Part Two: You Didn't See That Coming
Avengers Headquarters, Upstate NY : 15.23pm
The lounge was full of midday light and now the sun had fully risen you could see for miles around. It beat down on the lawn where dozens of recruits were out training. For over an hour now people had been running by the windows in work out gear trying to keep up with Captain Rogers, they looked like they were dying whereas he hadn't even broken a sweat. But I wasn't paying attention to that anymore. I hadn't moved since I'd woken up on the sofa a few hours before and I was sat reading my book when I felt a breath of wind ruffle my hair. I shivered and went to pull the blanket off the back of the couch but another gust later and it had gone. I rolled my eyes and closed my book.
"Pietro? Hand it over." I said sitting up
A split second later he was standing in front of me holding it in his hand
"I don't know what you're talking about" he said grinning and tossing me the blanket.
"Aren't to supposed to be in training?" I asked knowing full well he was. Now that he'd fully joined the Avengers training him wasn't my job anymore. I had a little more time on my hands but hadn't figured out yet if I liked that or not.
"And what, this doesn't count?" he said sprinting to the kitchen and back again with a drink in his hand.
"Fury's gonna be pissed if he finds you've been skipping practice."
He shrugged and strolled to where I sat and patted my legs to get me to move over. I shuffled up and he sat on the sofa next to me pulling the blanket over both our legs. "I have better things to do" he said swinging my legs up onto his lap.
I smiled slightly. He was usually joking around so I didn't know when to take him seriously or not, though I enjoyed the contact whenever he did something like this. He was about to speak again when there came a shout from outside.
"Maximoff!" We looked over to the window. It was Steve. Pietro smirked and pointed back to my legs as if stating that he couldn't possibly get up and disturbed me. Steve shook his head and ran back to the group.
"What are you reading?" he asked plucking my book of the coffee table before I could answer "Harry Potter? Again?"
"What it's an great book, and they don't have the rest here so I've gotta make do" I said snatching it back. Our hands met and I felt a shiver up my spine, but this time it was warm, not cool. Pietro didn't seem to notice. He flicked on the TV before I could blink and settled down.
This kind of thing seemed natural to him now but I couldn't be this close to him and stay so calm. I watched him for a minute. His silver hair was messy and stopped short of his eyes which were focused on the screen. I noticed that they were the same blue as his t-shirt. My eyes moved down his arm to his hand which was resting on my knee. Ok I couldn't stay here, not when I was trying to keep all these thoughts at bay, most of which included him touching a lot more of me than my knee.
"Look I gotta go" I said standing up. He looked slightly taken aback but didn't stop me.
"Where are you going?" He asked fingers still flicking through channels on the TV.
"I...have to visit Wanda. See you later"
He took his eyes off the screen for a moment to look at me. "Can I borrow this?" he asked pointing to my book.
"Sure." I replied. Glancing back I saw him pick it up and examine it like a science project, he was probably trying to figure out why I liked it so much.
"Hey Wanda, you in there?" I said a five minutes later knocking on her door.
"Just a second." Came the reply. I heard some boxes moving and finally heard the lock click. "Come in."
I opened the door to find her sat crossed legged in the middle of her room surrounded by boxes. Of course with her powers she didn't need to get up to answer the door.
"I made you a space." she said lifting her hand and guiding a floating box from the bed to the other side of the room.
"Thanks" I said tip toeing through the boxes to the bed. "And I thought your brother was messy"
She laughed and gestured round the room "This is half Pietro's. Stark had our left over belongings brought over from Sokovia this morning. I am trying to sort through my things but all I keep finding are these." she said pulling out at least six pairs of battered sneakers.
"How many pairs does he need?" I said laughing as Wanda threw a pair to me.
"Those are his favourites, at least they were" I started to ask why when I saw the bottom of the soles. They were run down so much you could almost see the inside of the shoe.
"I guess regular ones don't get that much use." She nodded and went back to sorting. I saw her pull out a few leather jackets, scarves, a book; whose cover I couldn't read, and gold chain necklace. I smiled as she put it on. It matched her other jewellery perfectly. She looked up and saw my expression.
"This was my mothers." she said an my smile fell "She gave it to me on my birthday" On the chain was a brilliant ruby coloured gem "And this" she said pulling out another "Is Pietro's" It was a silver pendent with a pearl set into the metal. It hung on a blue leather strap swinging so the light caught the tarnished metal making it shine. "It was my fathers. Pietro does not wear it. I think he doesn't want reminding of...well you know." She closed her hand around the necklace and looked down at her feet.
"Wanda, I'm so sorry." I couldn't think of anything else to say. She looked up at me a sad longing look on her soft face.
"It's alright. We cannot change the past, only look to the future. We must do what we can to make it better. I know that now" I smiled then. I had a lot of respect for my friend. Over the few months I had know her and her brother I realized she was the wiser of the two, she had more wit than most grown men I knew. She had been through more than her share of misery, and yet she still had hope.
I slipped onto the floor next to her, holding out my hand for the necklace. She dropped it into my palm. The metal was rough and cool but the pearl was smooth. One side of the silver was blackened, I had an awful idea of how that had happened. Perhaps in the bombings that wiped out the twins house, and their parents. Wanda's voice stirred me from my thoughts.
"Give it to him will you?"
"Me? Why, I thought you said he didn't want it"
"I want him to keep part of our family with him. To keep him safe. He won't take it from me, but he might from you."
I was completely stunned "Why would you think he would listen to me? You're his sister." The amount of times I'd asked Pietro to do something and he'd blatantly ignored me, this time would be no different.
"It's because I'm his sister I can never understand him the way you can. Also he is less likely to argue with you" she finished chuckling
"You might have a point" I said grinning. I'd at least give it a go for her sake "Oh hey remind me to bring your dress back when I see you next. Thanks for letting me borrow it." I gave her a one armed hug and began to leave the room but decided to stop "Wanda, I came here to ask you something, about...Pietro."
I paused wondering if she really was the best person to ask, though I didn't really want to broach the subject with anyone else encase they caught on or plainly laughed at me.
"You've known him since you were born." I said and she nodded a curious look in her eyes "How do you know when he's being serious or not?" I asked and she raised her eyebrows "Well sometimes he does something and I never know whether to pass it off or...see if someone else did that, well I don't know" I stopped "It's hard to explain, it doesn't matter" I started to leave again but she caught my arm.
"Blake look, I don't know what this is about but if my brother is acting like an idiot around you just let me know." she finished squeezing my arm "I don't think he means to. Especially not with you. I'll see you at dinner." she released me and closed the door.
I didn't even ask her what I'd really meant to, maybe it really was something I'd have to figure out on my own. This was so confusing. I nearly walked into Natasha as I turned around.
"Hey there kiddo. Whatcha doing?"
"Oh hey Nat, I was just seeing Wanda" I gestured back to the door
"She's in? Good I need to talk to her about moving her training around. Rogers has got a new team programme he wants to try with the recruits first thing."
"Alright I'll leave you to it then" I said turning away
"You alright?" she asked putting a hand on my shoulder
"Yeah I am fine" I could tell she didn't believe me but she let me go all the same.
"Hey if you see Maximoff let him Rogers wants a word." She finished giving me that knowing look.
"Sure thing" I said already heading to my room. I opened my door and felt that soft breeze pass by my skin again, lingering over my cheek. I turned around but there was no one there. Thinking I was imagining things I closed my door and flipped on the light. Pietro sat lounging in my armchair a large bag resting at his feet.
"What are you doing in here?" I asked hanging my jacket on the back of the door.
"What I can't spend time with you without a motive?"
"Um no." I said and he smiled
"I got you something" he said sliding the bag towards me with his foot.
"What is it?" I asked warily. From the size and shape it looked like a bag of bricks. He rolled his eyes at me and gestured to the bag.
"Just open it." I picked it up and sat on my bed, as far away from him as possible. It was strange having him in my room, it made me nervous to be in such a confined space with him. The bag was really heavy so I decided to just tip the contents onto the duvet. Out fell half a dozen books. I looked at him in surprise. I picked one, then another up. Each Harry Potter book I didn't own was there.
"You got me the whole set, how?"
"I ran into town when you were in Wanda's room. I figured you needed something to do now you're not training me anymore. I got the right ones didn't I?"
"Yeah" I said almost laughing. He grinned at got up to leave "Wait Pietro, how did you pay for this?" I knew he didn't have a lot of money.
"I had a little saved away, borrowed a few dollars from Barton. I'll pay him back don't worr-"
I don't know what made me do it but this was just so out of the blue for him. I stood up and hugged him. He went rigid for a second and then relaxed in my arms. "They are just books it's was no problem."
"Thanks though" I said and nearly froze as he wrapped his arms around me and held there. I was hyper aware of everything around me, the soft fabric of his t-shirt against my cheek, his head resting so close to my own, the muscles of his back under my hands and the bullet scars under my fingers. I let go and looked up at him, but he hadn't let go of me yet. Realizing this he quickly put his hands in his pockets and rocked back on his feet.
"Enjoy the books." He said moving his body halfway out the door "The first one was really good, I might have to borrow them after you" Then in an instant he was gone.
Hang on, he read it? I closed the door and ran my hands though my hair. "I think my head is gonna explode." I said to myself before sitting myself down in my now warm chair. I couldn't be certain, but I thought I heard a slight laugh outside the door.
Later at dinner Pietro was a no show like most of the others, I sat with Nat and Wanda picking at boxes of Chinese takeout. I got hungry waiting for the guys to show but Wanda amused me by floating spring rolls across the table onto my plate. I couldn't wait anymore so I speared one on a chop stick and began eating. Clint showed up not long after on the phone, he grabbed the box of food Natasha handed him and left the room.
I raised my eyebrows to her but she just said it was family stuff. I wondered if the baby was up to no good again, being named after Nat and Pietro how else was he going to turn out. I sometimes felt jealous of Clint's family, I wanted to have something like that. Even Tony and Pepper who barely saw each other seemed happy. I offered to baby sit the Barton kids a few times but Fury wouldn't let us leave the base until 'Protocol has been passed'. Absolute bull. Shield just wouldn't let us out into the field again until we passed each and every exam they threw at us. It was for our own good but I was starting to feel like a rat in a cage, especially when I could never settle in a room with Pietro in.
After dinner I went to sit outside in the increasing dark wanting to feel the wind on my skin and stretch my legs. The air was warm but a slight breeze rustled the trees around base. I passed a patch of charred earth that looked like a crazy crop circle. Thor, obviously. Those Asgardians seriously needed a more inconspicuous taxi ride. I found a patch of dry ground and laid my jacket down. Letting the night air rush over me I laid down. The sky was clear of clouds and the stars shone luminescent against their dark canvas.
I closed my eyes and stretched out but immediately my hand hit something hard and my eyes snapped open again. A shadow stood over me blocking out the stars and it turned out the thing I hit was a foot. I swung my feet round and knocked the legs out from the person standing over me. They fell to the ground with a loud grunt. I twisted my body up to pin them down holding onto each wrist to stop them landing a blow to my head. The skin under my palms felt hot and I could feel an elevated pulse beating in their veins.
"I was going to ask if you wanted some company but I guess you don't-" They said and groaned shifting their legs "Ouch nice reflexes, you're getting faster." Between the sounds them catching their breath I heard a familiar accent
"Pietro!" I said letting go of his arms. I could see his face now in the half light and he was smirking. "What the hell?"
"Can you try not to break my legs next time" he said half sitting up "I need them."
"That's not funny"
"Come on, it's a little funny."
"Get up." I said moving to get off him
"Blake I'm sorry. I shouldn't' have startled you like that, are you alright?" He looked apologetic for once and grabbed my wrist
"No you shouldn't, God you just don't think sometimes." I said and jerked my hand away. Even though I sounded mad I was more angry at the fact I'd hurt him than anything else.
"Hey you know I don't mean it." he said confused
"Do I? You know what it doesn't matter, I'm going back inside." Why was this always our default, me being defensive and him playing it off as a joke.
"Blake wait." he said pushing himself up on his hands. As he moved his body shifted so my knees were no longer pressed against his rib cage, they were resting either side of his hips. My breath caught in my chest as I realised I was practically sat in his lap. This wasn't something we'd covered in training and throughout all our sessions we'd never been this close.
From the moment I met him I saw that his presence could draw people in without any effort at all, I didn't want to be another one of them but after months of dodging his advances my resolve was starting to melt. He was inches away from me now and I tried to move my head back as far as I could in the limited space. I felt extremely uncomfortable and at the same time didn't want to move a muscle.
"Sometimes I act too fast, I know." he said seriously "I don't know any other way."
"Pietro?" I said warily because the defiant look in his eyes wasn't something I seen before and I didn't know what he was going to do
"Please, just listen." he said taking my hand "All my life it's been me and my sister against the world. Always fighting to survive, always on the move. We never stood still long enough to build anything worth keeping. Until now. And...I think we finally found a home here."
I could feel his breath against my neck and it scrambled my brain making it hard for me to think. I didn't want to but I knew I should move, get up and walk away before I did anything I'd regret.
"This is your home but we-" I said shaking my head looking at our entwined fingers "We can't." I put my hands on his chest and pushed him back. He didn't just move away like I'd expected, he fell back to the ground and pulled me with him. Instinct made me stop my fall and my hands planted on the ground either side of his face.
"This is insane." he said grinning up at me "You know how I feel about you."
"What do yo-?" I asked feeling heat rise in my chest.
"You really are an idiot." Looking into his familiar face I saw a mischievous glint spark in his eyes and knew what was coming.
"Noo Pietr-" but too late. He grabbed my waist and rolled over. I couldn't help but laugh as he looked down at me a grin unfolding on his face
"I bet you didn't see that coming" he said
This was it, I could make the choice right now to do what I'd been telling myself I wouldn't but wanted to with every fibre of my being. I could take control and let him know how I really felt about him. After so long of holding myself back I could finally let go, this was what I wanted and I didn't care about any consequences.
"Actually" I said leaning in closer and cupping a hand round his neck "I did"
I reached up and pressed my lips against his. The shock on his face was so comical I nearly broke away right there. But he recovered almost at once slipping his one arm under my back and leaning into me. The weight of his body against mine wasn't even enough though and I needed to be closer. I slid my arms around his neck as he pulled me onto his lap again. When I gripped his back to bring myself closer I felt his muscles move under my fingers tips. He grabbed my thighs tightly and I let out a small sigh as his lips moved to my neck. My fingers found their way into his hair and I pulled his face up to meet mine again. I heard him chuckle against my lips before his hands came to rest on the small of my back.
We broke apart and I relaxed my hold on him so I could see his face.
"I didn't see that coming." he said tracing one finger over my lips
"Bought time yeah?" I asked giving in and laughing. That broke the seriousness on his face.
"Yes, thank god." he chuckled and crushed his mouth against mine again