I think that in that moment if someone had shot an arrow right into my heart and killed me, I wouldn't have noticed the difference. I'd gone through this once before, I'd seen the love of my life shot down in front of me, though when that had happened I'd barely known him. This was something else entirely, my best friend, my sister for all intense and purposes, my daughters favourite aunt; was dead.
I choked back tears and turned Anya away from Wanda. She didn't need to see this, she was far too young. She cried softly into my leg as I looked down at the twins. Mercifully Wanda's green eyes were closed, the soft curve of her mouth was parted slightly in shock, and in pain. She'd stayed true to her promise, she'd protected her family, but at the worst possible cost.
With a stab of horrific realization I saw I hadn't just lost Wanda, I'd lost Pietro too. He wasn't like his sister, this would drive him over the edge. Whereas she had broken down after his death it had been from grief and sadness, she'd already got her revenge. But Pietro, more often than not he was fuelled by anger, anger for the death of his parents, anger towards others who threatened the people he loved, and mostly anger at inaction, this would stoke that fire for the rest of his life. I'd lost him. Plain and simple.
As I stared down at him I found he was becoming harder and harder to focus on, it wasn't the tears in my eyes doing the obscuring, it was Pietro. He was vibrating with pure fury. If we didn't leave soon, if I didn't get him away from here he'd go off like a bomb. I moved slowly from Anya's side and sunk down on the floor next to him, even slower I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and rested my head on the back of his neck.
"P-Pietro...we...we have to go." I managed to get out
"I-I'll carry her back-"
"No. Don't. Leave her alone." he said
"I won't leave her here." I said turning my head to look at Wanda, as Pietro shifted her head lolled to one side, her thick dark hair obscuring her face. I let out an inhuman sound and buried my face into Pietro's shoulder. I could feel him start to quake under me, but this time not from anger.
Suddenly one hand shot up and grasped hold of my arm, he pressed his lips to my skin and took in a shaking breath.
"Don't leave me, please." he said dropping his head and pulling Wanda closer against him. I didn't know if he was talking to me or her but I certainly wasn't going to. I hugged him tighter knowing no matter what I said or did, I couldn't take his pain away, or mine.
"I'm not going anywhere." I said between intelligible sobs
I stiffened as I remember why we were in this state. Though if the woman who had caused this had known we were alive she would have set off another explosion and killed us as well. Maybe she'd thought she'd done the job, or perhaps it had something to do with the half melted surveillance camera staring at me from the corner of the room. That had been where the click of ignition came from, she'd set it off remotely. At least now she couldn't see or hear us. We were safe, for the moment.
"Why won't she wake up?" asked Anya making me look up in alarm
"Anya no don't-"
"Aunt Wanda?" she asked in such an innocent voice it made my heart break
"She-she can't hear you sweetheart." I said trying to keep my voice steady "Come here baby girl." I offered her my hand
She shook her head and crouched down next to Wanda's own. I watched as she stroked the hair back from her aunt's face and kissed her forehead. It reminded me so much of Pietro I had to look down at him, but he wasn't even watching. There wasn't much I could do now, pulling Anya away would only upset her and me, I thought maybe when she was older she would appreciate the chance to say goodbye, so I left her.
"Blake" said Pietro in a husky voice "I think-I think we should go." It sounded like it took all his strength to utter those words but he did.
"Ok." I said simply helping him to his feet. He stooped down and gathered Wanda up into his arms, something he'd done a thousand times before but this time I didn't know if he could manage her. "Do you want-"
"I got her." he said taking a step forward. Pietro turned and looked from me to Anya “Keep her safe.” he said to me and before I could call him back he was gone.
My stomach felt sick, I didn't know where he'd gone, or if he was even coming back. I knelt down and held out my arms which Anya willingly ran into, though she didn't know what had happened, she knew something was very wrong. I was just about to stand when I spotted a sparkling gem on the floor, it was one of Wanda's rings. I picked it up and handed it to Anya. "I think Aunty Wanda wanted you to hang onto this, can you do that?" I asked and she nodded.
I carried her out of the warehouse trying to keep from crying. It was maybe a mile back to base from here, I could easily make it but the thought of telling everyone when I got back slowed my pace. Even so we made it back fairly quickly. Nat came running out of the doors as she spotted me and the first thing she did was hug me.
“You ok kiddo?” she asked looking from me to the sleeping toddler in my arms. I nodded and passed her Anya.
“Where is he?” I asked looking around “Where's Pietro?”
Nat's face fell as she took Anya from me. “He's in the lab with...with Wanda.” she got out “He came in, tried to talk to Cho but she said it's not possible to-” she trailed off
“Is he still there?” I asked following her back inside
“Yeah but I wouldn't go in, as soon as Helen left he started throwing things around. Blake-”
“Nat I have to see him.” I said squeezing her arm and taking off towards the lab. As soon as I rounded the corner I heard the sounds of breaking glass. I burst through the doors and had to duck straight away as the work stool came flying over my head.
Pietro was stood in the of the lab literally tearing up the room. I caught a glimpse of him as he stopped to catch his breath. He looked more angry than I'd ever seen him, his chest rose and fell rapidly as he clenched his hands at his side and stared around.
“Pietro!” I yelled jumping up and running over to him. With a wrench I noticed a body laid across one of the tables in the corner, I sheet covering it like a shroud.
He was now fumbling through the veils on Bruce's desk, knocking over one after the other in an attempt to find something “There has to be something!” he shouted kicking over yet another chair, it smashed into a display cabinet and the glass shattered all over the floor. He barely noticed but carried on muttering to himself in Sokovian.
“Pietro stop!” I shouted pushing aside a desk and grabbing his arms. His hands were bloody and covered in broken shards of glass. He stared down at me a desperate look in his eyes.
“I won't lose her Blake” he said trying to pull away
“This isn't helping her.”
“I can't just sit back and do nothing! She's my sister!” he yelled throwing a broken glance over at the covered body.
“Don't you think I know that! I loved her too!”
We both stopped and I felt like someone had slapped me across the face. 'Loved' as in past tense. That word, that tiny little word struck me dumb. She was gone and she wasn't coming back. I let out a sob as Pietro pulled me into his arms.
“I'm going to fix this, I promise.” he said quietly into my hair
I tried to take comfort in his embrace as I always did, but this time it didn't do any good.
The door opened behind us and Nat came in holding Anya. “I'm so sorry she was asking for you.” she said lifting her down. The thing was Anya didn't run to us, she ran straight at Wanda. I made to move forwards but Pietro held me back.
We all stood watching in silence as Anya pulled the sheet back from Wanda's face and rested her hand on her pale cheek. “Wake up.” she said in a firm voice like she was demanding her aunt come back to her.
This wasn't right. I had to make her understand that-
“Oh boy.” said Nat staring in awe at Anya
I couldn't believe what I was seeing either. Anya's eyes were glowing a very familiar scarlet, it seeped down her tiny fingers and spread across Wanda's skin like mist, curing around her body and into her mouth. The mist seemed to fill her chest giving the illusion she was actually breathing again.
Pietro dropped his arms from around me and dashed to her side. With a jerk that made everyone in the room jump out of their skin Wanda's eyes snapped open and she sat up.
There was utter silence in the room and for a heart stopping second no body moved.
“Wanda!” I cried vaulting over a fallen table to reach her. Pietro was stood next to her in utter shock.
“What happened?” Wanda asked looking down at a grinning Anya “What did you do?”
“She...brought you back” said Nat staring down at Anya like she'd just sprouted wings
“From where?” asked Wanda in confusion
Pietro cleared his throat and Wanda turned her wide eyes to look at him “You were dead.” he said almost to himself then without warning wrapped his arms around her and laughed wetly
“Pietro, I can't breathe.” said Wanda smiling slightly and prying her brother off her. Anya jumped up and down next to us and pointed excitedly at her aunt.
“Look what I did Mommy.” she said looking up at me with those big green eyes.
For the first time ever I was actually scared of a child. How had she done that? We knew she had mine and Pietro's powers, that was obvious but how in the hell did she have Wanda's? Also I'd never once seen Wanda bring someone back to life, this was insane.
“Blake?” said Nat putting her hand on my shoulder “Anya's talking to you.”
I shook my head and forced a smile. “I can see, that's my good girl.” I said and she beamed up at me.
I looked up at Pietro who met my gaze with a anxious look. Wanda didn't seem to understand the enormity of what had happened, that our daughter had just brought someone back from the dead.
Something Pietro had told me about long ago sprang to my mind, something that made me wonder what new kind of being we'd created in having Anya.
'This is the age of miracles, and there's nothing more horrifying than a miracle.'