Part Four: Avengers Disassembled
Avengers Facility Upstate New York: 10.28pm
“At this rate mommy is going to fall asleep before you.” I said pulling the blanket over my squirming daughter. She just giggled up at me and rolled onto her tummy. “Come on baby girl work with me here.” I rolled her back over and picked her up. She laughed and tugged on my hair. “Daddy is not gonna be impressed if he gets back and you're still awake.”
“Sing mommy.” she said swaying in my arms. I smiled at her and shifted her to my other hip. I could listen to her talk all day, her little voice was so mixed with both mine and her father's accents people had a tough time deciding where she was from.
“Fine you little minx.” Some nights this was the only way for me to get her to fall asleep, and it almost always worked. Sure enough after a minute or so her eyelids began to droop and she lay her head on my shoulder. I rocked her back and forth for a moment listening to her breathing become more and more relaxed. Finally I lay her back in her bed and closed the door quietly behind me.
I fell into bed exhausted and put my arm over my eyes to blot out the light. I'd been on duty this morning with Steve and then spent the last few hours trying to get Anya to calm down. She had so much energy all the time, I had no qualms about who she got that from. The door opened and I heard someone chuckle as they closed it again.
"Passed out already?" asked Pietro sinking down next to me and pulling my hand from my face.
I glared at him amused "Nose down you, I've been up with her for hours trying to get her to sleep." I said rolling over into his arms. He laughed and kissed the top of my head. “Wow what happened to you.” I asked finally taking in his appearance. He had a dark patch on the side of his jaw and the stubble looked like it had been singed away slightly.
“We've got a new pyro user in training. He's a lousy shot.”
“What, you didn't see it coming?” I smirked up at him and he rolled his eyes.
"I'm not living that down now am I?"
"Hey you were the one who said it." I grinned as he shrugged
"I'm sorry it took me so long to get back, there was a security alert on the west side of the base. Me and Barton had to check it out."
"Is it anything serious?" I asked pushing myself up on my arm
"No but we've got extra guards out just to make sure."
"Are you sure, I could go and-"
"No Blake they've got it." he said "Anxious to get back out there?"
"Is it that obvious?" I said feeling guilty. He registered the look on my face and smiled.
“You know it's alright to miss being out in the field. I feel the same but it doesn't mean we don't care about her, OK?” he finished stroking his fingertips across my cheek.
I nodded but the pit in my stomach still wouldn't go away. I was itching to get back into the fight, I loved Anya more than anything but being an Avenger was in my nature and I had to do my part.
"How was she today?" he asked getting up and stripping off his uniform for something more comfortable.
"What do you think? She's your daughter." I said and he chuckled as he turned back to me pulling a t shirt over his head "So naturally she's been a pain in the ass, but I'd expect nothing different."
"Hey I'm not the only one she gets that from." he laughed pulling me up to stand in front of him.
"Very true, but the powers thing that’s on you."
"What? She used her powers?"
"I thought you knew."
"No, damn it I missed it. What did she do?"
"Pelted into a wall. Check it out” I pointed to the wall opposite and he let out a laugh. There was an Anya sized dent in the plaster “She was trying to show off to aunty Wanda. I don't think she hurt herself, guess she got a bit of my abilities too. Thank god she's not as fast as you, yet."
He turned back to me and smiled. There was a light in his eyes I barely ever saw. “What?” I asked grinning up at him.
“Nothing, I just feel...I don't know.”
“Proud?” I asked trying to hold back the smile that was attempting to break through. But when he nodded I couldn't help it. “Good.” I reached up and pressed my lips to his.
"You smell burnt." I said wrinkling my nose and pulling away
"That's what you get for being this ho-"
"Okay smart guy I get it." I laughed cutting him off
"So when did she fall asleep?" he asked walking across the hall and gently opening to door a crack to look in.
I wrapped my arms round his waist from behind and rested my head on his shoulder. Anya was fast asleep in her crib, the only light in the room came from an old ark reactor Tony had fixed up for her. Her pudgy little hands stuck out from her blanket twitching slightly in her sleep like she was dreaming. For a toddler she had a surprising amount of hair, it was thick and dark like mine expect for the tips which looked like they'd been dipped in snow.
"About ten minutes ago, and only after I started singing to her. She's so high maintenance." I chuckled
"She's still so small, is that normal?" asked Pietro closing the door quietly and turning to face me.
"Pietro she's a kid, she's supposed to be small." I replied laughing
"Well he was a chubby baby, don't tell Clint I said that. Also I know you're fairly tall, but me-" I gestured to myself “Not exactly pushing six foot am I?”
"You're the perfect height. All that power packed into this body, I wouldn't have it any other way.” he smirked down at me wrapping his hands round me.
“Uh huh.” I murmured walking back down the hall.
“I missed you in training." he said taking my hand and pulling me back to the bedroom. "Rogers had us working with the new recruits. We weren't that irritating when we started."
"You were. I should know I trained you."
"You didn't teach me everything." he said grinning as he sat on the edge of the bed and pulled me into his lap "There are some techniques I learnt on my own."
I raised my eyebrows and leant down so my lips were right next to his ear "You'll have to remind me."
I forgot how tired I was as Pietro leaned into me and my hands worked their way under his t-shirt and pulled it off. You'd think being together for so long would have desensitized us to each other's bodies, but it hadn't. He traced his lips over my skin working his way up to my mouth. I grew impatient and laced my fingers in his hair to bring him closer to me.
"Ow" he chuckled bringing his lips to mine.
"Sorry" I muttered but I felt him smile all the same
"Liar" he laughed pulling me down next to him
I was woken an hour or two later by and odd noise. I rolled over but Pietro was still splayed out next to me fast asleep, I shook him awake.
“Blake what is it?” he asked putting a hand on my arm. I raised my hand to shh him and listened.
It was like the sound of soft voices, I would have put it down to thin walls until I heard Anya cry.
"Anya!" I bolted out of bed and grabbed my gun. Pietro was already there trying the handle. It wouldn't open. He stood back a pace and threw his shoulder into the door. It banged open and he darted in. I checked the room but there was no one there, the window was open though and I was sure I hadn't left it like that. I turned round and saw Pietro's white knuckles grip the edge of the crib. The room really was empty; Anya was gone.
"Oh god." I breathed letting my gun fall to the ground. He turned round livid and sped out of the room. A second later the alarms started going off. I stared round in utter panic. Nothing in the room was amiss but my little girl was gone. Pietro dashed back to my side and stopped dead.
"I...there wasn't anybody outside." he said in a shaking voice
"But the window, they had to have come through it." I said stumbling across the room and staring out into the night. I couldn't see anyone at all, just the faint light of the entry fence a good few paces away.
Nat burst into the room and took in the scene. "Blake what's-"
"Nat someone took Anya we have to-"
"All agents converge on level one, there has been a perimeter breach." echoed a voice overhead.
Without waiting an instant Pietro grabbed me and dashed out of the room. He came to a stop in the hall on level one. I could see the perimeter guards lined up in front of Steve looking nervous. Pietro sped ahead and bared down on them.
"What did you do?" he yelled shoving one of the guards against the wall. "Where is she!"
"Stand down Maximoff." shouted Steve holding him back. But there was no one to hold me back and Nat certainly wasn't going to. I strode forward and pinned the most sheepish looking guard to the wall with my arm to his throat.
"Where the hell is my daughter!" I screamed
"I don't know anything please agent Deveraux please." he stuttered out
"Who did you let in?"
"Nobody honest." he said trembling under my gaze "Nobody came in, but...somebody got out."
I dropped my arm in confusion and turned to Nat "An inside job?" I asked almost in shock
"Had to have been. Look sweetie-" she said taking my shoulders and pulling me back from the man who fell to the floor in a shivering heap "We'll find her I promise."
I nodded and looked over her shoulder at the guard "If anything happens to her I'm coming back for you. All of you." I spat
"Why wait." growled Pietro still trying to throw Steve off
"Ok you two need to calm-" Steve started
"Rogers when you have a kid come back and lecture me then!" I shouted and stalked away. Wanda was rounding the corner as I hit the staircase.
"Wanda" I let out a sigh of relief, along with that sigh my anger seemed to ebb out as well . Grief rolled in to take its place and I fell into her arms "She's...she's gone." I sobbed
Pietro caught up to us looking furious but melted as soon as he saw me. Wanda did her best to hold me up but after a moment I felt Pietro's arms round me. I looked up at him and saw his jaw was set and his arms were very ridged.
Wanda brushed the hair back from my face and held my hand. "I promise you, we will find her. Nobody is taking my niece away." she said. She lead me back to our room and I leaned against Anya's door. I could hear Pietro and Wanda talking in the other room but nothing seemed to get through to me.
My entire body felt numb, apart from my chest, a cold empty feeling had taken root as I stared at her empty crib. For once in my life I didn't know where she was, or if she was even alive. That thought did more than any blow could ever do, my legs gave out under me and I fell to my knees.
Suddenly his arms were around me. I shook uncontrollably as he muttered soothing words into my hair.
"Well find her" said Pietro in a wavering voice trying to stay calm
"How do you know that?" I asked leaning back to look into his face "She could be-"
"Don't you dare Blake, that's not an option."
"Pietro someone took our daughter, someone we know. We have to-"
"Mommy?" came a tiny voice from the corner of the room
We both froze.
"I want Mommy" It came again.
"Anya?" I jumped up and ran to the source of the sound but I couldn't see anything. As she began to cry I feverishly threw the cabinet aside and found it. Her baby monitor was sitting on the ground in the corner a dull green light blinking on its front.
"No" I picked it up and turned back to Pietro disappointment rolling over me in waves. "Is this live?"
He came over to me a broken look on his face and nodded. Pietro took it from me and flicked a switch on the side. I waited with baited breath gripping onto his hand for comfort.
"Maximoff? Took you long enough, thought we'd have a hard time getting in and out with you in the next room." said a calm voice at the other end "Guess you're not as fast as you think you are." We both fell silent but I saw a fire blaze to life in Pietro's eyes.
"Where is she?" growled Pietro darkly holding the monitor tightly in his hand
"No you have to earn that. No freebies." she said. I tried to control my breathing as I waited for her to speak again. I didn't recognise the voice "Ever heard of an ultimatum kids?"
"Yes." I said simply
"Good, good. Well here is mine. You and your team step down for 24 hours, or you'll never see your daughter again." she said and I could almost hear the laugher in her voice. I didn't care what she had in mind, even if it took the world with it, I was not loosing Anya.
"Done." I said before Pietro could even speak
"Didn't need much persuading did you."
"Of course I didn't you scumbag; I'm a mother. Now where is she?"
"You'll get her back when I have what I need."
"Fine." snapped Pietro "But you lay a finger on my child and I will kill-"
"Empty threats don't work well with me kid."
"Who said it was empty?" said Pietro a malicious glint in his eyes. If there was one thing you didn't mess with it was a Maximoff's family.
"I see. Well I'll be in touch." Then the green light went off
"Wait!" but there was no reply
"What do we do?" asked Wanda as I turned round to see she'd heard everything.
"Seems its time the Avengers took a break." I said walking out of the room