I woke up alone and found a thank you note next to the granola on the counter.
I had a headache and took some aspirins. Oh my gosh, what kind of person had I been yesterday? I played Cupid and afterwards a professional analyst and then a thirsty and tipsy girl in bed. Being drunk wasn’t my thing, oh gosh…
I went to the lobby at the upper floor and drank some orange juice. An half an hour later I was reading an important book about SHIELD in the sofa.
Clint walked in and saw me reading. I greeted him with a smile when he sank down next to me. He had a heavy backpack and was ready to leave.
“How is it going so far? You feel at home?”
“Good, everyone here likes me so far. I’m ready for the tests already.”
“Are you sure of that? By the way you have another month to study. With that comes your combat training. You are going tomorrow, right?”
“Yes, I am.”
“You’ll be fine.”
He leaned back and placed his feet on the table.
Bucky entered and saw us. He normally never came to this place because of Tony, but he was gone to a conference today.
Still, I wasn’t ready to see him. I was too embarrassed after yesterday.
He walked towards Clint and me. Bucky sat down at my other side while inspecting me and making eye contact.
“I should read this book too,” he simply said.
“Boring literature, but interesting facts.”
He smiled. He shaved this morning.
“They want to make you a soldier. A smart one. Are you up for this?”
“I’m not going to fight-fight like you guys do…”
Bucky took the book from me and shook his head in disapproval.
“The Avengers only interfere when there’s a battle, Dakota.”
“Then I will fight, but not kill.”
“Good luck with that,” Clint commented, “Wanda was just like you in the beginning, but that soon changed.”
“Not everybody has to die just because they’re on the other side of the battlefield.”
“You have a point, but we don’t see them as innocent. And all we want to do is protect the innocent people from the bad guys and the aliens.”
Clint now referred to New York and my fath- Loki’s war.
I wanted to take back the book Bucky had, but he childishly pushed me away.
“Wait, I’m reading.”
“I was too, give it back.”
“Oh no… you too are starting to… never mind.”
Clint took his backpack and headed for the elevator.
“I’m going back to the family, my kids are missing me. I’ll see you in a month.”
“Hey, wait. What do you mean with that, Clint?”
“Wanda and Vision? Haven’t you noticed?”
He stopped and turned around. I examined his mood and replied.
“You can’t stand see them flirting?”
Bucky now felt caught and unpleasant, but I continued anyway.
“Yeah, they are cute. Would make a great couple,’ I said.
“Dakota, this is for real, we’re not playing in Grey’s Anatomy.”
“We’re all only human and humans fall in love. You of all people know best.”
Clint wanted to reply, but held it back. He thought I was right. And he also thought I was only here for three days and I felt at home just that little bit too much.
“Okay… They would be cute. Weird, but cute. Vision and Scarlet Witch.”
He trotted to the elevator and waved one last time. He was gone.
Bucky was reading again.
“We’re not flirting,’ I spoke only to have something to say, “are we?”
“I’m not, are you?”
He blamed me for being so confused about his feelings since last night. Also he was wondering if I was being serious about this. He wanted to keep a distance, not only with me. Normally he never ever touched people, but with me he had not the least problem being close to.
“Again, sorry for yesterday… but you had a great night of rest, hadn’t you?”
He stopped reading and looked at me with a lot of gracefulness.
“Yes, thank you, Dakota.”
For the next few minutes I thought about the whole situation.
As I said in the beginning of the story: I’m only ten years old in existence, but biologically I’m around 20. On my passport I’m 18. I skipped the four first grades in High school and almost all the classes in primary school. I grew twice as fast as normal kids, was five times smarter than them and much stronger in agility, durance and other physical things.
My grandparents always told me I was born like that and that that was the reason why we had to move and change identity al lot.
“One day, Dakota, your age will stagnate and you will slowly grow older, more than 500 years old!”
I had always been obvious enough to think that was a good thing, but I’m clever and realized I was born with a curse and miracle at the same time.
“Grandma, how will I ever survive all those wars?”
“Don’t be silly, here in Europe there is no war and the aliens are gone now. We have the Avengers, they will come back and protect us when we need it just like they did in that Russian village. They come back.”
“When will mommy come back?”
“I’m afraid she won’t, my child.”
My grandfather let me read awesome comic books and taught me all about SHIELD and Captain America. The Winter Soldier was the bad guy who had killed a lot of people in hypnoses, but was now hiding.
Later, when I was eight years in existence he once told me about how bad he would miss me when I would go and explore the world. I had to learn Chinese, Cantonese, French, German, Spanish and come back and teach him. He was joking, I knew that.
Could I really be a part of the Avengers? Like, Bucky and Steve were approx. 20 years older than me.
They, just like me, didn’t really add years because they were being created a superhuman with a serum. Bucky and Steve were almost a hundred years old, but looked in their twenties and were serious blokes. Also they had been preserved in ice…
Tony, Natasha, Clint, Sam, … they had all been adding a few years. Wanda was also becoming a woman and Vision was Vision and would always stay like that.
If you heard this it would be possible for me to fit in as a mutant. Only, I wasn’t a mutant, I was a demi god and only Wanda knew that. I would become not much older than 30 for the next hundred years. Soon that will be noticed by someone.
I was sure about one thing, the age difference between me and Bucky was not a problem, because there would be none.
(What the heck am I thinking about? A future with this damaged soldier? HELL NO!)
“I’m worrying about some life decisions,” I confessed.
Next thing he laid his arm around my shoulder and gave a little hug.
“Don’t worry too much about it. You are still young and a great life lays ahead of you.”
“You’re probably right. Thanks.”
I didn’t feel much better. Secrets are heavy.
_I see the world in pictures. I create them myself.