I went to see Maria straight away to get the twins a room each. She sorted it within half an hour and I was about to leave for breakfast before she reminded me I was still in my pyjamas. Thinking I didn't want to spend the day walking around like this I went back to my room and found Wanda quietly closing the door behind her.
"Hey" she said quietly "Everything alright?"
"Yeah, I got you and your brother rooms on the same hall down the corridor, that ok?" I asked with a smile. She looked miles better, there were still dark rings under her eyes but she at least looked happy and relieved.
"Yes that will be fine, thank you."
"Um...is he sleeping? I kinda need some clothes out of my room." I asked tentatively not wanting to wake him if he was.
She nodded and quietly opened the door again "You can go in though, nothing wakes him up when he's sleeping."
She closed the door softly behind me and I looked over at the bed. Pietro was laying with his back to me, his chest rising and falling rapidly. The bandages covered more of his body than I had realised, they wrapped round his chest and the top of his arms and thigh. I couldn't imagine what it must have felt like when the bullets went in. Though I remembered it clear as day. It was odd seeing him stretched out on my bed, like cheetah laying on a sofa, it just didn't add up.
I went over to my closet and pulled out a change of clothes and my favourite boots and leather jacket. Before I could move though something shifted behind me and I turned round. Pietro was sat up in bed grinning at me.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you." I said backing away
"You didn't I was already awake." he said and I heard that deep rhythmic accent roll over me like honey. I noticed the exposed skin of his chest and arms under the bandages, nobody should have muscles that perfect, not even an Avenger. "See something you like?" he said with a raised eyebrow and I looked back up at his face.
"No I...just need these." I said indicating the clothes in my hands "I'll let you sleep."
"Or" he said moving off the bed and dashing in front of the door to stop me "You could help me stay awake?"
I felt my stomach clench and my eyes widen, was he suggesting... "What do you mean?" I asked in a nervous voice looking for a way out
His face fell slightly and he sighed "I don't want to sleep, not after...when I close my eyes I see it again. I can't tell my sister." he said looking back at the door. "Could you stay with me, just for a bit?"
Why me? I was about to say I'd couldn't stay, that I'd find someone else to come hang out with him but then I looked down and saw a red stain creeping across his stomach under one of the bandages.
"Damn it Maximoff." I said throwing my clothes into my chair
"What did I- oh." he said looking down as well
"Jeez you ripped open your stitches. Bed, now." I said pointing to the mattress. "I'll get something to clean it."
"Are you always so forceful in the bedroom?" he said smiling down at me
"When I have to be." I said giving him a small nudge towards the bed before grabbing my med kit from the bathroom. When I came back in he was lowering himself onto the bed winching at the pain.
"Ok stay still." I said pealing back the bandage. He shivered as my cold fingers tested the skin around the wound and I tried to focus on the job at hand and not the hard muscle under my touch. The skin was hot but not feverish, and blood had stopped leaking out but the wound had clearly opened slightly. I cleaned it the best I could and re-bandaged the area. Hopefully if he stayed still for once it wouldn't happen again.
I could feel his eyes on me but didn't look up until he spoke. "You know, you don't have to call me that?"
"What?" I asked
"Maximoff. Usually my friends call me Pietro."
"Uh huh, have many of those do you?" I asked dubiously
"Well I have you." he said calmly. That made me stop cleaning and glance up at him. He was grinning at me with a look that made my heart skip a beat, something I hadn't felt in a long time. I noticed a few strands of white hair had fallen into his eyes and moved to brush them back, but my hand fell short halfway as I stopped myself.
"We're colleagues, not friends." I said pulling my hand back
"Keep telling yourself that." he said with a grin
"God you're insufferable."
"Yes and you are defensive." he said pushing himself up on his good arm "You don't have to be."
"I am not- ah never mind." He definitely knew how to wined me up. "OK then, Pietro." I said gathering up my things "I'm all done here, if you're not going to sleep at least rest yeah?"
"Yes maam." he said smirking
"Oh no, if I'm calling you by your name you can at least learn mine."
"Hey I remember your name." he said looking mockingly offended
"Its Blake." Right so he did remember. "I always remember a beautiful woman."
I sighed "Look Pietro I'm not one of those girls you can throw a few complements at and have your way with. Thanks but-"
"I get it." he said nodding and giving me a small smile "I didn't mean to offend."
"No you didn't I just...its fine. Do you need anything else?" I asked getting up and throwing the bloody gauze in the trash "I can get someone to bring you some food?"
"I'll be fine." he said staring after me "I'm a big boy." I laughed and picked up my clothes "Will I see you again?" he asked before I left
"Probably, we do kind of work together now. So someone will let you know by the end of the day when yours and your sisters rooms are ready." I said leaning back into the room and watching him settle back down again "Hey Pietro, I am glad you're alright." I said and before closing the door I saw a twinkle in his eyes.
Leaning against the closed wood I let out a breath and hugged my clothes tight to me. So maybe he was just a flirt with everyone, I'd have to get used to that too. Wouldn't be the first time I'd got the wrong idea. Either way it was true, I was glad he was alive. Wanda who I thought I was becoming friends with would be happy now and able to put her life together. And I could rest easy knowing the only person I'd known to die, hadn't really died at all. Death couldn't touch me, not today.
"What are you smiling at?" asked Wanda coming round the corner with a glass of water. I quickly wiped the smile off my face and straighten up.
"Nothing. I got what I came for." I said nodding at the bundle in my arms "I'll let you two catch up." She stared after me as I walked away and I hoped she didn't know what I was really thinking, though with her powers it would be a miracle if she didn't.
I went to the nearest bathroom and changed. All the while going over my brief conversation with Pietro. It seemed like I'd have a hard time learning when he was being serious and when he was joking. Right now it didn't matter, I had been clear, we were colleagues that was all.
Another week passed and I made a huge effort to only see Wanda and not her brother. They had their own rooms now so it was easier. Pietro was making a scarily quick recovery and I noticed more and more blurs around the base as I walked to and from training. I'd read his file before I even met him so I knew he was restless and needed to be active 24/7. That's why it didn't surprise me when people saw him zooming around at all hours of the day and night, he just couldn't sit still.
I began to crave Wanda's company over my other friends with each passing day. She was more mature than them, though I'd never tell them. She didn't feel the need to fill every moment with talk and I found we had a lot in common. Apart from being the grounded and caring ones of our siblings we both shared the need to look after others around us.
Though most of the time she wanted to be with her brother we spent a good few hours talking every day. I couldn't believe how the twins had grown up, the haunted look I'd seen on their faces when I'd first met them was explained the more she told me. I also understood why her brother was so protective over her, after a childhood like that I didn't blame him. She was one of the most remarkable people I'd ever met, powers aside. Being an Avenger suited her well, I couldn't imagine what would happen when Pietro was well enough to join the team, probably constant havoc and pranks.
It didn't take long for me to find out though. Maria Hill rang me around a week after Pietro arrived and told me I'd been assigned to mentor him in power training and hand to hand combat to get him up to speed before he joined the team.
"You've got to be joking Maria? I can't work with him, he's a loose cannon." I said after a minute of internally swearing
"Blake we have no one else, you know how stretched everything is right now. I really need the help, you can handle this."
"Why can't someone else in my division do it?"
"You know why, you're the only enhanced on base with that level of training. If I have to order you-"
"No its...its fine." I said grudgingly "Just make sure he knows I'm in charge, I'm not wasting my time if he's gonna mess around."
I could hear Maria chuckle on the other end "Yeah that'll work, I'll tell him."
She put the phone down and I groaned audibly. How could I stay away from him if I was teaching him every day. I'd just have to put up some clear boundaries. Hopefully he'd stick to them. Whether it annoyed people or not, I needed order. The next day I wandered down to the training bay and slipped on a pair of impact gloves. They helped reduce my powers so I didn't hurt people when practicing, though if Pietro pissed me off I might take them off.
The door swung open behind me but no one came through it, a soft breeze passed me though making my hair flutter around my face. I looked up and saw him skid to a stop in front of me grinning.
"Stop that." I said trying to not smile
"What I'm not doing anything." he said raising his hands
"When you smile like that I know you're gonna do something."
"I promise I will be on my best behaviour." he said crossing his arms over his chest
"Now why don't I believe you?"
"Because you're paranoid." he said baiting me
"Oh I'm gonna enjoy this." I said taking a defensive stance and raising my arms.