Pietro and Wanda Maximoff stood hand in hand, looking out at the glistening lights and towering skyscrapers of New York City. The top floor of the Avengers Tower allowed the twins to see far off into the night.
It was one of those tender and powerful moments where time stopped and the twins could see their lives clearly. It was one of the moments where they could collect themselves and fully understand what they had been through. So much had happened in the past week. They had nearly caused the destruction of the world in their quest for revenge, and then they saved it with true bravery and selflessness. They had attacked the Avengers like cornered beasts, and then they had fought side by side with them against Ultron in Sokovia. Pietro had almost died, but with the help of Dr. Helen Cho he was saved. Wanda and Pietro had been through grief, rage, and joy together, but now everything was swirling around them in a blur. An impossible question both daunting and hopeful now stood before them: where would they go from here?
They had opened up to the Avengers last night. Everything was confessed and laid bare. On their path of revenge and quest to protect their country from who they thought were the enemies, they had made terrible mistakes. But they had seen the light. Pietro had seen that Tony Stark and the Avengers were not the villains; they were the ones who tried to give hope to people. Wanda was shown that people besides her brother could really care about her; she had seen what her and her brother could do for the world. Everything had changed.
Their fingers locked, and Wanda looked at her brother and met his ice blue eyes. That was how they communicated. Simple touches and glances were their secret language that the world couldn't understand. They needed each other. For so long they hadn't been able to trust anyone, and now the Avengers were offering them a chance to become one of them. True heroes. People who could make a difference in the world. It was all so surreal.
"Sorry to bother you two," a voice said behind the twins. Simultaneously the two snapped their heads. Clint Barton stood there in a simple t-shirt and jeans, his arms folded across his chest.
"It's fine," Wanda said.
"We were just thinking. It has…been a long week," Pietro said. Clint nodded understandingly.
"I could imagine. Dying and then coming back to life would be…something," the archer said quietly, staring at the floor. No matter how many times Pietro assured Clint that he was glad he had sacrificed himself for the archer and the child, Clint kept apologizing. Guilt kept tearing him apart. Pietro shouldn't have had to been hurt. Clint should have been faster, so he kept telling himself. He owed the twins everything. Without them, the Avengers might have lost, hundreds of civilians might have died, and Clint would never have been able to return to his family.
"Look, Clint…" Pietro began, trying to reassure the man once more. Clint held up a hand.
"No, no, I… Thank you for what you did. I… without you two, I would have died. My wife and children wouldn't have had a father. They weren't going to see me. Ever. But I'm home again. Tomorrow, actually. And I'll be in perfect health. And I… I want you two to come with me," he finished, smiling at them. Wanda glanced at Pietro. He looked just as surprised as she was. Was… was Clint being serious?
"You want… what?" Wanda asked in disbelief. Pietro looked at her and then at Clint.
"I want you two to come live with me and my family for a while," Clint repeated. "It's the least I can do. Pietro, you saved my life. You may be a sarcastic little twit sometimes," he said, smirking. Pietro let out a brief chuckle. "But I want to make sure you guys have a place to stay. The Avengers Tower isn't really meant to be lived in. Everyone here has their own lives and homes. And I…. you guys should have a home."
Wanda grasped Pietro's hand. Home. It was a word that meant so much to them. Home was where their parents died. Home was something they longed for living on the streets of Sokovia as teens. The fact that Clint was offering them something like this… it wasn't something they could even fully process.
"You… are you sure?" Pietro asked. He barely knew Clint. He didn't know what his family was like, or even where they lived. The promise of stability for him and his sister was something they had chased after for so long. But now the opportunity they were being given was the tiniest bit scary. Would they even be able to handle a life like that?
"You don't have to, if you don't want to," Clint said. "I get it. But you guys remind me of Nat, when I first met her. She had made some bad choices. She was really a good person. I knew she was deep down. But she was hurt; she needed help. And the wrong people had gotten to her first. Kind of like you guys," he said gently.
Wanda and Pietro stood and stared at him for a long time. Clint couldn't tell what they were thinking. Their gazes were searching; he felt like he was being picked apart and examined.
Suddenly the twins turned to each other. They began whispering hurriedly in Sokovian. Clint was watching them intently. He thought he noticed the slightest sign of a grin appear on Wanda's face, her brother mirroring her. After a few more mutterings, they turned to him.
"We would be glad to come," said Wanda. Clint grinned.
"Alright then. Perfect. Pack your things, anything you want to take. I'll use one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s carriers," he said. Clint began to turn around, but the brother called out his name. Pietro looked at Clint and a small smile formed on his lips.
"Thank you," he said quietly. Clint nodded, and walked out of the room.
As he walked out, Wanda and Pietro looked at each other again. They couldn't describe what they were feeling. It was something they hadn't really been able to experience in the last decade. But they were touched. A man they hardly knew who had just met them had just offered them a place to stay. His home. The place with his wife and kids, probably his most beloved place on earth. And he was going to let two people who tried to destroy him not even a week before actually stay with him. It was unreal to them.
Wanda smiled at her brother. Pietro let out a small laugh. They loved seeing hope in each others eyes. Maybe this would actually work out. For the first time, things were changing.