|şçąŗɭęţ (witchiest) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2019-07-16 19:14:00
|Dedicated as he’d been to Team Make Ava Solid Again and their efforts to build a particle synthesizer, Scott still found himself enough time to dust off his resume and hit the job circuit. The generous monthly stipend for interdimensional refugees made it unnecessary for him to work - and that might have been a decent arrangement, if things hadn’t been so well-adjusted and normal since he’d been here. With the exception of the time jump and the random arrivals, it was all very business as usual. Stable. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to at least try to get back into the private sector, since the whole superhero thing seemed like it was going to be a part-part-time gig. He wanted a little more structure in his life.|
And if he could get the interview down, he might get it. In hindsight, admitting he was a felon probably wasn’t the best route to take - but the last time he’d interviewed, he’d kept it to himself and gotten canned anyway. It seemed better to be honest and hope he had the work experience and personality to make up for the fact that he’d essentially robbed from his last place of business. No such luck.
But at least they were polite. In a this guy must be nuts kind of way.
Scott wasn’t all that broken up about the rejection, though. In fact, the only thing he’d thought when he’d exited the building and noticed that it was around lunch time was that he should pick something up for Hope and swing by the lab. Which was actually how he’d found himself in the cafe, although it had the added bonus of being That Place Where Wanda Worked.
Sure enough, he spotted the redhead flitting between tables as he entered and offered her a small wave in greeting. Maybe she’d be able to recommend something when she had a second.
Everything smelled awful.
Well, maybe not awful - it just smelled intensely, Wanda would say that. Apparently one of the side effects of first trimester pregnancy was a superhuman sniffer. She could smell food carts from all the way down the block, and the stench wafting up from subway grates? They were indescribable, along with the vomit-aroma of Ginkgo trees, horse manure, charred meat, and sunscreen.
In her place of employment it was a little better but not much. At least she could stay back in the kitchen and lose herself in the baking - though admittedly, food prep wasn’t helping either. Those smells were making her nauseated along with the idea of actually eating. She was exhausted and sore, more than ready for a nap. But she had to press onward so she drank a glass of water and went out front, helping to clear tables before she saw Scott waving.
“Hi,” she greeted, heading over wearing her uniform, a messy bun in her hair, probably bags under eyes, and a fatigued smile. “Are you dining in? I can find a table for you.”
As a general rule, mentioning that someone you didn’t know especially well seemed tired was not the best way to get to know them any better. Scott, therefore, said nothing of the dark circles as he returned her smile. It wasn’t like they were that noticeable, anyway - maybe he was just extra sensitive because the last time he’d seen her looking a little wan she’d been locked in a straight-jacket in a cage. And since there was no evidence of that, the more likely answer was that she’d been dealing with the public. God knew how many headaches the customers of Baskin Robbins had given him, and he’d only finished, what? Six shifts? “No--thanks--I’m on my way to the lab. I just got out of an interview and noticed this place was down the street, thought I’d swing by and grab something. Say hi. Been meaning to drop in.
“Anything good on the menu today? I mean, I’m sure it’s all good, but anything I should try?” She’d mentioned she liked to cook, after all - surely she’d have an opinion on the food one way or another.
“Hmm - “ Wanda gave it some thought, taking out her ordering pad to mark down whatever Scott decided on. “Barbecue tofu is good. Also vegan mac and cheese, the Asian noodles, or the garlic kale salad.” Summertime was nice for pretty much any salad, in her opinion - something refreshing and cold was perfect on a sweltering day. Normally Wanda would have been all for it, but garlic was ‘a thing’ lately - meaning, it made her stomach turn.
But what didn’t?
“Though if you want cookies for lunch, I won’t judge,” she added with a little mischievous grin.
That was quite a menu. More variety than he’d thought a vegan restaurant had any business being - he’d expected every option out of her mouth to be tofu-related - but he’d also never been in a vegan restaurant before. It was a pleasant surprise. “Oh, wow, okay,” he said, tucking his hands into the pockets of his trousers thoughtfully. “Yeah, I’ll give the barbecue tofu and the noodles a try.” Garlic kale salad sounded decent, too, but he thought his fiancée might appreciate the lack of horrendous breath. “And I guess I’ll take a couple cookies to tide me over while I wait. I mean, while I’m here. If you don’t mind.”
Scott offered her a lopsided smile, tinged with its own mischievousness, and motioned to a bank of stools parked under a bar. “Is it all right if I sit over there? I don’t wanna steal a table from anybody.”
Wanda scribbled on her pad, giving a nod. “Go right ahead - I’ll be right back with your cookies,” she promised, then was off to the kitchen to put in the orders. The noodles were good because they had some heat from sriracha and also from fresh green onions; the sweet creamy ginger sauce was a nice compliment too. It was actually one of her favorites at the cafe - or it had been, before she suddenly became picky about food due to the washer load constantly off balance in her stomach.
Then she returned with a plate of vegan chocolate chip cookies - nice and warm, mind you - accompanied by a glass of milk. Non-dairy, of course, it was coconut milk - but who didn’t like milk with their cookies? If he didn’t like it, she’d get something else. Whatever Scott wanted. “Here you go,” she set everything down, then lingered for a second. She should get back to the kitchen, there was always something to do there, but...
“Can I join you for a minute?”
A pleasantly surprised smile made its way to his face when he was presented with the glass of milk. He hadn’t thought to ask for it - having cookies before lunch had probably filled his immaturity quota for the day - but it was nice that she’d thought to bring it over all the same. “Thanks, Wanda.” He set his wallet and keys beside the plate and settled in, eager to give these vegan baked goods a try.
Assuming she had other tables or baking to do - or that her boss might frown upon her taking an unscheduled break - Scott didn’t invite her to stay. Didn’t want her to feel obligated to. But she’d hovered for a second or two, and just as he was wondering if he ought to, she asked. “Oh, yeah, of course.” He pushed the stool next to him out and slid the plate over so she’d have access to it. Not that she didn’t have access to warm cookies all day, but Scott was nothing if not a sharer. “I was gonna ask, I just didn’t want to hold you up. How’ve you been? How’s Vision?”
“He’s good.” Or, well, probably still in shock from Wanda’s ‘big news,’ but he believed her when she told him she hadn’t slept with anyone else - though now that she thought about it, of course he believed her. Who here would she try to sleep with anyway, besides him? She had never been one for seducing strangers for one-night stands, and everyone she actually knew was either involved or uninterested - if he’d been concerned about her going back to Bucky, she’d have laughed. This Bucky never talked to her or anyone else. It was like night and day.
But regardless, she could use some perspective from someone who actually had a child. So, she settled on a stool and crossed her legs, taking out a ginger chew from one of her uniform pockets and popping the candy into her mouth. It helped with the nausea. The cookies she’d have to pass on - he could have all of them. “I’m good too - I just....well...” She paused, trying to think of how to phrase it. “I’m pregnant.”
There, that worked. Sort of. “And kind of...scared.”
Well. That had to be the absolute last answer he’d expected to get when he’d asked that question. To his credit, Scott only froze for a second - cheek bulging with the generous bite of cookie, eyebrows in his hairline - before smoothing out his expression. There was no judgement behind it, at least, just surprise that he’d made the shortlist of people to tell.
Any hesitation was swept to the wayside when she admitted she was scared, though. Scott swallowed hurriedly so that he could offer a sympathetic smile, reaching out to set a hand on her shoulder. Two seconds ago, he might have debated whether they were close enough for the gesture to be received well - now? He’d feel bad if he wasn’t offering a little comfort, seeing as he’d been through it himself.
“Oh, that’s.. Yeah.” Nice, Scott. Very articulate. He cleared his throat. “When my ex told me she was pregnant with Cassie, I was terrified. I think it’s normal.” What didn’t occur to him was that “normal” didn’t usually involve someone with superhuman abilities and an android. Or that the fear might be due more to Wanda’s not exactly being thrilled about it. “Are you okay otherwise? Nauseous?”
“It is a very unconventional pregnancy,” Wanda said, folding her hands, resting them in her lap - she studied her nails, bare and lacking their usual polish. She read somewhere that the chemicals were harmful while pregnant so she didn’t even risk it once. Her caffeine intake had been reduced to essentially zero as well - now, she only drank purely caffeine-free teas. Which meant no Earl Grey, no London Fog, which was disappointing. “But yes, I am...fine. Just nauseated a lot and very tired.”
That seemed normal too - though part of her worried that the fatigue was due to the demonic presence growing stronger. They really needed to remove it, and quickly.
“I know Vision will be a great dad. It’s just been so long since I’ve had a mother, I lost mine when I was very young - I worry I will not be any good at it.” Maybe some of it was instinct, but you couldn’t rely on that entirely. If only there was an authoritative how-to on this sort of thing.
Unconventional, huh? Scott wasn’t sure exactly what that entailed, but in thinking about the mechanics - very conservatively, mind, because thinking about the sex life of a twenty year old bordered on skeevy - he supposed that an android wouldn’t have been designed for that.. particular purpose. Admittedly, he knew very little of Vision’s origins, but what he’d heard through the grape vine was that the person he was now was not the person he’d been intended to be. It made sense that reproduction would be, as Wanda delicately put it, unconventional.
With that in the back of his mind, no wonder Wanda was scared. They were probably both still reeling.
“I’m sorry. It’s hard, not having that person who’s been through it before. My dad died when Cassie was really young, and I felt like I had so many questions I still needed him to answer.” Scott angled himself to face her, propping his elbow on the bar top. “But we’re our own worst enemies about that stuff, I think. You aren’t giving yourself enough credit. The stuff you’ve been through--you came out the other side and still had love to give, you know? That takes a really strong person. So, I mean. You can probably handle motherhood.” The corner of his mouth turned up. “And the good news is there’s no right way to be a good parent, only really obvious ways to be a bad one. Everyone’s kind of got their own opinions about the rest.”
That was true, she liked to think she at least knew what not to do when parenting? Her own mother and father had been wonderful, but again, that was so long ago. Plus, her upbringing was rough - Sokovia had always known war, it seemed. Her family did not even own a television, they mostly listened to the radio - it was a tight knit community, but also rife with its own ethnic and class tensions.
Her and Pietro were young when they were first on their own - before they volunteered for experiments, they joined other children in the hot, humid, and cramped tunnels under the city, which were accessible by small craters in the ground. There was no way she’d want that for her own child. “I just worry I will make mistakes,” she sighed. “You worry about that too, yes? With your own daughter?”
“Oh, all the time. And I’ve made a ton.” Scott shrugged, picking at one of the cookies on the plate for something to do with his hands. There were a lot of choices that weren’t necessarily mistakes, in the truest sense of the word, but that had led to him having less of a role in Cassie’s life. He was still her father, sure. Loved being her father. But he’d always wondered - more so lately, because he’d missed another five years - if the person she’d grown into was because of him or in spite of him. That seemed a little too doom and gloom for the young expectant mother sitting next to him, though, so he kept it to himself.
He finally took a bite, trying to mask his moment of doubt as thoughtfulness. “You’re gonna make a good mom, Wanda.” He smiled reassuringly. “Nobody’s perfect, you just do the best you can. But you’ve got a good head on your shoulders and a lot of compassion--that goes a long way, you’d be surprised.”
“Thank you,” Wanda replied, and she meant it - going into the detail about demons and their presence wasn’t something she’d do in a public place. She was aware it sounded insane, so, maybe later. Right now, she simply appreciated the reassurance from someone who admittedly hadn’t been a perfect parent but loved his child and was realistic about what hard work it was.
She doubted she’d be perfect herself - there was no such thing. First though, she’d attempt to not cause too much confusion for poor Vision when her mood swings went into overdrive.
“I’ll go check on your food,” she offered, sliding off the stool. “It should be ready - I don’t want to keep you much longer anyway, I am sure you’re busy.”
“Not that busy.” Which was his way of saying he hadn't minded making a little time for this conversation. The superhero life demanded a lot of sacrifice from the people that led it, so Wanda's fears would have been grounded in reality even if they weren't completely normal I'm going to be responsible for a tiny person jitters. Sometimes that warranted a talking over with someone who had been there, and the pool of people who were both Avengers and parents was pretty small. Clint was floating around in here with him, too, although Scott could understand why Wanda might be reluctant to consult him.
Which was why he thought he ought to make himself available. “But hey, if you need anything else--you know where I live. Seriously. Come by any time. Vision, too.”