"Yea, everything's great," I told Vision as I talked to him that night. Everyone else was asleep already, me in my room Laura gave me, sitting at the window seat with my back against the wall, the window open slightly, looking out at the falling snow, the cold not affecting me. We had been talking for awhile already, and since we were both use to each other's company at night when we weren't sleeping, neither of us mind what time it was."Definitely something I could get used to."
"What if, in the future, we do that?" Vision suggested. "Once everything's said and done and there's no need to fight, we could go into the country, just the two of us."
"You really mean it?" I asked as I sat up.
"It's something you want to do, right?" Vision replied. When I agreed, he continued by saying, "Then why not? It sounds like a nice, peaceful thing to do to live out the rest of our lives."
"And what about kids?" I said after a moment's pause. "Do you think we'll be able to have them?"
"That I don't know," Vision said. "But if one or both of us are infertile, we could always adopt a child."
I nodded, though I knew he couldn't see it. "Yea, that's what I was thinking," I said. "But I want to wait until at least Ultron is dealt with. After that, it would depend on how much stuff is going on."
"I agree," Vision said.
I was about to say something when Nathaniel woke up crying. "I've gotta go take care of Nathaniel before the others wake up," I said. "Be right back." I set my phone down and quickly went to where Nathaniel's crib was, picking him up and rocking him back and forth slowly while singing a lullaby to him softly.
Slowly, the crying baby fell back into slumber.
I did a small smile and gently kisses Nathaniel's forehead, saying softly, "Rest, little one. Let your dreams be filled with sunshine and rainbows to chase off the darkness and monsters. Here, you are protected."
"Wow, he went to sleep quick," Clint mumbled as he walked to me as I placed the baby in his crib. "How'd you do it?"
"A lullaby that I created when I had to put the young children to sleep when they woke up," I said. "Almost every night I needed it, and even though I haven't used it in awhile, from repeating it so often, it's ingrained in my mind."
"You'll need to teach it to me," Clint said.
"Did Laura make you go this time?" I asked.
"I was already on my feet before she even got up," Clint replied. "But you beat me to it."
I did a small smile and nodded. "Yea, I did," I said. "Go get some more sleep, Clint. If he wakes up, I'll take care of it, ok?"
"Alright," Clint said. He hugged me and then went back to his room.
I walked back to mine and sat down in my place again, picking up my phone. "You still there, Vision?" I said.
"Yea, I'm still here," Vision said. "Got Nathaniel to sleep again?"
"Pretty easily," I said. "A lullaby put him to sleep before even Clint got there. I placed myself on baby-duty."
"Does it feel like home there?" Vision said.
"Yea, it really does," I said. "My niece and nephew immediately accepted me and Laura has been so nice. Plus, Nathaniel said his first word today at dinner and it really surprised me."
"What was it?" Vision questioned.
"Rose," I said. "It was Rose. And then he grabbed my finger and would not let me go for the longest of time, so I fed him with one hand."
"It appears you've already bonded with him already," Vision said.
"Yea, I definitely have," I said.
Vision and I talked all night long with the occasional break of me going to make Nathaniel go back to sleep with my lullaby. When it was morning and I heard the others start to get up, I said my goodbye to Vision and we hung up, me going down the stairs to the living room.
"How did you sleep?" I asked Lila and Cooper as they stumbled down the stairs, still looking tired.
In response, they yawned.
I chuckled as Laura came down the stairs, Clint behind her carrying Nathaniel.
"It snowed a good amount last night," Laura pointed out as she looked outside.
"Does that mean we can go play in the snow!?" Cooper said, both he and his sister suddenly wide awake.
"After breakfast," Laura replied as she went to the kitchen.
Clint sat down in a chair as the two kids started to gather their snow gear. "You know, you didn't have to do that last night," he pointed out. "Putting Nathaniel to sleep."
"I know, but having to and wanting to are two totally different things," I said as I sat down opposite him. "I didn't mind. After all, it's not like I was sleeping or anything."
"What were you doing?" Clint asked.
"I was talking to Vision all night long," I replied. "It's what we usually do at the base at night when we're not sleeping. Just talking."
"So I did hear your voice," Clint said. "I couldn't tell if it was just a dream or if you actually were talking to someone, other than making Nathaniel sleep."
"Well, it wasn't a dream," I said.
"Do you have any plans today?" Clint said.
"I was hoping to just kick my feet up and rest," I said. "Haven't had much of an opportunity to do that lately. What were you planning on doing?"
"I was going to take Lila and Cooper out for a hike in the forest while Laura stayed here with Nathaniel," Clint said. "You could stay here if you like. Laura may not let you help out with housework, but you could also keep Nathaniel busy so she could do more."
I nodded. "Alright," I said. "Next time you do a hike, I'll join you."
"Breakfast kids!" Laura called from the dining room.
"Well, time to eat," Clint said as we got up.
I placed Nathaniel down for his nap, Laura having classical music playing at a low tone while she worked around the house.
"He's resting now," I told her.
"I really appreciate you doing that," Laura said. "Man, where have you been all the other times I've had the kids when they were babies and I was getting housework done?"
I chuckled. "Well, I'm here for a little bit," I said. "Want me to help you with anything? I can do the heavy lifting while Clint's out with the kids."
"I know I'm asking too much, but could you take some boxes into the attic?" Laura asked. "I was going to ask Clint, but since you're offering and you seem pretty determined, you could do it."
"Yea, no problem," I said. "I can use my magic to put everything up there and then move it out of the way."
Laura showed me where the attic was and together we brought the boxes.
I was placing the last box on a shelf in the attic when I got a message on my communicator from Clint. I hadn't taken it out since starting my missions: I felt it was safer that way.
"Magemancer to Hawkeye, repeat," I said, frowning slightly.
"Mage, get Laura and Nathaniel somewhere safe," Clint said. "An attack."
"Where are you?" I asked sternly.
"I'm somewhere safe with Cooper and Lila," Clint said. "That's the important thing. Whatever attacked us is moving your way, fast. And in big numbers."
"Should I contact the Avengers?" I said as I started down the ladder.
"Contact Vision at least, so you have some form of backup," Clint said. "I'm sorry, but I can't get to you. I've got to keep the kids safe."
"I understand," I said. "Once Laura and Nathaniel are out safely, I'll let you know and you can come to them."
"Understood. Over and out," Clint said.
I found Laura doing some dishes in the kitchen. "Laura," I said as I went to her, placing a hand on her shoulder. "You and Nathaniel are not safe here. You two need to go."
"What about Clint, Cooper, and Lila?" Laura asked.
"They're safe," I said. "Please, Clint told me to get you two out of here."
"And you?" Laura said, concerned about me.
"I'm staying back to keep the farm safe, so that when this attack is over you guys still have someplace to live and not be like how I was," I said. "You shouldn't have to suffer what I went through."
"Tell Clint we're going to our safe spot," Laura said before darting out of the room to get Nathaniel.
"Magemancer to Hawkeye, the two are leaving to the safe spot," I said.
"Roger, over and out," Clint replied.
I watched Laura as she grabbed a bag, quickly packed a few needed items in it, and leaving out the back with Nathaniel. "Magemancer to Vision, come in," I said as I followed them until the treeline.
"Vision here, report," Vision said.
"I need help," I said as I walked to the front of the farm again, grabbing my weapons where I had placed them. "An enemy's attacking. Don't know what it is yet. I require my partner to help me out. The others have been evacuated and Clint is going to stay with them to protect them."
"I'll be there as soon as I can," Vision said. "Do you request anyone else?"
I paused for a moment and then said, "Bring Black Widow so she can help Clint."
"Roger," Vision said. "Hang in there, Partner."
"Roger that," I said. "Over and out." I reached the front porch and walked down the steps, looking around carefully before turning to the house and placing a protective shield around it to keep most attacks out of it. I turned back around to the trees, ready to attack, an arrow on my bowstring, alert. I mumbled, "Come on, who and what are you?"
A tree was suddenly taken down and tons of birds flew into the air.
I pulled my arrow back, eyes narrowing as I scanned the trees.
Gunshots suddenly rang out at me and I dove behind a tree, shooting an arrow at the attacker before getting another one ready to shoot.
"I would say give up, Avenger, but I know that is no use," a voice said as the gunfire ceased. "So all I say is to prepare to be defeated. Hail HYDRA!"
I gasped quietly, eyes widening. "HYDRA!" I whispered. I placed a hand on my communicator. "Magemancer to Hawkeye, Vision, and Black Widow! Come in!"
"Vision and Black Widow here," Natasha said. "Report."
"Hawkeye to Magemancer, report," Clint said.
"Attacker confirmed," I said. "HYDRA attacking! Repeat, HYDRA attacking!"
"What is your call?" Vision asked.
"Hawk, stay with your family. Widow, Vision, how far are you out?" I said.
"We still have some distance to travel, even with Vision flying," Natasha said. "At least half an hour."
"Nat, what are you-?" Clint began then cut himself off. "Nevermind. No time for that right now. Protect now, questions later. I will stay with them."
"I can try to fly a bit faster," Vision said. "But it will still be twenty minutes."
"Do whatever you can," I said. "Upon arrival, we are still doing the same as before: Widow goes to Hawk and Vision stays with me." I paused as gunfire rang out around me. "I'll stall. HYDRA will not win."
"Roger," the others said. "Over and out."
I waited until there was another break in firing before risking climbing the tree even though I knew I could do it without getting hit. Once I reached the top, I looked out past the leaves to see that I was drastically outnumbered by HYDRA troops. I bite my lip, thinking of a plan. If I did any kind of attack, my only hiding spot would be given away and I wouldn't have it anymore. And I couldn't risk blowing cover yet until Vision and Natasha were closer.
Instead, I whispered a spell and a second protective shield went up, this time around the perimeter of the farm's property that stopped them from shooting at where I was.
That would give me more time while I thought of a plan, but I couldn't take too long.
I decided that, instead of putting up a second shield, I'll turn into something nearly impossible to hit to conserve energy: an insect.
The shield came down as I turned into a bee, flying into the air and getting as close as I dared to the enemy to see the artillery that I was up against.
All the troops had guns, but farther back were tanks and other more heavy weapons.
"Vision and Black Widow to Magemancer," Vision said after what seemed like an eternity to wait.
"Magemancer here, report," I said as I flew behind my tree again and turned human.
"We have landed. I'm going to Hawk and Vision is coming to you," Natasha said.
"Roger, over and out," I said as I finally risked breaking cover and shooting a couple explosive arrows at the troops.
They were about to return fire when Vision came swooping down, hitting them with his laser beam before landing next to me.
"Status report," Vision said.
"The foot soldiers are the least of our problems," I reported. "They have the heavy machinery hidden behind the trees."
"Then let's get to fighting," Vision said.
The two of us charged into the enemy, attacking them with everything we had.
When we reached the commander, we stopped dead: it was Red Skull.