On the evening of Christmas eve, all the present Avengers worked together to set up a Christmas tree in our break room.
Bruce had been dispatched from the infirmary in the morning after proving that he did have control over the Hulk and he had helped us with the tree.
"I've never had a Christmas tree before," I said after the star was placed on it and we were all standing back, admiring it. "This is really my first Christmas in a long time."
"And this is my first," Vision said, who was on my right. He reached over and took my hand in his, grasping it gently.
"We celebrated with our parents but stopped after everything happened," Pietro said as he and Wanda looked at each other, smiling.
"We never had the chance," Wanda added.
"Even the holidays are as they were when I was a kid," Steve pointed out.
"How long ago was that, Old Man?" Sam teased as the rest of us laughed.
"At least we're being able to celebrate it together," Rhodey said.
"As a team," Bruce agreed.
"And Clint and Natasha are going to be contacting us tomorrow," Fury said.
We all looked at each other, knowing that this was a time to celebrate and relax.
Right now, we could forget about Ultron because not only were we ahead of schedule due to the missions Vision and I were doing, but we knew that with the weather way it was, it was also next to impossible for even he to get stuff done.
When the others started to get to sleep, Vision and I stayed awake, like usual. We stayed in his room and talked so as not to disturb the others.
But my mind started to drift to my friends in New York, right now suffering in the blizzard that was going on outside. I worried about them, especially with the bad weather right now.
"Rose?" Vision said, placing a hand on my shoulder to bring me back."Is everything alright?"
"Uh, yea, everything's fine," I said quickly.
"Your eyes say otherwise," Vision replied. "And your body language."
"I'm just concerned about my friends in the city," I said after a moment's pause. "It wasn't unusual for one of the littler kids to not make it through the night when there was a huge blizzard like right now. I just hope they're ok."
Vision got to his feet and extended his hand to me. "Come on," he said.
"Where are we going?" I asked as I took it and was pulled to my feet.
"First we're going to get some extra blankets and warm food," Vision said. "Then we're going to go check up on them."
The kids were overjoyed when they saw what Vision and I had brought.
"Rose, Vision, you really helped us this time," Clare said as she and Jenny came to us, hugging the both of us. "It started to look pretty hopeless for us."
"I can't let my family suffer when I can do something," I said. "And I've been working on a spell that I think should help make it more comfortable for you guys, especially when the weather is really bad."
"Oh, anything that you can do to help is definitely an improvement," Jenny said. "Please just try it out. Even if it partially works, better than nothing."
I nodded and walked to the center of the shelter, constantly aware that everyone was watching me intently for what I was going to do. I took a deep breath and raised my hands in the air, whispering an incantation under my breath that I created. My eyes started to glow white as an invisible dome surrounded me and I used my hands to push it out until it had surrounded the entire shelter, blocking out the weather and making it more pleasant to live in. I ended the spell but the dome stayed there.
My eyes returned to normal and I smiled, looking at everyone and saying, "Merry Christmas to all of you! No longer do you have to worry about the weather, whether it be cold, raining, snowing, windy, or hot!"
Everyone let out a quiet cheer.
"It's definitely going to get better from here," Jenny said.
"And once I have a good amount of free time without the threat of an enemy attack, I'm going to look into buying a building where you all came live," I added. "A stable shelter, meals, clothes, and all-in-all a place better than out under a bridge in New York."
"We'll be looking forward to it," Clare said with a smile.
"If you need something, contact me," I said as I tossed a coin to Clare. It was gold with the fire logo on it. "I'll find a way to help, even if I'm in the middle of a mission."
Clare nodded, looking at it. "Thanks Rose," she said.
I looked over at where Vision stood outside the ring of people and saw him smiling, blue eyes glowing with pride. He definitely liked me helping out others, especially those who have suffered so much.
The next morning, the base was buzzing with the holiday spirit, except Tony who started out pretending to be Scrooge and then lightening up a the day progressed, just for our sheer entertainment.
I was able to talk to Clint and Natasha for a little bit when the kids were outside playing in the snow before they had to go to help Laura with the Christmas dinner.
But what I liked most about today was being able to spend it with Vision and not have to worry about fighting, missions, or anything else.
After my spell was a success, it definitely put my mind at ease and on the way back, Vision had pointed out that I already looked less stressed.
Someone thought it would be funny to hang mistletoe in random spots around the base to get the unsuspecting to kiss. Everyone guessed that it was Tony, though he claimed not to do it. I had thought that, when we had gotten back, I saw him in the hallway, but just to save him, Vision and I didn't bring it up. And everyone guessed that, since Natasha wasn't here, it was mostly set for us two.
Our guesses were confirmed when we were all sitting around the tree before dinner.
Vision and I were on a couch and I was leaning against him, his arms around me loosely, as we talked with the others.
Tony came into the room, hiding something behind his back.
"What you got there, Tony?" Wanda asked as we all looked at him.
"Oh, nothing important, really," Tony replied as he walked behind the couch Vision and I were on. "It's a stick."
The two of us, especially, watched him closely since he was obviously a bit tipsy and he had a glass in his hand that he occasionally drank from.
"Just a stick?" I said, tilting my head to the side slightly.
"No, it has something on it," Tony said.
"Which is..?" Sam said.
"Only mistletoe!" Tony exclaimed, bringing the stick into view that indeed had mistletoe on it and holding it over me and Vision.
"Now you gotta kiss!" Pietro said teasingly as everyone chuckled.
I looked down, blushing, but Vision placed a hand under my chin and gently lifted my face up to his before giving me a quick kiss.
"Aw, come on, that was just a peck!" protested Bruce.
"Even I've seen better kisses back in my day," mocked Steve.
"You guys suck," I muttered, though I still had a smile on my face.
Without responding, Vision kissed me again, this time letting his lips linger on mine for several seconds before pulling away. "Better?" he asked.
In response, a few of our teammates clapped.
"Happy Tony?" I questioned as I looked at him as he leaned the stick against the wall.
"Yep!" Tony replied as he sat down in an empty seat, taking another drink from his glass.
"Well, now that everyone's here, Santa came around a bit late and just left his sack of stuff here," Steve said as he got up. "It has a few things for each of you."
"Now I'm curious," Rhodey commented as we watched Steve walk out of the room and return carrying a large red sack.
As Steve pulled out the different presents, he called out the names of who it was, each of us getting something. Only a few presents had actual labels of who they were from.
I saw that I had one from Vision and felt a bit guilty that I hadn't gotten anything for him. I actually wasn't expecting to get any presents, period, since that was what I was use to for years.
But I was surprised when Vision pointed out that he had something from me, though I hid it from him.
"This is really nice," Vision said as he opened the present from "me." It was a necklace with a ruby rose pendant. "It's a way of saying that we're together. I'm not taking it off." He put it on and let the rose fall under his top.
"Yea, I thought you would like it when I saw it," I said, smiling, but raked my brain for who would do this for me.
"Go ahead and see what I got for you," Vision said. "I found it while you were at the farm."
I opened the present from Vision and saw that it was also a necklace. This one had a yellow diamond-shaped pendant with an eye in the middle of it. The iris of the eye was blue.
"Vision," I whispered as I looked at it. "This is amazing."
"I guess this means we really are a match for each other," Vision commented with a smile. "Here, let me help you with it." He took the necklace out of the box and clasped it around my neck.
I smiled as I placed a hand over the diamond, grasping it gently. "I love it, Vision. Thank you," I said as I hugged him.
"And thank you," Vision said, returning my hug.
Other presents I had gotten was a new bow from Clint, and two anonymous gifts of a gold cape that went with my uniform (I was secretly jealous that Vision and Thor both had one, thinking that it looked cool when they flew) and new set of throwing knives that I could charge magic into to make them more powerful.
"Are you going to start wearing that whenever we have a mission?" Vision said as he looked at the cape.
"I just might," I said, securing the cape around my neck with a tie. "Add a dramatic flair to when I have to fight."
"And daze then with the shine," Vision added, chuckling.
I laughed joyfully, a cheerful glow in my eyes.
Everyone started to head over to dinner, Vision and I joining them since we decided to have dinner instead of breakfast this time as our meal.
The two of us didn't notice the mistletoe hanging above the doorway to the dining hall until Tony pointed it out when we were right under it.
"Foiled by Tony again!" Pietro said with a laugh.
"And no peck this time!" Sam added.
Before I could respond, Vision swept me into his arms and dipped me as if we were in a dance, kissing me for a moment before pulling me back to my feet. "Is that showy enough?" he asked them, an arm still around me.
"Yep, definitely is," Steve said as the others came inside the room, though going one-by-one with space in between them.
We were able to contact Clint and Natasha to have a video chat with us during dinner, both us and them eating at the same time.
"Hi Aunt Rose!" Lila exclaimed as she poked her head up next to Clint.
"Aunty Rosie!" Cooper cried as he came on Clint's other side.
I chuckled. "Hey Lila, Cooper," I said.
"Rose!" Nathaniel said as Laura came behind Clint, holding the child in her arms.
"Hey there, Little Buddy," I said with a smile, glad that he still remembered my name.
"That's his first word?" Steve asked me.
I nodded. "Yea," I said. "My name is his first word."
"That's amazing!" Sam commented. "I bet you feel really special."
"It certainly is something," I said. "Especially since I wasn't around him a lot." I looked back at the screen. "Learned any more words?"
"Tell Aunt Rose what else you learned," Laura coaxed.
"Aunt!" Nathaniel said. "Aunt Rose!"
"That's his Christmas present to you," Clint said.
My smile grew as I heard that. "That's amazing," I said. "He has a good start."
With that, all of us started to eat.
It was definitely a merry time for everyone, and the light, festive air brought joy and happiness to all.
When everyone was starting to drift off to sleep long after the meal, I found myself standing on the top of the base, the wind blowing gently, making my cape flutter behind me. I was thinking about a lot of stuff all of the sudden, but I was mostly questioning Vision's actions during dinner, as if he was hesitant about something.
He had kept glancing at me out of the corner of his eye and seemed a bit more stiff than usual. His movements showed that he wanted to do something, tell me something, but it appeared something always stopped him.
"I've been looking everywhere for you," Vision said as he walked to me. "You just disappeared."
"Vision, what do you want to tell me?" I asked without looking back.
When I didn't hear a response, I turned to see Vision on a knee, looking up at me, a small box in his hands.
"Vision," I whispered, my hands covering my mouth.
"I asked Tony and the others to help me try to do this with the mistletoe, but my courage always failed me," Vision said. "I tried at first during the presents, and then again before dinner, and once during, but before I could get up, my nerves kept me down. So I will ask you now, Rosalina Barton." He opened the box, revealing a diamond ring. "Will you marry me?"
I found myself unable to speak for a minute, tears in my eyes as I nodded mutely. Finally, I was able to squeak out, "I will. Yes, Vision, I will."
Smiling, Vision got to his feet and slipped the ring onto my finger. "Thank you," he said. "You have no idea how difficult that was." Before I could reply, he kissed me.