Quick To Love
Summary: With the fresh wound of losing her brother, she’s quick to judge the new speedster that doesn’t seem to stop showing up.
Pairing: Wanda x Reader
Warnings: blood, mentions of death, mentions of kidnapping
✎ | ϟ
Based directly off of this drabble with some minor tweaks
@diaryoflife @women-am-i-right @creatively-analytical @obsessed-with-wandamaximoff @beforeoursecrets @iliketozoneout @olsensnpm
@myfavoriteficss @pinkytoecrust @cyncity32 @romanoffomixam @peachbear88 @magicallymaximoff @therealmeari @peggycarter-steverogers @ba-romanoff @natashabelovas @morbid-gaymer @reminiscingtonight @when-wolves-howl @idontknownemore @natashasilverfox @sayah13
Her eyes watched the trees blur by, her body jostling along with the jeep maneuvering over the dirt road. She was silent, matching the sound of the atmosphere surrounding her. Her elbow rested on the door, her chin in her hand, her jaw clenched tightly. It was hard to see the meaning of life when the only person she had ever held close to her heart was gone. Her foolish brother; faster than a speeding bullet, and yet…
She had to shake it off. The fresh memory of her brother’s death was going to get in the way of her mission, but she couldn’t stop the grief from flooding her mind. She was compelled to close her eyes, letting the stray tear crawl down her cheek. She hated how she couldn’t allow herself to find peace in the darkness, her brother’s face painted on the inside of her eyelids. Memories, both good and bad, colored a picture in the black.
“It’s easy.” Natasha’s voice interceded Wanda’s thoughts, forcing the rookie back to the present with a deep inhale through her nose, her eyes fluttering open as she pulled away from the window. She wiped at the singular tear with her knuckles, grateful for the end of the silence, even more grateful when the redhead killed the engine of the car once it came to a stop. “Get in, get the data, get out.” The first week of being an Avenger and they didn’t hesitate to throw her on an assignment. She wasn’t complaining; it kept her mind occupied on something other than Pietro. She needs the distraction. “Maybe, if we’re lucky enough, we get the chance to burn the place to the ground.” The former assassin sent Wanda a sly, eager wink before climbing out of the jeep.
Wanda sat there for a moment, watching Natasha gain distance between her and the car. Stopped in the middle of the woods - to keep the element of surprise - there was nothing else to do than to follow the seasoned agent quickly. It didn’t seem like she was going to wait for the witch to pull herself together. No time to think, just go.
But the longer she trailed after Natasha’s retreating form, the more she felt that the two of them weren’t truly alone. Sensing another pair of eyes on her, she couldn’t help but have her head on a swivel. Natasha, a highly trained asset, doesn’t seem to notice the new presence. And, if she does, she isn’t showing it. The redhead continued forward, yet Wanda found herself slowing down. Her chest tightened, her heartbeat climbed into her throat, her hands formed fists by her sides, and when a twig snapped somewhere to her left, she didn’t hesitate to send a red blast that way.
She released a heavy breath when the projectile smashed into a tree, the explosion of wood drove away the hidden birds as they flew off.
“What’re you doing?” Her throat constricted in fear, a gasp working its way up her chest, at the sound of Natasha’s voice, turning to face her. She had her arms crossed over her chest, an eyebrow raised dubiously, as she awaited an answer from the new Avenger. Wanda wanted to ask if the redhead felt the change in the air, but when her mouth opened, and no words could be heard, Natasha only shook her head as she fought a smirk tugging a corner of her lips. “Come on. Daylight’s burning.”
Wanda turned her attention to the tree she had shot, lingering for a moment before finally finding the ability to walk. Though the sensation of the new presence didn’t fade away, she chose to file it under paranoia as she followed Natasha the rest of the way. She needs to focus on her mission, located in a building that wasn’t that much further, it seems. A few steps later and she could see it peeking through some foliage.
But it was just too easy. Knocking down enemies in the HYDRA base as if she were playing a video game on the peaceful difficulty, not to mention she had managed to lose Natasha some time ago. Her thoughts, despite herself, started to wander. Something had broken inside of her at the mere feeling of his death. And what she wouldn’t do to feel whole again, to get her brother back, as annoying as he was. If she could, she’d go back in time. Stop themselves from ever joining the Avengers, from joining Ultron. Because she never thought the emptiness could be so cold.
When she turned the corner, she couldn’t help but pull off a small smile at the number of soldiers awaiting her arrival, positioned in a defensive strategy with all their guns trained on her. This is exactly the distraction she was seeking, not having to think about anything but not dying. Yet, the distraction didn’t last very long. One moment, all the guards were there, preparing to unleash the unholy amount of bullets that would’ve come from their guns, and the next… they were all unconscious. And she was way too puzzled to even notice that one guard managed to get a shot off, the bullet racing to hit its mark…
Someone appeared in front of her, their fist raised in the air exactly where the bullet had been, mere inches from her face. She furrowed her eyebrows as the stranger grinned at her, flipping the harmless bullet in the air and catching it.
“Didn’t see that coming, did you?” Wanda could’ve sworn she heard Pietro say it, his voice condescending and snarky, playful and joking. But he didn’t say it, the stranger did. The stranger who was giving her the biggest of smiles right now, as if it was all a joke. And it was. A sick one.
Wanda’s confused face instantly turned to anger, wondering what she could have possibly done for the universe to give her whatever this was. “Who are you?” She couldn’t stop the coldness in her voice, especially when the grin on the stranger’s face didn’t waver even a centimeter at the hatred Wanda was spewing out in every syllable she had said. Her hands clenched into tight fists by her sides, her nails digging into her palms as they threatened to cut her open. She needed a reason not to send this stranger flying.
“Name’s Y/N,” you greeted, opening your hand to offer her a handshake, the bullet falling to the floor with a metallic patter as it bounced. “You know, you’d think you’d be a little bit more grateful that I saved your life.” You pulled your arm away from her when it was clear she wasn’t going to accept the handshake, shoving your hands into your jacket pockets.
“I didn’t need your help.” She couldn’t find the ability to open her jaw, her tone bone-chilling through clenched teeth. “I had it handled.”
“Oh, I know you did, Darling.” Darling. The butterflies she thought had died a long time ago fluttered to life in her stomach, but she managed to suffocate the growing swarm. This, she knew, was unacceptable. She had to hate you - hate is easier to deal with than love - but your charisma was making it difficult. Your charm was working on her, and it was working quickly. “I’ve been watching you ever since I saw you and the redhead pull up.” You turned away from her before she could conjure up a response, taking a moment to admire your handiwork before you started to walk away. Despite everything inside her mind telling her that she didn’t care, that she wanted nothing to do with you, she followed suit. “I just really wanted to steal your thunder.”
She felt a tug against her heart at the sound of your lighthearted laughter and she told herself that she shouldn’t be feeling this way towards you. She needed to loathe you, to despise everything you stand for, but she… couldn’t. Your smiling face made her want to smile, too, so biting down hard against her cheek made her successfully fight that feeling. “Why are you even here?”
You stopped walking abruptly, causing her to nearly collide with you. You slowly turned to look at her, meeting her green eyes and completely ignoring the cold hate you see in them, smiling at her warmly. “You’re not the only one who gets to have some fun with HYDRA.” You patted her on the shoulder and she instantly swatted your hand away. You shrugged off her reaction and turned back around to continue your march forward.
The second your back was to her, the coldness on her face evaporated, she had completely lost control over the butterflies in her gut, and she followed you without a hesitated second, stepping over the guards carefully. “Where did you-”
“Aren’t you supposed to be looking for your friend?” You turned a corner down the hall. She knew that if you truly wanted her to stop talking to you, you would’ve ran off a long time ago. She wouldn’t have been able to catch you. “The redhead. Pretty sure she’s on the other side of the-”
“She’s fine.” At least she thinks she’s fine. Natasha can handle herself, that’s for sure. There was no need to worry about her. “You seem to know your way around the building pretty well.”
“I’m just guessing.” She couldn't stop the curiosity from overwhelming her thoughts, ultimately deciding to take a peek into your mind, but your thoughts were going faster than she could read. And when you stopped walking once more, she was too caught up in trying to catch at least a word in your fast-working mind that she bumped right into you. “Are you trying to read my mind?” You turned to face her, pointing a finger at her as you raised an eyebrow, the smile still on your face. “I can feel you poking, Darling.”
“How do you-” She didn't fully process what had happened, she couldn't. The gunshot reached her ears, and the bullet whizzed by her, but by the time she turned to look at the shooter, they were already on the floor. And she could've sworn she felt a brief pressure on her shoulders as if she were guided to the side, yet the carefree smile that still remained on your face convinced her not to debate it any further.
“Hey, I have a question for you.” She opened her mouth to respond, but you were already asking, “I feel like you should be a lot nicer to me. I don’t recall doing anything to you…”
“That’s not a question-”
“Why are you so quick to judge me?” you asked. “You’re very cold.”
“And you’re very warm.”
You gasped as you playfully smacked her shoulder, the action too quick for her to process it had happened until she felt it. “We’re perfect together then, no?”
“Hot and cold. Fire and ice.” You moved your shoulders in sync with each word, waggling your eyebrows at her with a smirk that caused a flutter in her gut she couldn't deny.
She crossed her arms over her chest in an attempt to smother whatever was happening in her stomach, her eyebrows furrowed in anger. She pushed any tenderness she felt towards you down, forcing it to disappear in the deepest, darkest part of her mind. “I don’t like you.”
“Well, then, I don’t like you either,” you countered, mirroring her stance. This was the first time since she’s met you that the smile disappeared from your face, your lips turning down to a frown as your eyebrows pinched together with clear anger. The expression was brief - you couldn’t hold it for long before you burst out into a smile once again - but it was enough to send chills up Wanda’s spine. She’d hate to see you truly angry. “I’m just kidding. Despite your grumpy demeanor, I'm enjoying your company, Darling.”
She felt the warmth collide with the coldness she was displaying, your words reaching the swarm of butterflies in her stomach once more, giving them a new vigor. She wanted to hate you, she wanted to love you. And she was already feeling herself getting lost in your eyes as you waited for her to make a comment, though you were easily capable of breaking the contact to turn away when she didn't respond fast enough.
She found herself following instantly, watching as you walked down the hall. You ran your fingers along the wall as you seemed to be humming, though the melody was too fast for her to catch.
Your powers matched that of Pietro's, yet it was clear you were much more experienced than her brother. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to connect with you, to get to know you, to let you into her life. She opened her mouth, a word forming on the tip of her tongue, but you stopped walking once more at the end of the hallway, turning to look at her with the same smile you held since you "saved" her.
“You know what, Darling,” you started, “I feel bad for stepping on your moment back there. Would you like the chance to redeem yourself? Show me what you’re really capable of.” Your grin was playful, relaxing. It brought her a sense of tranquility, something she so desperately needs at the moment. “Yes or no.” She caught herself leaning towards you at the sound of your voice, blinking out of the daze she had found herself in. She crossed her arms over her chest tightly, an attempt to create a barrier between you and her. You threw a thumb over your shoulder as you added, “There are four HYDRA agents waiting around the corner. I’m kinda interested to see what your glow stick hands can do.” Your finger tapped hers and, despite your superspeed, the motion was slow, drawn out. As if you wanted to feel her. And it was like your touch had ignited a burning fire underneath her skin, a feeling she didn’t know she desired until now. She wanted to feel you.
“Watch and learn.” You pressed yourself against the wall, eyes trailing after her as she marched forward before she disappeared around the corner. She was a bit surprised to find that you were right, there actually were a handful of agents waiting, but you seem to have counted wrong. Three HYDRA personnel stood in the middle of the hallway and the moment they noticed Wanda, they picked up their weapons in preparation to fight. She couldn’t help but glance over her shoulder, making brief eye contact with you as you stood at the end of the hall, hands gripping your hips. A long breath parted her lips as she returned her focus to the enemies, her chest tightening. She didn’t know why she felt the need to impress you, but her confusion to the desire didn’t stop her from trying.
She made quick work of the small group, her red vapors swirling around the enemies to incapacitate them almost immediately. She was proud of her work after it was all said and done, and she even puffed up with pride when she heard the slow claps come from behind her. Turning to face you, she crossed her arms over her chest as she shrugged nonchalantly. “That was great,” you commented, walking towards her. “I would’ve drawn it out a little longer, have a little fun with them, but your glow sticks seem to pack a powerful punch, Darling.” You pursed your lips together tightly, breathing out a deep breath as you shook your head. “Unfortunately, I’ma have to give you a seven out of ten.”
“A seven?” She sounded offended, how could she not? She did amazing, and she was willing to bet she looked cooler than it felt. Her performance was not worth a seven! The way she made the one agent do a flip before tossing him against the wall was an eight alone. Hell, she would’ve settled with a seven and a half. The audacity-
Why was she upset about this?
“Yes,” you expressed, grinning. You looked at the downed agents, pointing your finger as you counted them, mumbling numbers under your breath. "One, two, three- No, wait. One, two-" You shook your head, meeting her gaze. "I'll be the first to admit that I didn't have very good teachers when I was a kid, but I'm sure I know how to count to four. Yet, I only see three.” You hummed thoughtfully, grinning as you crossed your arms over your chest.
“There wasn’t a fourth-” She interrupted herself when your eyes flashed to something over her shoulder, and she felt her heart leap into her throat when she turned around. There, standing on the other side of the hall, was a man built like a machine. Thick, metal armor covered him in a desperate attempt to keep himself safe from harm, his face hidden behind a helmet that matched his body. She hated to admit it, but you were ultimately right. There were four, and she had missed the biggest one of them all. It was instinct to crouch into a protective stance, red covering her irises as she prepared to send the man-made monster into next week.
You placed a hand on her shoulder, the crimson tendrils dancing around her fingers dimming as a laugh escaped your throat, walking past her to position yourself between her and the manmade monster. “Watch and learn.”
The behemoth started towards you, stepping over his fallen comrades as his speed increased as much as it can in that heavy suit of his, but you didn’t seem to be in any sort of rush. No, you were stretching; crossing an arm over your chest and pulling it with your other arm, kicking your foot back and catching it with your hand. Wanda couldn’t help but watch with piqued interest, her eyes glued to you as you continued to be as cool as a cucumber.
You were confident, jumping onto your toes as you shook your arms, rolling your shoulders as you stretched your neck. You knew you weren't going to lose, and you wanted to have a little fun with the behemoth. But the closer the enemy got to you, the tighter her gut clenched with worry. She took a step towards you, her hands raising in preparation to protect you. You were allowing the monstrosity of a man to get a little bit too close for comfort, but that didn’t seem to matter because, within a blink of an eye, you were gone.
Wanda felt… relieved. Abandoning her would only cause her to resent you, and the feelings she could feel herself developing for you were slowly fading away now that she sees how you truly are. In the face of a real, dangerous threat, you used your power as an advantage to run away. Cowardice, that was her first thought. Your cockiness was all a ruse to get her to trust you and then, at the last second, you leave.
She barely had time to prep her power before a sudden, strong gust of wind passed her by, and the loud sound that reverberated through the halls echoed in her skull as her eyes finally managed to process what had happened. The behemoth was on the ground, you standing over him with a wide smile on your face. She subtly inched closer to get a quick peek at the damage done, and the dent left in the man’s chest plate was all she needed to see to connect the pieces. You didn’t run off to escape; you ran off to get some distance.
“Woooo!” you guffawed, bouncing on your feet in victory. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee! This juggernaut just got laid out by me!” Laughter escaped your throat as you turned to look at Wanda, watching her approach you. She, once again, had to bite the inside of her cheek to fight away the smile threatening her stoic mask.
“Juggernaut?” She crossed her arms over her chest, an eyebrow raised skeptically, and you breathed out a soft laugh as you mimicked her expression.
“What do you call it? Behemoth?” You teased, but she didn't have time to defend herself before you held your hand up. “I present to the lady, a flower.” It shouldn’t have surprised her, really. The cockiness that radiated off of you, of course you’d take an extra step to be… well, extra. Wanda’s eyes left your bright face to look at the item you held delicately in between your index finger and thumb. She made no movement for the offering, and only a short amount of time passed before your gaze averted to the object in question. No, it wasn’t a flower as you had claimed it to be. It was just the stem of one, the speed at which you ran managed to blow off all the petals. Still, the failure of a gift didn’t seem to deter you as another laugh reached her ears.
She was biting against her cheek so hard to not give in to the humor of the situation, she could swear she was tasting blood at this point.
“I totally didn’t calculate that.” You stared at it for a moment before ultimately shrugging it off, dropping the stem to the ground as you turned your back to her. “No matter. The excursion shall continue!” You walked off, Wanda’s eyes trailing after you for a moment.
By the time she caught up to you, rounding the corner you had disappeared behind, you were leaning against the wall, what seemed to be some sort of protein bar in your hand as your jaw moved to chew a piece you had bitten off. She furrowed her eyebrows, her steps faltering as her head tilted. “Where did you-” She cut herself off, releasing a sigh when you looked at her with a smug grin. She wasn't going to fall victim to your tomfoolery. The origins of the snack would remain a mystery.
You pushed yourself away from the wall, smiling through your chewing as you gestured towards the door in front of you with the bar. “This is my stop,” you told her after swallowing the mouthful of food. “I don’t know what you and the redhead are here for, but this is where we’ll be parting ways, Darling.” You patted her on the shoulder, and she didn’t attempt to swat your hand away this time as you took another portion of the protein bar into your mouth.
Wanda eyed the door as you walked towards it, the control room. She found herself perking up a little when she saw that she, too, had to get in there. She cleared her throat as your hand moved towards the handle, walking forward to place herself between you and the door. “Don’t worry.” With a wave of her hand, the door blew open, and she puffed up with pride once more as she turned to you. “I got it.”
“Very nice,” you complemented, nodding in approval, “but I unlocked it before you caught up with me.” You grinned widely, popping the last bit of the protein bar into your mouth and squeezing the wrapper into a fist. You sent her a sly wink before entering the room, and she released a small, breathy laugh before following you. You made a beeline for one of the many computers, practically falling onto the desk chair and allowing your momentum to roll you away. Wanda couldn’t help but smile as she watched you, the way you spun in unnecessary circles as you rolled yourself back to the computer. “I wonder how many tries I get to crack the password.” And then you laughed, the witch crossing her arms over her chest as you shook your head. “I’m just kidding. It’s Captain America lover thirty-two fifty.” She managed to catch a glimpse of the wrapper after you dropped it onto the desk - an odd Russian protein bar, by the looks of the few letters she can see - but her attention from the trash was pulled when your fingers pressed the keys on the keyboards, and her jaw practically fell to the floor when you managed to unlock it on your first try.
“No,” you assured her, sending her a smug grin. “It wasn’t.” She rolled her eyes, turning away from you to look at the rest of the room. “So, what brings you and Red here?”
“Probably the same reason why you’re here,” she answered automatically, her eyes scanning written notes pinned to a bulletin board.
A hum, followed by soft laughter. “I highly doubt that,” you expressed. She found herself slowly turning to look at you, she couldn’t help it. Despite the coldness she had been displaying, your warmth never wavered, not once, as it gradually filled the hole that was left in her chest. And the smile on your face lit a small fire in her gut. One would think that she’d get used to the expression, but it was somehow different every time she saw it. As if she was experiencing it for the first time over and over again. “I didn’t really think a small, backwater sorta place would lure a couple of big, mighty Avengers. Only thing they store here is insignificant data.”
She looked away from you when your fingers flew across the keyboard in a speed she would be foolish to attempt to keep up with. “How do you know I’m an Avenger?” She moved through the room, looking at the wall of televisions. One of the screens mirrored whatever it was you were doing on the computer, yet, much like your thoughts, the words were moving way too quickly for her to comprehend what she was reading.
“C’mon, Darling,” you expressed, scoffing with a slight grin. “As if a being with your level of power would just randomly pop into a HYDRA base to take them down out of the kindness of your heart.” She looked back over to you, and she watched - with pure amazement, though she’d never really admit it - as she realized that you were actually managing to read what was being displayed on the screen. “Plus, I’ve seen your friend before.”
Wanda realized that was a dead giveaway. Natasha was on the news plenty of times for her heroic actions as an Avenger, such as saving New York from an alien attack. She started to consider asking everybody if they were willing to recruit an extra member. Surely they wouldn’t miss out on the chance of having a speedster on the team. Again. She should just ask you right now. Would you like to be an Avenger? She could feel the words forming in her mouth, her lips molding to the syllable of the first word. She should ask. Who would pass on the opportunity on becoming one of Earth’s mightiest heroes? She certainly didn’t. You could save so many people. You could change the world. And you’d be by her side the whole time.
“I got what I needed.” She blinked, finding herself back in the present as her head turned towards the dark screen, her shoulders slumping as she realized she had missed her chance in trying to figure out what exactly drew you here. But when the screen turned blue, programming code filling the space for a brief moment before the screen went dark once more, anger only filled her once she realized what you had done.
“What did you just do?” She needed confirmation.
“I killed the system,” you answered, shrugging nonchalantly as you made your way out of the room. “How else to stop HYDRA from getting it again?”
Anger, that’s what she was feeling as she chased after you. It was like she had gone full circle with her emotions. “You didn’t even give me the chance to do what I needed to do,” she declared, and she ground her teeth harshly when you kept walking, turning the corner and stepping over the juggernaut you had knocked out earlier. She caught your elbow in a tight grip, pulling you to a stop as you spun around to look at her. And the smile on your face only made her clench her fists, her fingernails digging into her palms.
She could hear her name being called in the earpiece nestled into her ear; the first form of contact Natasha has attempted since they stepped foot into the building. The fury that was boiling Wanda's blood prevented her from unhinging her jaw to answer her partner, the Russian’s voice fading away as the black pools amongst her emerald eyes narrowed to a crumb suitable for an ant. She was truly angry - anybody within a ten-mile radius could see that - yet the smile remained on your face, just as big as usual.
“You're selfish,” she expressed. Though it wasn't the first word that came to mind, it was the one she put out in the air between you and her. “You did what you needed, and then you disregarded everybody else.” You crossed your arms over your chest, an eyebrow raised, and the smile that was still on your face only drove her further up the wall.
“Enough with that stupid nickname,” she snapped. “You’re a coward.” There was a brief moment - it had happened so fast that she would be able to convince herself it didn’t happened if she wanted to - that the smile on your face finally wavered.
Your eyes landed on something behind her, and she fell into the instinct to follow your stare to see Natasha rounding the corner. When she looked back towards you, you were gone, and - despite the rage coursing through her veins - she found herself to be a bit disappointed by your absence.
“Good job, Maximoff,” Natasha expressed, stepping over the fallen enemies to reach the frozen, angry witch. The redhead was infamous for her sarcasm, Wanda had learned, and she released a heavy sigh as the assassin rested her hands on her own hips.
“I’m sorry, Nat-”
“For what? Splitting up?” She scoffed, shaking her head. “The job got done, it doesn’t matter now.” Confusion was quick to replace the anger, her eyebrows furrowed deeply to display that. No, the job wasn’t done. She didn’t get the data the team needed, she didn’t get anything but a headache in the form of you. “It’s not enough for us to know HYDRA’s plans, but it’ll surely get us somewhere.” She patted Wanda on the shoulder, grinning at the confused rookie. “You did good, Wanda. Let’s get out of here before reinforcements show up.”
Natasha left her standing there, walking past her to make her way to the exit, yet Wanda didn’t move an inch at the departure. No, she was frozen once more. Only this time, it wasn’t anger. It was guilt gnawing at her gut, regret wringing her stomach like a sponge. She felt bad for snapping at you, and she didn’t know a way to contact you to apologize for her words.
Her gaze averted to the floor and she couldn’t help but smile softly at the sight of the petalless flower resting by her feet. She leaned down to pick it up, twirling it in between two gentle fingers as she brought it to eye level before sliding it into her pocket for safekeeping.
She couldn’t stop the thoughts from entering her head as she trailed after Natasha, wondering when she was going to see you again, and if she even wanted to. Because the world took away her brother and gave her you instead.
And she doesn’t know if she can accept that.
She was living in the past. Just not for her brother. Though her time with you was short, it was replaying on her mind as much as possible. But the more days go by without seeing you, the more of that partially-filled hole slowly gets dug out once more. Because, with you, that emptiness wasn’t so cold.
She had found sleep to be her haven when you started showing up in her dreams. She resented waking up, her fantasy of you to be replaced with a reality that lacked the very thing she wanted, but she couldn’t sleep forever. Your smile, not as bright as it was in real life, still brought her a warmth that nothing else has been able to match. And your laugh, how it would fill her gut with butterflies she had given up on trying to smother.
She misses you. Yet she would never say that out loud.
She was sitting on her bed, twirling the petalless flower in between her fingers when there was a soft knock on her door. The small smile that had lifted a corner of her lips slowly faded as she returned the flower to her nightstand when the door opened, her eyes meeting Natasha's as she peeked her head into the room.
"Get dressed," the redhead ordered, her voice overflowing with an authority that caused the witch to straighten her form automatically, "you're coming with me on a mission." She left before Wanda could question any further, the door clicking shut to leave the witch alone once again. And, giving one last look at the flower resting on the nightstand, she got up to follow orders.
She has gone on three missions since her first one, and she hasn't seen you on any of them. She would've crossed off her encounter as made up, an illusion formed in an attempt to fill up the crater her brother has left behind. She wouldn't have been surprised. Grief is dealt with in many different ways. If it wasn't for the stem of what she could only imagine was once a beautiful flower back in her room, she would've believed that theory. But with physical evidence such as that, it was impossible to deny your existence. Yet… she could feel herself beginning to lose hope.
"Another easy one," Natasha expressed, once again pulling Wanda out of her mind. The witch breathed out as if she had been holding her breath since she had gotten in the car, refocusing on the outside as a slow, steady rhythm of snow fell from the sky.
She found herself to be less hopeful than she was in the past three missions. There wasn't any reason why you'd show up now and not the others. What made this one so special? Just going to another HYDRA base to attempt to get more information on their new goals. Though it did surprise her, Natasha requesting her and only her for this mission. She couldn't help but wonder why, yet she had no time to voice her question. They were already pulling to a stop by the time she opened her mouth.
Another trek through the woods. How delightful. The atmosphere, when Wanda climbed out of the car, was unsettling, even in the daytime, and she was thankful Natasha suggested bringing a jacket as a chilly breeze swept through the air. Once again, she was hyper-aware of a new presence, her heart thrumming in her chest as her eyes surveyed the surrounding area with extreme care. Nothing but trees and Natasha's departing footsteps reached her ears.
She was quick to trail after the redhead, but she was gaining distance between them before she could catch up. Natasha moved fast, stealthy; Wanda could barely hear her footsteps crunching the leaves, covered in a thin, flimsy layer of snow. It was like her subconscious knew exactly where to step to avoid any noise, and Wanda had a hard time mimicking her furtiveness. She wondered how she knew where she was going when there wasn't a path to be followed.
A sound - as if a rock had been thrown to hit a tree - reached Wanda's ears, and she found herself coming to a stop in the middle of the woods once again to investigate a noise. An old cliché in all the movies to get someone's attention, she knew this, and yet here she is, falling for it.
Maybe they didn't park the jeep far enough. Maybe HYDRA was aware of the women's presence and wants to catch them off guard. Was stopping to search for the source of the noise going to be the last thing she does? She needed to continue forward, but the possibility of turning her back on HYDRA deterred her from doing such a thing.
"What're we looking at?" She gasped, her palm covering her heart in an attempt to slow it down, but when she finally managed to process the voice, she could feel the resting butterflies in her gut preparing to take off in a vortex formation, desperate to react to the sound of her happiness.
She turned around, her eyes almost instantly finding yours as you sent her a bold smile, though your jaw moved as you chewed. She eyed the familiar protein bar in your hand, half-eaten, as you laughed lightly through the food. "Y/N…" She felt as if she could finally breathe properly as your name fell from her mouth, her shoulders relaxing as she looked back into your gaze. Her heart hammered in her chest. "You're here."
"Of course I am." You raised an eyebrow, though it disappeared too quickly for her to process your confusion at her statement. Your smile brightened, and she could sense the teasing coming. "I'm surprised you didn't blast this tree," you commented after swallowing, smirking at her as you took another chunk off of the bar into your mouth. You seemed oblivious to her moment of reprieve (and here she was thinking she was being painfully obvious). No, you were too focused on your snack, she realized, as your eyes looked back at the bar. "How's it going?"
She cleared her throat, blinking herself out of her momentary daze to focus. You were no longer looking at the food, your chin tilted up towards the sky to let the falling snowflakes land on your face, your eyes closed. Were you resentful? You seemed heavenly, unburdened. As if the small puffs of snow was lifting all of the weight off your shoulders. The last encounter between you and her did not end on good terms. No, she remembers snapping at you vividly, calling you selfish, a coward. It was uncalled for. And she had been suffering in guilt ever since.
At least the guilt acted as a temporary blocker for the grief.
"Y/N, I'm so sor-"
"Hey, you lost your friend." She furrowed her eyebrows briefly, turning her head in the direction she thinks Natasha had ventured off in. "The redhead." She sighed heavily, her head shaking subtly as her lips pursed tightly. The snow was quick to cover the former assassin’s inconspicuous footprints, leaving Wanda turned around.
She looked back at you, and your cheeky grin managed to help her relax. She wasn't panicking, she wasn’t frightened, she wasn’t nervous, she felt… calm. She was lost, sure, but you were lost with her. She didn’t have to worry, she knew you weren’t going to leave her. Despite everything that had happened last time.
“Can we talk?” She stepped towards you as you popped the rest of the bar into your mouth, crumpling the wrapper into your fist once more before shoving the trash into your jacket pocket. Your jaw moved, chewing as you watched her, a corner of your lip tugged up into a sly smirk, before your head turned away from her to look at your surroundings, breathing out a puff of smoke. “I just want to apol-”
“I’m not really the biggest fan of the cold,” you confessed, your voice muffled against the mouthful of food, though she heard you loud and clear. She released a soft sigh, slightly annoyed by your interruptions, swallowing the last of the protein bar. “I hope you know the way.” You looked back at her, flashing your pearly whites.
She wanted to talk to you about it. Apologize. It’d be a quick conversation if you forgive her. But, by the looks of it, you seemed just as you were before it was all said. She couldn’t decide if you were letting her off the hook by the constant butting in, or even if you remembered anything about it, and she was sure you’d only cut her off again if she attempted to apologize a third time. She’d get it in eventually, you were too fast for her at the moment. She needed to catch you off guard. “Yes,” she lied, gesturing in a random direction. “It’s this way.” She began walking away from you, and she tried to subtly glance over her shoulder to see if you were following her.
“You sure you know where you’re going?” She could hear the smirk in your voice, the teasing tone. You knew how to get there, she realized, and she could tell she was going the wrong way by your playful mocking. “I could help you. All you gotta do is ask.”
She continued forward, thankful you weren’t looking at her to see her facade crack as a smile grew on her face. “I got this.” She decided to take a turn. If she were going in the wrong direction, she might as well change it. “So, how long have you had those powers of yours?”
“Less than a year.” Your answer seemed automatic, as if she were talking to a robot programmed with prearranged responses. Though it did tell her that her brother held his powers a bit longer than you did, which could’ve fooled her. As quick as he was to adapt to the super speed, it seems you have adjusted to the change a lot more during the short amount of time you gained your powers. She couldn’t help but wish he was here to meet you - she can only imagine all the ways he’d compete with you.
“Where’d you get them?” The air was practically soundless, aside from the crunching of leaves with every step. She was beginning to think that maybe you didn’t hear her question, that she had spoken too low to be heard. Or maybe you did hear her and are just choosing to not answer the question. She doesn’t think she’s ever heard you be this silent before, having always made some sort of noise when she was with you. Your quietness was eerie, she has decided. Make a noise, any noise.
“You might want to be careful.” That wasn’t an answer she was expecting. Were you threatening her? She couldn’t hear that usual joyous tone your voice defaults in. No, your words were on the monotone side. Bland, void of any and all emotions. She seemed to have triggered a side of you she didn’t want to see, but glad she did. She wishes she had the courage to look at you, to see your expression. Would it be just like before? A frown replacing that smile, the furrow in between your eyebrows pulled out by anger. Only this time, it’d be more genuine. More… bone-chilling.
She froze at the sound of an alarm sounding off in the distance, somewhere behind her, and every question she had formed in her mind was now pointing at the loud, obnoxious noise alerting everyone in the area. She heard you sigh, a slight laugh, as she turned back to look at you.
“I did say to be careful, no?” You smirked at her, and she found herself to be relieved of the smile. If you’re smiling, surely the situation can’t be too bad, right? “HYDRA fitted the perimeter with some sensors,” you explained. “They seemed to have finally learned from their many, many mistakes.” She wondered how much of a nuisance you truly are to HYDRA.
Your smirk turned into a beaming grin as you crossed your arms over your chest, pausing. The element of surprise was no longer on their side, she sees that now. And she knew exactly what you were waiting for.
“Alright, fine,” she expressed, shaking her head. “Will you help me?”
You hummed, resting a finger against your chin as your eyes drifted up to the sky. She breathed out impatiently, her hands gripping her hips as she awaited your response. But another second went by before she realized exactly what you were doing.
She wasn’t nice enough.
Rolling her eyes and crossing her arms over her chest, she tried again, “Will you please help me, Y/N?”
You released a hearty laugh, clapping your hands together enthusiastically as you looked back at her. She hated it, she loved it. “Come on then.” You stepped towards her, and she released a squeal when you scooped her up in your arms, bridal style fashion. And she found herself gripping onto you tightly when her surroundings became a blur, looking out the window of a speeding vehicle was nothing compared to this. Her stomach twisted, her chest lurched, and she felt… amazing. She was convincing herself that it was just how fast she was moving, yet her heart said otherwise. The closeness to you, it brought a tingling sensation in her bones that she desired just as strongly as the first time you had touched her.
Her feet had landed on the ground before she could process much of anything else, her body left cold as your arms were no longer wrapped around her. What was this feeling forming in her gut? It wasn't a sort of affection, was it? The butterflies were stronger than ever, it seems, and her skin burned from where you had held her, lingering with the yearning to feel your touch again. Her mind still reeled from the quick travel as she thought that it wouldn't have been fair to her brother to compare the experiences. He was fast, there was no doubt about that, but you were faster. Impossibly so. She had a million more questions forming in her mind, and not enough time to ask them.
Smoke. It filled her nostrils, corrupting her senses enough to pull her out of her thoughts. Something was burning. Something was on fire. She was on alert, her eyes snapping onto you to catch you pulling yourself out of your own daze. You smelled it, too.
“You’re on fire.” Your voice held a hint of wariness while your hands went towards her chest, but you were quick to pull back once you thought it through. Panic struck her as her chin fell towards the floor, catching the illuminating sparks spreading throughout her jacket.
Her movements were quick, instinctive; get away from the fire. But if the fire was on you, then you had to get it away from you. Her hands moved faster than she had thought possible, unzipping her jacket and quickly throwing it to the floor. Her foot dug into the fabric as the chill of the air swept through the hallway and into her skin. Goosebumps formed on her arms as she looked back at you, meeting your gaze.
Her cheeks burned red in irritation, embarrassment, as her arms wrapped around herself in an attempt to equal the sudden loss of clothing, her eyebrows furrowing together as her eyes narrowed tightly at you. She was angry, only an idiot wouldn’t be able to see that, yet you seemed to ignore the fury written on her face. You were smiling, and it only seemed to make her even angrier as you breathed out a light chuckle. “I didn’t realize that would’ve happened,” you confessed, shaking your head. You smiled softly at her, innocently, and she could already feel the rage flowing through her blood begin to waver. “I haven’t carried anybody before.” Another chuckle, only this time she could sense a bit of your own embarrassment in the sound. You rubbed the back of your neck, taking a small step back.
She stared at you for a moment, an eyebrow raised greatly, eyes locked onto each other as if you were both caught in some sort of trance. The sorrow in your eyes, the small, self-conscious smile, it made the anger she felt slowly dwindle. And, it was in that moment of silence between you and her, as her heart managed to calm down in her chest, that she realized it was really quiet. “What happened to the alarm?” She was more than desperate to change the subject - the embarrassing moment needed to be forgotten, though by the way you were looking at her, she was sure it was never going to be. She took a moment to observe her surroundings, how the two of you were standing in the middle of a seemingly random hallway, it was only safe to say that you had brought her to the place she needed to be.
“I turned it off,” you answered, gripping your hips with your hands. You seemed to alleviate at her question, hearing the lack of irritation in her tone. Yet despite the carefree version of you returning, she straightened her form. She had to keep up her façade. If you knew she was warming up to you…
“While I was carrying you.” If she was oblivious to the way you grinned at her with mock confusion, your head tilted slightly to the side as your eyebrows furrowed together very briefly, your tone told her she should’ve realized that you had silenced the alarm while you were sprinting with her in your arms, but how could she if everything were colors blurred together in incomprehensible splotches? “Come on, don’t you have a mission to do?” You gestured for her to follow you as you turned away from her, and the smallest of smiles plagued her lips as she noted your refusal to leave her to do her own thing. She followed you.
She wanted to ask you where you’ve been. Your absence the past three missions had a much bigger effect on her than she had originally thought, having you here now made her feel at peace. As friendly as the team was towards her, there was something about you that made her happier. You made her feel less alone, less dejected, despite being surrounded by people practically every day. You seemed to take the time to listen to her, to see her, as your attention was on nothing but her. But she knew that if she questioned your whereabouts, you’d most likely tease her about it. Still, she had to know. “So, what’ve you been up to lately?” There. The way she had worded it made it seem like she wasn’t asking for the sake of herself. It was a simple icebreaker. A conversation starter. A way for her to be nosy without seeming as such.
“I had other business to attend to,” you answered, and she was relieved that you didn’t see right through her. Maybe you’re not as perceptive as she was led to believe. “Why? Did you miss me?” She was wrong.
“No.” It was a quick response, snappy and flat, but maybe it was a bit too quick. Her eagerness to shrug off your accusation could make her seem guilty of being the exact opposite.
You laughed softly as you turned around to look at her, yet you didn’t stop walking. “I hate to break it to you, but your heartbeat is like a jackhammer when you lie.” Your words seemed to echo in her mind, and it took her a moment to process that you had stopped walking until the last second. Your closeness to her, she could practically feel your breath fanning across her face when you breathed out yet another laugh.
Her eyes widened, her cheeks flushed, and she was suddenly cognizant of the rapid beating against her ribcage. Was her heart trying to break free?! She could feel it carving a hole in her bones. And your face, so smug, so happy, so… close. Could you feel her heart, too? The red coloring her features betrayed her. All she had to do was take a deep breath and take one, small, itty bitty step backward to give her the chance to clear her mind and think, but when you took a small portion of your bottom lip between your teeth, a smirk to follow, she suddenly forgot how to breathe.
Her mouth propped open, and the sound she made could be mistaken as an actual word, “I-”
“Relax,” you expressed, chuckling heartily as you took a step back. “I’m only kidding. I can’t hear your heart.” She tittered nervously, breathing out in relief as you turned around to continue walking correctly this time. She hesitated a moment, using this second to catch her breath before trailing after you.
“Do you know where you’re going?” She finally found her voice, an attempt to change the subject, to get her mind off her racing heart. She was too flustered to say it in a joking manner as you had outside - the heat in her cheeks doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. And she's still begrudgingly very sensitive to the intense drum solo happening in her chest.
“No idea,” you confessed, falling victim to the subject change as you turned your head to look over your shoulder towards her, “but that’s the thrill of it all, isn’t it? The mystery. The secrets.” You winked at her - you actually winked - before returning your eyes forward.
She couldn’t help but wonder what kind of secrets you were withholding. You played the persona of an opened book, a trick you used to fool people into trusting you, yet she sees now that your “opened” book only displayed the first page. And she only wanted to uncover everything you were hiding, to know you on a deeper level. To read chapters you had locked seemingly long ago. Your powers are an enigma, but she was more than willing to take the time to solve that puzzle. “Y/N,” she started, yet her sentence ended before it even began. She didn’t know what she had planned on saying, and she knew she had your instant attention by the way your form straightened at the sound of your name. Maybe she just liked the way your name felt passing her lips, how it formed on her tongue. She doesn't think it'd ever get old, saying your name. But that wasn't a viable reason to have said it, not now, at least. She had to say something else before the silence in the air as you waited grew to be awkward. "What was the flower?" Really, Wanda?
You turned to look at her, an eyebrow slightly raised in confusion, yet your lips still formed some sort of smile. "The flower?" And then you laughed before her mind could even begin to find the words to form an explanation. "Ah, it was a daisy, I presume," you answered. "I didn't even think you'd remember such a thing."
The months old stem of the daisy sat on her nightstand, granting her a clear view of it every day, how could she ever forget? But she has the feeling she shouldn’t let you know that minor detail. No, she could already imagine the never-ending teasing. "It's kind of hard to forget a failed attempt at flattery," she decided, shrugging despite you not looking at her anymore. You laughed, a shake of your head, and Wanda knew it came out a bit harsh, but it was better than the truth.
She continued to follow you as you fell into melodic hum, yet just like before, it was too fast for her to identify the exact song, turning left or right through the halls of the base when appropriate, and it took her a moment to finally realize that there hasn’t been a single encounter with any HYDRA agents yet. The building was seemingly empty, not another living soul in sight. And though it would’ve been safe to assume that Natasha had already sauntered down these halls in all her glory, that wasn’t the case either. The floors were clear of any bodies - dead or alive. When the alarm had gone off, being heard throughout the forest, surely they would’ve been more on guard having been alerted to intruders.
“Where is everybody?” Whatever melody it was you were humming, it cut off abruptly at the sound of Wanda’s voice. Your form tensed very briefly, and it seemed you had forgotten of her presence. Her footsteps were fairly quiet, she’d admit that, and the silence between the two of you did linger for quite a bit before she had interrupted it. She didn’t blame you for losing yourself in your own thoughts as she had hers, but she also wondered just how many thoughts you did have compared to her one during the peaceful stroll. It killed her, not being able to read your mind.
“I’m not sure,” you shrugged, “but we’re here.” You turned sharply, opening a door with no issue. She watched as you entered the room, looking around for a moment. The enemy building was way too quiet, and it set her nerves on edge. You were already on the computer by the time she followed you.
“Do you think you’re going to tell me what you’re here for?” she pried, moving to stand next to you. She didn’t even bother focusing on the screen, the text and images flickering way too fast for her mind to keep up. Instead, she watched you. Your eyes shifted to match the speed of the computer, and your leg bounced as your fingers moved at an incomprehensible pace. “Surely, you’re not here for the same reason we are.”
“And what is it you’re here for?” you returned, leaning back in the chair to look up at her. It gave her a moment to process the screen, yet it was just a jumble of letters and numbers she couldn’t interpret. She had a feeling you already knew the answer to the question, you had managed to complete the mission for her last time. You had to have known. There wasn't a way for you to not to, the way Natasha falsely praised her for a job well done even after having said all the wrong things to you told her you had done exactly what SHIELD was looking for. Speaking of…
“Y/N, I’m sor-”
“Is there a reason you keep trying to say that to me?” You rested your chin in your hand, your elbow on the chair’s arm, as you looked up at her through your eyelashes. The smile, that stupid smile she keeps falling for, seemed to be forever permanent on your face. Engraved in stone. Did you truly forget? It feels like it’s been forever, it could’ve been expunged from your memory if it didn’t really bother you, but that moment… That fleeting moment where that grin of yours had disappeared. She had to clear her conscience.
“Yes,” she declared, a bit more dominantly now. She was putting her foot down, she was going to say sorry and you were going to hear it. “The last encounter we had, I had said some awful things to you.” She was too caught up in the moment to realize your eyebrows furrowing, your hand falling from your face as your posture straightened. “And I just need you to let me apologize because it’s the right thing to do when you regret something you did.” She breathed in deeply, releasing it slowly, waiting for your voice to cut through the air, but as seconds ticked by and nothing was said, she took the opportunity of your stunned silence to say, “I’m-” Her apology, once again, got cut off, but it was her own doing this time. Her voice got caught in her throat as you got to your feet, leaving the computer behind as you made your way to the door.
She trailed after you, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion as you stepped out into the hall. The air grew colder the further you ventured, sending goosebumps down her arms and causing her to shiver. It held the familiarity of being outside, having the ability to see her own breath when a huff parted her lips. She kept her eyes on you, watching you move slower than she ever has. She wished she could see your face, to see what you were thinking. Because, despite not being able to read your mind, your eyes gave her enough information to quench her thirst for your thoughts. But, right now, the only thing she could feel was cold.
“We need to go.” If it wasn’t for the bite of cold traveling through the air, your dark, low voice would’ve been the reason for the chills crawling up her spine, forcing her into another tremble. Your hand reached back, and she instantly moved her arm to meet you halfway. Warmth spread through her wrist when you gripped it, giving her a brief yet strong reprieve from the freezing atmosphere. “Come on.”
“What’s going on?” She didn't stop you from tugging her down the hall. For a brief second, she wondered why you didn't just pick her up and run if you were so desperate to get out of here, but the reason for her lacking a certain jacket stuck out like a sore thumb. She didn't need to be losing her shirt at the moment, so she kept her mouth shut as you paused to peek around the corner.
You looked over your shoulder, presumably to make sure nobody was behind you, but your eyes instantly met hers and it looked like all the worrying and dwelling plaguing your irises faded as you allowed yourself to get lost in the fields of grass in her eyes. For a moment, your grip on her wrist tightened, and the burn from your touch only grew brighter. Those damn butterflies manifested to life, fluttering in her gut as her chest felt hot and light. And, when her mind demanded her to blink, she had to force herself to do such a thing, setting you both free of the trance you and her had fallen into. You cleared your throat, your hand releasing her, and she had opened her mouth to argue, but immediately clamped it shut.
You had noted her stance, how she had self-consciously wrapped her arms around herself to fight against the cold the moment you released her, and she watched with curious eyes as you shrugged your jacket off, extending the article of clothing towards her. She hesitated a moment, looking up to your face, and your slight nod convinced her to take it from you - it was the least you could do, a jacket for a jacket seemed fair - and pulled it on. Chills crawled up her spine as your scent seemed to pervade the air - an ozone aroma with a hint of warm vanilla, sweet and pungent. She sucked in a deep breath, letting the fragrance overwhelm her senses. She felt nothing but serenity.
Your hand touched her elbow for a short moment before it left, and she briefly regretted putting the jacket on. Skin on skin contact with you granted her a temporary bliss she desired more of. Finally, you turned away from her and rounded the corner with the curious witch right on your heels. It was a quick moment, how you had been in her line of sight one second and gone the next, and there was a short-lived thought in her mind that you had used your speed to leave her behind (for real, this time) until the floor beneath her feet seemed to start moving. She looked down, her hand pressing against the wall in an attempt to keep her footing as she focused on the thick glaze of pure ice covering the ground, starting from here and going towards the end of the hall. How you hadn't noticed the skating rink before was beyond her. She looked at you, having succumbed to the ice as you slowly, carefully got to your knees, and there was a part of her that held the instinct to help you, to reach out to you, but she was still trying to keep her own balance. She knew that if she gave in to that instinct, she, too, would be on the floor.
"You need to go." You didn't even bother looking in her direction, lifting one leg to place a foot on the frosted floor, and putting your hands behind you to use the wall as a crutch. You were foolish to believe she would follow such an order. There was a reason the floor was iced over, the air was colder, and you were nervous. She wasn't going to leave you behind, just as you hadn't left her behind.
But before she could verbally reject your demand, there was a deep, mocking laugh reverberating around her skull. You managed to get both feet on the ground, leaning against the wall and staying perfectly still when you finally stood up, turning your head towards the sound. She followed your stare, her stomach dropping at the sight of a woman effortlessly strolling towards you. She seemed to have no issue on the ice, walking as if it were just a typical, everyday floor. And Wanda wasn't blind to her hands - a light blue that matched more of the ice than it did the rest of her skin, thin streams of white fog radiating off of her fingers - and her vibrant, snow-silver hair only made her seem more wicked. It was clear that the woman with the sinister smile was at fault for the hallway-turned-hockey-rink.
You did the best you could to stand in front of Wanda, briefly losing your footing to protect her from whatever this woman planned on doing. She laughed some more, continuing her gradual pace, seeming as if she were a hunter stalking its prey, and she certainly looked like she enjoyed playing with her food. You stepped back, forcing Wanda to move along with you, as the woman’s wicked smile deepened. She dragged her nails along the wall, a trail of ice following her touch. "You're usually gone by now, Speedy," the woman's voice, much like her powers, was cold, dark. There seemed to be a subtle echo in her words. "You feel the slightest temperature drop in the atmosphere and you're nowhere to be found." She was smiling, but there was no sign of humor in her words. She was taunting you. And, when her eyes met Wanda's peeking over your shoulder, she gasped. "But it looks like you brought me a friend."
"She isn't yours, Frosty." Your teasing manner had returned, but it wasn’t as loose and fun as it usually is. There was a strain to it Wanda could detect. Your arm - the one that wasn't using the wall as an aid - shot out to the side, another attempt to protect her. "You'd have a lot more of your own friends if you would just… chill."
Frosty, as you had called her, smiled humorously. It seemed your pun made its way to her frozen heart. And her steps had slowed to a stop, resting her hands on her hips as she looked at Wanda peeking over your shoulder. “But she’s so pretty,” she pouted.
"Hey," you whispered, loud enough for Wanda to hear, yet Frosty was oblivious, "you really should run."
"Is she telling you to run?" Frosty laughed, taking a step forward. "Is she telling you to leave? To tuck your pretty little tail in between your legs and vamoose?" She tsked, shaking her head as she rested her cold hands on her hips. "Speedy, Speedy, Speedy. Why are you always protecting the little people?"
"Why don't you turn up the heat, Frost, hmm? Make the fight a little bit more even." You were quick to cut off Wanda's defense. She was anything but little. And she certainly didn't need you to protect her.
Frosty let out a howl of laughter before it died to a scoff. "This is the first time you faced me head on in years. You always run away from me, Speedy,” she declared, her bottom lip jutting out in a pout. She crossed her arms over her chest, making her little tantrum complete, but she was quick to shrug it all away. “I think I'm actually going to make it more enjoyable for me." She lifted her hands, the thin, foggy vapor that had expelled from her fingers grew to be a steady stream. The walls frosted over with patches of ice, and the air declined to lower temperatures, causing Wanda to shiver slightly in an effort to fight against the cold. She was ultimately thankful for your jacket, but wondered how you were faring. Frosty's laugh bounced around in her skull as your hand left the wall, standing as tall and as proud as you could on the slippery ground. The witch glanced behind her, and her jaw clenched tightly when she saw that the rest of the floor was no longer safe to walk across, the ice creating a path that disappeared around the corner.
Even if she wanted to leave, it'd take her a while to do that.
Wanda noticed the slight inability for you to keep your footing, your feet subtly sliding as you constantly alternated adjustment. With the frosty floor, it's impossible for you to get enough traction to walk, never mind run. Frosty had an advantage over you; one step and you're already on the ground. This was another opportunity for Wanda to show off. Maybe get higher than a seven.
A seven. She involuntarily scoffed at the memory, and it drew a low chuckle out of you at the sound. It seemed that neither of you were focused on what Frosty over there was saying. Maybe you were lost in your own thoughts as well. She shivered once more, wrapping her arms around herself, as her eyes wandered over to you. The side of your face, she could memorize it. After this, who knows how long it'll be before she sees you again. She didn't manage to get a keepsake, either, so the stem of the daisy would have to do for now.
An image crossed her vision, briefly, but it was long enough for her to see what it was. She wouldn't forget what she looks like, her own face flashing in front of her eyes. She didn't think anything of it, trying to pivot her attention back onto the conversation between you and Frosty now that you decided to return focus on it, but when another picture of her entered her mind yet again, she was no longer concerned about the villainous ice witch.
She looked back at you, delving into your mind in another attempt to read your speeding thoughts. Such degrees of extreme cold not only took away your ability to run, but it seemed to dampen your powers altogether, at least enough for her to make out a few of the images you were picturing in that brain of yours. Her. You were thinking about her. Surely her safety would be on the top of your head, you wouldn't want her getting hurt. But it still warmed her heart to know that she was on your mind.
"Enough." Frosty's harsh, demanding voice cut through her thoughts and whatever it was you were saying, another chill ran through her body as she took a careful step to the side. Her icy, piercing cerulean eyes seemed to melt into Wanda's vibrant green ones, a smirk lifting a corner of her pale blue lips. "Let me show our new friend how fun it is to play with me."
"Why do you have to make everything sound so creepy?" you breathed out, and Wanda had to look down to hide the grin slowly forming on her face. "It just feels like you're trying to lure her into a van, Frosty. Let's try it again, only this time, cool it with the deep voice, okay? You're not Batman."
Frosty straightened her form, her head tilting to the side slightly as her arms lowered, her eyebrows scrunching deeply together with confusion. "Let's play a game?" she offered instead, looking to you for approval.
"Are you even trying to be original because now you're just Jigsaw at this point," you expressed, gently moving your hand towards Wanda to push her slightly. She slid back, pressing against the opposite wall to keep from falling, and she finally realized what it was you were doing. Distracting Frosty just long enough for Wanda to escape. Do you not understand how adamant she was about staying? Push her all you want, she wasn't leaving. "Look, how about we practice over some coffee? It'll warm those vocal chords right up."
Frosty's eyes narrowed as she, too, realized what exactly you were doing. Her jaw clenched, and the furrow of confusion that had formed in between her eyebrows converted to anger. Her hand lifted, but Wanda couldn't tell if she was aiming her fingers at you or her, though it didn't matter. The smoke around her fingers thickened and you moved to pull Wanda towards you just as a barrage of icicles flew past where she was standing, flinching at the sound they made as they pierced through the wall behind her.
The force you had used to pull her, it caused you both to lose your footing as her hand instinctively pressed against your shoulder, forcing you both to fall to your knees. Laughter rang in her ears, Frosty marching towards you as your palms pushed into the ice, leaning into Wanda in an effort to stay in between her and the ice witch. But Wanda couldn't seem to take her eyes off of you.
"You never did like the cold, did you, Speedy?" She continued to laugh as you picked your head up to look at her. You breathed out, a fleeting, misty cloud escaping your lips as Wanda watched your ear slightly move as a smirk tugged a corner of your lips. "I guess I'm to blame for that, aren't I?"
You picked your body up, resting on your legs. Wanda figured it would be no use to get to her feet - she'd most likely end up back on the ground two seconds later - but the cold ice was melting into her pants, numbing her knees.
"It's unfortunate that I'm not allowed to kill you," Frosty continued, her eyes averting towards Wanda as the menacing grin grew wider, "but your little friend, on the other hand, is free game."
Wanda lifted her hand, red slowly covering her green irises, but your fingers wrapped around her wrist in an instant, pushing her arm down. "Wait," you whispered. The crimson diminished in her eyes as quickly as it had appeared, revealing that vibrant green once more. When you spoke again, your voice was louder, aiming your words to Frosty, "Come on, Frosty, you know I'm not going to let that happen."
She hummed, shrugging loosely. "Let's find out." She raised her hand, palm towards you, and you barely had time to react as you turned towards Wanda to wrap your arms around her. You breathed out slowly, Wanda losing herself once more in your eyes. In this moment, in this time, nothing else seemed to matter to her but you. The world fading into darkness, the cold traveling up her legs no longer a concern, and everything slowed down to a crawl as she smiled at you. Lost in another trance, she wanted to feel you, skin to skin. She wanted to let her fingers dance across your jaw, to memorize the feel of your face. But the smile on her face dissolved just as fast as it had appeared when everything caught up to her.
The world, the desensitization in her knees, it all came back into focus as time moved faster. There was a sound… A sound that made Wanda's stomach twist with disgust, and the way you hissed out in pain as your eyes squeezed shut, it made her blood boil in anger. But the only noise she could make was a gasp when the tip of an icicle poked out of your shoulder, a strong, chilling gust of wind forcing you to slide away from her.
Wanda looked up, Frosty closer than she was five seconds ago, as anger appeared in her green eyes. But the ice witch seemed to not be bothered by the fury written on the scarlet witch's face, her marching continuing just as strong and confident as it was before. Your sounds of pain only tipped the scale for Wanda as she struggled to climb to her feet, but a cold, dead hand wrapped around her throat, helping her stand as she was forced backwards until her back and the iced wall behind her violently greeted each other.
She looked into Frosty's pale blue eyes, her jaw clenched with anger as the ice witch's smile remained. "What is it with you trying to protect useless people, Speedy?" Frosty questioned, her voice hinting that she found the whole situation humorous in a sadistic fashion.
“You missed something, Frost,” you expressed, a tired laugh coming from your throat as you sat up against the wall, "she is far from useless. And… she definitely doesn't need my protection."
Wanda's eyes glowed a dangerous red, and it was quick to wipe the smile from Frosty's face. With a flick of her wrist, the ice queen flew through the air, landing on the ground with a thump as she slid back against the ice. Wanda's head tilted to the side, watching her rapidly climb to her feet, and she easily tossed the volley of incoming icicles to the side when Frosty sent them towards her with desperation. They shattered against the frozen wall, and you laughed lightly when the ice witch looked towards you, her face no longer holding that mocking smile. Wanda brought her hands up, red tendrils dancing around her fingers. Frosty’s jaw clenched, rage coloring her features in a glow of hatred, yet none of it was as terrifying as the scarlet witch’s fury.
A ball of red energy formed in between Wanda’s palms, encasing it in a cage made of fingers, but it seems the ice witch had no intentions of continuing the fight. With a wave of her hands, a wall of ice formed in front of her, granting her a means of escape without further conflict. But, the moment Frosty was out of sight, the wrath that caused Wanda to tense her shoulders evaporated, a foggy breath escaping her throat as her eyes landed on you. You were still hurt, and you needed help.
She was on the ground the moment she took a step, but that didn’t dissuade her from reaching you. You breathed out, a puff of smoke passing through your lips, as you nodded in approval. “This could’ve been avoided,” Wanda pointed out, gesturing towards the icicle protruding from your shoulder. You grinned, a cheeky smile that made the uncomfortable feeling in the witch’s gut melt away. If you were smiling, then there was nothing to worry about, yet the piece of ice lodged through your body should tell her otherwise.
“You’re right,” you agreed. “You didn’t leave when I told you to.”
No, of course she didn’t. She wasn’t going to abandon you, but she certainly couldn’t admit that. “Last I checked, you don't hold any authority over me.” You laughed lightly, and the sound alone caused the butterflies to flit about in her stomach. “Come on, you need medical attention.”
You sighed out breathlessly, a soft laugh hidden amongst the puff of air parting your smiling lips. “What hurts today, hurts less tomorrow.” She watched you for a moment, the way your eyes fluttered close as your head leaned against the wall behind you. It would have been a beautiful sight if it wasn’t for the fact that you were bleeding into an icicle.
She moved to pull you to your feet, and your arms wrapped around her in a way that made it feel like a hug. She was frozen for a brief moment, her heart beating rapidly in her chest at the sheer closeness of you, but you tightening your hold on her in an effort to stand up made her snap out of her daze.
Her feet slid as she helped you maneuver across the frosted floor, using the wall as a crutch as the thick barrier of ice was left behind. You were freezing, she could see that by the way your pale, blue lips trembled and body shook, and she knew she needed to get you into a warmer environment before you freeze to death. The further away from the cold you got, the more effective your powers would be.
It was warm enough now that Wanda would feel comfortable taking your jacket off, but that would mean she would no longer be breathing in your scent. She kept it on even when the slow, tear-shaped beads of sweat began to slide down her temple. It was hot, and it only seemed to be getting hotter. She stopped moving when you did, your face grimacing in pain as you reached over your shoulder, but she was quick to grip your wrist in an effort to stop you.
“I need to pull it out,” you breathed out. She was no doctor, but she was positive keeping it in was the best thing.
“Pulling it out isn’t what you need to be doing, Y/N,” she interrupted. “I’m not going to let you put yourself more at risk than you already are.”
“It won’t heal if I leave it in,” you told her.
Her brother flashed across her mind, the amount of bullet holes riddling his lifeless body. His healing power wasn’t enough to save him and, despite how hard she spent comparing the two of you, she refused to see how you and him were any different. Her chest tightened, her jaw clenched, and she had to rapidly blink to get rid of the moisture building up in her eyes. She was too distraught from the memory of Pietro that you managed to tear free from her hold. There was no use in getting you to leave the injury alone, so she turned away from you as you continued down your path of recklessness. She knew you were choking back your screams of agony, but the whimpers she could hear caused her nose to burn. She looked back at you when there was no other sound, her eyebrows furrowed with worry. Your face was flushed, eyes glossed over with unshed tears of pain, yet you still flashed her a wide grin.
“See?” You gestured to your shoulder, the blood of having been stabbed stained your clothes and skin, but there was no other sign of the wound. The skin showing through the hole in your shirt was unmarked. She couldn't help herself, lifting her arm and running her fingers over where the wound once was. She could feel the heat running through her blood, stronger than the high temperature flowing through the air, and she was instantly lost in the feeling of you, skin on skin, though it wasn’t as much exposure as she seemed to desire. You shrugged, holding up the blood-covered icicle as her hand resentfully fell away from you, an “I told you so” smirk lifting your lips, and she shook her head in annoyance. She marched forward, leaving you behind and shaking off the haziness touching you brought.
But, as she turned the corner, she came to a complete stop, releasing a breath at the shirtless, glistening man blocking the path to the exit. His laughter matched Frosty’s - ominously sinister, though it did hold a bit of a lighter tone than his counter part - when Wanda felt you join her.
“Speedy! There you are!” He clapped his hands together, his smile wide. “I was hoping to get to you first, but it seems like you’ve already bumped into my sister.” He gestured towards the icicle in your hand, a low, rough chuckle coming from his chest. “It seems like she didn’t finish the job, though. Just my luck.”
“Blaze! Oh, boy, how I missed you, you sweaty sonuvagun. It’s unfortunate that our little reunion won’t be long,” you expressed, holding the icicle in front of Wanda for her to grab. Which she did, much to her confusion. The frozen piece was melting in her hand, though it was mostly due to the extreme heat radiating off of Blaze.
“Already?” he questioned, and Wanda thought for sure his jaw was going to fall off with how wider his smile got. Does it ever stop growing? “The party’s just starting now.”
“We do have other obligations, Hothead.” As if on cue, water fell from the sky, heavier than a normal, state approved sprinkler system, instantly soaking all of you. The fire engulfing Blaze's aura was smothered beneath the rain, a sizzling sound was subtle beneath his shouts of shock, and a gasp constricted Wanda's throat when her feet left the ground, your arms holding her up as if you were newlyweds walking into your new house.
She didn't get a chance to process much of anything else before her surroundings blurred together in a flurry of irregular colors and abstract shapes. A sense of deja vu filled her gut as the distance between her and Blaze grew with every millisecond, clutching onto you tightly as if you were going to drop her at any moment.
Her stomach fluttered as she buried her head into your shoulder, breathing in your scent straight from the source, yet it didn't last nearly as long as she liked. Her feet were back on the ground a mere second later, stumbling forward as her mind didn't get the chance to process the unexpected stop. She was thankful she had the jeep to keep her from falling, though using it as a crutch didn’t help her realize that she was outside until she breathed in the fresh, cool air. She straightened her form, her hands flying away from the car as she turned around in search of you, and her heart settled in her chest when she saw your smiling face. But she smothered the feeling of warmth, forcing her expression to display exasperation as her jaw grew rigid and her fists tightened by her sides. Though the anger she exhibited was enough to cause someone like Frosty to shiver in her boots, it clearly had no effect on you as you began opening yet another protein bar.
“Wasn’t that exciting?” You grinned widely at her, though your eyes didn’t leave the food in your hands.
“Why didn’t you do that in the first place?” she demanded, your eyes flickering to her. Sure, she already knew the answer to the question, but how else was she supposed to be dramatic if she didn’t demand to know something. You bit a chunk of the bar into your mouth and began to slowly chew, taking a moment to enjoy whatever flavor the bland-looking bar is, staring at her as if she didn’t just ask a question. She threw her arms up as she turned away from you, shaking her head in anger as a scoff scratched her throat. “Why do I even bother with you?”
There was a few seconds of silence before you spoke, “I’m not the biggest fan of the cold.” She recalled you saying such a thing before, though she figured it was just a comment on the natural weather, not on a psychopathic ice witch.
“It makes you slower.” You nodded in agreement, swallowing your mouthful of food. “But you felt her coming, why didn’t you just-”
“Leave?” You made eye contact with the green-eyed witch, a small, warm smile tugging your lips. “I’m not particularly interested in letting Frosty’s kill count go up.”
“You knew I could handle her.”
“I wasn’t going to take the chance.”
“He’s a bit easier to fight than his sister. I just had to wait for the sprinklers to turn on,” you said. “Water and fire don’t really mix that well. And I wasn’t going to run with you when you were dry. What if you lost your pants? I’m definitely not letting you use mine.” You sent her a grin when a light pink colored her cheeks at the thought of losing another article of clothing, causing her to cross her arms over her chest and look down to the ground in between her feet. “You’re welcome for drying you, by the way. I took the long route for maximum dryness.” As if she would’ve noticed which route you took. It was all the same to her - one second, she was facing off against a vindictive hothead, the next, she was leaning against the jeep. “Any more questions, Darling?”
Yes, she had many questions regarding the situation, but… her mind had suddenly focused on the twisting feeling tightening her gut. That name. That silly, little nickname you had given her because you were unclear on her real name. Wanda. She wanted to tell you. To hear it in your voice. To have her name come off your tongue in that annoyingly happy tone of yours. But the way you said darling. Soft, sweet, playful. She didn't want you to stop. And she had thought you did. After the anger she had felt demanded you to get rid of it, she has yet to hear you say it since. It must’ve been a slip, that playful teasing causing you to relax a bit more now that the imminent danger is gone.
She cleared her throat, attempting to suffocate the fire in her stomach, but it was no use. It only grows brighter the longer she’s around you. Yet your soft laugh managed to bring her out of her daze, refocusing on you as you moved the protein bar to your mouth to take another bite. But her question interrupted your actions, “Why won’t you let me apologize to you for what happened last time?” You blinked, and there was a very brief second that told her she caught you off guard by her question as you moved your hand away from your mouth.
“You can’t take away a mistake by wishing it so,” you answered without missing a beat. “You make a choice, don’t look back. Regret and guilt are demons you choose to live with to get what you want.” It felt surreal to hear such deep words come from you, your voice earnest. She watched you take another bite of your protein bar, a faint weight lifting off her shoulders as your resolve seemed to evaporate, smiling at her once again. She knew you knew she was regretful of her actions, and though you didn’t want her to say sorry, you knew she was. That seemed to be enough for her.
A twig snapping in the distance caused her to turn her attention to it, a sigh parting her lips as she watched Natasha step into view, and the quick flash of movement in the corner of her eye told her that you had departed at the sound of the redhead’s arrival once more. “Wanda?” The former assassin made her way to the witch. “What happened?”
Sure, Wanda was new to this whole spy thing, but anybody would’ve noticed the fact that Natasha was drier than she should be. With the entire building’s sprinkler system going off in retaliation to Blaze’s heat, she knew for sure the redhead should be drenched in water. She didn’t really have a speedster to dry her out. “I encountered an issue near the control room,” Wanda answered, shaking her head slightly. “I couldn’t get the data we came here for. Did you have any luck?”
“No,” Natasha responded, sighing lightly as she crossed her arms over her chest, “but we’ve been compromised so we need to go before they bring backup.” She gestured towards the jeep with a nod of her head, and Wanda watched her make her way to the driver’s side as she shoved her hands into the jacket pocket.
When her fingers came into contact with something, she furrowed her eyebrows with confusion and pulled it out. The wrapper from your protein bar, she now remembered you shoving it into your jacket. It gave her the opportunity to get a better look at the design, knowing Russian food like this wasn’t necessarily a common thing around here. The light blue packaging, the bright yellow foreign letters - ТЫСЯЧА - and the lack of nutritional information on the back of the wrapper, it was nothing Wanda has ever seen before. Perhaps it’d make the exotic food easier to track down. Maybe she could recruit Natasha’s help - the Russian was always down to solve a mystery.
She flinched when the redhead’s voice reached her ears, Wanda looking over her shoulder to see the passenger window rolled down and Natasha leaning forward to look at the dazed witch. She blinked, looking down at the wrapper once more before shoving it back into her pocket to load into the jeep.
Should she find it odd that Natasha - the most attentive person the Sokovian has ever met - didn’t comment on her new jacket? Surely she would’ve noticed such an obvious difference. Yet the ride back to the Avengers compound was just as it was on the way to the mission, quiet. Not even the sound of the radio to soothe out the silence. Wanda couldn’t help but send subtle glances towards the seasoned agent, chewing the inside of her cheek as she leaned back into the seat. Maybe Wanda should say something. Should SHIELD know about you? Maybe they’d work to recruit you if they knew of your existence. And that’d give Wanda the chance to see you more than she does because now? Well, now she doesn’t know when she’s going to see you. Would you show up the next mission? Or will it be another three until your next appearance? Or more? This whole thing seemed to only give her a headache.
“Got something on your mind?” Natasha’s voice broke through her thoughts, and the witch looked at her to see the slight smirk tugging the corner of her lips. She was obviously aware of Wanda’s not-so-subtle glances, that was for sure. She should confess, tell the redhead everything. She knew Natasha could keep a secret, and she knew she’d help her track you down.
She sighed, fully looking at the former assassin with pursed lips. Your name was on the tip of her tongue, her heart beating steadily in her chest. This was the chance, reveal everything. And when she opened her mouth, her form straightening with confidence, the only thing she managed to mutter was, “Just a headache.” She closed her eyes shut tightly, disappointed with herself as she breathed out slowly through her nose. Why was it so hard? It should be simple to tell Natasha the truth. All she had to do was say your name and everything would come spilling out, but it was easier said than done.
“There’s some painkillers in the glovebox,” the redhead offered, sending Wanda a soft smile. Though her headache wasn’t that bad, she was willing to take a pill to lead away any suspicion. With a huff, the witch reached for the handle of the glovebox. Yet instead of spotting the bottle of pain relievers, she could feel her stomach drop as she spotted a couple of familiar, light blue bars resting in the small compartment. She reached for one, pulling it out to get a better look at the protein bar because maybe, just maybe, she truly was starting to lose her mind. “I wouldn’t eat those if I were you.” Natasha’s voice - this seems to be happening more often than she’d like to admit - pulled her out of her stupor.
“What is this?” Wanda questioned.
Natasha’s knowing smirk only made Wanda more confused, looking down at the bar in her hands as she tried to wrap her mind around a possible explanation. Why did Natasha have a stockpile of protein bars tucked away in the glovebox? Protein bars that you happily ate. It gave at least one of her questions an answer; this was where you were getting your supply of snacks. But it only gave her more. Was this all a setup? She wondered just how badly the redhead wanted her to dig through the glovebox, to put two and two together, yet she couldn’t seem to do that. She was only left with more puzzles she couldn’t solve. She needed answers, yet it was just a dark, vacant space when the witch surfed the surface of her mind. Not only was she a professional in hiding and carrying many secrets, she apparently had quickly taught herself to conceal her thoughts. Perhaps to keep Wanda’s snooping at bay, though she never had a reason until now to be nosy. What was the redhead hiding?
“Nat.” Wanda turned to face the Russian as much as she can in the jeep, her jaw clenched tightly as Natasha released a breath that caused her shoulders to fall. “What is this?”
“Tysyacha,” she responded, glancing at the witch as she looked back down at the bar in her hand. “Stands for one thousand. It’s a protein bar with over a thousand calories.” Wanda’s eyes widened at the revelation. It explains why the nutritional information was hidden, though it doesn’t necessarily give her an answer as to why it was in the glove compartment.
“Why do you have it?” Natasha risked removing her eyes from the road to meet Wanda’s gaze, a warmth in her green eyes.
“She burns a lot of calories whenever she runs, so she needs as much as she can get.”
Wanda’s mouth parted open slightly at her statement. “You know.” It wasn’t a question, it was obvious now that Natasha was in the know. Yet how long would the redhead be willing to pretend you didn’t exist if she didn’t find the truth now? The back and forth on her feelings - from hate to denying affection - did Natasha know about that, too? It may not have been obvious to you what with Wanda’s constant sour face, yet you didn’t see her in a way Natasha did. “How long?”
“I met her a few months ago.” Natasha looked over at Wanda, eyeing the perplexed expression written on the Sokovian’s face. “I’ll tell you more,” she quickly assured, “but I should take you somewhere first.”
The witch huffed, slouching in her seat as she buried her nose into her shoulder. She breathed in what remained of your scent on the jacket, though it was slowly fading away. If she knew you, then you clearly knew her. And she couldn’t help but shake her head with a smile as she remembered you blatantly confessed to her that fact. I’ve seen your friend before. Though, at the time, she had accepted the declaration as having seen the Black Widow on the news. Now she knows the real meaning behind your words.
She was unsure of how much time had passed by the time Natasha pulled the jeep to a stop in front of an old-looking apartment building. Besides the SHIELD-issued car, the parking lot was vacant. The redhead didn’t miss a beat, killing the engine and climbing out of the vehicle without giving Wanda the chance to question anything. So, instead of being left in the car to wonder, she trailed after Natasha into the poorly-built structure.
Silence. It seemed to be a recurring theme between her and the former assassin, climbing up a couple of flights of stairs before Natasha slipped into a hallway, making a beeline for one of the aged doors. But after stepping into the apartment, Wanda learned the true meaning of not judging a book by its cover. Though the outside of the apartment seemed old and decrepit, the place Natasha had guided her to would’ve proved the opposite. It was a home, Wanda saw that, with multiple posters hung up on the wall by slim strips of duct tape, a desk covered of stripped electronic parts, a large pile of books resting in a corner with a few comic books sitting on top (which seemed to be mostly of Thor from what she could see), a mattress resting on the floor with covers strewn over, a dresser that obscured the only window in the room. Wanda could feel her heart beating loud yet slow in her chest as she ventured further into the room, taking a peek into a box filled with miscellaneous plastic pieces. Out of the entire building, why use only one apartment?
“Where are we?” Wanda finally questioned, turning to look at Natasha, who was watching Wanda, her arms crossed over her chest. “What-” Her voice caught in her throat when she caught sight of an opened laptop resting on a table against the wall, eyebrows furrowed as she took a closer step to get a better view. The screen displayed the all-too familiar HYDRA logo stamped onto a digital copy of a file. Her eyes scanned the words, eyebrows furrowing the longer she read. She fell into a hole of curiosity, wanting to read more of what was on the laptop, thirsty for answers nobody was giving her, but the moment she touched the mouse, the screen went black and the lights flickered off.
“Natasha Romanoff!” It was a deep, reverberated voice she wasn’t familiar with echoing throughout the room, her heart climbing up to her throat as she turned away from the laptop. “You have killed my father. Prepare to die!” Wanda gasped lightly when she saw the moving red dot on Natasha’s forehead, crimson tendrils dancing around the witch’s fingers in preparation to protect her comrade, but the smile lifting the redhead’s lips only brought Wanda to a state of confusion.
“I see you finally watched The Princess Bride like I told you to,” Natasha announced. “Come on, Y/N. You’re scaring your guest.” Wanda felt herself settle down at your name, breathing out slowly as the power radiating from her hands diminished.
“Guest?” The voice that was distorted beyond recognition became the familiar, happy sound Wanda had come to know - and begrudgingly love. She had to look away to hide her smile as you appeared next to Natasha mere moments before the lights flickered back on. You leaned towards the former assassin, your chin close to your chest. “Hey… Nat?”
“What did I tell you about bringing pretty women over here?” Your voice was low, and so was Natasha’s, but she could hear you loud and clear. She looked around to pretend she wasn’t listening (and to hide her blush) when you picked your head up.
“We didn’t talk about that,” Natasha pointed out.
“What about me?” the redhead questioned, Wanda peeking over at the two of you with curiosity. “Am I not pretty enough for you, Y/N?” She smirked at you, eyebrows bouncing in a playfully seductive manner, but the expression on your face was what caused Wanda to completely turn her back on the two of you. It was easy to muffle her chuckle, it was just becoming increasingly difficult to conceal her smile no matter how hard she bit down on her cheek.
“Ew. What are you doing with your face? Stop it.” Natasha laughed heartily as you pushed her away from you, huffing before clearing your throat to gain the witch’s attention. When she looked back at you, you were only a few feet away from her. “Welcome to my humble abode, Darling.” You held your arms out in a grand gesture as Wanda gripped her hips with her hands. “I’d give you the tour, but it seems you already saw mostly everything.” The witch stared at you with a raised eyebrow, finding no humor in your words. You looked over your shoulder towards Natasha, and the redhead sent you a subtle nod before disappearing into another room. You chewed the inside of your cheek as you rubbed the back of your neck sheepishly, yet a small smile still plagued your lips.
She was beginning to wonder if all those brief moments where your smile had faltered were even real.
“So, you already know the Avengers.”
“Actually, no,” you corrected. “Just Nat. And Clint. And the Hulk- er, Bruce. He knows of me, but we never officially met. He’s the one who made the recipe for the protein bars I eat, so I assume he knows. And now you, I guess. But the others? They don’t know of my existence. And SHIELD. They don’t know about me, either.” You cleared your throat. “Are you thirsty? Hungry? I can get you whatever you want. Chinese? I can run to China.”
“It’ll be two seconds. I’ll be back before you can say p-”
“Are you a HYDRA experiment?”
“I was gonna say pickles,” you breathed out, your shoulders slouched, and she was no longer questioning the status of your permanent smile as your lips pinched together in a tight, thin line. No grin in sight. You glanced over your shoulder to where Natasha had gone, and she was wondering if you were seeking for a window of opportunity to disappear, to avoid the confrontation. Yet if that were the case, you would’ve quite literally disappeared.
She stepped closer to you, her eyebrows furrowed. “Is that why you’re infiltrating HYDRA bases?” she pushed. “Because you’re looking for the scientists that turned you into what you are now?”
“No,” you answered, sighing heavily. “I’m just looking for my mom.” You shook your head as Wanda’s form straightened at your confession. A scoff escaped your throat as a small smile once again crawled onto your lips, but the witch couldn’t seem to find any connection to your eyes before you turned away. “She’s the only family I have. They separated us when I was a kid. Took me away from her, along with a handful of other kids so they can run their tests to create their own unstoppable army. I figured since HYDRA keeps records on everything, they have to have something on her.” You looked back towards her. “Nat and Clint have been helping me raid bases to take their data. We go through the intel to see if there’s any information on my mom before they hand it over to SHIELD so they can keep track of HYDRA. It’s a deal that helps out the both of us.”
You watched her carefully, eyeing her expression as she soaked in your words. She wondered if you could hear the gears turning in her mind, trying to work out what you had just laid on her. Though it didn't answer all of her questions, it did give her an idea on how to answer a majority of the other ones. You rested your hands on your hips, chewing the inside of your cheek as your mind ran through a way to break the uneasy silence floating in between you and her.
This was her chance to interrogate you, to make that “open book” act a reality. She had so many questions forming on her tongue, she was unsure which one she wanted to start with. But the softness in your eyes as you looked at her, it caused the questions to catch in her throat. “I’ll help you,” she offered instead. “I already got this far, might as well keep going.” She extended her hand out to you, and your wide grin returned as you accepted the handshake with eagerness. Her stomach twisted at the feeling of you, she knew that’ll never get old.
“I’m gonna have to break up… whatever’s happening here. We’re being summoned back to the compound,” Natasha expressed, walking into the room with a wave of her phone. “We better go before they send the cavalry.”
There was a pull against Wanda’s heart when you pulled your hand away, stepped out from in between the two ladies. She forced herself to look away from you, watching Natasha cross her arms over her chest. She didn’t want to leave you. Even knowing the truth now, she was unsure when she was going to see you again. “Come with us.” The words fell from her mouth before she even had time to process them herself, all eyes turning to the witch as you mimicked Natasha by crossing your arms over your chest. A half smile tugged the corner of your lips as you raised your eyebrows at her.
“To the compound?” you questioned, and she nodded quickly, her tongue flicking out briefly to lick her lips. You laughed softly, readjusting your feet as you leaned more of your weight against the table.
“I’m sure the Avengers would love to have you on the team,” Wanda claimed. Natasha looked at you, watching you carefully as you breathed out slowly.
“I’m not interested in joining the government’s band of superpowered puppets.” Wanda should’ve seen that coming. You were definitely not the type to follow orders. And you seemed to not mind the whole “lone wolf” play you’re putting on. “I’m not a hero, Darling.”
“You’re not the bad guy, either, Y/N,” she countered, unintentionally snapping at you.
“We gotta go.” The redhead was quick to interrupt at the sound of Wanda’s harsh tone, taking a step forward to catch the witch’s attention. The Russian’s eyes were hard, her jaw rigid, and Wanda was starting to wonder just how much you meant to Natasha. She nodded towards the exit, letting her arms fall back to her sides as she started to walk away. “Come on.”
You met Wanda’s gaze as she stepped forward, but you quickly averted your gaze to the floor. No more words were exchanged between the two of you as she trailed after Natasha, and she felt a harsh twinge in her heart as the door closed behind her.
It was difficult for her, she realized. The more time she spent with you, the harder it became to stay away. Her reluctance, in the beginning, seemed to be a foolish thing. There was no denying the affects you have on her, she knows that now. Yet she couldn’t stop the memories of her brother entering her mind, flooding her with guilt. Guilt in not being able to protect him. Guilt in not being there for his last breath. Guilt in finding solace in somebody else. A speedster, just like her brother.
Nearly a week has passed, and it would be useless of her to deny how much you’ve been on her mind since. You have no intentions in becoming a hero - a path she, too, had no intentions of landing on, yet here she was. Living in the Avengers compound. And she had found herself waiting for Natasha to appear at her door, to ask her on another mission. A mission that would lead her to you once more. Yet, she never came. Instead, she’d end up sitting on her bed, twirling the dead stem in between her fingers.
It was a night such as that, quiet in the compound. Wanda smiled softly at the stem, sitting against the headboard and watching the petalless head spin at the will of her gentle fingers. She hadn't realized she dozed off until she was startled awake, a gasp slipping past her lips as she sat up. She brought her hand up to eye level, relieved to see that the token was still intact. She sat up, eyebrows furrowed as she placed the stem back onto her nightstand.
She climbed out of the bed, her eyes darting around the room for a brief moment, her gut twisting and lurching, a feeling of a new presence lurking in her chest, but upon seeing the dimly lit room vacant of any other soul, she made her way to the dresser. Since she was awake, she might as well change into something more comfortable before going back to bed. Her fingers glided over the fabric of your jacket, a small smile plaguing her lips. The hint of you remained embedded between the stitching, tugging the collar over her nose to breathe in the sweet, pungent smell. She didn't want to take it off, not right now. So, her fingers danced down to the button of her jeans, but she didn't get much farther than that when a light, subtle clatter coming from within her room caused her to freeze. She strained her ears, holding her breath as she listened closely for the sound once more.
Maybe she was hearing things. The noise was soft, barely there. It was an easy thing for her mind to trick her ears with a noise that small. Yet, when it happened again, her head snapped towards the direction it came from.
The rectangular window resting above her bed, another sound as a flash of a small, gray blur hit the glass. Curiosity won her over as she walked back over to her bed, climbing on top and gripping the edge of the window to steadily get to her feet. She furrowed her eyebrows, sliding the window open and going on her toes to lean her head out of it. All the confusion wiped off her face, replaced by a smile when she saw you standing below. You sent her a single wave, and she laughed lightly when your other hand released a handful of pebbles.
"You do know the compound has a front door," she called down to you, resting her chin in her hand. "I'm pretty sure it's always unlocked."
You looked away from her - presumably where the front door was - before you picked your head up, meeting her gaze once more. "What's the fun in that?" you returned. "Do you mind backing up? It's a little cold out here." You made a show by rubbing your arms, your body shaking terribly, and she rolled her eyes at your dramatic act.
"Why didn't you wear a jacket?"
"I gave my one and only to some lady so she didn't freeze to death." You huffed, placing your hands on your hips as a playful smirk lit up your features. She sucked on her bottom lip to hide her growing smile. "I'm probably never going to get that back, now that I think about it."
"I'm sure you can work something out with her," she replied. You shook your arms out, bouncing on your toes, and she straightened her form, her hand falling away from her face. Your little routine was similar to the one you had done when facing off against the juggernaut, and her eyes widened when she made the connection. "There's no way you're going to make it up here, Y/N."
"Just step back, Darling."
"It's two stories," she claimed. "You're going to get-" She gasped when you vanished, pulling away just before a pair of hands appeared in front of her, gripping the edge of the window tightly. She could feel a fit of laughter bubbling in her chest, yet her mind was quick to force a barrier to prevent the escape as she peeked her head out once more, looking down to see your face much closer than it was five seconds ago. "Are we just hanging out now?"
You grinned, your feet scratching against the surface of the building in a desperate attempt to find traction as you dangled two stories off the ground. "The window looked bigger from down there," you admitted.
She pulled back once more to help you, her fingers brushing against your knuckles, but a mischievous smile grew on her face as she moved forward again. "I could help you," she practically sang, resting her chin against her palm once more, leaning to the side as she dragged an index finger over your knuckles gently, "all you gotta do is ask."
You breathed out a laugh, shaking your head as you locked eyes with her. Your jaw clenched with resolve, the tip of your tongue sticking out past your smirking lips, and she straightened her form with eyebrows furrowed in curiosity. Your nails turned whiter the harder you gripped on the ledge, and with a determined glint in your eye, your hands let go of the windowsill. The next few milliseconds felt slow to Wanda, her heart going still in her chest, her eyes widening, and her chin falling open. Terror froze her bones, locking her in place as she stared at the seemingly large space between your fingers and the ledge for what seemed like forever, but it was just mere seconds later that your hands launched forward, catching the other side of the windowsill. She felt her body relax as you laughed, a breath of relief passing her lips as you rested your chin on the surface.
"Help me." Your eyes sparkled at her, brighter than the stars shimmering above, and she was nearly tempted to give into you right then and there. But she only stared at you, your fingers curled around the windowsill in a vise-like grip. "Please help me, Darling." Your voice was soft when you said it, a quiet whisper only audible in the air between you and her. It caused her heart to lurch forward, her stomach to twist. She sent you a smile as she gripped your wrists, and you released your grip with a small breath of relief as you showed exactly just how much you trust the witch. Your touch, as always, sent a wave of fire through her veins burning away any stress that had loaded up on her shoulders.
She forced herself out of her daze with a subtle shake of her head. She pulled as hard as she could, and she couldn't stop a chuckle from slipping past the barrier she put up when her hands slipped, falling back onto the bed with a bounce. But when she looked up at you, half in the room, half out, the laughter that had been bubbling in her chest finally boiled over, and you grinned at the sound.
"I'm glad you're enjoying this," you expressed, your arms falling down to rest against the wall. “I am here to please, after all.” Your hands gripped the bars of her headrest, and a gasp escaped her when the bed lifted slightly at your strength when you pulled against it to heave the rest of your body into the room.
She watched with a wide smile as your head pressed against the pillows, kicking your legs the rest of the way through the window with a grunt. Your body swayed to the side, and her hand covered her mouth to suffocate the gasp when your foot knocked into the lamp resting on the nightstand, her laughter muffled against her palm as everything fell to the floor with a crash. You groaned as your legs remained on the now-empty nightstand, your torso buried amongst the pillows as you stared up at the ceiling.
"I'll use the front door next time," you announced breathlessly, looking at her over the pillows when she laughed once again. "Hey, that looks familiar." You pointed at the jacket, her chin resting against her chest as she remembered she was wearing it. A light pink painted her cheeks, picking her head up as the bed jostled underneath your maneuvering.
She opened her mouth, her brain working hard to come up with an excuse, but a soft knock against the door behind her had her mouth clamping shut. Her eyes widened as she, without thinking, shoved you off the bed. She bit her bottom lip to stop a smile from forming at the noise you made when you hit the ground mere moments before the door opened, repositioning herself on the bed to watch Vision step into the room.
"Are you okay?" he questioned, his tone low and gentle. She sent him a friendly smile. The android was always one to show her kindness, displaying a patience towards her nobody else seemed to grasp. She was thankful for the warm welcome he had given her when she had first arrived, and will always consider him a close friend at the end of the day. "I heard a crash." His eyes landed on the clutter of objects that had fallen to the floor, head tilting slightly as he took a step forward.
"I'm okay, Vis," she assured him, adding a small smile. "I just bumped into the nightstand."
Vision nodded, turning to walk out of the room, but pausing mid-turn. “I read your report from the last mission you did.” Wanda’s back straightened when she heard you scoff lightly from your spot behind the bed, and the urge to kick you was strong. “It seems that none of the other members of the team have encountered these sort of… powerful people before. They must be new to the area.”
“I speak from experience when I say they are definitely not,” you muttered. Wanda had to bite her cheek to muffle the incoming grin threatening her posture. She cleared her throat, an attempt to give you a warning to quiet down, as her eyes remained on Vision.
“I’m just glad you’re okay,” he admitted, and the muffled aww that came from you caused Wanda to subtly push a pillow off the bed in hopes it’d land on your face. “I’m keeping you awake. I’ll leave you to sleep.” He sent her a small, hopeful smile as he nodded, turning to leave the room. “Sweet dreams, Miss Maximoff.” The witch’s eyes followed his retreating figure until it disappeared behind the door before moving to lean over towards you.
“You really don’t know how to stay quiet for-”
Her voice caught in her throat at the lonely pillow sitting on the floor, eyebrows furrowed deeply with confusion.
"Is this what I think it is?" She gasped at the sound of your voice behind her, turning her head quickly to see you standing on the other side of the bed, the petalless flower held in between your fingers as a cheeky, playful smirk grew on your face. "You kept this?"
"No," she snapped, reaching over to pluck it from your hand. You lifted your arms up in a surrender fashion as you stepped away from the bed. She sighed softly as she looked at the stem for a moment before placing it back onto the nightstand, her eyes finding you as you started to wander around the room, smiling warmly as she watched you snoop.
“Who was that guy?” You stopped in front of her dresser, running your fingers along the surface before stopping to pick up a tiny, cardboard box filled with jewelry she’d most likely never wear. “Vis. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him before.”
You turned your head to look at her, an eyebrow raised as a playful smirk tugged a corner of your lips. “He came around the same time I did.” The box fell from your hand and landed on top of the dresser with a jingling smack. “How’d you even know which room was mine?”
“Magic, Miss Maximoff,” you replied, smirking at her. Her heart felt as if it was attempting a breakout by how fast it was beating, causing yet another blush to form on her cheeks. You turned away from her to spin the globe as if you were completely unaware of what you had just done to her. If this was how she reacts to you calling her by her last name, she can’t even begin to fathom what would happen when you finally figure out her first name.
She settled on assuming you had gotten the answer from Natasha. She could only imagine what would’ve transpired if you ended up knocking on Steve Roger’s window.
“This place doesn’t really seem lived in.” It was an instinct for her to look around. Though some of the stuff in the room held her own personal touch, she’d be the first to admit that it still held that “guest room” vibe.
“I’m not really focusing on room décor at the moment,” she said, watching you poke at a feather pinned to the shelf above the dresser. “Did you come all the way here to judge my room?”
You turned away from your prodding to look at her, leaning your hip against the dresser. “No,” you confessed, your lips pinched together yet, somehow, they still formed a smile. “I’ve been thinking about what you said.” She perked up at your words, your fingers picking at each other nervously as hopes rose in her chest. Are you going to join the Avengers? Become a hero? Work with her? She couldn’t slow down her heartbeat when the thought of you being a permanent part of her everyday life materialized in her brain. “I’m not going to join SHIELD’s little band of heroes” - her shoulders slouched - “but I’m willing to step out of the shadows and become… known.” You sighed, crossing your arms over your chest as you stepped away from the dresser and towards her.
She wondered if you had issues with SHIELD by the way you said their name. Emphasized, like you were forcing yourself to say the word. Though if you were with HYDRA since you were a kid, it would be difficult to trust an organization you were raised to despise. Having lost trust in something you’ve never encountered, having lost trust in something you had grown up with. What did you have left to put your faith in? You standing here now, right in front of her, in a building ran by SHIELD. Was it her?
“Look, maybe coming here was a mistake.” She snapped out of her thoughts at the sound of your voice, blinking as she watched you make your way to the door. The doubt seemed to catch up to you, and she found herself becoming desperate to keep you here. “I’ll use the front door this time.”
“Do you trust me?” Your muscles locked up, freezing just before your hand touched the doorknob. You chewed the inside of your cheek as you turned your head to meet her gaze, straightening your form as she climbed off of the bed. She sauntered towards you, her footsteps were slow, seemingly calculated, gradually closing the distance between you and her. Her eyes stayed locked onto yours, bringing her bottom lip in between her teeth as your body automatically turned to face her. “Do you trust me, Y/N?” she asked once more, an eyebrow raising questioningly.
Your head bobbed up and down fast, quickly affirming her suspicion, but the lack of words appeared to not be enough for her.
“I’m gonna need you to say it.” She paused directly in front of you, her heart leaping in her throat, her stomach transforming into a vortex. Her hands subtly shook, nervous as she became close enough to catch the delicate scent of vanilla hidden beneath the ozone aroma you obtain from running in the wind.
“I trust you.” Your voice was soft, low, as if you had trouble getting it above a whisper. You breathed in a trembling breath, and Wanda couldn’t help but smirk at your nervous state. Were you experiencing the same feelings as she was? The desire to close the distance, the thirst to feel your bodies pressed together, the need to press her lips against yours. When your eyes flashed quickly to her lips, she was willing to bet the answer to her unspoken question was yes.
You both stepped forward at the same time, her fingers grazing your jaw as your lips collided with hers in a kiss that sparked a fire in her gut. It was undeniable, the heat that coursed through her veins as your arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer against you. And, as her lungs quickly began begging for air, she knew without a doubt that this is where she was meant to be. In your arms, protected, safe, comfortable. Fit together like a missing piece finally finishing the puzzle. Her lungs thanked her when she was forced away from your lips, breathing in a desperate drink of fresh air as her eyes seemed to be glued to you.
Her hands pulled away from your jaw, one returning to her side as she let the other one trail down your arm. You remained silent as she gripped onto your wrist and tugged you into the direction of her bed, a smile tugging the corner of her lips as you followed her compliantly. “I need you to do something for me,” she offered, reaching for your other wrist as she stopped at the edge of the bed. She pulled you closer to her, just enough to wrap your arms around her before finally releasing you.
You leaned your forehead against hers, her eyes fluttering close at the feeling of you as your noses brushed together just faintly, and you swallowed harshly before you said, “Anything for you, Darling.”
“Stay…” she breathed.
She opened her eyes to the warmth of the sun washing over her face, eyes squinting against the sudden brightness as she stretched in her spot underneath the covers. She turned her head, breathing out softly when she saw the neatly made bed vacant of you. She sat up, chewing the inside of her cheek as her eyes landed on the light sitting perfectly on the nightstand. Was everything that had happened merely just a dream? The heart-warming laughter? The fire-sparking kiss? The bone-chilling touches?
She begrudgingly kicked the blankets off of her, sighing when she saw that she was still wearing the same outfit as she had been last night. She huffed, settling on changing her pants and shirt, yet she shrugged your jacket back on as she made her way out of the bedroom, rubbing the grogginess out of her eyes with the back of her hand as her brain replayed last night over and over in her mind, desperately trying to convince herself that it wasn’t just a dream. That the way you had held her in your arms as she drifted off to sleep to the sound of your soft humming was real.
She stepped into the kitchen, sending a halfhearted wave to Natasha and Clint sitting at the table before stopping in front of the coffee pot. The steam coming from the cup told her that it was made fresh, and she released a soft sigh. At least this morning wasn’t completely full of disappointments.
“Think about it.” She couldn’t stop the smile forming at the sound of your voice behind her, her heart performing somersaults in her chest as she placed the coffee pot onto the counter. Excitement rushed through her, yet her eyes remained forward despite the craving desire to turn around and see you. “Right now, at this exact second, someone somewhere in the world… is eating a doughnut.” The smile on her face partly faded with confusion, a crease in between her brows forming when they furrowed together. Curiosity was what made her finally turn around, her breath catching in her throat to see just how close you truly are, yet a laugh managed to escape her as she crossed her arms over her chest, watching you shove as much of a doughnut as you can into your mouth. You met her gaze behind the doughty treat, her green eyes shining brightly with amusement as you bit the chunk off and slowly started to chew. And though your voice was extremely muffled by the fried dough you had shoveled into your mouth, she was almost certain she heard you say, “And that someone is me.”
“What’d you do to get Speedy to step out of the shadows?” Clint questioned, his voice cutting through the air, causing you to take a step away from the witch and lean against the counter behind you. She silently cursed the archer’s inquisitiveness. “Nat and I have been trying for months.”
“Let’s just say she has a certain… magical touch.” You looked towards the table, a smirk stretching your lips as you raised the doughnut to him. Clint's eyebrows furrowed as he looked down at his empty plate before looking back at you.
“Is that my doughnut?” You quickly shoved the rest of the doughnut into your mouth before anything else can be said, drawing out a soft chuckle from the women as Clint shook his head in mock disappointment, though even the archer had trouble muffling a grin.
Wanda continued to stare at you, seemingly lost in a trance as you teased Clint. She wanted to touch you, her burning hands itching to feel you, her lips aching to be against yours, but she fought against the insatiable desire. She didn’t think it appropriate to put on a show in front of people. She crossed her arms over her chest tightly, an attempt to keep her fingers at bay instead. “Did you meet the other Avengers yet?”
You nodded, quickly swallowing your mouthful of dough. “Everybody but Thor-”
“He’s off-world, Y/N,” Natasha claimed, laughing softly as she stood up. She grabbed her empty mug and made her way to the sink next to you.
“He’s always off-world,” you stated, a light pout forming on your lips.
“He does have a whole kingdom to attend to, sweetie,” the redhead expressed with a small grin, and you rolled your eyes. Wanda couldn’t stop the pang of jealousy ripping through her as she watched Natasha place a comforting hand on your shoulder, but your desire to meet the long-haired man shouldn't have been a surprise. The witch remembers the Thor comics you had back at your apartment, and she smiled softly as she realized your admiration for the God of Thunder.
“Oh!” You clapped your hands suddenly, snapping Wanda out of her daze. “I haven’t met-”
“Agent Romanoff, Agent Barton.” Everybody turned towards the entrance of the kitchen to watch Vision float in, but Wanda’s attention was pulled away from the android when she felt you step next to her, the widest of smiles plastered on your face. “Miss Maximoff…” His greetings trailed off with confusion when his eyes landed on you, an unfamiliar presence to the android.
“Whoa,” you breathed. Wanda felt her face soften at the awe written across your features, a small smile tugging her lips. But your closeness to her didn’t last long before you were gone, appearing directly in front of Vision, causing him to pause his movements with furrowed eyebrows. “You’re an android, dude.”
“My apologies,” Vision expressed, head tilting to the side with curiosity, “but who are you? You’re not in any of the databases.”
“Databases?” Your face contorted to confusion for a brief moment before you playfully smacked him in the shoulder. “No way! You have a whole computer in your head?” You paused, taking a step back as you added, “Wait, your voice sounds familiar.” You turned your head to look at Wanda, pointing at Vision. “Is he-”
“Vis,” Wanda interrupted quickly, “this is Y/N.”
“You never told me he was a robot!” She laughed softly at your excitement.
“I’m not a robot,” Vision confirmed. “I’m a synthezoid.” His brow furrowed once again as you moved to poke his cheek, though his body slowly leaning away from your finger indicated that he wasn't fairly interested in being touched. That didn't seem to stop you. Wanda’s eyes were glued to you as she felt her heart swell.
She didn’t even look away from you when Natasha rubbed against her arm when the Russian stepped next to her, crossing her arms over her chest as she grinned. “I see that look on your face.” The witch finally broke free from her hypnotic state to look at the redhead, eyebrows furrowed deeply as Natasha continued to keep her gaze forward, watching the interaction between you and Vision.
“What look?” Wanda questioned.
She looked at the witch, her head tilting in a way that tells the Sokovian to quit playing dumb. “Like she’s the only one that matters.”
“Nat!” Your voice cut through their conversation, both women turned to you. You pointed at Vision, grinning widely, as you said, “He’s coming on the mission with us.”
“Mission?” Wanda looked to Natasha, puzzled. “What mission?” But the only thing the former assassin did was send her a sly wink before walking away.
“I have to put this thing in my ear?” Since Wanda failed to suppress her grin (again), she was forced to look down in an attempt to hide it. She could hear your voice in the earpiece nestled against her eardrum, walking slowly towards the towering mansion before her, with Vision right by her side. “It’s so small, Nat. What if it gets stuck in there?”
“Has she not worn communication devices on missions before?” Vision’s soft-spoken question only added another to her arsenal. It wasn’t something she had ever thought about until now. How did you manage to communicate with Natasha and Clint during your HYDRA raids? She was going to have to find time to slip one of her many questions in, cross them off the ever-growing list. She decided to simply shrug at the android's inquiry.
"Why would the suit be made of leather, Y/N?" Wanda breathed out loudly through her nose, a semi-failed attempt to smother her laughter. She had wished she could hear the rest of your bickering, but Vision cut in, making it near impossible to hear what you had said in response to Natasha.
"How did you come to know Y/N?" She glanced at him, sighing softly as the memory came to mind as if it had happened just yesterday. The first time she laid eyes on you - that cocky grin, the overconfident attitude, the know-it-all state of mind - she had despised you. She wanted absolutely nothing to do with you for how much you had reminded her of her brother. Yet, the more time she spent with you, the more she came to fall for your charm. She was quick to judge you, yet you were quicker to show her just how truly wrong she was.
"We met on a mission," she answered, stopping at the bottom of the grand staircase leading into the fancy manor. She turned to face him - the tux he had decided to wear suited him fairly well, yet she was sure the black bow perfectly knotted at his neck was supposed to match with her backless, dark green dress. "She saved my life." In more ways than you'll ever know.
"I find it odd how I can't find her in my database," he uttered, seemingly talking to himself out loud as his eyes drifted away from Wanda for a fleeting moment before he snapped back onto her. "Have I told you you look wonderful tonight, Miss Maximoff?" He held his elbow out towards her, and she smiled softly as she looped her arm through his before he led her up the stairs.
A frown plagued her lips briefly when she realized just how quiet the comms had become in her ear, but the emptiness in her gut didn't last long when her eyes instantly found you standing by Natasha's side at the buffet table upon walking into the ballroom. It was like you sensed her, too, as you picked your head up. She could tell your mouth was full of food by the way your cheeks puffed out, and she laughed lightly as you sent her a wave, but you quickly pulled your arm down when the Russian sent you a subtle elbow into your stomach. She watched from the other side of the room as you offered Natasha what looked like a finger sandwich. She has been caught in yet another trance, captivated by your victorious grin when the redhead accepted the food from you, enthralled by the laughter that she could hear above all other noises present in the room when you mockingly presented Clint a doughnut from the table.
“I ordered you a drink.” Wanda turned to look at Vision, leaning his elbows against the bar with an untouched drink sitting in front of him. She doesn’t remember making her way to the bar, though it could’ve been the android guiding her away from the vacant dance floor. Surely if he hadn’t, she would’ve made a scene by crossing no man’s land to get to you. He slid the drink towards her, and she pursed her lips together tightly before forcing herself to turn her back on you. “I don’t see why we can’t enjoy ourselves during a mission.” He smiled warmly at her as she wrapped a hand around the cool glass.
He unintentionally reminded her exactly why they were even attending this ball in the first place. The owner of the mansion, a man in ties with HYDRA, has been reported to be in possession of some sensitive information regarding a certain project that held a few participants; some willing, others… not so much. If there was any information on your mother, it'd be here.
"Would you care to dance, Miss Maximoff?" She looked at Vision, blinking out of her daze as she watched him offer her his elbow. She hadn't realized that the event had started until he asked, and she was already looping her arm through his once again, letting him guide her to the semi-occupied dance floor.
The two of them settled into a proper position; hands interlocked, his other hand resting on her shoulder blade as she felt the fabric of his tux underneath her fingers when she, too, placed her hand against his shoulder. They swayed in sync with the music, following in step with the other dancers. Though it seems that not everybody wanted to begin dancing just yet, the very few couples that made it onto the floor were more than eager to get the ball rolling.
It wasn't much longer that your voice crackled to life in her ear. "Y'know, if you would just let me use my powers-"
“Do not use your powers, Y/N,” Natasha quickly interrupted. “And stop pressing your finger against your ear. You look ridiculous.” Vision swayed to the left at just the right time, giving Wanda the perfect opportunity to watch as you pull your hand away from your head. She smiled as you leaned against the bar, a glass of what seemed to be whiskey just barely hanging in between two delicate fingers, though you didn’t seem to be interested in drinking the amber liquid at all. “Does anybody have eyes on Malick yet?”
“Negative, Ghost Rider,” you proclaimed.
“Maybe you’d do a better job at locating him if you weren’t attached to that bar,” Clint teased; she could hear the smirk in his tone.
“Hey, Alfred, there’s some people at table three waiting for more of those finger sandwiches,” you countered, and her eyes found Clint to watch him stare daggers at you across the room, a silver tray of tiny food in his palm, before he ducked into the crowd, disappearing within seconds.
Wanda looked back towards you, her heartbeat speeding up the moment her eyes connected with yours, and the playful smirk that tugged a corner of your lips caused her stomach to twist, but it all ended too soon when Vision swayed back to the right. Her line of sight was ultimately blocked by the android. “Y/N’s an interesting character,” Vision commented. “I have yet to see her in action, but her beating heart lives to tell the tale of her adventures. Perhaps she’d fit in well with the other team members.”
The witch focused on Vision's face, smiling softly at him. “Y/N isn’t interested in becoming an Avenger,” she assured the android. “She doesn’t see herself being a hero.”
Vision pursed his lips, eyes drifting away from her as he took a moment to think. “You said she saved your life.” He looked back at her in time to see her subtly nod. “Then I believe she’s a hero already.”
Wanda stared at the android’s smiling face, her mind at a loss for words to defend your decision, as Vision stepped away when the song came to a slow end. People that hadn’t been interested in dancing with their loved ones during the first round finally stepped onto the dance floor just as the second song kicked on, and it wasn’t that much longer that the area became crowded, leaving Wanda no chance in hell in finding where you were.
She sent a look towards the bar, yet the untouched glass of whiskey only remained where you had been standing before her view of it became obscured by the gathering crowd. She sighed in defeat, stepping around swaying couples in an attempt to get off of the floor, but a hand catching her wrist forced her to stop. She didn’t get a chance to look over her shoulder before whoever grabbed hold of her pulled, the force of the tug causing her to spin, and her breath caught in her throat when your arms caught her before she fell. Your face was mere inches away from hers, and though your usual vanilla scent had been masked by whatever cologne Natasha had sprayed on you, she could still catch a hint of that ozone aroma that seems to always radiate off of you.
“I didn’t think of you as much of a dancer, Y/N,” she commented, wrapping her arms around your neck as your hands delicately gripped her waist. You laughed lightly, and she was close enough to you to have your minty breath wash over her face.
“I’m not,” you admitted, “but I’m a fast learner.”
“You seem to be fast at everything.”
You grinned, tilting your head slightly. “I’m nothing if not fast.” But then you leaned forward, your lips brushing against her ear as your hands slid up her body, your fingers gliding over her exposed back. A ripple of chills erupted throughout her spine at your touch as you whispered, “But there are a few things I’m willing to slow down for.” She was grateful when the gasp that built up in her chest got caught in her throat as you pulled back to look her in the eye.
“Malick has entered the area.” Clint’s voice cut through Wanda like a hot knife, the archer forcefully dragging her out of the hypnotic daze you had put her under. The witch tried to peer over your shoulder, scouring the crowd to get eyes on the man, but you tugged her closer to you, her shining emerald irises melting into you as a smirk grew on your lips.
“Eyes on me, Darling.” Have you forgotten about the mission? Was Clint's voice not a reminder of why you were here? She couldn't really bring it upon herself to question it, your hands on the small of her back had her mind reeling with feelings she had a hard time controlling. Chills erupted through her as if she had stepped foot into an ice bath, yet her face was hot to the touch as she was sure a bright, obvious red stained her cheeks. With her eyes lost in yours, the outside world didn't seem to matter much to her. “You look absolutely stunning this evening.”
Her eyes tore away from yours to glance at the suit you were sporting, and though the dark green tie wrapped around your neck didn't match Natasha's silky black dress, it did make your smile seem impossibly brighter. The two of you seemed to match better than your “dates.”
“And you look very dashing,” she returned, her eyes snapping back onto yours like a magnet.
She felt as if she were in a bubble with you that not even the sound of the music penetrated, protected from the world around her as she continued to spin in your arms. She never wanted this moment to end, the way you looked into her eyes as if you were finally breathing for the first time, the way your fingers made her skin so hot that it could start a fire, yet so chilling that it caused her teeth to shiver.
“Natasha tried squeezing a dress on me, but I'm not particularly a big fan of the breeze down there when I run.” She laughed lightly, and you smiled at her as she followed your steps, twirling around the other couples as her focus was locked onto you.
“Should we talk about last night?”
“The part where I expertly climbed through your window or the part where we spooned half-moon style until you dozed off?”
“How about the part in between all of that?” she suggest. You stopped moving suddenly, her body pressing against yours as your noses gently brushed together, and a tight knot formed in her gut, her breath hitching in her throat. Just a tilt of her chin and she’d be able to relive what had happened last night - the kiss that never seemed to leave her lips.
You grinned at her, doing the very thing she had thought about doing as you tilted your chin, yet your mouth only grazed hers in a ghost of a kiss. Her eyelids fluttered closed. “Would you like to recreate the moment?” you whispered, your lips moving against hers, and the knot in her stomach tightened with anticipation as the desire to close the distance in between your mouths burned in her chest.
“Y/N…” she breathed, her voice pleading, and her eyes opened to look into yours. There was a fleeting though in the back of her mind, something trying to break free from the hypnosis she had been caught in, trying to clear the fog your closeness had brought into her brain. It was quiet. No music, no other sounds of conversations. Not even the sound of the team spewing mission nonsense in her ear. Whatever it was scratching at her thoughts seemed to win as she tore her eyes away from you, a gasp escaping her throat as she saw everybody around her just… standing there. As if somebody had pushed pause on a remote. “What’s happening?”
You looked around, an indentation forming in between your eyebrows as you, too, saw what she sees. She watched you as you closed yours eyes, released a breath, and took a step away from you. She felt the bubble that had formed around the two of you break, the dancers continuing on with their twirling, the music playing through the air, and the team’s voices coming through the comms tucked away in her ear as if nothing had happened. You looked at her, seemingly frozen in the spot a few feet away from her, breathing out a sigh that caused your shoulders to fall, and she had just taken a step towards you when you finally decided to move. She called out for you, but you continued pushing your way through the dancers, and she didn’t hesitate to follow off of the dance floor.
She watched you reach into your ear, pulling out the earpiece and dropping it to the ground just as she managed to catch your wrist, pulling you to a stop. You turned to look at her, a melancholic smile drawn on your face as she felt you almost instantly relax the moment she touched you. “What-”
“Let’s have some fun.” Using her grip on your wrist, you were the one to start pulling her away from the crowd, guiding her through a random door to put some distance between you and the ballroom. She didn’t have the heart to let go of her hold on you, the sensation she gets from touching you has been something she craved ever since that first time.
The two of you ducked down a hallway, the smile growing on Wanda's face as adrenaline pumped through her blood. There was a high chance of them getting caught now that they snuck away from the event, their covers blown almost instantly if they were spotted for even a split-second, yet that was what made this exciting. And, with you right by her side, it couldn't have been better.
"We weren't getting much done in one room," you proclaimed as your arm slipped from her grasp. "Besides, I already forgot what Malice looks like." She didn't even bother correcting you on the name, she knew it was something you weren't interested in. What's a name to you when you were inches away from finally getting the information you wanted? It was close enough anyway.
"What was that thing you did in the ballroom?" Your walking gradually stopped as you slowly turned to look at her. Two white, swinging doors rested to your left and, peeking through the slim windows, Wanda could see the kitchen on the other side.
"I don't know," you confessed.
Her mouth opened, but she stopped herself from speaking when a pair of white, double doors swung open, nearly smacking you as a waiter balancing two silver trays stepped into the hall. She didn't pay either of you any mind as she scurried past, hurrying to bring the food to the ballroom.
Both of your eyes followed the scrambling waiter for a moment before she turned back to you. "Is that what you see all the time?"
You looked at her. "Not all the time." You crossed your arms over your chest in a protective manner. You paused for a moment, your eyes melting into hers as if you were searching for something, and she was unsure whether or not you found it. The doors swung open once more, another waiter dashing in between them with a tray. You sighed, shaking your head slightly as your arms fell to your side, and you turned to continue walking just when the door flew open. Her hand covered her mouth to muffle a gasp when a waiter stepped out in front of you, the tray of drinks held in his palm hitting your shoulder and the glasses fell onto you. The clear liquid soaked into your white button-up and black suit jacket as the tray clattered to the ground loudly.
The waiter mumbled an apology as he fell to his knees to clean up the mess, but you seemed to be frozen in place. Wanda gripped your elbow and tugged you further down the hall, away from the kitchen. "Y/N-"
"I don't know how I did it," you quickly interrupted, a soft yet small smile tugging the corner of your lips as your gaze fell to the floor. "I didn't even know I could-"
"Hey…" Her voice, as soft as silk, trailed off as she stepped towards you. She brought her hands up to cup your face, gently guiding your head up to meet your eyes as she sent you a warm smile. "There's some aspects to my powers I'm still learning. Not understanding a power you've had for less than a year is nothing to be ashamed of."
You leaned into her touch and she yearned to know what you were thinking as you stared into her eyes. She knew the end results, yet she still attempted to catch a glimpse of your thoughts. She breathed out softly when she saw what she expected - blurred splotches of random colors, shifting way too fast for her to latch onto even a single comprehensible thought.
Suddenly, you collapsed into her. The scent of alcohol burned her nose when she caught you on instinct, her arms hooking under yours as your head rested against her stomach, a gasp escaping her throat, yet she had just opened her mouth when a deep voice cut through the air.
"Hey!" Wanda's head snapped towards the source, her eyes widening as she felt you slowly straightened your form, though a hand tightly gripping onto her elbow prevented one of her arms from falling back to her side. She held onto you by your waist as you leaned into her, a wide smile stretching your fingers as your arm flew up into the air, causing her to wobble as you sent the two suited men an enthusiastic wave. They closed the distance, arms crossed over their chest as they glared at you and Wanda. "What are you two doing back here?"
"Hello, sirs," you greeted, your words slurred together, slipping out of Wanda's arm to fall into one of the men. He, too, caught you out of instinct, yet he seemed to have regretted it by the face he made at the smell of the wet alcohol stain on your shirt. "Do you even understand how beautiful this lady right here is?" You lazily picked up an arm, a finger pointing right at Wanda. She could feel her face flushing, sucking on her lips to fight against the smile threatening her posture.
"Y/N," Wanda urgently whispered, reaching for you, but you easily dodged her. She sent the men an apologetic look.
"Thee best girlfriend I ever had," you announced. Wanda reached for you again, gripping the hem of your jacket and tugging you back to her. "My beautiful, beautiful Darling." You placed your palm gently against her cheek as her arm wrapped around your waist, letting you use her as a crutch. She was doing everything in her power not to let the smile win. The heat building in her cheeks was bad enough.
She returned her look to the gentlemen, deciding to send them a rueful smile. At least this way the battle between her posture and her feelings would meet a stalemate. "I'm sorry. I've been trying to keep her on a tight leash, but she's a slippery one."
"Well, neither of you should be here," the first man expressed, his voice a bit more softer than it was in the beginning. "Let's get you ladies back to the party. And you should make sure she's cut off." The men took a step forward as Wanda nodded, but you placed yourself in front of her, swaying ever so slightly so perfectly well that even she thought you were going to fall.
"Come on," the second man declared, raising his arm to grab onto your elbow, but the movement was so fast for Wanda to process that the man just crumpled to the ground in milliseconds. It even took the other one a moment to realize what had happened, though he didn't have much time to reach for his gun before he, too, fell to the floor.
You turned to her with a wide grin, arms spread out wide as if asking her if she was impressed. And, to be honest, she actually was a little impressed. "I saw that in a movie." Your arms fell back to your sides as you looked down at one of the unconscious men. "The drunk bit," you clarified.
She furrowed her eyebrows, looking over her shoulder towards the kitchen doors for a brief moment before turning back to you. She took a step closer to you, raising an eyebrow with curiosity. "Is that why you got a waiter to spill alcohol on you?" she questioned. "How'd you even know when they were coming out?"
You scoffed, grinning at her. "Why do you think I attached myself to the bar?" you returned. "The waiters stick to a pattern. Two trays of food go out first, followed by the tiny little drink samples." You shrugged, nodding your head towards the rest of the hall before turning to step over the men. She watched as you walked away, a smile tugging her lips as she shook her head softly. From past experiences with you on missions, she had just assumed you were the punch first, ask later kind of person. But she sees now just how strategic you could be. She quickly followed you.
“I’m sure there would’ve been a quicker way we could’ve gotten past them without drawing it out like that.”
“Nat doesn’t want me using my powers,” you said. “Besides, I kinda always wanted to try that little act. And it was more fun.” Though you did use your powers, just slightly, she doesn’t deem it necessary to point that out. However, there was a little something she did want to bring up, and the thought of it made the butterflies in her stomach throw a fit.
“Girlfriend, huh?” She grinned at you when you glanced at her, and you laughed softly as you turned a corner at the end of the hall.
You weren’t looking at her, but she could see the hints of a smirk imprinted on your face as you added, “I’m sure you loved being called my girlfriend.” You weren’t wrong. The idea of being called your girlfriend made her low-key giddy, but she’d never admit that to you. Not in a million years.
“You never did tell me how you met Natasha and Clint,” she claimed, an attempt to calm the butterflies in her gut by changing the subject.
You hummed thoughtfully, your lips pursed together as if you had to think about the moment of meeting the redhead and the archer. “It was a dark and stormy night-”
“Y/N.” She laughed softly as your name rolled off her tongue, shaking her head as she playfully shoved you.
A grin stretched your lips as you looked at her. “Let’s see…” You trailed off, breathing out heavily. “Well, I had just escaped HYDRA’s death grip and I was out on my own for the first time. I had always thought about finding my mom whenever I got out of that place, so it quickly became my priority.” You met her gaze as the two of you continued walking down the hall. “I knew of one of their small bases in the suburbs of New York, so I figured I’d start there first. Turns out, SHIELD had information of it, too, and decided to send Red and Robin Hood. Long story short, I saved Nat’s life even though she’ll deny it.” You smiled at her as you turned your gaze on the area before you.
“What was your mom like?” She could see the falter of your smile, though this one lasted a bit longer than it normally does. She figured you didn’t fully know the answer to that, though your mind could have created an image of her through the very few memories you have.
“She used to sing me this song at bedtime. It had always helped me fall asleep.” Your smile appeared reminiscent, the ghostly echoes of your mother hidden in plain sight at the front of your mind. “It was her own little rendition of a Guns N’ Roses song.” She grinned warmly at you as you hummed a sound that seemed similar to Sweet Child O’ Mine, yet slower and softer. And then you laughed softly, shaking your head as you said, “She was much better at it. She said the words and everything. I just…” You trailed off, biting your bottom lip as your brain worked overtime, and Wanda only wanted to know what it was you were thinking about.
“She seems like a great mom,” Wanda expressed, her voice soft and gentle.
Your chest puffed out, your eyes twinkling when you looked at her, nodding. “She was,” you concurred. “One of the best. She always took care of me.” And then you sighed, your shoulders slouching as you cleared your throat. “One time, I fell and scraped my knee. I was screaming my head off, but… she brought me in her arms and rocked me until I settled down.” She slowed to a stop when you did, your eyes glued to a spot on the floor as you chewed the inside of your cheek, a thin, comfortable layer of silence flowing through the hall before you turned to face her. “And then she brought my face into her hands and told me, ‘What hurts today, hurts less tomorrow.’” She was almost certain she could see a gloss covering your eyes, tears threatening your care-free structure, but you looked down to the ground between your feet before she could fully confirm it. “That was the last thing she said to me before I was taken.”
She wanted to reach for you. To bring you into her arms and hold you. She refrained. You seemed to be internally struggling to keep your posture, and hugging you would only shatter that resistance.
"She was wrong." Her eyes refocused onto yours when you picked your head up. There was a hardness to them she hadn't seen before, shutting off the emotions threatening to put you in a vulnerable state you weren't ready to reveal. "What hurts today only hurts more tomorrow."
"Let's go through here." You nodded your head towards the closest door near you, breathing in deeply as you turned away from her. She watched as you reached the door, twisting the knob and disappearing into the room. "Do you think Malice has a dungeon?" you questioned when she joined you, her eyes scanning the empty bedroom briefly before they found you rummaging through the nightstand. She couldn't help but smile softly, yet the worry she felt towards you was thick in her mind as she moved to another side of the room, eyeing the framed picture of a family resting on a desk in the corner. "A man who has ties with HYDRA and a house like this is just bound to have a dungeon. It's practically textbook."
"What would be in this dungeon?" She figured she'd play along, get your mind off the past and onto the present. She glanced at you when you didn't answer right away as she opened a drawer of the desk, shaking her head when she caught you snooping through the bookshelf.
"Probably evil things," you replied, her eyes casting down to the contents of the drawer she had pulled open. "Experiment tables. Science equipment. Prison cells of indisposable victims forced to succumb to these so-called tests." She pushed past all the usual things you'd find in a desk - pens and pads of papers, scissors and paper clips, items that held no value to the mission.
She furrowed her eyebrows, stepping back to eye the drawer. It seemed bigger than it actually was, which only meant that there was a false bottom. As she pried her fingers underneath the panel, you spoke again.
"Or maybe he uses it for personal pleasure," you suggested, yet she was barely processing your words as she lifted the board out of the drawer and peered to the bottom. "You know how self-indulgent these kinds of people can be." She picked up the handful of files, but before she could open the topmost folder, something fell out of the pile and landed in the drawer with a deep thud. “Hedonist.” She reached into the compartment, her fingers wrapping around a small object. With furrowed eyebrows, she began flipping through one of the files. “I asked Vis for the word of the day.”
"Actually, if you think about it, performing experiments on unwilling participants is probably his guilty pleasure." You shrugged loosely, and though she wanted to look over at you, to see you, to know exactly what was written in your eyes as you spoke, she was too enthralled by the files in her hands to turn away. "Y'know, evil scientist and all that jazz."
"He probably has a whole second dungeon for all his fantasies. Gross." She heard a soft click, followed by the sound of gears turning. When she looked at you, the bookshelf you had been standing in front of had disappeared into the wall, revealing a staircase leading down into darkness. You met her gaze, a smile crawling on your face, as you said in a spooky tone, "Dungeon." You laughed excitedly, nodding your heads towards the entrance. Before she could stop you, you stepped through the hidden doorway. Her eyes returned to the small object she picked up, a flash drive, your name written in neat, black ink on a piece of tape covering the top of it. And the files, enough to put Malick away for a long time.
Her finger hovered over her ear, her mind racing as she thought about bringing the team into this. Your lack of comms was deemed useful as she pressed against the earpiece, turning on the device with a single tap, and her mind was flooded with the voices of the others.
"Are you coming?" Your voice came from the darkness, a slight echo in your words. "I need your glow stick hands! Come on, Darling." Her heart lurched uneasily in her chest as she closed the document and placed the stack back into the drawer, slipping the flash drive into her bra before moving to join you.
"How'd you even know this was here?" It couldn't have been a coincidence that the first room the two of you enter gave you access to an actual secret dungeon.
"I told you, Darling," you expressed. "It's all textbook. Evil scientist plus big mansion equals secret dungeon." You glanced at her as the two of you stepped off the final stair, the darkness illuminated in a red glow from Wanda's fingers, and a smile could be seen in the dim light. “Let’s just hope we don’t find what makes Malice… happy.” She raised an eyebrow at you, though the hint of a smirk tugging her lips didn’t go unnoticed by you. "I memorized the blueprints of the house, gave the building a quick run through with my amazing speed, and noticed the place didn't match the design." You shrugged nonchalantly as you continued forward, your body vaguely seen the farther you marched away.
“So, you did use your powers?” It was difficult to see you now that you were outside the radius of the glow, but she could just make out your frozen figure as you slowly turned around to look at her.
“Don’t tell Nat.” She laughed softly as she walked towards you, her glow-free hand resting on your shoulder in an attempt to pat it, but the instant spark she felt jolted through her among feeling you only caused her touch to linger. You met her gaze, sensing your muscles relaxing underneath her palm.
“Consider it between just the two of us,” she assured in a low voice, her stomach churning excitedly when your tongue slowly flickered out to run across your lips. The voices in her ear pulled her out of the hypnotic state your eyes drew her into, turning her head away from you as her hand fell from your shoulder. That was her fault, she supposed, forgetting to turn off the comms the second time around. Still, she continued forward with your trailing behind her for once. “So, when you were a kid-”
“Some may argue I still am,” you interrupted and she glanced back at you to confirm what she had thought - the biggest, cheekiest smile making your face glow somehow brighter than her fingers. She grinned softly, shaking her head as she returned her gaze forward.
“It’s been, what? Twenty-something years? But you had your powers for just a few months.”
A scoff came from the bottom of your throat and she didn’t really need to look at you to know you were shaking your head. “Not all experiments were successful, Darling.” The statement caused chills to dance up her spine, her jaw clenching tightly at the rage building in her chest. It made her sick to think about how willing she had been when HYDRA first approached her and her brother, not knowing there was a whole other side of the corporation they were keeping hush-hush.
But it was you running (at human speed, to her surprise) ahead of her when the light at the end of the dark hallway came to view not too long later, laughter bouncing off the walls, that had sedated the anger growing in her veins. Going through years of torture didn’t seem to negate your high spirits. The pain you had endured at the hands of scientists seemed to only make you stronger, showing how hard it is to truly knock you down.
Her eyes seemed to struggle at the sudden bright light flooding through the hall when you touched the door, pushing it open and leading her through the entrance into a lab full of tools she couldn’t even begin to understand. “See? Experiment tables. Science equipment. Now all we’re missing is the prison cells and I’d be 100% right.”
She watched as you made your way to a table, surgery tools lined up perfectly on the surface. A flash of discomfort crossed your features, though she couldn’t see your whole face to be completely sure. “Are you okay, Y/N?” You blinked, and she saw your shoulders relax at the sound of her voice before you turned your head to look at her. A melancholic smile tugged your lips once again, and she sighed softly as she crossed her arms over her chest. “Maybe we shouldn’t be here,” she suggested.
“If this Malice guy has anything on my mom, it’d be here,” you declared, moving away from the table.
“You can memorize blueprints, but you can’t remember his name?” You stopped to look at her, eyebrows furrowed deeply with confusion.
“The guy’s name isn’t Malice?” You hummed, shrugging carelessly as you made a beeline for a filing cabinet. She walked further into the lab as you combed through the drawers of the cabinet, sifting through folder after folder.
She didn’t even know where to begin searching, but a quick scan of the counters, she spotted a laptop resting on top of a pile of papers. She made her way to it, opening it, and she had half a mind to pull out the flash drive out of her pocket and plug it in, though your voice cutting through the air pulled that thought away from her.
“There’s nothing in the cabinet,” you claimed. “Y’know, maybe Malice isn’t even the scientist. He’s probably just the guy funding it all.” You were by her side before she even blinked, her heart leaping in her chest at your sudden appearance. “What’d you find?”
“It’s locked.” She showed you the screen requesting a password, watched as you chewed the inside of your cheek for a moment as you stared at the laptop. “They’re not just going to leave a piece of paper lying around, either. This isn’t a movie.”
“No,” you agreed, “but maybe we can collect enough clues to figure the password out.” She furrowed her eyebrows as you stepped backward, meeting her gaze as you grinned at her. “Passwords are almost always sentimental to the owner. Sentimentality is all over the place if you look closely enough.”
She didn’t have a chance to say something before a rush of air nearly knocked her over , suddenly being left alone in the creepy lab, and she huffed in annoyance as she turned back to the laptop. She didn’t know where you had gone, or how long you’d be, but the inclination to plug the USB into the portable computer had her reaching towards her neck.
The password was fairly easy to guess - simply enough, they were one of those people who put the answer within the hint, which is nearly just as bad as those who put it on a sticky note and hang it near the computer. Even so, she got into the system without any issues and, with you being nowhere near her, she pulled the flash drive out of her bra and plugged it in.
Her heart fell at the picture attached to the digital file the USB pulled up. A little kid that she could only assume was you. A look of fear written on your face, eyes wide and lips tugged into a frown. She scrolled through it, a sad, soft sigh coming from her nose as she read through the file. Taken at the age of six, you had been poked and prodded for twenty years. A list of surgeries done on you in an attempt to grant you powers, protocols to ensure you stay on their side. All failed. Because not all experiments were successful. Pictures tracking your growth - kid, teenager, adult - yet each one showed just how badly they had treated you. She wondered how close to death they brought you before they finally managed to get their hands on-
The door opening behind her caused her to jump, pulling the USB out of the computer and tucking it back into the safety of her bra before she spun around, eyes wide and hands instantly in the air as soldier after soldier filed into the room. An older woman in a lab coat strolled in the midst of them, the armed fighters parting like the red sea.
She paused a few feet away from Wanda, her lips pursed together as she looked the witch up and down, surveying her. “You’re not the one I’m looking for,” she finally claimed, crossing her arms over her chest, an eyebrow raised as her eyes roamed around the room, and her shoulders fell slightly when she failed to find whatever it was she was seeking. She met Wanda’s gaze once more, gesturing to the Sokovian to drop her hands. “There’s no need for that, honey. We’re not going to shoot you.” Yet, despite her words, the soldiers did not lower their weapons.
“Who are you?” Wanda asked, her voice low and dangerous.
“Dr. Wanker!” You appeared in the middle of the room, a gust of wind pushing against Wanda's face, all the weapons were now focused onto you, though you didn’t seem too concerned about that. You crossed your arms over your chest, grinning widely at the scientist. "And here I thought I was never going to see you again. Did you know that you made top three of my list?"
She turned her attention back to Wanda, her eyes holding a hint of irritation as she moved her hands to grip her hips. “My name is Dr. Robin Banker,” she claimed, ignoring you. Wanda met your gaze, your eyes sparkling despite the current situation, and the smile on your face put her at ease. She wasn't worried, there was no need to be. Not if you were here.
"My hate list," you stated, speaking to Wanda now. "She's number two." You held up two fingers, laughing lightly as you took a step forward, yet the click of the guns aimed right at you caused Wanda to tense. "Oh, please, Dr. Wanker, you know these guns aren't going to stop me." She rolled her eyes, seemingly annoyed with your cocky confidence. Or she was irritated by the play you're making on her name. "Besides…" you smirked, your voice lowering as you continued, "I'm not even the one you should be worried about."
"You don't think we already know of Miss Maximoff's talents?" Robin laughed softly, shaking her head. "Sweetheart, she's more like you than you think." She strolled her way to Wanda, moving to run her fingers down the witch's face as if they were old friends, but she pulled away just before the doctor could touch her. She ignored it as she added, "She joined HYDRA. She got her powers from us, just like you."
Wanda looked at you, meeting your eyes, silently pleading. For what? Forgiveness? Understanding? She couldn't be sure.
"And, yet, here she is. Going against the bad guys to fight with the good guys. She's everything you hate, just like me." You smirked, shrugging loosely as humor filled your sparkling eyes. How could you be so nonchalant with a squadron of guns pointed directly at you?
Wanda couldn't stop Pietro from entering her mind, her muscles locked in place with fear. Were you to meet the same demise?
"Oh, sweetie." The doctor's voice was condescending, moving behind Wanda to stand slightly behind her, her hands lingering on the witch's shoulders. "She volunteered."
Your smile has yet to falter. You didn't seem to take Robin's words to heart; you see that Wanda had deviated just as you had, volunteered or not. It didn't affect your opinions on the witch. No, it seemed to only make you more relaxed than you were five seconds ago. Perhaps finally finding something out about the Sokovian's past made you feel better. She'd be the first to admit she hasn't exactly been sharing much with you. Hell, you still have no idea what her name is.
"HYDRA just can't seem to keep their subjects in check, huh?" You took another step, Wanda's eyes flashing to the cluster of soldiers in time to see their trigger fingers tense. Her heart was in her throat at this point, giving her lungs a difficult time to catch some air. Witnessing just how on edge you make these soldiers, moving every centimeter you moved, she finally figured out what it was she was silently pleading for - she wanted you to stop moving.
The heavy huff Robin breathed through her nose told her that she wasn't too pleased with your teasing. She was trying to get under your skin, yet you were only getting under hers. And you made it look so easy. "What did I tell you, my naïve child?" she declared, her hands falling away from Wanda, and the witch saw the slight movement in your shoulders. Letting yourself relax even more now that the scientist wasn't touching the witch. "You shouldn't trust anybody."
"I learned that when you started treating me like your little guinea pig," you claimed.
"Those trials made you what you are!" she proclaimed, aggravated, enraged. Betrayed? She appeared to have this sick, twisted vision in her mind that you were her own flesh and blood, and being in cahoots with HYDRA's greatest enemy… She looks at that as being stabbed in the back. "I gave you a gift and you're taking it for granted!"
You chuckled, but Wanda seemed to have a difficult time finding the humor in the sound. "You have no idea what I am or what you gave me," you countered. "Super speed isn't my power. I am super speed." Wanda's gasp seemed to be heard despite the softness of it, the thick silence in the room could be carved with a butter knife. I'm nothing if not fast. "Do you understand how frustrating it is for me to move this slow? You can't begin to fathom how painful it is to force myself to slow down enough to even have this conversation!" She could see the fury in your eyes, the clenched jaw, tight fists, the hatred you held towards Robin, towards HYDRA. You were… angry. Genuinely so. The playfulness Wanda had always seen on you was nowhere to be found, and it caused shivers to erupt up her spine as she processed what she was feeling. Fear.
It wasn't even a second later that you had appeared directly behind Wanda and Robin, nobody being able to process the movement until your voice cut through the air once more, causing the women to nearly jump out of their skin.
"I'm faster than a bullet. I'm unkillable. Practically immortal, but I still feel pain." At your words, the soldiers waved their guns to point at you, but it was too late. You were already gone, the gust of wind caused by your sudden disappearance nearly knocked the ladies off their feet. "Shoot me!" Wanda followed the sound of your voice, her eyes landing on you between the cluster of soldiers.
They separated, scrambling apart to point their guns at you once more. Your arms were held out wide, palms facing her, as you quickly became surrounded by weapons. "Y/N, stop!" Wanda pleaded, your gaze meeting hers. Your arms lowered, and the rage she had seen in your eyes vanquished the instant you breathed out. "Please." She took a step, her arm reaching for you, watching the relaxation of your constricted jaw, the slight tilt of your head as you nearly met her outstretched hand.
Robin saw it at that moment. The connection between you and Wanda is as clear as day. "You never did listen to me when you were growing up," Robin announced. "You were always the trouble child out of the class. Even now, I see just how little my words affect you."
"What are you on about?" you questioned.
"Trust. It's such a delicate thing, isn't it?" Robin grinned. "You've come to trust SHIELD, yet do they trust you?" Your form straightened, your feet shuffling at the scientist's words. "I'm aware of the others. The android, the archer. The assassin. We know they're here." She crossed her arms over her chest, knowing she had your attention by the way your eyes snapped onto hers. "Let's see just how fast you truly are, my child." She laughed softly, a taunting sound.
A gunshot echoed throughout Wanda's head, her heart stilling at the sound, her breath hitching in her throat, yet your eyes met hers within seconds. It took her only a moment to process that it had been heard through her comms, not here. You were still standing, but that couldn't be said at whatever was happening on the other end of her earpiece. It took you even less time to piece Robin's words together. Within seconds, the soldiers were on the floor and you were nowhere to be seen before she took a step towards you. Wanda didn't hesitate to run to the door.
“Fascinating…” Wanda ignored the soft-spoken word Robin breathed out, desperate to catch up to you, but she knew it’d be too late by the time she reached you. "She doesn't know much about you, does she?" The scientist’s voice stopped her dead in her tracks, turning to look at the woman Wanda quickly came to loathe. "You have something of mine." The flash drive tucked away in her dress seemed to only grow heavier, yet the witch stood her ground, her jaw locked, her hands clenched into tight fists by her sides. "Despite many of Y/N's thoughts about me, I do have a nice side. Consider it a gift, from me to you." She looked away from Wanda, releasing a heavy sigh as she pondered the mess of unconscious guards, humming a soft, familiar song as she turned to walk deeper into the lab.
Wanda took this as an opportunity to leave, racing down the hall and up the stairs, desperate to recall the way to the ballroom to catch up to you. When she burst through the doors, time only seemed slow as most of the guests - all gathered in the middle of the dance floor - turned to her at the sound of her arrival. Her foot kicked something that drew her attention, her eyes averting to the ground to see the bullet steadily roll away from her, and it only took the one for her to notice the many. Bullets riddled the floor, yet nobody in the area seemed to be harmed other than the unconscious HYDRA agents scattered around the room.
Her heart seemed to beat loudly in her ears the closer she got to the gathered group. She had yet to find you, her hands shaking as she pushed her way through the mass of party goers. She passed Vision, his face etched with sorrow as he opened his mouth, but she couldn't hear what he had said. Not with the steady hammer banging away in her eardrums - she thought for sure her heart was about to leap out of her chest.
Clint was at the front of the group, blocking whatever it was that had drawn everybody to the dance floor in such a bundled manner. She placed a hand on his shoulder, but she didn't feel him as she gently shoved him out of her way, stepping past the archer to finally see…
Her heart stopped. Frozen in its place to the point where it was no longer rendering her deaf. In the midst of the crowd, you sat on the floor, your face bright pink and puffy. Tears gathered in your eyes as you seemed to be incapable of taking them off of Natasha, wrapped tightly in your arms as you rocked back and forth. Your hand, stained red with blood, pressed against her stomach in a desperate attempt to keep her away from the ledge. Wanda couldn't determine the state of the redhead - was she alive? Dead? Were you too late?
She called for you and, at the sound of your name in her voice, you picked your head up to meet Wanda's glistening emerald eyes. Your chin trembled, and your hold on Natasha only seemed to grow tighter.
Dread filled her veins as your whispered words echoed in her head… “I wasn’t fast enough.”