|ʙᴜᴄᴋʏ (vibraniarm) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2018-08-09 20:57:00
|Ever since Wanda dreamed of the loss of life, the end of the universe, she hadn’t been...right. Quieter than usual, perhaps, and viewing the world around her coated with ash and dead, grey, volcanic dust. It was as if half the people she saw wore a crown made of soot, marking them for the inevitable destruction - and it wasn’t even loud destruction. Not after the blood had soaked into the Earth, everything became quiet and still enough for Thanos to snap his fingers. To take away everything.|
Natasha said they could stop this. That they’d be prepared, use their knowledge of what would happen to their advantage. Wanda didn’t see how. She knew it was coming either way. No matter what they did.
She was listless as she took orders, dropped off dishes to be washed, poured coffee - the air in the cafe was thick with the scent of it, though it wasn’t an unpleasant smell. Working the morning rush meant that coffee was really all people wanted before work. Now that it was closer to lunchtime, she made sure to brew a fresh pot and waited for Bucky to show up; she stood by the to-go counter, watching the window and rolling silverware. Just something monotonous to do, in order to give her spinning, twisting, overactive mind a break.
Getting adjusted in the apartment with Steve and trying to figure out all this crazy business with the Thanos character, on top of everything else, kept Bucky from a decent night’s rest. Though he learned to live with that and used the time to apply online for some jobs. Thankfully there were plenty to go around that only required some heavy lifting, paid decently, and didn’t ask too many questions.
But Bucky would pay good on his promise to come visit Wanda. She seemed troubled on the network. Like a few others.
It’d do them both some good to think about something else for a little while. And it was rude to turn down pie. Of course he concealed his arm with a loose fitting hoodie, jeans, his left arm tucked into the pocket of the hoodie as he slipped into the cafe. The smell and familiar bustle of a cafe almost felt homely to the former soldier.
He noticed Wanda by the to-go counter and cautiously made his way over, offering her a gentle smile. “You look like you could use a break.”
“Do I look that terrible?” Wanda quipped, but she was only teasing - she was also aware she probably didn’t look great, since she was at work wearing an apron with pockets over her clothes, her hair twisted up into a high ponytail to keep it out of her face. A face that was free from makeup, of course - she often preferred a smoky eye kind of look, sultry, but sweating while running back and forth and in a hot kitchen, that sort of thing just wasn’t practical.
She was glad to see James, however - or actually, Bucky. He preferred to be called Bucky, didn’t he? Wanda would have to remember that. “We have a few types of pie,” she said as she left the silverware rolling and turned to lead him to a nice, private table with a view. “Key lime is my favorite. We also have chocolate mousse pie, and banana cream. Once September comes, we will have apple crumble.” It just wasn’t autumn yet, so the summer flavors were still on rotation.
“What can I get you?”
It was good that she could tease, but from one formerly with tormenting thoughts Bucky could sense there was a truth to the guise. He smiled warmly for her all the same. “I would never say so, but a full mind and a little tired? Yes.”
“Apple anything is the best. The banana sounds great, but I’ll try out your favorite.” He followed along after her, enjoying what was just an average conversation instead of impending doom or danger. Bucky had rarely ever been woken up for anything other than destruction or rehabilitation for years. Getting back into the feeling of being ‘normal’ was a welcome opportunity.
He sat down and took his hat off, dark brown locks falling around his face. “Will you be able to take a break and join me? Have a cup of coffee and relax for a bit. My treat.”
Wanda checked her watch. “I am due for a break, yes,” she nodded, offering Bucky a grateful smile. “I’ll get us some coffee and pie.”
She was gone for a moment, returning with a slice of key lime and a slice of banana cream - plus those two cups of coffee, freshly poured. Everything was set on the table and Wanda settled as well, untying the knot on her apron and taking it off for the time being. “You can try the banana too,” she offered. “I don’t mind.” Nor did she mind if he dug in with his fork - she didn’t have cooties.
And yes, she was quite tired - but she refused to cave to her dream-induced fatigue. She’d survived Ultron, Strucker, and HYDRA (something she and Bucky had in common). So she could get through this too. “Has anyone mentioned Thanos?” she asked. “I...dreamed of him. Of the end of things.” She faded into dust too, in some way welcoming the respite. Her death.
“You’re spoiling me.” But it was no secret thing. Bucky and Steve had the metabolism of a black hole. Something had to keep that super soldier pumping. Food fell into that department.
Since the table she picked was private enough, he let his left arm rest on it, the dark vibranium fingers glistening under the light of the cafe. Nodding slightly, he took a sip of his coffee first and it took him back to the old school diner days. It was more sweet now, but Bucky didn’t mind it.
“The people I didn’t know mentioned him here and there but..I had to pressure Steve to really tell me. I know everyone just wants to try and keep my mind as stable as they can but...if it’s happening, then it’s happening.” He have a casual shrug. Surprisingly, not the slightest bit of worry, remorse or depression hanging over him as he looked up to watch her very opposite demeanor. “I don’t fully understand the dream. Or what happened to me. But I don’t believe in coincidence either.”
This little witch, she too had a black hole of an appetite - because, due the nature to her powers, Wanda burned calories like a furnace. She would probably eat all day if she could (if it was actually healthy, which it wasn’t), though she stayed relatively active too. Especially with her current job.
So she took a big forkful of pie, savoring the taste. “I do not know if it will happen here, but...” It was good that Bucky refused to bury his head in the sand; and if something was going to happen, then Wanda thought he should know. Holding it away from him was a bad decision, so she was glad Steve managed to mention something. “I keep watch. I am training with Doctor Strange, and developing my powers. It’s my hope that I can at least pick up something, to warn people...”
She sighed quietly then. “I dreamed of this place, it felt like where lost souls go. Like some kind of limbo. But I believed I deserved it, because I buried my pain instead of working through it. It is why I went to this place of hopelessness.”
Bucky took a bite of the banana pie and it was as wonderful as he thought it would be, watching the Scarlet Witch as she spoke. “Better to be more familiar with your powers the more confident you can be.” But he could tell much more from her sigh and posture.
“It’s not all on you just because of your abilities. There are a lot of us here with this strange situation to deal with. It’s going to take all of us.” Feeling hopeless, he knew that very well.
He nodded through her words, knowing the feeling of being unable to escape your own mind. “You’re not alone, Wanda. And if I’ve learned anything, nothing is hopeless for anyone.”
“I feel very alone, sometimes,” she admitted - and she supposed that wasn’t surprising. After all, she’d arrived here in this strange universe from a time when she’d withdrawn into herself after her team was ripped apart. And then Thanos.
Besides, she’d always had her anger as fuel - her anger, her pain, her hostility. All of that rage was enough to level an entire city. She’d made it this long because those things helped keep her going. And yet - maybe leaning on others wasn’t so bad. Wanda wouldn’t have to rely on the negative anymore, to make it through. She hoped.
“You are a lot more handsome now - “ Also an admission, one that made her grin slightly as her fork reached for some of the key lime. “What I mean is, Wakanda seems to have been good for you.” He wasn’t so dead-eyed, so lost. She knew that feeling well. “How is the new arm?”
Maybe through their experiences everyone was alone in their demons. But those did not decide who you were, Shuri had said, you do. And if you sit alone with your thoughts and nothing more..that is the worst place to be lost. “I think it’s important not to let the things in our mind consume us. We have to live in the here and now, because we are alive, here and now. Corny, but it helps. You’re not alone.”
If Bucky let himself get lost in his mind? He wouldn’t be able to stand living anymore.
He grinned sheepishly at her compliment, scratching at the scruff on his face shyly. The old him was not shy. He was charming and something of a lady’s man. The new him was a little more reserved, and very much figuring himself out. “Thank you. You look as well as the last time I saw you. Aside from the sleep thing, which I’m sure you’ll work on.” There, he could tease.
“You should definitely go if you get the chance. Their way of life and how they view things? Changes you...my arm’s fine.” He opened and closed his palm to display the impeccable work of Princess Shuri. “It doesn’t have a Russian Star on it anymore so I’ll take it. An arm is better than no arm.”
Far too curious for her own good, Wanda just had to reach out and touch the palm of Bucky’s hand - her fingertips merely brushed the surface, because she knew the Captain’s shield had been made from the substance, not to mention Vision’s entire framework was synthetic vibranium. Bucky’s arm felt similar too - it was comforting, in a sense. Brought her back to an actual time of peace in her dreams, the quiet streets in Scotland that she and Vision would walk along.
Before everything went to hell again.
“She tried to save him,” Wanda spoke up. “Shuri. She tried to save Vision by removing the mind stone before Thanos could take it. The one here,” and sadly, she touched her forehead while thinking of Vision’s final moments. He was safe in isolation now, oceans away, she had to remember that. “Technically, I have been to Wakanda - or a future version of me ends up there. From what I saw, it truly was beautiful. The landscape and the green trees. But I would like to return when it is not...being there only for a battle.”
Before he might have retracted his hand. He wasn’t very into physical touch, afraid at any time his mind might mistake something for an attack. There wouldn’t be anymore misconceptions though, nor words to make him something else. So he allowed her the curiosity.
“Of course she did.” He nodded, knowing the young firecracker of Wakanda well. Enough to make Stark’s mind blow with her intelligence. “I’m sorry…” He didn’t know what else he could say, having to watch someone die was enough. Not being able to do anything about it? This was an unfortunately familiarity that Bucky was all too acquainted with. So he tried to keep the mood positive.
“Unfortunately with the responsibility of our abilities, comes a few trials. I tend to bring some bad luck but. There won’t always be war. And everything is always...temporary. Shuri said that, not me.” He chuckled as he took a sip from his coffee, not wanting to sound as if he were some great philosopher. He really wasn’t. But he took his education from the Wakandans seriously. They helped him see that he could still have a life. It was hard not to extend the knowledge.
“Right now? This pie is amazing, so is this coffee, and it’s nice to just sit and relax while we can.”
“I’m glad you like it,” Wanda laughed lightly, a spark in her eye as she took a sip of coffee. “Many people are afraid of vegan recipes.” But with dessert especially, she thought that the pies and cakes and cookies tasted just as good, if not better, than their non-vegan counterparts. “It is not so bad of a job...”
Now that she’d gotten used to it? No, it wasn’t awful. Her feet still hurt at the end of her shift, and she was already tired of ‘broflakes’ grabbing her backside, but she also earned a lot in tips so that made for some decent pocket money. “Do you like jazz?” she asked then. “There are some clubs I want to visit. One in particular, that is a speakeasy.”
It seemed like those on the network threw parties a lot, but Wanda wasn’t really interested in those. The idea of attending made her nervous for some reason.
That was better, laughter and a smile. “Are you kidding? The only reason this pie isn’t gone is because I’m maintaining composure not to inhale it.” One of his favorite things back in the day was banana pudding. He remembered that, it was a rarity, but you cherished things like that then.
At first Bucky seemed confused at the idea of going to a speakeasy but he turned his head slightly to nod slowly. “Jazz is nice. I really like swing music but the two go hand in hand. The speakeasy though...isn’t that, from the prohibition era? A little before my time?” He was still a man out of time and coming around to modern culture. But Wakanda didn’t have Starbucks or Speak Easies.
“Yes, from that era,” Wanda nodded. “It is not so much an official speakeasy anymore - “ There was no need, obviously, given how alcohol flowed like water in this day and age. “But it’s an underground spot that is old. Now the neighborhood has few places like that left, so it’s a little piece of history. I would love if you came with me, if you’re interested.”
She liked jazz music, and swing music - basically any kind of music, she identified with. Her guitar had not made the trip with her here to this universe but she hoped to get back into it someday. Maybe find the perfect instrument for her so she could keep playing.
Oh. That made much more sense. Bucky wasn’t sure but he definitely thought the prohibition was over and didn’t know the underground scene that was usually more violent than not was now a fad of some sort. But since Wanda seemed interested, there was music, and it was ‘old’ then it couldn’t be that bad.
Bucky did take a second to consider it, given he was still adjusting to being in a space with so many people for a certain amount of time. But Wanda looked like she could use a friend. And he needed to get out a little more too.
With a tiny smile he nodded, “Sure, I’ll come along. I think it’d be interesting. So long as you’re not just trying to bring them a piece of history.” Bucky knew he was old (to everyone else). It was an outstanding joke everyone liked to delve into with Steve, and he took the time to do so as well, since he was the only one who could relate.
She wouldn’t have been offended if he said no - Wanda was a private person herself, very reserved and she did not care for crowds - but she had to admit, she was happy Bucky said yes. It must have showed on her face too, the way her smile lit up. “I love music, that’s all,” she promised, chuckling softly. “And I do not think of you as just a piece of history.”
Though obviously he was an important one. A war hero especially - she respected that. He’d done good for his country, the way her and Pietro had tried to do when they got involved with an organization that ended up lying to them and using them. Something she still felt shame about, among other decisions she’d made.
“For now, I should get back to work,” she added, sounding disappointed. “Thank you for visiting me.”
If he heard her say anything like that out loud Bucky would have severely disagreed. He was the furthest thing from a hero. He was a weapon, even when he wanted to just be peaceful and stay away from the fights. Just a cross to bear.
But her smile was reassuring and if he could do something to make someone happy that was good enough for him.
“Well thank you for inviting me. I’ll stick around awhile for some more coffee and read the paper for awhile if that’s alright. Make sure everyone tips you decently.” Not that he knew what a decent tip was these days. But people watching was the best way to find out, and he heard the disappointment in her voice. He didn’t have anywhere to be and this cafe was peaceful. Bucky Barnes approved.