Who: Wanda Maximoff + Vision Where: Her apartment When: After this What: Vision talks her into turning over the Darkhold to Strange Warnings: A lot of feeeeels Status: Complete
This was - difficult.
Vision didn’t know how else to classify it. There were countless words and none of them seemed to even cover a fraction of what was about to happen or the thoughts that currently clashed in his head - which was that Wanda had a dangerous book called the Darkhold, she’d severely downplayed exactly how dangerous it was, and she planned to use it for her own purposes without considering any of the ramifications (which apparently were reality-wide if Doctor Strange was to be believed).
It was much different than the Westview situation, from what he understood. That had been Wanda acting in an involuntary manner - she created the Hex involuntarily, that is, and it was her sense of denial playing out in real time. When she was forced to face the reality of the situation, she’d put an end to it despite how intensely painful it must have been - she did the right thing.
He wanted to believe that she would do the right thing now and give up the Darkhold. And maybe he wasn’t her Vision, maybe he was just a substitution and she didn’t love him the way she’d once loved him before - but he still had to try to get through to her, because no one else would. No one else could, not like him.
They weren’t outside, so he didn’t bother to disguise his appearance - he just went to her, stark white and with glittering turquoise eyes, knocking on her apartment door.
Wanda had taken to spending a great deal of her time reading and studying to try and learn what she could with the book. Oh - she still went about her day otherwise, spending time with her brother and others in the tower, cooking and baking - but she would use astral projection so that she could continue to study the book itself, and safely without fear of drawing attention from other creatures or beings out there, or alerting Strange to its presence.
When the knock came at her door, she was actually in the middle of baking muffins while half her mind was on the book. Wanda looked over and smiled when she sensed who was on the other side, using her powers to unlock and open the door from the kitchen since she knew that Vision wouldn’t mind.
“Vizh, come in - I’m in the kitchen,” she called out, always happy to have him visit.
Vision wasn't quite sure what it was about this universe, but ever since he'd found his way here he began to feel things - everything was muffled, of course, because he really didn't have much of a basis for comparison to much of anything. It was like learning something new all over again - when he was happy, was it truly that? Or was it elation, joy? Were they one in the same? Was sadness like trying to toss water out of a boat with a hole in it, a crushing sensation? Or was it more subtle?
His time with Wanda helped him parse things out. And he wanted this to work, truly he did - even if he had no way to obtain a mind stone replica after convincing her to relinquish the Darkhold, that mattered less to him. Only her safety mattered.
"Wanda," he greeted, taking steps into the kitchen where he saw her. Then he, perhaps awkwardly, placed his hands on either side of her face like he did the first time he came across her in Westview - only this time he wasn't trying to crush her skull. He merely crushed his lips against hers, unsure how to do this - he just knew that he only had memories of kissing her; this time, he got to experience need and want crossing wires all on his own. He got to kiss her like he was afraid they'd get trapped on the wrong sides of the universe again.
Then he pulled back slightly. "I just wanted to do that once. In case you decide you...no longer want to see me."
She smiled and straightened from her mixing bowl as he stepped in, and before she had the chance to ask what had brought him by or what he wanted, Vision had closed the distance and was suddenly kissing her. Surprised, the whisk slipped from her fingers, forgotten as it fell into the batter, and her astral self was jerked back into her body, the book left behind in her bedroom as he became her entire focus.
Her own hands lifted and reached out to rest helplessly on his chest as her eyes slid shut, and it took several seconds after he pulled back for her to even realize he’d stopped - or that he’d spoken. Slowly opening eyes filled with a kind of dazed wonder once again, Wanda gazed up at him, then blinked a couple times as his words sank in.
“You...I - what?” He wasn’t making any sense. “Why wouldn’t I want to see you?” Her eyes cleared and it was Wanda’s turn to draw back, suddenly concerned. “Vision. What’s wrong?”
Perhaps Vision was more human than he initially realized - because part of him simply wanted to respond with 'nevermind, can we just do that again? A few more times?' He didn't need to breathe, technically, so it would be alright. Wanda did need to breathe, however - and he was here because of his concern for her and desire for her to continue to breathe and not become corrupted by something literally, actually from Hell (as Doctor Strange explained it - even if Hell was...actually not Biblical Hell).
"I went to Doctor Strange with my concerns about the Darkhold and your use of it," Vision began calmly. Though he reached for Wanda's hands with his own, organic tissue and vibranium both. "It's quite dangerous, Wanda. It corrupts whomever handles the book, and promises false things - I don't want you to be hurt. I promise - Doctor Strange promised - we can find the boys some other way. But please let me bring the book to him."
Wanda drew back from him at his words, hurt filling her gaze and she tugged her hands out of his. “You….but why? You should have talked to me first,” she replied, staring up at him.
“I know it’s dangerous - that’s why I’ve been very careful with it. It has knowledge that can help me - help us,” she insisted. “I’m not just going to hand it over to someone else.” The fact that he’d even told Strange about their sons when she hadn’t said a word to him herself...that hurt, too.
“Don’t you trust me?”
“Of course I trust you,” Vision insisted. Immediately, at that - he didn’t even have to process or consider. “What I don’t trust is a book from a Hell dimension that literally corrupts people who use it. You say you’re being careful but you still don’t know the far-reaching effects even reading spells from the book may have. Do you want us to have to say goodbye to each other again? Because I don’t want to lose you.”
Unfortunately, calculations leaned toward a final outcome where he would - regardless, he had a feeling that he would, numbers and logic aside. Either because she got in too deep without considering the effects using a book composed of dark magic would have, or she pushed him away for trying to stop that very thing. For trying to protect her. It felt as if being caught between a rock and a very hard place, as the saying went. Like there was already a chasm between them.
“And you had no qualms with just stealing the book from someone else so handing it over should not be an issue either. You can’t pursue your own wants at the cost of everything else,” he argued. “It’s not right, Wanda.”
“You should have talked to me about this before going to Doctor Strange,” Wanda replied evenly, while staring at him. As he went on, she shook her head a little. “Do I look corrupted to you? Have I said or done anything at all in the time I’ve had the book to make you think I’m being corrupted somehow?” His words about saying goodbye lanced directly to her heart, and she couldn’t help but be upset that he would bring that up at a time like this.
“I told you about Agatha, about the things she’s done to people, what she tried to do to me in Westview in our world. She wants my powers for her own nefarious reasons. Taking the book from her keeps her from hurting people. I haven’t done anything to anyone else with or without the book,” Wanda insisted. “And you know that I’m in the book - there’s information in there about what I am - so-called prophecies. Don’t you think that it’d be better for me to know what those say, so that I don’t fulfill them through ignorance? So that anything that happens only happens to me and not the rest of the world?” Ultimately, if it took some sacrifice on her part to save Billy and Tommy, she’d do it. She wouldn’t risk anyone else.
Oh, yes, Agatha. Given a fate worse than death, apparently - on another timeline, in another world. Trapped as a prisoner in her own mind, given a fate worse than death. "You are corrupted, Wanda, if you can't understand that this is dangerous even if you don't think it is on the surface level,” Vision replied, just as calm - calm as a summer sea.
He sighed then, stepping forward again to close the distance between them - and rested his hands on Wanda's shoulders, caressing down her arms. "I understand that you gave up quite a bit - you have ever since your childhood. You gave up a lot to be an Avenger, you gave up a life - false as it was - with me and the children. But beyond that, you gave up the ability to grieve, to live a normal life, to be a part of society or to have friends - you did all of that once, but you don't need to here. Perhaps I should have talked to you first and I am sorry for that - I am only trying to protect you. But please, can't we find another way to get to the children together? One that won't cost us even more?"
“I know it’s dangerous - but it’s a danger I’m willing to risk to get them back, Vizh. When have we ever not done what needed doing simply because it was dangerous? You may not remember, because of what Thanos did, reversing time...but I even killed you to try and stop him, by destroying the stone.” Her eyes welled with tears at the memory, but she blinked them back because she wanted to see him as clearly as she could. As he stepped closer, Wanda wanted to back away - but she loved him too much, even as he was here, without it being fully him, to leave him now.
“I can’t live a normal life because I’m not normal. I never have been - not with this power, even before I knew where it truly came from.” She shook her head slightly and closed her eyes for a moment so that she could steady herself. After taking a deep breath, Wanda opened them again and met his. “Is this just about the book? Because if that’s all this is, then take it. It’s not worth losing you, but Vision - I haven’t been corrupted by it. I don’t know what else Strange told you, but...yes, it’s dangerous. Evil, even. It corrupts those who want power, and that isn’t me - all I want is for our family to be safe. If we can find some other way to save Billy and Tommy, I’ll take it.”
Was this truly what sadness was like? It was a bottomless pit, sucking all the lightness Vision felt before when he'd kissed Wanda - he didn't enjoy the sight of her tears, oddly beautiful as they were. But the fact that she was amenable to giving him the book was a good sign - he would take it. He would keep her safe - he knew he was doing the right thing with this.
What happened with Thanos - they had no choice. With this, they had options. He simply wanted to ensure they went with the right ones.
"We will save them," he promised, and he hoped that he could exude at least some of the emotional warmth as his predecessor. He was Vision, yes, but he was still finding new things to learn about - he was still learning from new experiences. "I swear, Wanda. I want us to be together, with our family. I know I'm not the Vision you loved, but - in time, perhaps I can be. You have already shown me that love is not perfect but it is beautiful because of that - beautiful like exploding stars. Something I can't look away from."
His fingers brushed her cheek, curious about the feel of those gathered tears - he’d catch them if they fell.
She’d already had enough time with the book that she had learned a great deal - most of it being ways to bend dimensions and merge realities and yanking her sons from wherever they were to her side...but those ways were frightening to her, because she didn’t know what would happen after - and if it would even keep her sons in one piece. She’d created them from her own essence, and they shouldn’t have existed - yet they did. They were real. And something had happened before she’d been drawn to this universe that had let them call out to her.
As he spoke, her tears did fall slowly, catching on his fingers, and Wanda gave a faint nod, then stepped forward and into his arms to press her face against his chest. He was the man she’d loved - but he was so much more, too, and Wanda couldn’t do anything but believe him. “I love you for believing that,” she told him. “I only hope that we succeed.”
Since Wanda stepped closer, moving into his embrace, Vision gladly welcomed her - his arms went around her, and he felt better immediately. Or at least, that’s the conclusion his thought processes came to - the actual feeling was still foreign, like looking through at your destination through a foggy windshield. Sometimes it was similar to that - these feelings, these emotions, he couldn’t exactly touch them. He could only speculate.
“We will succeed, I wholeheartedly believe that.” He knew that she didn’t exactly trust Doctor Strange for some reason, but Vision was certain that if there was anyone who could help them parse out the puzzle, it would be him. “And I did not wish to upset you, Wanda - is it...” Words. He needed to find words, the correct ones. “Would you be amenable to me pressing my lips against you again?”
Her own emotions were still a little raw - from the revelation that he’d gone to someone else to talk about all this to the fact that he still thought they could do something...well, Wanda wasn’t fully sure what she was feeling at the moment. But at his question, she lifted her face and studied him for a moment.
Finally, she gave him a small smile despite the tears that still stained her cheeks and nodded. “Yes...you may kiss me,” Wanda said softly. This was much the way their romance had begun originally - full of questions and carefulness, and maybe a little awkwardness. But he was still Vision, and she still loved him.
Vision had little to no experience with this - only the moments that his memory held. He’d been curious though, he had, wanting to know what the more physical aspects of a relationship were like. And he was beginning to see why the Vision before him had so been enamored with the idea of love, with being in love.
So he kissed Wanda again - it seemed bottomless, that kiss, a feedback loop for him. Want and need, a constant strain of it and spiraling out of control, working its way through his system in ways he had never thought possible when he first awakened in Hayward’s laboratory. His hands stroked down her back and he held her close to him - he knew there was so much power contained within her but like this, she felt delicate. Small bones and lush curves.
And he didn’t really want to stop appreciating all of that.
Wanda lifted one hand so it’d rest on his cheek as they kissed, and closed her eyes again. Somehow, he always managed to chase away anything at all that was bothering her, and slowly she relaxed again, just glad to be in his arms and have him there. It was still strange, though, because while yes, he was Vision...he wasn’t fully himself.
After several minutes of staying in that position with him, Wanda drew back a little and looked up at him again. “...Will you still let me try and make a new stone for you?”
It was amazing Vision could even get any synapses firing at all - but Wanda was asking him a question, so he should probably answer. “Yes,” he replied easily, fingers clasping together as they rested at the small of her back. “I will. I hope - it will help me feel more of a connection with my memories. That they will be less of a mystery to me. More clear.”
Right now everything was quite hazy. Like shadows, or photographs barely focused - that’s what his memories were like, yes. The former Vision whom Wanda had created (though he was simply a copy, not really Vision like this one was) restored them but he was still waiting for clarity to sink in somehow.
“Shall we make arrangements to travel to Wakanda?”
Wanda smiled a little, glad that he agreed, and nodded at his question. “It should be simple. There’s a portal to Wakanda here, in the tower. We only need to decide when we should go, but I think sooner would be best. Tomorrow, perhaps?”
For now, there was the matter of just enjoying being in his arms again - well, that and the fact that she still needed to actually turn the Darkhold over to Strange. All she could hope for was that he would actually keep it safe,, but Wanda had a fear deep down that by relinquishing the book, someone else who was worse than Agatha had been would get ahold of it.
“Tomorrow,” Vision agreed - and his schedule wasn’t particularly pressing, so it was fine. He didn’t take breaks for meals, he didn’t sleep - sometimes he ‘powered down,’ if only to rest his various processes and systems, but nothing like what humans required to function. He found that he was looking forward to it though - maybe after he was more himself, everything would feel even more locked into place for him.
He’d be less of Hayward’s creation - a killing machine and nothing more. He wanted to be Vision - and everything that entailed.
Stroking Wanda’s cheeks with his thumbs, an affectionate caress, he leaned in and kissed her forehead. “You were baking when I interrupted,” he deduced - muffins, based on the assembled ingredients and the various scents in the kitchen. “I will let you finish. But if you don’t mind my presence, I will observe.”
He liked to watch her cook and bake things, and sometimes assist when he could. It was fascinating, for some reason.
Wanda closed her eyes briefly at the kiss, then opened them again and looked up at him with a small smile. After a moment, she gave a slow nod. “Of course you can watch,” she told him. It was something she’d become accustomed to, and one of the ways that their relationship had first begun to blossom originally - between watching TV together, and her cooking while he watched, never fully understanding the instinctive way she did things.
“And then...I’ll turn the book over to Strange,” Wanda said quietly before stepping back to turn to her batter once again.