"Tony, it's been almost a month!" Clint exclaimed, pacing back and forth as Tony examined a few different holograms with maps on them. "I want my sister back!"
"And you think I don't want them back?" Tony snapped, glaring at Clint through one of the holograms. "You're not the only one who cares about them, you know!"
"Can we argue later?" Steve asked. "Vision and Rose are relying on us! Fighting among each other will only delay our progress!"
Ever since the wedding mishap, both Avenger teams have been trying to find the kidnapped newlyweds, but they have trouble even getting a tracker.
No one paid attention to how Wanda and Pietro hung back from the search.
"Pietro," Wanda whispered as she looked up at her brother, sliding her hand into his. "What if they remove my mind charm from Rosalina? She'll remember HYDRA, the tests, everything that I tried to stop. How will she react?"
"If they do, then she'll see that we did this to try to help her," Pietro replied, kissing the back of Wanda's hand. "It wasn't to harm her, she'll see. It was to protect her. To keep her safe."
"And the rest of the team?" Wanda questioned. "They think she was born with it. You saw how they trusted us at first."
"Because we were against them, on Ultron's side," Pietro answered. "Rosalina's different. She's fought alongside them since the day she joined. She was trained by them, her powers nurtured by them. It's like with Vision: Ultron created him, but the Avengers give him his mind. Her powers were given to her by HYDRA, but were developed due to the team."
After a moment, Wanda nodded. She looked inside the room where Clint, Tony, Steve, and now Natasha were. "They love them," he commented. "Rose and Vision." She paused and looked back at Pietro. "I think I can track Rose and Vision. I was in their minds. I know how they feel."
"Are you sure you want to tell them that?" Pietro warned. "If you lead them astray, they'll be mad at you."
"That's why only us two are going," Wanda said. "I wish not to do something that would only harm the search for the two, but I've got to follow my own leads. They may not believe me, but I know you do, Pietro."
Pietro picked Wanda up. "Then we go," he said, running out of the base quickly but quietly.
Once outside, he put Wanda down, watching her as she flew into the air, eyes closed as she silenced all the minds except two. She opened her eyes once she found what she was looking for. "Come, Pietro," she said, starting in the right direction.
We were exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
According to Perception, we had done forty-five different tests already with little to no break.
We slept and ate when we could, not knowing when our next meal would be, reminding me of when I was living on the streets.
If not for Vision, I would've given up a long time ago. He kept me here, reminding me of what there was in store for us.
And I knew I was keeping Vision going because if he gave up, then I would be seriously hurt, and he didn't want that.
After every test, we made sure that we still could use our powers, glad that those at least won't taken from us.
There were times when just one of us was taken, leaving the other one to worry until we were brought back, most of the time shaken up.
After so long, we began to wonder if the others would ever show up.
Despite what we did or said, we began to lose hope that we'd never see our team again, only the dark recreations of it.
We found out that they had damaged our self repairs, causing us pain if we tried to manually activate it, but they didn't push us enough to trigger it.
Plus, without the sun, we found it difficult to focus, constantly feeling a power depletion.
One night-at least we thought it was night, we had no clue what day or time it was anymore-we were asleep when a familiar voice came to us.
"Wake up!" it said.
We both sat up and turned, seeing Pietro unlocking the door, Wanda looking at us.
"Come on, talk later," Pietro said, the door swinging open.
We tried to get to our feet but our recent experiment left us unable to stay up, falling to our knees.
Wanda helped me up as Pietro went to Vision.
"Come in my mind and I'll give you speed, Wanda," Pietro said.
"It hasn't been tried before!" Wanda protested.
"We have no choice!" Pietro replied.
After a moment, Wanda nodded and went into Pietro's mind. She was able to access his powers and both of the Maximoff twins ran through our prison, taking us out to the night sky.
The crisp air was a relief as the twins let Vision and I fall onto the dew-ridden grass.
"I never thought I'd see the stars again, feel the grass, the fresh air," I breathed, my voice basically gone from all my screaming.
Vision only nodded, long ago also losing his voice because of his screams and being unable to retain it because his throat couldn't heal.
"Closing in on your location, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver," Tony said in our communicators.
I reached over and took Vision's hand in my own. I smiled gently when he looked at me and he returned the smile.
It was the first time we smiled since the wedding.
I looked up at the sky again as I hear Tony's rockets as he touched to the ground, coming to us.
"Shut down for self repairs," he told us.
We shook our heads.
"It hurts us," I murmured.
"Damaged," Vision croaked.
"I'll look at it back at the base," Tony said.
I heard the jet landing and footsteps running to us, but I didn't have the energy to lift my head to see who it was.
"Rosie!" Clint cried, taking me into his arms.
"Clint," I whispered.
"We can talk later," Tony said. "They need to get to my lab, now."
Clint nodded and picked me up as Steve went to Vision, taking him in his arms. The two carried us inside the jet and gently set us down.
"Nat, get us back home," Steve said, turning to Natasha as the twins and Tony came inside, as well.
Natasha nodded and started the jet back.
Tony came to me and Vision, examining the damage done to us due to the testing. "You both are in critical condition," he said. "The tech stuff I can deal with, but Bruce will need to help me with the rest."
"Rose first," Vision muttered.
"I don't want either of you speaking," Tony said. "Your voices are bad enough as is. Once we get to the base, I'm going to force the self repair process and Bruce and I will work on you two together. No first or second."
We both just nodded.
I looked over at where the twins were, seeing Wanda watch me with worry. I could read in her eyes what she was asking mentally: if I remembered the HYDRA base or if that part of my memory was still kept away.
"I remember," I mouthed.
She nodded slowly, looking down.
"Five minutes out," Natasha said. "Bruce is waiting for you in your lab, Tony."
"Tell him to start setting up everything," Tony said. "And be ready as soon as we get there."
Natasha relayed the information to Bruce and handed off the controls to Steve when he offered to take the wheel, going to talk to Clint quietly.
I felt someone take my hand and turned to see Vision watching me, smiling.
"We're home," he mouthed.
I nodded, smiling. "With family," I added.
When the jet reached the hangar, they transported us to Tony's lab, but kept us close so we still held hands.
"I'm going to force the self repairs now," Tony said. "I want you two to relax and when you wake up, you'll be good as new."
"I hate this part," I muttered, closing my eyes as I tried to ignore the needle that I knew was going to be pressed into my skin.
Vision's grip tightened in mine momentarily and I knew Tony had injected him first.
Then a needle was placed into my arm and I bite back a gasp, trying not to go into flashbacks from the tests, both from the Dark Avengers and HYDRA.
Pain shot through my veins, causing me to groan, but I felt the self repairs being forced into action, and unlike trying to activate it myself, there was no additional pain.
I was so exhausted: when I passed out, I didn't dream.
When I awoke, I was laying on my side in bed in the room I shared with Vision. Vision was behind me, still sleeping, an arm draped over me, our hands clasped. We were out of our now-ruined wedding clothes and in our uniforms again. I was no longer in constant pain, a strange feeling because that was all I knew for awhile, but a comforting thought. The pulsating heat from my damaged self repair system was now gone, which was also comforting. And the dull headache was also gone.
All-in-all, I was completely relaxed.
I felt free from everything.
I remained still so that Vision could get the sleep he deserved. I knew that while we were captured, he spent most of his time awake, guarding me while I slept, despite me urging him to also get some sleep. And while he did play off that he wasn't tired when I had woken up, I saw in his eyes that was not the case, especially seeing how he did sleep when he allowed himself to close his eyes.
I closed my eyes and sighed blissfully. "It's great to be home."
After awhile, Vision woke up, opening his eyes and letting out a content sigh. He smiled at me as I looked at him, a smile on my face. He pulled me close, hugging me and kissing my cheek. "How are you feeling?" he asked, his voice sounding like it recovered, as well.
"Everything is fine," I replied, my throat not sore. "I'm fine. I'm feeling so much better. What about you? You're voice sounds like it's healed."
"Even since we got out of there, I've been better," Vision said. "And it doesn't hurt to talk. Your voice sounds like it's recovered."
"It definitely has," I said.
"Do you want to get something to eat?" Vision said. "Eat some food that we know is fresh, warm, and tastes good?"
"You read my mind," I said.
With a chuckle, Vision and I got to our feet.
Before we went out the door, Vision pulled me into a kiss.
I smiled against his lips and hugged him when he pulled away. "I love you, Vision," I said.
"I love you, Rosalina," Vision replied.
With that, we walked out into the hallway, hands intertwined.
"Aunt Rose!" we heard two voices call. "Uncle Vision!"
We turned and saw Cooper and Lila running to us, huge smiles on their faces.
"Hey guys!" I exclaimed as we got to a knee, letting them run into our arms and hugging them.
"Are you ok?" Cooper asked as the two switched so they got to hug both of us.
"We're fine, Cooper," I said. "We were a big banged up, but we're fine now."
"Clint was very worried about you," Laura said as she walked to us, Nathaniel in her arms. "Even Nathaniel was worried about his Aunt Rose."
"Aunty Rosie!" Nathaniel cried.
I smiled as Laura let me hold him, kissing his forehead. "Hey there little buddy," I said. "You missed me?" I chuckled as he held onto my finger, not letting go. "I'll take that as a yes."
"We're definitely getting a warm welcome back," Vision commented as he tickled Nathaniel's belly, getting the baby to start laughing.
If we weren't relaxed already, the young child's laughter brought us to ease.
"You two should get some breakfast while they're still serving it," Laura suggested after a moment, me giving her Nathaniel back. "Lila, Cooper, come on. Let's go meet up with Aunt Natasha."
"Ok!" Cooper and Lila said, hugging me and Vision again before skipping along after Laura.
"Oh, by the way," Laura said, pausing and turning back to us. "Rose, happy birthday." With a smile, she turned and walked away, the two kids behind her.
"It's your birthday?" Vision asked me as we walked to breakfast.
"Honestly, I don't even know what day it is," I replied. "But if Laura said that, then it must be true."
"So then you're twenty-five and I'm nine months," Vision said.
"Well you're certainly much more mature than a nine-month-old," I commented.
We walked into the dining hall and everyone went silent, turning to us. The Avengers got to their feet. The whole room was still.
Vision and I glanced at each other, not really sure what to do. When we moved to get food, everyone's eyes followed us.
"Alright, alright, give them a break," Clint said as walked to us. "Go back to eating!" He pulled me into a hug and then Vision. "We didn't think you two would ever wake up. We were beginning to lose hope."
"How long have we been asleep?" I asked.
"A week," Clint said.
"A week?" Vision repeated. "Wow, we must really have been exhausted."
"Well, we're awake now," I said.
"And just in time, too," Clint said. "Somebody's got a birthday."
"Please keep it small whatever you're planning," I begged. "I know that look in your eyes."
"Oh, I know, it's gonna be small from me," Clint said. "But Tony on the other hand, well, we both know about him." He waited as Vision and I got some food and the three of us walked to our usual table and we began to eat.
"You two sure know how to keep someone in suspense!" Tony commented as he walked between me and Vision, clapping us on the backs. "By the way, Rose, happy birthday and tonight we will have a celebration!"
"I don't need it," I groaned as I busied myself with cutting up my steak.
"Oh come now! Everyone needs a celebration!" Tony replied. "And it is for your birthday."
I tried to give Vision and Clint a "help me" look, but they both ignored me, instead talking to each other. "I hate you two," I muttered. "Tony, really, it's fine."
"It's fine to do the party? Perfect," Tony said. "You are speaking my language." Before I could protest, he turned and walked away quickly.
I put a hand to my face, only sighing and shaking my head.
"Can't believe you haven't gotten use to that yet," Clint commented.
"I have, just not for me," I said. "Like I said before, I'm not a party person. I honestly just want today to be able to relax."
"We can," Vision said. "The day we relax, the night we celebrate."
"You guys are teaming up against the birthday girl," I whined.
"Only because we love you," Clint said.
I just sighed, looking down. "Fine," I gave in. "Tony can do the party."
"Good, because he's going to anyways," Clint said.