The next day I joined Wanda in the lodge. She was on her phone scrolling through photos and didn’t hear me coming. Most of the photos were of her brother and her together, looking jolly and having twin-conspiracies. Pietro’s smile was making her feel sad, because her brother was gone.
I didn’t want to interrupt her in this private moment and waited at a distant. Unexpectedly she turned around and invited me to come sit next to her.
“Don’t try to sneak up on me. It won’t work.”
“Same with me,” I said and sat down. I looked at the phone in her hand. She showed me.
“This was my brother Pietro, but you already figured that out.”
“His death was a great loss. He had so much to offer this world…”
She looked at me, surprised to hear a honest condolence.
She missed him terribly.
“Family is important,” Wanda continued, “they form our mind as it is and it is really hard –later in life- to change your opinion. But still, all can vanish and so did my brother and his brilliant mind. He wanted to be a superhero. He wanted to help people.”
“He was and he did.”
“But you didn’t know him…”
She shut down her phone.
“I already know him better than a few minutes ago.”
“Now,” she changed the subject, “show me some tricks.”
I approved and created some illusions. My favorite one was the snake curling around someone’s neck. Wanda jumped scared and tried to take the snake off.
I nickered and freed her.
“How did you do that?!”
Before I answered I changed the room into a field full of cows. Only the sofa in which I sat remained. Wanda startled and sank back down in the sofa.
“Amazing! You don’t even have to twirl your fingers or stand near your victim’s head.”
The field disappeared.
“My turn,” she said and came near, bringing her hands beside my head, “brace yourself.”
Suddenly I was on a plane and there were strong turbulences. I clenched my seat. The plane crumbled in big pieces. I fell down with a piece and far down was the surface of the earth coming closer and closer.
I didn’t want to see this, I closed my eyes.
“Don’t resist my illusion, Dakota!” Wanda said in the distance. She was astonished.
I opened my eyes again. Now I was floating in space. A broad specter of colors and stars entertained my eyes. The blue light came closer, the red sparkles became bigger.
I came back to reality and Wanda’s big eyes were staring into mine.
“You need to teach me!” we both said at the same time. Then a candid laugh came from upstairs. Tony Stark was looking at us from the balcony.
“Twix!” he said and laughed again. He walked towards us and was thinking out loud: “The two of you have very curious gifts. It would indeed be a nice idea to work together and share your gifts. In the meantime I would like to make some observations and test a few things.”
Wanda jumped to her feet.
“With all due respect, but I am not a lab rat, Stark.”
“I’m not going to use the results for making weapons,” Tony correcting himself, “but I only want to help you understand your powers.”
“Maybe it’s too early, I only arrived and Wanda is leaving soon, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, a mission with low risks,” Wanda confirmed surprised.
“But we will think about your offer, Mr. Stark.”
“Please call me Tony.”
He nodded in approval and trotted towards the elevator.
“Alright ladies, I’ll remind you in a few weeks. If you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment.”
The elevator closed and he was gone.
Wanda and I continued sharing some tricks. She moved a lamp and showed me how to form energy. I tried it too, but the energy I formed was more robust and less visible. I accidently pushed the table to other side of the room.
We lost the time while I tried to make her create illusion without upsetting people. It was useless. I couldn’t manipulate things like she could, only make illusions of manipulating but not really moving things.
Wanda, on the other hand, couldn’t create illusions, only dream-like figments in someone’s head.
After two hours we took a break. We stood by the large window and looked down at the city.
Vision was in lodge, we both noticed his presence.
“Phew, I used a lot of energy,” Wanda sighed. She walked to the bar and poured water in two glasses. Vision was leaning against the wall. He followed Wanda back to the window.
“How is it going here?”
“Good,” Wanda said, “Dakota is teaching me some new tricks.”
I accepted the glass of water and we drank.
“I see you damaged a table.”
“Oh,” I shyly laughed, “that was just a little accident.”
And that’s how the three of us ended up teaching to control the energy fields and balls by Vision. He could explain very well and I learned to block a weak attack. In the meantime I tried to figure out Vision’s mind. He did have emotions, but they were only half, but still strong.
The way he looked at Wanda while telling something told me he was looking for her approval, which meant he really liked her and didn’t want to disappoint her.
Wanda felt relaxed and slightly high in Vision’s presence.
In the half an hour session we had from Vision I learned a lot of new of the composition of the team.
These two were in love.
In the late afternoon we made diner. Wanda was learning Vision how to make goulash. I sat in the sofa reading some more agreements Natasha had just brought me. She sat next to me and explained my rights and obligations in the training I was about to start at the end of this week.
“So, you will join most training sessions with other SHIELD recruits, especially self-defense, fighting and team-building. What you most need is a base training, then Clint and I will help you further and prepare you for missions when the time comes.”
“Thank you, I almost thought I was about to become a foot soldier… crawling in mud and such.”
“Oh! But you need some rough skin, so you will be crawling in mud and receiving punches. But remember: as long as you have the training with the other recruits: only use your tricks when you’re asked to!”
“I will try the remember that.”
I turned the last page.
“Natasha, the goulash is almost ready. Are you staying for diner?”
“Finally a decent meal, yes, I would love to.”
Vision was about to add some herbs to the pan when Wanda noticed and stopped him in time. She gently took his arm.
“Oh, no! Only half of this portion will be enough. These spices are very strong.”
She carefully took half of the herbs from between Visions fingers and added them. They stood so close and they felt so confident at that moment.
Vision took the spoon and stirred slowly. Wanda looked satisfied.
“Last time you tried to make this dish you didn’t put pepper in it, but Curcuma.”
“So you wanted to order pizza,” he continued with a lot of sympathy. Then they broke eye contact and turned away from each other. I could feel discomfort. They had to talk about it, I had the interfere.
“What happened?” I asked.
Natasha cleaned her troth.
“I’m going to set the table.”
She didn’t want to have anything to do with the conversation about to come.
Wanda leaned on the countertop and watch Vision with guilt.
“I hurt his feelings.”
“You had no choice but to follow Clint,” Vision corrected her.
“And you to follow Stark, yeah.”
A silence fell.
“Tell me, what happened?”
Vision started telling with a lot of objectivity: “Clint came to fetch Wanda to help Steve and the others hijack a plane and stop some very dangerous Winter Soldiers, but in the end none of it was true. It is very complicated to explain. However, I was assigned to keep Wanda at the compound and I hesitated to use my powers against her.”
The way he said her name and looked at her… He felt sorry that all had ended so bad that night.
“But I,” Wanda said with a lot of emotion, “didn’t hesitate and pierced him in the ground so Clint and I could run away and help the others.”
Natasha came back in the room. She had set the table.
“I was on Tony’s side,” Natasha said, “but at last I decided to help Steve and his friend Bucky. I regret none of it.”
“I regret everything… That stupid misunderstanding,” Wanda grumbled. She was very angry at herself.
Vision laid a hand on her shoulder. She placed her fingers on top of his. I smiled, happy that they talked about it.
Wanda woke up from the memory and snapped her fingers.
“Diners ready, let’s eat!”
All evening long we talked about the huge misunderstanding in which the Avengers had fought each other. Natasha ensured nothing like that would happen again with me near, because I could sense things like that. I would be able to tell when a stranger was trying to break the team spirit again.
But still, there was Bucky and Tony. Bucky had killed his parents and not everything was okay between those two, but all the others had forgiven each other.
“So, if I understand this whole situation well enough: the Avengers are now independent again, but they take advise from governments and have to follow certain rules.”
“That’s correct. Time of running around and breaking things is over. We have to be very careful. Catching the bad guy is less important than the people’s lives,” Natasha agreed.
Wanda set of another argument: “But sometimes accidents happen. We are fighting dangerous Mafiosi and Hydra. People are getting killed…”
The conversation ended late. We all went to sleep when Bucky, Sam and Steve came back from what appeared to be an outing. Sam was drunk. Bucky and Steve weren’t. They had to carry their mate to his room. Not long after their arrival the guest’s corridor was silent and empty. I lay in bed.
Tomorrow everybody would be present except for Wanda, Tony and Vision.
I planned to spend time with the rest of the group and find more problems hidden under the surface.