Who: Vision and Wanda What: Reunion When: Present, immediately after his arrival Rating: Green
Still in his human appearance, Vision barely managed to stop short of phasing through the walls and straight into the library - remembering that little detail of etiquette was somewhat of a challenge when he was in such a hurry to see her. The last memory he had was of her crying out, and before that - the anguish and pain on her face as she used every ounce of her power to destroy the mind stone, as well as keep Thanos at bay.
It was not the goodbye either of them deserved, but there had been no other option - they were out of time.
He’d said it before to her, and it remained true - she should never have had to do that, it was too much to ask; and yet she did it anyway. She was stronger than anyone he knew, for that and so many other reasons.
When he stepped through the doorway to the library and found her seated at a table, surrounded by a pile of books, he just froze for a moment.
In the other universe, he had had to steel himself against the likely reality that he would lose her, and that he would die in order to stop Thanos. He almost didn’t know what to do with himself now that he was actually looking at her - alive and whole, in front of him.
“Wanda…” he called out softly, taking a few steps forward into the room. All he wanted to do in that moment was rush forward and wrap his arms around her, but this was a different universe - he did not yet know what she had been through here; if she would remember him, or know him the way he knew her.
Wanda had been studying the tracking spells Stephen gave her, for the assignment they’d talked about involving the mind control aspect of her powers. She wanted to get it exactly right, no room for error - because it was rare she’d utilize her own ‘special’ way of nudging, and if she did, she demanded (of herself) that it be for the right reasons. Like evacuating Sokovia or stopping dangerous cultists, such as now.
So the last thing she expected when she looked up was to see Vision there, having just opened the library door and stepped through -
Vision, alive and with the mind stone still intact. Nevermind that, he was still intact.
She gasped quietly, closing the ancient tome with a gentle thud. For a moment she just sat there, trembling slightly, heat stolen from her skin and she felt cold and everything just dropped - though she knew if she didn’t get up and hug him her own atoms would tear themselves apart; like the dust she’d become once before, she’d become again.
Her defenses were paper thin anyway. Everything had been so awful lately, she actually felt relieved to see him now. “Viz - “
Pushing her chair back, she went to him and threw her arms around him.
That moment seemed to stretch on forever. He was watching her face intently, seeing that flare of emotion and hoping he was interpreting it correctly. Hoping it meant what he thought it did - that she knew him, remembered him. When finally she pushed her chair back he instinctively reached out for her, just moments before she collided into him.
“Oh, Wanda,” he murmured into her hair, his arms tight around her; one hand lifting to cup the back of her head gently and hold her closer against him. He could have stayed like that for hours and been content. He had missed holding her, and he wasn’t sure how he knew that - given he had no perception of time passing after his death; but he just felt it.
It was another long moment before he pulled back just enough so that he could gaze down into her eyes. “I have missed you,” he said quietly, feeling as though the words were not enough to convey the intensity behind what he felt then.
“You—” he began, then stopped. “Where I came from, you and I… we were…” Ripped apart violently, unfairly. He didn’t know how much to divulge, what would be appropriate. He didn’t want to cause her pain with those memories, if she hadn’t lived them. He wanted to spare her of that now, in the way he couldn’t then. “It did not end well, with Thanos,” was all he said.
“I’m just so glad you’re alright,” he said, no shortage of relief and awe and affection in his voice. He wanted to tell her so much more, and wanted to ask her approximately a thousand questions about what her own experience here had been like, but instead he just continued to stare at her as if trying to reassure himself that she was indeed real.
“I know,” Wanda wiped her baby blues, which had started leaking tears - oh, she was relieved to see Vision, no doubt about that. But she also felt guilty, for reasons she would explain once she could get her bearings a little. “I dreamed about Thanos - we fought a version of him here too, and he did not get any of the stones. But the Thanos there...I remember.”
She remembered being the last line of defense between Vision and the mad titan - she’d held him off, even as she cried while killing the person she loved. It hadn’t been enough though, because Vision died anyway. She’d wept beside his body as she turned to dust and floated away.
“I’m so sorry, I - “ How was she supposed to explain this? Now, more than ever, she wanted to be back in Scotland. With him. She wanted to turn the memories into reality and not have them just be dreams. Everything seemed so much simpler, and she’d been happy. “When I arrived in this world, it was just after being broken out of the Raft. We hadn’t yet - I mean...there was someone else. Here.”
She fervently hoped Vision didn’t think she’d cheated on him. Wanda would never. But at the time, she hadn’t experienced anything beyond the fight at the airport and the shock collar with straight jacket combo she’d endured in the Raft.
The sight of her tears made him want to reach out and touch her face; to comfort her as he would have - back in the time he’d come from. But he held back for the moment. It was enough that she knew him, and somewhat miraculous that she had actually dreamed of what had happened in the universe he’d came from. But he wasn’t making assumptions that he could just… be with her as he had, in that other universe. This was all so confusing. His mind could hold the concepts of both versions of her, but it didn’t make this moment any less complicated.
Vision shook his head as soon as she began to apologize, thinking that whatever was she was going to say next couldn’t possibly warrant an apology. And he was right. But as she explained that there had been someone else, he was surprised to feel a pang of hurt, regardless. His eyes dropped down and away for a moment as he processed that bit of information.
It was short lived however; because as she’d said - their relationship hadn’t progressed any further than that moment at the airport. He could not fault her for being with someone else, when they hadn’t had a chance to really know each other in this universe. He felt a kind of sadness then, that all his memories of their time together were ones she might not even know of. They were so precious to him. She was. He was lucky to be standing here with her now, no matter how different everything was.
He loosened his arms from around her, then reached for her hands. “I understand,” he said, giving both hands a reassuring squeeze. “Tell me what happened,” he urged gently.
“I dreamed of Scotland, and being there with you - I dreamed it all and I saw myself, I knew what she felt,” Wanda insisted, holding his hands - she took a few steps toward a chair at the table, sitting, still holding onto him, so Vision would sit too. “I felt it - how much I loved you and how badly it hurt to...do what I did.” She couldn’t even bring herself to say it, kill you. It had been necessary to kill him and then only to watch Thanos bring him back, just to die a second time...
That wouldn’t happen again. And what if Vision disappeared? He’s go back to being dead. Wanda didn’t want that either - she would do everything she could to keep him here with her, in this imperfect world.
“It is like I’m always hurting you, and I don’t - “ She sucked in a breath, managing to resist going down the rabbit hole of how dangerous she was. That wasn’t what he asked of her. “Here, we got word that Thanos was searching for the stones. So we made plans for each one, to keep them away from him - they’re either locked away or destroyed, but this...” Wanda swiped her thumb over where the mind stone was, still a part of Vision, “...I guess it’s back. Anyway, we had a showdown with him and his children and minions in Wakanda. Thanos couldn’t get any of the other stones for his gauntlet so he went away defeated. I am sure he’ll be back though.”
He moved when she did, following to sit in one of the chairs in front of her. He couldn’t quite force himself to let go of her hands just yet, and he was relieved she hadn’t pulled away either. His thumbs ran across the tops of her knuckles as she spoke. She felt the same, her skin as warm and soft as he’d remembered; and she looked exactly the same. The only difference seemed to be that their experiences did not align the way they had in the universe he’d came from. But he was so relieved to hear that her dreams reflected some of their time in Scotland. It might not be exactly the same, but at least they had that.
“I see,” he responded once she finished. “My being here, it is… a risk.” Because of the stone, there was still a chance Thanos might return and attempt to reclaim it. He did not like bringing even the slightest chance of that risk into her world here. He could inquire about sending himself back to where he came from - perhaps Dr Strange might know of a way. But could he even force himself to consider it, after being here with her now? Since his creation, his motivations had always been for the greater good of humanity, no matter what. But being parted from her again… he didn’t know if he could bear it. This was selfishness, wasn’t it?
“Wanda, I need you to know,” be began, leaning slightly forward in his chair. “You didn’t hurt me. Not in Wakanda, not before that, and not now.” She was powerful, he wasn’t denying that. But so was he. And their power came from the same source - the mind stone. He understood how it felt to have something like that be an inextricable part of you, and yet not all of you.
“I trust you. That won’t ever change,” he said with conviction.
“When I—” he faltered a moment, uncertain of his words. “When I died… all I felt was you, everything you are - your essence, your love.” He didn’t tell her what it felt like afterward, when Thanos brought him back. It was too jarring to share, and it didn’t matter, because it hadn’t happened here. “I am so sorry you had to do that,” he said emphatically, wishing he could spare her of that memory, even if it had only been a dream.
“It wasn’t your fault. It was his,” Wanda said, of course referring to Thanos. His megalomania had ruined everything - had ruined their time in Scotland, her and Vision. The quiet towns, the lack of traffic, beautiful countrysides. In her dreams, while she had been going on missions (secret ones) with team Captain America - she remembered her and Vision would sneak away sometimes, taking breaks from all of that. They wanted to be together. And he was what made it special.
She leaned in too, her forehead dropping to rest on his shoulder - she was just so tired. But safe, yes, she had always felt safe with him - and he’d always been nothing but kind to her. “We were still finding our feet together...in Scotland. But maybe now, here - we could do it again too?” she suggested.
Her feelings were confusing, but she’d sort them out. She just needed some time.
He was elated to hear that she wanted to try to figure things out with him here in this time, in this world. He wasn’t sure what that would look like, but they would sort it out - together. At least here, for the moment, they had time to do so.
His hand went to rest against the nape of her neck as she put her head against his shoulder; his fingers threading through her auburn locks. “Yes, well, we were rudely interrupted from our conversation last time,” he remarked, the barest hint of a smile showing up. “I wanted to stay with you,” he said, in reference to Scotland. They had their own obligations at the time, but he remembered how none of it seemed very important then, standing on that street with her, talking about the promises they ought to make to each other.
“Tell me what you need,” he asked, fingers still trailing lightly through her hair. If she needed space, he could do that. If she wanted the opposite of that, he’d be all too happy to oblige that as well. But because he didn’t know what she had been through here, he wasn’t making assumptions. She’d mentioned there had been someone else, and he couldn’t be sure how recent that was, or the toll it might have taken on her.
Wanda was not exactly casual with herself - she wouldn’t jump into bed with Vision just because he was here (and oh, all his parts worked, he was just as human as anyone else - she remembered that from Scotland, it almost made her blush). If she did, it could come across like she was using him to get over Bucky (whom she wouldn’t simply forget about overnight, despite how the current Bucky in this world was clearly not her Bucky). And she didn’t want to do that.
“We can take things together, as they come?” she suggested, her voice muffled briefly, but then she lifted her head a bit to look at him. “I just want to be near you. Where are you staying?”
There seemed to be a variety of places to choose from, financed by different sources - at the very least, she knew she could ask Pepper for help if need be. And by extension, Tony. Or there were other options too. “My room in the Sanctum is big enough. I can ask Stephen, if he wouldn’t mind...”
“Of course,” he agreed, lifting a hand to cup her face briefly as she looked up at him. It was very difficult not to kiss her, and very difficult not to have every memory of all the times he had kissed her before flood into his mind right then. But he managed. He was glad she wanted to be near him, as he wanted the same thing; in whatever capacity. They could take things as they came, and find their footing here in this universe as they had in the other.
He wondered idly then just how many universes there were, and how many other versions of themselves existed. Countless worlds. He hoped they were happy, in the majority of them. At least in this one, they had a second chance at that.
“I can stay with you here, yes, if you’d like that. I’m told that there is an apartment set up for me, at 30 Warren. I’m sure it’s spacious enough for us both,” he offered without hesitation. They would likely have more privacy at the apartment, but then again it appeared as though she was quite invested in her studies here. Either way, he would be content staying wherever. His needs were in many ways far more simple than humans.
“What are you studying here?” he asked, glancing briefly at the stack of books atop the table.
“Oh? That’s good, you should have your space there then,” Wanda encouraged. She was just glad Vision wasn’t staying in a hotel, like the one she’d had for a little while before she took up more permanent residence at the Sanctum. At some point she might want to move out - and, subsequently, stay with him. The ‘second chance’ mindset was very present for her as well. But that would come eventually - in the meantime, she liked it in this weird and creepy gothic manor.
She was also weird and creepy, and she’d always felt at home here.
A small smile flitted across her face as she glanced at the books too - she was proud of how far she’d come with her powers. Like her and Natasha had talked about before, it was beneficial for her to study with someone like Doctor Strange; Nat and Steve did their best, but they couldn’t go as in-depth as Wanda’s current mentor did, which was through no fault of their own, of course. “Stephen gave me an assignment,” she said, dropping her hands to her lap. “There are these cultists, Cthulhu worshipers, they are causing trouble by summoning all sorts of dark things. The books he gave me are mostly tracking spells, for finding cultists.”
She tilted her head a bit, thinking. “Do you want to come with me? We could do it together.”
Vision was a little confused by that first response, since it had seemed initially that she’d said she wanted to be near him, but then she was mentioning space. This was probably another human nuance he was failing to pick up at, so he for now he just smiled and set his focus on what she’d said about the assignment she was working on. He was in no rush, and would give her as much space as she needed.
“I’d like that, yes,” he responded warmly. If he could put his focus on a particular mission or task, it would help things feel more solid in this particular branch of the universe. And it would help him to feel more real, after all that had happened. He’d been born with immense power at his disposal, and was not accustomed to suddenly having that compromised the way it had been when he’d been injured by Corvus Glaive. He’d felt so utterly useless during those last few weeks in the other timeline, not being at full capacity when there was a war to fight. And even at the very end, there was nothing left for him to do but die, at the hands of the one he loved.
He very much wanted to be of use again; and any time he could spend with Wanda was obviously an opportunity he would not say no to.
“What sort of abilities do these cultists have?” he asked, then before giving it a beat, fired off another question - “Wait, who else is here?” he asked. It was a bit of a delayed response, but he was still a little muddled from the journey. “Stark, Rogers - the rest? Did they make it?”
“They’re here,” Wanda nodded. “Natasha is here too. And Clint. Dr. Banner...um...Thor and his brother Loki. There are many others. Some disappear but then they come back sometimes.” Her head spun when she considered just how many Natasha’s she’d seen flit in and out - there had even been a few Clint’s too, and it was just odd. That was an understatement.
She hoped Vision didn’t disappear. This world would not be able to survive her wrath, if yet another loved one was taken from her.
“Pietro was here too, or so I heard - here with another version of me. But he’s gone now.” That made her lower lip tremble a bit, and she moved her hands to rest over Vision’s once more - she knew she was a confused mess, emotionally, but she also knew that he’d be patient with her. Like he always was. “Anyway, the cultists - Stephen said they don’t exactly realize what they’re capable of, when they summon dark things on behalf of Cthulhu during their rituals. He suggested once I track them down I use my abilities to...encourage forgetfulness about their cult membership.”
Mind control, her least favorite thing. “It’s just that tracking them is difficult since they only have meetings online, not in person. That’s why he gave me these spells.”
He felt a swell of relief to hear that so many of his former companions were also here in this timeline. Although the reasons for why he had ended up here were still a mystery, it was still a second chance, and perhaps the why of it all wasn’t so important. He just wanted to be able to stay.
At her mention of her brother, Vision took hold of her hands and squeezed reassuringly. How confusing and painful that must have been for her to hear that Pietro had been here, but gone before she could see him. Another version of her having those memories, but not this version. He wondered if it was possible for Pietro to return at some point, but held back from asking. It was clear she was going through enough right now, he didn’t want to add to that.
He nodded at the plan Dr Strange had set out for her, it seemed a logical one. “Making them forget might be the kinder outcome.” Considering what other end they would meet if they were allowed to continue on with their summoning. “Though I know it wears on you to do so,” he said gently, acknowledging the reluctance he remembered her having when it came to using her abilities to influence someone else’s mind.
“If they have regular correspondence online, I could assist you in tracking them,” he offered. Sifting through the internet in search of individual physical locations would be simple enough in terms of his technopathic abilities, and he’d be happy to help make the process easier. Maybe if they found them quickly, the damage done could be lessened overall. “Has anyone been harmed by their attempts so far?”
“So far it doesn’t seem like it - but they have the potential to do harm, if they keep on the Cthulhu path,” Wanda said. That was why she wanted to get involved as soon as possible, and really nip it in the bud - she wanted to do good things, like in her dreams when she was on those secret missions even after the debacle over the Accords.
The Accords were null and void here anyway, so that was one less worry. “I was hoping you’d help track them,” she smiled quietly. Vision could probably find them quicker than she could, in terms of casting a spell she wasn’t familiar with. “Stephen said the spells wouldn’t be entirely accurate anyway - that I’d end up in random sea caves, or just...it’s more trial and error.”
But she’d show Vision what she found online about them and he could go from there. Then they’d go from there, together, to meet the cultists in person. Wanda felt much better about utilizing mind control if she had his support and backup. “Thank you,” she added, hand resting on his knee and squeezing lightly. “For helping and being understanding about everything. I’m so glad you’re here.”
“Winding up in a random sea cave doesn’t sound entirely appealing,” he said with a hint of amusement. He was glad to be able to assist her and Dr Strange; the prospect of going on an actual mission with her brought back fond memories of their early days training together at the new Avengers facility.
“You’re welcome. I’m… very happy to be here, with you, as well,” he responded to her thanks and her touch with a warm smile, not remotely attempting to hide the affection he felt for her. He was certain it was written across his face and in his eyes. Trying to conceal that would have been pointless, and he was never very adept at lying anyway. He loved her, and always would. Whatever his consciousness was made up of, whatever his ‘heart’ consisted of - it belonged with her.
“I’m ready to get started whenever you are,” he offered, covering his hand atop hers. “Unless you would like to… rest first?” He had to remind himself of human things like that. For all he knew, she’d been hard at work studying all day; adding onto that might be too much. All he knew was that he didn’t particularly want to leave her just yet. To him, it still felt as though they had been ripped apart only hours ago. His thoughts and perceptions were still a bit disjointed from the travel, and he sincerely hoped the memories of that trauma would gradually fade in time. Being around her helped, but he would also be mindful of providing space if she needed it.
While Wanda was wishy-washy about leaving the Sanctum and living with him, or even sharing a space at all, she knew in an iron-clad way that she wanted Vision in her life. The rest would come in time - just looking at him now, she understood that her worries and fears would all melt away, her defenses and inner excuses flimsy as paper when it came to him too.
She felt, deep down, that he was the love of her life - he’d been the one to pull her out of the darkest hole she’d been stuck in, the only one to really talk to her as a friend after Pietro died and she joined the Avengers. He shared some of his own pieces to help make her whole again - she was drawn to him, drawn to touching him because before him, there hadn’t been a lot of that either. Nothing that meant anything, that is.
Wanda had chosen humanity over her own love and happiness when she was forced to kill him in another universe, and she wasn’t about to make that decision again. “We can get started,” she nodded, her hands framing his face, just feeling the contours of it before she surged forward and hugged him again. Then, alright, okay - business, right.
“Come with me, I’ll show you what I’ve discovered online.”