The next morning, I met with Natasha and Clint as soon as they came off of the jet and it took no time for Natasha to notice the addition of the ring to my person.
"When he'd propose?" Natasha asked me as she, Clint, and I walked inside from the landing pad.
"Last night after everyone went to bed," I said. "I was on the roof and he found me there, asked me the question."
"He told me he was going to try during the presents," Clint said. "Guess that didn't happen."
"Or at dinner," Natasha added. "By the way, you're welcome for finding the necklace."
I turned to her "You found it?" I said, surprised.
"Yea, but only after Vision showed me and Clint the necklace he got you," Natasha said. "And since I knew you aren't the one to really do much for the holidays, I bought it and put your name on it. Seemed only fair."
"Thanks for that," I said. "You really did save me."
The three of us joined the others in the break room, where the tree was still up and a few others were talking.
Vision was there and he came to me, saying softly so that only I and the two assassins could hear, "When do we tell the others?"
"Lunch," I replied. "When everyone's gathered."
Vision nodded as we sat down as the others greeted Clint and Natasha, welcoming them back.
When it was lunch time, everyone headed that way and Vision and I waited for the perfect time to let everyone know what had happened last night.
"What about if I ask you again?" Vision asked.
"I'm fine with whichever way you want," I said.
"Then I'd like to propose again," Vision said. "The others were expecting to witness it and if I don't do it in front of the others, then I feel that I haven't really held up my end of the deal for the help they gave me."
I nodded and when no one was looking, I slipped the ring off my finger and placed it in the android's hand.
"What are you two talking about?" Clint asked as he and Natasha came to the table, sitting down with full plates of food.
"Showing instead of telling," was Vision's only reply before pulling me to my feet and getting to his knee.
All the talking died away as all eyes turned to us.
"Rosalina Barton, I have no words to describe my feelings for you," Vision said. "I tried yesterday with the chances I got, but my nerves kept me from asking you this question that I know will change both of our lives forever." There was a moment of silence as he presented the ring to me. "Will you marry me?"
"Vision," I whispered. I had thought that doing the proposal again wasn't going to be as emotional as the first time, but I was wrong. I wiped tears of joy from my eyes as I nodded. "Yes. I will."
Vision slipped the ring onto my finger again and got to his feet, pulling me into a hug as the whole room erupted with cheers.
"That seemed harder than the first time," he mumbled in my ear as the two of us sat down
"There was a crowd," I said. "Before it was only us."
"Good job, Vision," Clint said. "I know it definitely is nerve-racking to do that."
"But the reward is worth it," Vision replied, taking my hand in his.
A few days later, Tony told me that the new heart was ready.
As soon as he told me that, my previous fear of going under the knife came back.
While Clint went with Tony to find Bruce to have him help out in the surgery, Vision did what he could to keep me calm as the two of us walked to the operation room.
"Tony and Bruce will give you the medicine to sleep and when you wake up, everything will be fine," Vision tried saying.
"The medicine doesn't work," I said. "It hasn't since Tony first saved me."
"Then how has he been doing your upgrades?" Vision asked, confused.
"I've been awake," I said. "Even my magic hasn't worked putting me to sleep."
"Has he done something that will allow you to put yourself to sleep if you need repairs?" Vision suggested.
"If so, I haven't been injured enough to need it," I replied.
We reached the operating room, Tony and Bruce there talking, Clint not too far off, leaning against the wall.
Clint, seeing that we came in, pushed off the wall and came to me, hugging me. "Afterwards, I'll treat you," he said. "A day of relaxation. No fighting, no missions, no simulations, just kicking your feet up and taking a break. Just you and me. Brother and Sister."
"I'll look forward to it," I said, pulling away after a moment.
"How you feeling, Rose?" Bruce asked me.
"A bit nervous," I said as I went to the table. Vision was about to leave but I reached out to him, gently touching his shoulder. "Vision, Clint, stay with me until I fall asleep. Please?"
Vision turned back to me and nodded. "Alright. And when you wake, I'll be right here, as well," he said as he walked back to my side.
"You know I already was going to," Clint said.
"I know the medicine doesn't work to put you directly to sleep, and just having you put yourself to sleep also won't work," Tony said. "But when I had to work to save your heart before, both the prototype and the heart I will place into you today have an automatic sleep, a hibernation, if you may, like your spell. All we have to do is induce your heart to place you into sleep for repairs."
"How?" I said, trying to keep myself calm.
"Stimulate critical injury without hurting you," Tony said. "Medicine, while it doesn't work directly in your body, can still cause a reaction with your brain. I've devised something that'll make your brain think you've been seriously hurt while in reality, you're perfectly fine. You will feel, however, that you actually are that hurt before your body forces itself to shut down. It might even cause you to have a nightmare. That much I don't know. It'll be how your brain reacts to it."
I nodded slowly. "Alright, I'm ready," I said, a bit scared that I may dream of losing Clint or Vision. I still hadn't told Clint about Wanda's control of my mind. I couldn't bring myself to tell him since either he was gone, he was in too good a mood, or we were both busy doing stuff.
Vision and Clint both took one of my hands.
Tony had me lay down and injected the medicine into my arm. "I'll take a moment to kick in," he said.
I closed my eyes, taking a deep breath. "Everything's going to be ok, Rose," I whispered. "Tomorrow you'll be back to normal." I gasped as the pain kicked in, a sudden overwhelming sensation that caused me to clench up and squeeze tightly the hands that held mine.
Then everything went black.
There was a bright light that blinded me.
When it died away, I saw I was back at Avengers Tower, in the living room late at night.
I looked around, trying to find someone, even an agent at least, but no one was there. I was completely alone.
A hand tapped my shoulder and I turned to see Vision.
I smiled. "Vision," I said as I hugged him.
"I've been looking everywhere for you," Vision said as he returned the hug. "You just disappeared. Where'd you go?"
"What do you mean?" I asked, confused, as I pulled away, still in his arms, just far enough away to look into his eyes.
"No one's seen you since our last fight with Ultron," Vision explained. "He separated you from us when we were fighting the robots. Before we defeated him, he said that he had taken care of you. We assumed the worst. Couldn't find clues or anything."
I was about to reply when I heard a smooth voice in my mind that chilled me.
"They don't know the truth. They don't need to know."
"Rose?" Vision said when he felt me stiffen in his arms. "Rose, is everything alright?"
"No, everything's not," I replied.
"Do you need to sit down?" Vision questioned, already guiding me to an empty chair.
"They won't be able to save you."
My legs gave in and I fell to my knees, shaking slightly.
"Rose!" Vision exclaimed, coming down next to me.
"There are some modifications that can be done, but first, I need to get rid of these annoying distractions."
"Vision," I whispered, my eyes glowing red. "Vision, stop me! Knock me out! Before I do something bad!"
Before he could react, I had cast a spell at Vision that sent him skidding back.
"No!" I cried, but I wasn't in control of my body: Ultron was. And he was resisting all fight that I put up.
"Rose, what's going on!?" Vision demanded in a worried tone as he got to his feet. "I don't want to hurt you!"
"She's no longer in control of this body," Ultron said, using my mouth as a speaker.
"Ultron!" Vision said. "Let her go!"
"Can't do that, I'm afraid," Ultron said. "You see, I am in control now. She's not going anywhere unless I approve it. She's a puppet, and I control the strings. And I will move them to destroy you."
Vision moved out of the way as Ultron cast a spell at him. He was about to move in for an attack but thought better of it, knowing that right now, he needed to be defense, not offense.
"Your hesitation will be your downfall, Vision," Ultron commented before casting another spell at the android, this time hitting him square in the chest and sending him crashing back into a wall. He walked forward as Vision slowly got to his feet. "How does it feel? Your girlfriend's own powers, used to protect others and fight evil, being used the other way around? You won't hurt her. None of the Avengers will. Because they're like you: too scared to attack, for fear of injuring her. Because they care for her. But that was the old her. This is the new her." He raised a hand to cast another spell when Vision suddenly tackled him to the ground.
"I will get you to leave her mind, Ultron!" Vision exclaimed. He placed his hands on either side of Ultron's head and used his mind gem to get into his mind, but he realized something: if he blocked him out, then it could seriously harm me, possibly even kill me.
"I told you, I control her," Ultron said as Vision let his guard down, throwing him off of him and quickly getting to his feet. "You lose."
"I know she'll want me to do whatever I can to make sure a monster like yourself isn't in her body," Vision growled. "Sure, hurt me with her spells, taunt me using her actions, but you won't use her body for your plan." He kicked Ultron back and pinned him against the wall, beginning to separate Ultron from me with careful precision.
With a gasp, my eyes returned to normal and I slumped to the ground. "Vision, I'm sorry," I whispered, shaking.
"Are you alright, Rose?" Vision asked with labored breathing, placing a hand on my shoulder.
I nodded slowly.
"Good," Vision said before collapsing.
"Vision!" I cried as I caught him as he fell and gently lowered him to the ground. I saw the damage he took from the battle, the injuries my spells had inflicted upon him. "Vision, you're hurt."
"The pain's easier to tolerate knowing that you're fine," Vision said softly as I held him in my arms. "That Ultron didn't get his way with you."
"But he forced me to hurt you!" I said, feeling tears sting my eyes. "You know I never meant to hurt you! I love you, Vision!"
"I love you, too, Rose," Vision said, reaching up weakly and placing a hand on the side of my face. "I know you don't mean me harm, but it wasn't you that was in control at the moment." He used his thumb to wipe away tears. "Please, do not cry."
"But you're dying," I sobbed. "All because I couldn't keep Ultron away. It's all my fault. You're suffering all because of me."
"Don't say that," Vision said. "It was not your fault. It was Ultron's." He was going to say something else, but his hand slipped from my face as he grew still.
I snapped my eyes opened, breathing quickly and in a cold sweat.
"Rose, everything's ok," Vision said, placing a hand on my shoulder.
Immediately, I pulled him into a tight hug. "Vision, you're alright," I whispered, my voice shaking with tears that I tried to hold back. "You're not hurt."
After a startled moment, Vision returned my hug. "No, I'm not," he said. "Whatever happened in your dream, it won't happen in real life."
"You died," I muttered. "Because of me. Because Ultron controlled me and used my powers against you."
"Ultron can't control you anymore," Vision said. "And you were able to fight him before. You are stronger than him." He kissed the side of my head but frowned as he felt me trembling. "Hey, everything's going to be alright. It's just because of the medicine that you had that. Nothing was real."
"I know that now," I said. "I'm just glad that it wasn't. I love you, Vision. I don't know what I would do should something happen to you, especially if I was the one that did the damage."
"You won't," Vision said. "I know that for a fact."
We both turned as Tony came into the room.
"Well, the surgery was a success," Tony said. "You won't be allowed to do missions, train, or do other extraneous stuff as you recover. But even as we speak, your new heart is doing a self-healing treatment to increase the speed of your recovery. I will examine your abilities in a week and see if you are able to go again. From there, we'll see how stuff plays out."
I nodded. "Thank you, Tony," I said. "I can't thank you enough for doing this."
"Oh, don't mention it," Tony said. "It's the least I can do for a friend."