up to the girl after this.

 

The next few days are similar to ever, walks with Vision, jokes with Sam, hate and distaste coming from the others, Peter texts her occasionally; she doesn’t respond.

 

Training, lessons, training, jokes with Sam, walks with Vision, time spend in her room, drawing, practicing guitar (a hobby she seems to have picked up recently, she had mentioned ask FRIDAY one day if she could get a guitar anywhere near the tower and one had appeared in her room the following day, Pepper’s intervention, no doubt.) or Reading (She had returned to the bookstore recently and the books the shopkeeper, Diana, had given her were amazing.) 

 

She sits for long periods of time, lost in thought, sometimes crying, grieving for her brother and all she had lost, more training, more walks, more jokes, more lessons, more letters wrote on computers to her lost love, more coding done, tweaking FRIDAY’s systems, more jolting awake in the early morning, more cooking as Wanda quickly establishes a rhythm, a routine.

 

She wakes (normally stupidly early) gets a shower and dressed, pointedly ignores her sunken and tired eyes as she applies makeup meticulously, gets breakfast (she has taken a liking to pancakes recently) either sits in her bedroom, occupying herself with something (Guitar, drawing, writing, reading, coding or TV, usually) or goes to the gym, goes to training, sits for an hour or so with Sam in the common room, walks with Vision, back on time for afternoon lessons with Natasha, gets lunch, sits in her room, ignores Peter and the angry thoughts of the others about her, gets dinner, falls into a fitful sleep, wakes, screaming from nightmares.

 

Repeat.

 

It is a never-ending, continuous routine.

Chapter Text

Nothing happens for a nearly a week, but of course she can’t catch a break.

 

“Wanda!”

 

Someone yells through the door and her fingers freeze on the strings of her guitar, she knows that voice.

 

Three sharp knocks follow and she inwardly groans, “Leave! You shouldn’t be here!” She yells back and Peter sighs loudly, “You know I cant do that!” He shouts and she contemplates for a minute, gathering herself and putting on a mask of indifference before using her powers to open the door as Peter walks through, frowning in concern. Wanda winces internally.

 

“Yes?” She asks, faux-cheerily, Peter notices and his frown deepens, “Talk to me, Wanda, what’s going on?” He asked and Wanda smiles again, *Fake* she thinks, everything about this feels fake, “Nothing is going on, Peter.” She says and Peter shakes his head, “No! No, you see? This is you pushing me away again, why?” He demands and Wanda sighs, she really doesn’t want to do this.

 

“Oh? So I don’t wanna hang out with you anymore and you immediately think something is wrong?” She asks harshly and feels a pang of guilt mixing with Peter’s hurt, as his face falls, “Fine! We’ll do it this way then. Give me ONE good reason for why you don’t want to hang out with me.” He demands again and Wanda’s whole body tenses, “Do I need a reason for not wanting to hang out with you anymore, Peter? Last I checked my life decisions are mine so if I say I don’t want to hang out, maybe I just don’t want to FUCKING hang out!” She spits and Peter recoils.

 

She feels the guilt hit her in waves now, but she can’t stop, “Don’t you get it, Peter? No-one trusts me here! You will ruin any chance you have for having a good relationship with them if you are seen with me! YOU WILL GET HURT AND IT’LL BE MY FAULT AND I- I CANT LOSE ANYONE ELSE, PETER! SO JUST GO! LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE BECAUSE I DON’T WANT YOU HERE! TONY WILL KILL ME IF HE SAW YOU HERE RIGHT NOW AND I DON’T WANT YOU TO LOSE YOUR IDOL BECAUSE OF ME! SO PLEASE, JUST… LEAVE! YOU ARE SO GOOD AND I AM- I- JUST- YOU DON’T WANT TO BE CLOSE TO ME, TRUST ME! SO JUST…GO!”

 

She is near sobbing by the end of it and breathing heavily as Peter stands in shock, Wanda pushes him out and slams the door, locking it with her magic as she collapses against it, sobbing now.

 

She didn’t mean to shout but it had to be done. Peter needed to get as far away from her as fast as he possibly can. He can’t be close to her.

 

She hears Peter banging on the door, the steady rhythm kinda soothing, she thinks, the constant pounding like a bass in those songs she sometimes listens to, the ones Pietro liked, the pounding pauses and she thinks that maybe, maybe Peter finally left, left her and her broken life and saved himself from her, the pounding started again and she finally gives in, opening the door as Peter comes barrelling into her arms.

 

They are both sobbing, she realises belatedly, and she decides that she should just cling to Peter right now, a stupid, impulsive decision that will surely haunt her later but right now?

 

Right now, she doesn’t care, she gives in.

 

The teens stay like that for awhile and the Avengers watch the scene with a mix of fondness and sadness, Peter speaks first, “Wanda…” he sighs, “Look, I want to be your friend. If you truly don’t want me then fine, I’ll leave, but talk to me? Please?” He begs.

 

Wanda blows out a breath, “You cant be near me, Peter, you can’t be near me because everyone I love or that loves me, dies. Look at my brother for christ sake. You need to leave before you can’t.” Peter shakes his head vehemently, “You don’t get to make that decision for me, Wanda.” He says and Wanda breathes deeply, “Yes, I can.” She mumbles, “You know so much more about me, more than anyone else. You need to go before you get hurt.”

 

Peter sighs deeply, “You’re hurting me now, Wanda. Me not being your friend? That hurts.” She whispers something in sokovian and sighs, “You’re not leaving, are you?” She asks and Peter shakes his head, grinning, “No I am not.” Wanda nods, “And the Avengers? They won’t like this.” Peter contemplates for a moment, “Hmmm, I don’t care. They can suck it, you’re great, they are really missing out.” He laughs and Wanda laughs too. The teens continue talking through the night and *All is right with the world.* Wanda thinks.


The next mission happens maybe a week or two later, Wanda stays near Steve, there are more people this time, Sam, Clint, Natasha and Tony are all with them.

 

The base is bigger and more agents are occupying it but really, the Avengers just need to hold down the fort long enough for the authorities to arrive. The fight is long and tiring, Wanda gets a black eye and can hear Natasha’s thought of, *Sloppy* when she notices Wanda got hit, she had to agree with the spy but she is so exhausted, her body hurts and her nightmares have been steadily increasing the past week or so until she eventually decided that she should try not to sleep if she could help it.

 

Her moves and sloppy and powers are weak because she is using them to try and simply keep herself awake right now, she hears a gunshot and freezes, spinning around she sees an Agent with his finger on the trigger as a bullet flies toward her.

 

Everything seems to slow, time seems to grind to a halt and she briefly thinks this is what happens when you are about to die. She finds herself not as affected by the thought as she probably should be, she is just so tired.

 

It isn’t for a few seconds that she realises that, perhaps, something different was happening and she blinks her eyes open, *When did she close them?* and notices that the whole scene around her seems frozen, barely moving at all.

 

She registers her powers are doing…something, something that hadn’t happened before, and sees the Avengers, all distracted but startled by the gunshot, she sees the bullet, travelling so slowly toward her and ducks a blow moving at a snails place from the Agent next to her, *What is happening?!* she thinks but quickly moves around, taking out the agents around her while they stay, frozen, she sees one of them sneaking up behind Clint and runs toward him, taking the Agent out quickly, but still, nothing moves.

 

The only feeling she can think of is Pietro’s explanation of what happened when he ran, nothing, froze, per-say, but rather slowed, he used to say it was freeing, fun, exciting, but Wanda feels her stomach churning because, *What?* she rushes back to where she was standing, erecting a shield against the bullet coming toward her, and time seems to speed up, it makes her dizzy for a moment, disorientated, before she hears, “Wanda!” She sees Clint turn toward her but she replies,

 

“I’m okay.” and everyone returns to fighting.

 

It isn’t until they are on the quinjet that anyone asks, “What was that?” Natasha demands and Wanda suddenly feels ill, she doesn’t know, she doesn’t know, “What was what?” She asks, playing innocent, “Wanda, we heard a gunshot, saw a red spark speeding around and suddenly you are saying you are fine, what the fuck did you do?”

 

Its Tony that asks and Wanda pauses at the recognition that it wasn’t just her imagination, *What the fuck is happening?* she wonders briefly and turns to face the others, “I don’t know what you are talking about, I heard a shot, brought my shield up, and knocked out a few agents while I was at it, was I supposed to just…let myself die?” She asks but Clint shakes his head,

“Kid-” he starts but she cuts him off, “Stop calling me that. I’m not a kid! I haven’t been a kid for a while, so just… stop.” She growls, she is so tired so utterly and completely baffled because what just happened and what just happened,

 

 

*What just happened?*

Chapter Text

The jet falls silent after her outburst, all of the looking at her wearily like she is about to blow up them, even if she wanted to, she couldn’t, not in this state, not when she is just so drained.

 

“Tell us what happened, Wanda.” Steve asks carefully and Wanda blows out a breath, “What happened? Hmm, lets see, I almost died. The world froze, I took out agents and threw up shield, how’s that?”

 

She chuckles humourlessly and the atmosphere seems to drop further,

 

“You can control it though, right? The, um, powers?”

 

It’s Clint that asks and Wanda can feel the others' fear, Natasha and Steve’s the most prominent, she contemplates the question, “Yes.” She says eventually and it's not technically a lie, she thinks, she can control it, but she apparently has some undiscovered powers she never knew about now,

 

*Good to know.*

 

The flight back is mostly uneventful but Wanda realises that there is a throbbing in her eye and abdomen and realises that the adrenaline problem kept her from feeling the pain earlier. When she gets back into her room, she heals a few minor cuts but can’t do much else in her exhausted state as she sways on her feet, tumbling into her bed and the magic lets her go.

 

She is out in seconds.

 

She wakes with a gasp followed by a groan, she looks toward her window, noticing how dark it is outside and looks at her clock, nearly 4am, that means she got nearly 8hrs of uninterrupted sleep. It doesn’t feel like it. She is so tired, but she knows that she won’t sleep again tonight.

 

She gets up out of her bed with a grunt and slowly walks out, heading for the kitchen, she must be more disorientated than she thought because she doesn’t realise that three other Avengers are in the kitchen until she walks through the door and freezes, startled, Natasha, Steve and Sam turn to face her and she smiles sheepishly, “Sorry I’ll just-“ she points her thumb over her shoulder, backing up, but Sam stops her,

 

“Not at all, Wanda. Come, sit. Nat’s making food.” Wanda nods, uncomfortable and sees Natasha  put on her mask of indifference, dropping the playful grin from moments before, Steve stays friendly enough but with the awkward and tense atmosphere, she know it is forced.

 

The room is silent and uncomfortable and Wanda keeps glancing at the door, ready to leave, Natasha notices, Wanda can hear it in her thoughts, she sighs and tries to put on a confident smile, the ones Piet always used to have. 

 

Natasha turns from the Stove, “What are you making?” Wanda asks, trying to make some conversation, “Pancakes.” Natasha replies flatly and Wanda sighs, “Okay.” The two men begin chattering, trying to alleviate the growing tension in the room and Wanda responds in kind, Natasha will make the occasional joke or comment to see them laugh but doesn’t participate that much.

 

The food is plated a few minutes later and Wanda realises she has never had pancakes before and, if she had, she can't remember what they tasted like, she pours a generous amount of syrup on and adds some strawberries that Steve had cut, she registers Natasha’s raised eyebrow at the amount of food but Wanda just catches her eye and smirks causing the older woman to roll her eyes in annoyance, “Problem, Romanoff?” She asks cockily and,

 

*Where the fuck did this confidence come from?* 

 

The others are also visibly stunned at her confidence including Sam who she is most comfortable around out of everyone in this room, “Of course not.” Natasha states and Wanda nods, “Good.”

 

The chatter continues until Natasha  makes a particular remark, mockingly asking, “So, Witch, What are you doing up? Cooking up some potions? Spells to use on us when you have a tantrum?” Wanda cant quite contain and eye-roll at the question, “So, Romanoff, What are YOU doing up? Cant sleep?”

 

The implication of her nightmares would’ve made Natasha flinch, Wanda knows, but her training kicks in and she smirks, “Careful, witch, you don’t wanna go there with me.”  

 

The boys are silent now, watching the exchange with half amused and half worried expressions, “Hmm, don’t I?” Wanda replies, while stunned at her seemingly impenetrable confidence, the one she only ever saw from Pietro, Natasha’s face darkens, “I don’t care what you saw in my head, witch. Do not use it against me.” She says and Wanda smirks, “I’m not, I was just asking a simple question.” She states and Natasha pauses, “Go to hell.”

 

Wanda beams, “Where do you think I came from?” Natasha’s eyes narrow, “Careful, witch. You know, I’m starting to think maybe you should’ve died, not your brother.” Wanda freezes at that, *Yes.* she thinks, *I should’ve.* she stands up, “You know what Nat,” she says the nickname with venom, “Fuck you.” And with that she leaves, trying to ignore the tears blurring in her vision. 

 

The Avengers cringe, Sam remembers the way he went off on one at the spy because of this but Natasha had just shrugged, “She deserves it.” She had said. Natasha now cringes along with the rest of them, she knew at the time she shouldn’t’ve said it but she did and she couldn’t take it back.

 

The thing she said didn’t hurt though, it was Wanda’s thoughts about it. Of course the girl believed that she should’ve died, she thought she was a monster! A horrible, terrible person but Natasha couldn’t see that back then, well, she did, but she chose to ignore it. They all hurt this girl in a multitude of unfathomable ways.

 

They have to find a way to make it up to her now.

 

Wanda passes the stairs again on her way to her room and makes a decision, Natasha was right, she should’ve died, not Pietro.

 

She rushes up them, Natasha’s words repeating over and over, flashes of laughter, Pietro, Nadia, Karlinka, Her mother, Hell, even her fathers stern and disapproving eyes flashed through her head as she flings open the door to the roof, rushing toward the edge, she lifts her foot and stares at the city below her, “FUCK!” She screams aloud and closes her eyes, seeing flashes of everyone she has loved, everyone she has lost.

 

 

She falls.

Chapter Text

“Wanda!” Sam’s anguished scream rings through the air, the Avengers watching all in a stunned horror as they see the girl slip off the edge, “No, no, no, no, no, no,” Natasha mutters repeatedly, what had she done? Driving the young girl to this? Natasha knows what it’s like to be alone, what it’s like to feel like Wanda does currently, hell, she had tried too, had it not been for Clint she would undoubtedly be dead In a ditch somewhere.

 

“What just happened?” Clint asks quietly, there’s no way- she can’t- 

 

The scene unpauses and the Avengers briefly wonder when it paused in the first place,

 

She opens her eyes and sees the ground rushing toward her as the flashes change, Sam’s sarcasm and jokes, Vision’s logic and formalness, Peter’s grin, his laugh, his love for star wars, he had lost a lot too, she sees MJ and her impenetrable sarcasm, she sees Pietro again, this time from her dreams months ago the one that she had forgotten, “Fight for what you believe,” “The opinions of the few don’t matter.” he says with a smirk and she realises she doesn’t want to die, she doesn’t, she doesn’t, she doesn't.

 

Everything slows again, the ground no longer rushing toward her but instead she is slowly falling like a feather in the air, she breathes, her lungs burning and faces the ground, letting the magic stream out of her in a large burst, as twin (she scoffs internally at that wording) streams flow from her hands and suddenly, she’s flying. 

 

She laughs humourlessly and pushes upward as she makes it back to the roof, she sits on the edge again, sobs wracking her frame as she screams, anguished and torn.

 

She feels empty.

 

The Avengers are stunned. Natasha feels like she is drowning in the guilt of almost pushing the girl over the edge like this, she acts so adult like sometimes that it is so easy to forget that she is just a scared, young, grieving kid who, for the first time in her life, is alone. No one for her to banter with, joke about shit with, be stupid with, just a bunch of adults that she knows hate her and a young boy who is currently the only light of her life.

 

Sam is worried. He knew a few people who had committed suicide, a few who have tried, and he knows, from experience, that this is never a one time thing. To think about it is one thing but to actually follow through with it? How long had Wanda been feeling like this? Has this happened multiple times or just once? He resigns himself to helping her more, letting her know he is there for her.

 

Always.

 

Steve feels like he has failed. He is supposed to be a group leader. Someone people look up to, but when he saw Wanda fall he knew he had messed up, he forgot his anger and fear and instead was filled with a deep shame. Even though Wanda is okay, it still doesn’t make it better, he had to be better, for her, for the team.

 

For himself.

 

Clint wants to cry. When he saw Wanda fall his heart had plummeted and all he could think about was his family at home. His daughter. His wife. His sons. He had left this young, grieving girl in a tower filled with people who didn’t like her or were scared of her, who hated her, and hadn’t looked back, hadn’t checked in to make sure she wasn’t just lying when he called her, when he tried to gauge her mental state,

 

*How could I let this happen?* he wonders, *How couldn’t I have known??* he knew, logically, Wanda was safe, was back on the roof, no injuries, but he couldn’t stop replaying the damn scene over and over and over…

 

Tony is…speechless. The dread in his gut speaking throughout him as he resists the urge to double over, his heart is in his stomach and all he can think is *my fault, my fault, my fault* He had done this, he had taken the good things in her life, over and over and it was HIS weapons and HIS designs and HIS name, he blinks back tears and stares at the young girl now sitting back up on the ledge. 

 

Wanda sits on the roof until the sun is high in the sky, listening to the cars rushing by down below her. She sits and contemplates.

 

*Should I have just done it?*

 

She wonders as she thinks of Peter again, of Pietro, smiling and happy. She thinks of Ivana and all the years they knew each other, one of her first friends, her first love.

 

The Avengers are still too stunned to even register what is happening right now. What had happened over these last few minutes.

 

She thinks of Karlinka and MJ and Ned, None of them would want her to die, it was selfish, stupid, a fleeting thought she shouldn’t have tried to carry out. *Selfish, Selfish, Selfish.*

 

She thinks of the Avengers, she had been ungrateful, these people, who she had traumatised and resurfaced old buried memories from, had given her a chance here, a chance to live, to make up for her mistakes, a chance to grow. *Idiot*

 

They gave her food, safety, water, asking noting in return except that she train with them. *Stupid, Selfish, Idiot.*

 

Tony and Natasha both scoff at that, of course the girl still feels like she owes them something when they haven’t done anything but be hateful and judgemental toward her, they had hurt her a lot, and they all had just realised the extent of that hurt.

 

She thinks of Sam and Vision, both of whom she had grown exponentially closer to these last few months, its mid-July now, meaning that it had been three months since Sokovia, three months since Pietro died. Three-fucking-months, of loneliness, despair, heartache, selfishness. *Stupid, Selfish, Idiotic person.* She thinks.

 

She realises that she hasn’t given these people a chance, they have a right to not like her, a right to be scared of her, hell, she’s scared of her.

 

Natasha knows what its like, to be scared of yourself, to feel out of control and like a monster. She vows that she will help this girl if they ever get out of here.

 

She makes it back into her room when darkness falls and she shivers from the cold that she hadn’t felt for the last 24hrs, she stumbles toward her bed and falls in, crying herself to sleep like every night recently.

 

The scene shifts quickly and repeatedly, Wanda going back into her own routine as if she hadn’t tried to commit suicide a few days before as the Avengers watch, stunned.

 

The days pass in a blur mixing together, a week passes, then two, its now the middle of the third week and Wanda finds it hard to breathe, the suffocatingly tense atmosphere in the tower driving her to the brink of insanity.

 

There is an awful feeling of dread settling deep in her gut and she can’t figure out why it’s there, what was coming, the last time she had felt like this was a few weeks before the bombs dropped.

 

She doesn’t know what to make of it but ignores it in favour of preparing herself for Peter’s birthday.

 

Peter’s birthday is coming up soon, On August 10th, she only knows because MJ told her, she also told her that Peter has been really weird about his birthday ever since Ben died almost a year ago and that he hadn’t celebrated it overly.

 

Wanda is worried that Tony might be over-exuberant in celebrating Peter’s birthday, she wasn’t going to say that, of course, but she had asked MJ and Ned to prepare Peter for possibly an extravagant party or some kind of celebration, just in case.

 

Tony remembers Peter’s birthday, they had had a celebration for the young teen the day before his birthday which had landed on a Monday. Tony recognised the Wanda had been acting strange all evening and Peter seemed uncomfortable at times but smiling anyways.

 

At the time, he hadn’t thought much of it, but this explanation from Wanda makes a lot more sense as to why the kid was so weird about his birthday. 

 

“Did you know about this?” Steve asked quietly from his right and Tony snapped back to the present, “No.” He muttered and Steve nodded, turning back to watch Wanda.

 

She had gotten Peter a present a few days back, waiting for his upcoming birthday, unsure of what to get the excitable near-15 year old, she had found a shop in the city and tucked away in the corner she saw a Jedi Holocron, some weird box thing that Peter had shown her during one of their StarWars marathons. (Don't ask.)

 

It was dirty and messed up but she had figured she could fix it up for the younger boy, she had brought it back to the tower, cleaned it, and decided to draw Peter a picture of himself as a Jedi. She was pretty proud of her work even if she felt she could do better. She could always do better. 

 

The days continue as always, Training, Lessons, Jokes, Guitar, Training, Lessons, Jokes, Drawing, Training, Lessons, Jokes, Reading, Training… (You get the point)

 

On Sunday 9th Wanda gets up earlier than usual (Well, as early as you can get when you are woken by nightmares every morning at 5am, anyways) and makes sure that she has all of Peter’s present in order. Sending off a quick ‘Happy Birthday’ text to the boy, she smiles to herself and heads for the shower. 

 

Peter’s aunt, May, had insisted that he spent his real birthday with her as some kind of ‘family day’ so they had all collectively decided to spent Sunday with Peter to celebrate instead. He was coming to the tower later and, for the first time in a long time, Wanda was…excited. 

 

Chapter Text

A few hours later, Wanda is broken from her book by an excited knock on her door. She doesn’t have to use her powers to know there is a certain excitable near-15 year old on the other side and smiles despite herself, “Come on in, Pete.” She calls and Peter bounces in with and excited grin, “Wow! Happy Birthday to me!” He shouts before flopping down onto her bed causing Wanda to laugh for the first time in a long while.

 

“Pete! Watch your shoes! You’ll get my bed all dirty!” She exclaims and Peter looks up with a raised eyebrow, “Okay, May, sorry.” He says sarcastically and Wanda uses her powers to flick him on the forehead, “I’m serious! Shoes! Now!” She shouts and Peter grunts in mock disappointment, “Finnnneeee…” he groans and Wanda smirks.

 

The teens talk back and forth for a short while before getting changed for the party that Tony had apparently arranged for Peter, “You ready?” Wanda asks when she notices Peter awkwardly fiddling with the button on his shirt, he had on a pair of blue jeans with one of his stupid science pun tee and a flannel shirt over the top with some old sneakers whereas Wanda had on black jeans and a blood-red crop top with a black jacket on top, her black boots on her feet.

 

Peter looks up, “Mhmm, Yeah, I just-“ he stops himself but Wanda gets it, “I know, Our- erm- My birthday is coming up soon, its hard when you can’t celebrate with the person you want to.” Peter nods and turns back to Wanda, “When is your birthday?” He asks and Wanda freezes, “Oh, erm, September, September 18th.” She says and Peter nods, “Okay, Let’s go?” He gestures to the door and Wanda nods, walking out.

 

The party is in full swing now, Wanda sees some other Stark Interns that Peter sometimes talks to, all the Avengers, Maria Hill, Dr. Cho and even Laura Barton and her three children have made it. The youngest has on a onesie on that reads, “Nathaniel Pietro Barton” that had brought tears to her eyes when Clint asked if that was okay, it had taken 5 minutes in the bathroom after that to keep the tears from falling but she is grateful to the Barton’s for keeping her brothers memory alive.

 

Her sweet, charming, idiotic, well-meaning brother. 

 

The time for presents comes and everyone seems to have gotten Peter something sciency, something expensive. Nothing like she had gotten him and she starts to feel her anxiety rise, *What if he doesn’t like it?* The doubt started to rise and she felt herself panicking, *I, erm, I left mines in my room, Peter.* She said telepathically, not wanting the others to question her, she saw him subtly nod and stood up, walking toward her room. 

 

Nearly half an hour later, Peter makes her way into Wanda’s room, “You okay?” He asks and Wanda nods, “Yeah, my present is just a little…personal, and I know the others don’t like you being around me so I figured I would give it to you here,” She hands him a medium sized box and smiles nervously as he opens it.

 

“Oh my god! Is this a-“ He pulls out the Holocron and beams up at Wanda, “Oh my god, this is so cool! I need to show ned! Where did you even get this?” He asks and Wanda shrugs, “It was in a store? I just sorta, found it and recognised it as something you pointed out to me during one of our marathons, don’t ask me what it is, I have no idea. Oh! I also made you this.” She spins and lifts a small frame off of her desk, encased is her drawing of Peter as a Jedi and she smiles when Peter bounces happily at the sight of it, “Oh my god! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” He screams and pulls her in for a hug, Wanda laughs and pats him on the back, “Happy birthday, Pete.” She whispers and Peter grins, “It sure is!” 

 

The Avengers laugh and smile at the scene of these two being happy, Tony can’t even fathom how he thought Wanda could ever do something bad to Peter and the guilt starts to settle deep in his chest again, he sighs and tries to shake it off, guilt will do him no good now.

 

The next few weeks pass in a similar fashion except there are a few more missions that the team go on, Wanda has gotten better at hand-to-hand and it shows as each mission she seems to be getting better and better, getting nothing but a few odd scrapes here and there, some bruises, but nothing serious. 

 

Then her birthday happens.

 

When Wanda erased all of the twins files from HYDRA and any known source, she got rid of the exact date of their birthday, this meant that the team didn’t know about Wanda’s birthday, and this was a very intentional thing on Wanda’s part as she didn’t want a celebration (not that she thought she would get one) or pity on her 17th birthday. She decided that instead, she would just stay in bed.

 

She woke at 5am, as usual, but unlike usual, she didn’t get up, she felt so drained, so tired. She vaguely registered that she was crying but couldn’t find it within herself to care. She lay there and stared at the clock as each minute ticked by, each second counting down to their birthday, Pietro at 9:23pm and Herself at 9:35pm twelve whole minutes. Twelve minutes he never let her forget, “I’m twelve minutes older Wanda.” he would whine, “This means I can do some things you can’t.” At the time Wanda had felt he was being mean but now, looking back? She realised he had just been protecting her.

 

The minutes clicked closer and closer as the clock now read 12pm, *how long have I been here for?* she briefly thinks but she can’t find It in herself to care, time was meaningless at this point and she didn’t care because in 9 hours and 14 minutes her older brother would be 17, in 9 hours and 26 minutes, she herself, would be 17. She cried.

 

And cried,

 

And cried,

 

As the sun rose and fell she was still crying, the clock now reading 7:57pm she dragged herself out of bed after feeling her bladder protest her sitting in bed crying all day, and stumbled her way to the bathroom.

 

She is washing her hands a few minutes later when the idea comes to her, she opens the cabinet in the mirror and pulls out the razor blades, she grabs one and sits back on the toilet seat which now has the seat down, she pulls back her sleeves and she stares at the old and fading marks there, old ones from when she was 13 until she was 15 and Pietro made her stop.

 

Minutes pass, she raises the blade.

 

A few minutes later, she feels the familiar sting of pain flood through her as the blood starts to spill over her wrist,

 

I promise I won’t do it again Pietro.”

 

She had promised.

 

*IDIOT, STUPID, STUPID FUCKING IDIOT.* her mind screams at her and she wants it to stop.

 

It needs to stop.

 

The blade comes down again, along with it comes the pain.

 

And again,

 

And again,

 

And- “Wanda?” 

 

She freezes, she knows who it is, “Yeah?” Her voice is hoarse from disuse but Peter replies anyways, “Are you okay?” He asks and Wanda hums in confirmation, panicking, trying to find something that will stem the bleeding, she doesn’t want him to know “Wanda? Can I come in?” Peter asks and Wanda accidentally drops the razor and a glass in her panic, “NO! No! I’m okay! I just- I’ll be out in a minute!” She calls back and prays that he doesn’t come in here.

 

They go unanswered.

 

“Wanda?” Peter’s head pokes around the door frame as he takes in the scene, Wanda’s tear-stained cheeks, the blood drops on the tile, the razor on the ground, he sighs deeply, “Okay.” He mutters and leaves the room, returning super fast with a thick roll of bandages, “Here.”

 

He hands them to Wanda who nods, cleaning the cuts carefully and wrapping them up, not too deep, nothing serious. Contented that she isn’t about to bleed out on her bathroom floor, Peter leads her out of the room, back toward her bed, turning around to get a change of clothes for her.

 

Wanda looks at the clock, 9:12pm, 11 minutes for him, 23 minutes for her. 

 

Peter hands her a tee and sweats, 9 minutes, 21 minutes,

 

She changes quickly, 7 minutes, 19 minutes,

 

She gets back into bed, 4 minutes, 16 minutes,

 

Peter looks at the clock too, no doubt recognising her fixation on it, “How long?” He asks quietly and she sniffs, “Three minutes for him, fifteen for me.” Peter nods and they sit, waiting.

 

Finally the clock turns, 9:23pm it reads and Wanda bursts out crying, “Happy Birthday, Piet.” She sobs as Peter comforting rubs her back, letting her cry. A few minutes later, she attempts to compose herself and Peter looks at her again, serious now, “How long have you?” He asks and Wanda doesn’t need to read his mind to know what he means, “When I was thirteen. Until I was about Fifteen, Pietro made me stop.” She mutters, “I promised.” She starts crying again at the memory and the promise she had broken.

 

“I used to too, you know.” Peter mutters quietly and Wanda looks up at him, surprised, “Not, not on my wrists, I didn’t wanna accidentally fuck it up, but my ribs and thighs, right- erm- right after….after Ben. It was m-yy- it was my fault, I- I couldn’t I- tried! I swear! But h-he w-was and I-i couldn’t I-"

 

Tears stream down his face too now, and Wanda cries harder, in agony for this young boy, “MJ helped, when- when she, um, found out. Ned too. I stopped a few months ago, I never wanna do it again.” He says and Wanda nods, glancing back at the clock, 3 minutes, “I know how it feels.” She says and Peter nods in agreement.

 

They sit in silence for the remaining three minutes and Peter gets up suddenly, “I brought cake.” He says, “That’s why came here, originally, I mean.” Wanda nods and leans back on the head board as the clock flashes, 9:35pm, “Happy Birthday Wanda.” Peter mutters and Wanda smiles sadly, “Yeah…”

 

The scene pauses and another door materialises as the Avengers try and wrap their heads around that, “Did you know? About Peter?” Steve asks Tony who shakes his head, “No, never.” 

 

The door opens and the Avengers walk through, there come face-to-face with the HYDRA base they were in that started this whole thing, they see Wanda fighting about 20 soldiers with the help of her powers and it is almost like slow-motion when one manages to elbow her, she smacks him back and continues fighting but is overwhelmed when more soldiers converge on her, obviously targeting just her, one manages to sneak in behind her, swiping her foot and she falls, one of them stamp down on her hand with a sickening crunch that causes even Natasha to flinch at, Wanda’s cry of agony not helping matters as a huge spike of her powers throughs most of the agents off of her.

 

She reaches up, obviously reaching for her comm, “Steve? Natasha? Tony?!” She yells but no one answers her, just static.

 

Suddenly more soldiers surround her and she is back up on her feet in a second, they surround her and she puts up a damn good fight, kicking and punching some, flicking some away with her powers, unfortunately, one of the soldiers gets the drop on her from behind and in a quick flash of movement, stabs her in the left side, once, twice, three times.

 

She coughs and stumbles back as the agents hear a sound coming from their own comms and rush away for something, Wanda lays there, in a pool of her own blood, pain shooting up her arm every time she tries to move her left wrist, she finds it hard to breathe as her breathing gets shallower and she realises with panic that she cant feel the left side of her torso, *Not good.* she thinks weakly and tries to use her magic to heal herself but barely any red sparks leave her hands and she realises for the first time that she might not make it out of here alive. She hopes she had done enough.

 

Made Pietro proud, and Ivana, Karlinka, Mama even Papa, she hopes she did okay.

 

She hopes Peter won’t miss her too much.

 

Or MJ.

 

Or Ned.

 

Or Vision and Sam. 

 

She hopes they will be fine without her. They probably will be.

 

And with that thought, she closes her eyes,

 

 

 

And everything goes black.

 

Chapter Text

The Avengers all see matching swirls of red as they open their eyes. When they open them again they realise that they are back in the hospital room and, from a quick glance at the clock, they had only been out for about 2 minutes. “I’m not dreaming, right?” Tony asks cautiously, hoping that he didn’t just imagine all of like like some elaborate fantasy thing.

 

“No, no, I was there too, we all were.” Steve answers and Tony nods, looking back at the bed to see Wanda, laying there, smaller than ever, he sighs.

 

*THREE WEEKS LATER* 

 

Its been three weeks since Wanda went into her coma and everyone is worried.

 

Peter stops by everyday, MJ and Ned sometimes in tow, Vision refuses to leave Wanda’s side, the lady from the bookstore had even stopped by to ‘drop off some books for when she wakes’ and Sam is nearly always found in Wanda’s room.

 

Other things have changed too, Natasha has been in Wanda’s bedroom a lot, which is weird, but no one questions it. Clint has been at the tower a lot more than with his family, Tony hasn’t been his usual self, either drowning in guilt or trying to find a way to help Wanda. Rhodey is…very much absent, like, no one can find him. 

 

And finally, Thor has returned. Him and Peter have became strangely close recently, Steve isn’t sure what to think of it.

 

They are all…coping.

 

Then Wanda wakes up.

 

It happens at 11:54pm and Peter is next to her, her hand twitches a little like it had been for the past week, a sign, the doctor had said, that she’s waking up. Peter jumps up when her hand twitches, followed by her face, and finally, after what seems to be forever, her eyes open. 

 

“Wanda!” Peter shouts but lowers his voice when Wanda winces. “Pete, hey.” She croaks before stopping and pointing at the water, “What? Oh! Right, yes, sorry.” Peter says, passing her a glass, “Ill be right back, I have to tell the others.” Wanda nods, confused, “Why do you need to tell the others?” She asks and Peter pauses, turning around. “Oh! You’ve been out for three weeks, they are all very worried about you!” He says and Wanda scoffs, nearly choking on her water.

 

She studies Peter’s face, trying to determine how serious he is, “Right, yes, they are….worried for me. Very funny, Pete.” She laughs humourlessly and Peter realises that she genuinely doesn’t believe him, “Okay, I have o go get them, I’ll be back!” He yells, rushing out of the room. 

 

When he gets back, Wanda is examining her surroundings, “Three weeks, huh?” She asks and Peter nods silently, not wanting to think about the worry he felt all through those three weeks, “Mmm, yeah, even MJ was worried.” He says instead and Wanda, reading between the lines, sighs, “I’m here, Pete. I’m alive, I’m okay. Okay?” She says and Peter looks at her, “Yeah, I know, I was just…really worried, Wands.”

 

Wanda nods, “I know you were. I know, but I promise that I won’t leave you anytime soon, I couldn’t okay, I will do everything in my power not to.” Peter nods, stepping forward to give Wanda a hug she reciprocates quickly but nearly jumps backward when the door bangs open and Tony walks in, all the other avengers behind him. Wanda sighs, “Look, I’m sorry if I worried you, I know I messed up on that last mission and I promise it won’t happen again. Now, doesn’t anyone know when I can get out of here?” She asks and the Avengers are briefly stunned before realising Wanda had no idea what she had shown them, she still assumed that they hated her. 

 

Natasha speaks up first, “I’ll get the doctor. How you feeling?” She asks and Wanda shrugs one shoulder, “Meh, I’m okay, just another near-death experience.” She laughs and the other join in uncomfortably, especially now that they have seen, first-hand, what type of near death experiences she had. Natasha heads off to get the doctor, wondering what on earth was wrong with her, since when did she actually start to care???

 

Wanda is confused. Very, very confused.

 

It had been nearly 2 weeks since she had left the hospital and the Avengers were acting…odd. 

 

At first, It had been little things, an odd comment on her hair here, 'I like your hair today' Steve had said last week and Wanda had looked at him weirdly, 'I always wear my hair like this...?' 'Right, sorry, its just...nice, today.' , Maybe a compliment on her makeup there, nothing too deep, Wanda had tried not to read into it too much.

 

Then there was the Tony thing, Tony had, apologised? To her? And told her that he thought she was good for Peter?

 

Wanda had walked away from the conversation in a daze, confused as to what as happening.

 

She had a dream that night, of the Avengers, in her head, and her magic had sensed a presence somewhere but Wanda can’t figure out where and it is driving her crazy…What had happened while she was unconscious?? The nightmares had gotten worse, memories long forgotten had apparently been dug to the surface and she hated it, this was where another difference came in.

 

Natasha had been…comforting her? When she had nightmares recently. She had awoken, screaming, and five minutes later, Natasha had sauntered In with a glass of water asking if she was okay as if she genuinely cared it made Wanda ache for her brother, she missed him so much.

 

She is sitting in her room, contemplating these instances, when a knock on her door sounds, she is initially confused, no one normally knocks on her door this late, but stands anyways, recognising Steve to be on the other side, she hesitantly pulls the door open, “Hey, Wanda. We are doing a team movie night-slash-bonding thing, would you like to join us?”

 

This is the fourth strange thing to happen recently and Wanda nods dumbly, shocked, Steve smiles and grabs her hand gently, pulling her out of her room and toward the common room, she is too stunned to protest.

 

She makes it into the common room before  realising every other avenger is there and she feels her anxiety spike, preparing to back out, when Thor comes in and drops his hammer right by the door, she looks at him and he shrugs, “Lady Maximoff, no one should leave movie night before it is finished.” He says and Wanda is briefly too stunned to respond and then, “You know I can just lift that, right?” She says and tilts her head, everyone around her looks confused and disbelieving, “Wanda, you do know that Thor’s hammer can only be lifted by ‘those who are worthy’” Clint says mockingly and Wanda scoffs, “Of course I do, Clint, I’m not stupid.” Thor looks between the two with amusement, “Okay then, Lady Maximoff, Be my guest.” He says.

 

Wanda shakes her head at the cockiness and can hear the cheers and feel the disbelief and distrust emanating from the others, she resists the urge to roll her eyes, strides confidently over to the hammer, places her hand on the handle, and lifts with easy, twisting around to hand it to Thor with a smirk and then reaches for the door handle, ready to pull it open and escape but something catches her hand, pulling her back.

 

The force is unexpected and she topples into Thor who had pulled her toward him, “You’re going to be okay, Lady Maximoff. I know the loss of a brother and I promise you will be okay.” Wanda goes to pull back but Thor hugs her tighter, she can’t remember when she last felt so safe and, before she knows it, she is sobbing, clutching Thor like a life-line. She vaguely hears smashing sounds that, from Natasha and Steve’s thoughts, she recognises as her magic going haywire, a torrent of built up emotions flooding over as she cries, she also notices that the rest of the team have joined Thor and her in the hug, everyone surrounding her in safety and warmth, no hatred or fear to be found.

 

And for the first time in years, Wanda Maximoff feels safe.

 

 

 

 

Fin.