Many thanks to MasseNa who was kind enough to help me and translate all the sentences I needed in Russian.


Sokovia, 2000.

The war didn't seem to end. It had been raging on for two years now and the country was a mess. A lot of people had fled but most of them had only met their end. Sokovia was a little country, hidden between Russia and Belarus. It used to be peaceful and people enjoyed living there, that is until the invasion. Sokovia had been ruled by Sokovians from the beginning and had Russia's support but five years ago, it was invaded by foreigners, Americans.

Sokovians had suffered from it all and two little years ago, a rebellion had formed. Rebels were trying hard to push Americans out of the country with very little success. Rebels were fighting and families were suffering.

The Maximoff family was no better than the others. Django and Marya Maximoff had three children: Pietro, Wanda and Sasha. Django was fighting with the rebels as often as he could but he had his family to take care of and he spent more time at home than in the streets lately. The man couldn't deny that he was scared for his family. The rebellion was getting out of hand and the Americans were fighting back, hard. They had taken to throwing bombshells in the streets and in the houses.

Django and Marya were scared for they had no way of defending themselves against the Americans. They were scared for their children's lives. Pietro and Wanda were ten years old while Sasha was only five. Sasha was born on the eve of the war and had known nothing but that. His short life was nothing but fire, screams, blood and death. Django and Marya had wanted to take their children and flee but they knew that as soon as they stepped foot out of Sokovia, they would be dead and so they had stayed, praying every day to see the next.

The Maximoff family was eating dinner in their small apartment when another bomb exploded, alarmingly close to their home, causing the walls to shake hard. "Мы умрём?"(Are we going to die?) Sasha asked, his whole body trembling with fear as he bit his lower lip, trying to keep his tears at bay.

"Конечно, нет."(Of course not.) Marya said, a reassuring smile on her face.

"Хорошо." (Good.) Sasha looked down at his plate, a small frown on his face. "Я больше не голоден." (I'm not hungry anymore.)

"Может, пойдешь спать?"(Do you want to go to bed?) Marya asked.

Sasha nodded, a single tear falling down his cheek. "А можно мне сегодня спать с Пьетро?" (Can I sleep with Pietro tonight?)

"Конечно, можно."(Of course you can.) Pietro replied, a small smile on his face. He got up from his chair, abandoning his dinner as well and went to his little brother before picking him up. "Хочешь, я тебе сказку расскажу?"(Do you want me to tell you a story?) Sasha nodded excitedly, all thought of war and death leaving his mind. He loved his brother's stories more than anything in the world, well in truth they were second best after his siblings. "Ты идешь, Ванда?" (You coming, Wanda?)

Pietro walked through the hallway, Sasha in his arms and Wanda right behind them. Pietro pressed Sasha's head against his chest, vainly trying to keep his baby brother from hearing their father's harsh words. "Почему он все время плачет? Постоянно боится! Это бесит." (Why is he always crying? He's always afraid. It's not helping.) Their father growled out.

"Ему пять лет, Джанго." (He's five years old, Django.) Marya scolded him. "Естественно, что он боится. Он все еще ребенок." (Of course he's afraid. He's still a child.)

Pietro closed his bedroom door before they could hear their father's reply. Sasha was fully sobbing in his arms now, his father's words hurting him beyond repair. "Иногда, я его ненавижу."(I hate him sometimes.) Wanda mumbled as she sat on the bed.

"Я знаю."(I know.) Pietro looked down at his little brother who was soaking his worn down shirt with tears. "Не слушай его. Плакать - это нормально, Саша." (Don't listen to him. It's okay to cry, Sasha.)

"Правда?" (Really?) Sasha sobbed out as he looked up at Pietro. Pietro's heart ached every time he saw his little brother in such a state.

"Да."(Yes.) Wanda said. "Я тоже иногда плачу." (I cry sometimes too.)

Pietro was about to say something else to make his little brother feel better but was cut off by their father screaming that there was a bomb. Sasha and Wanda screamed and Pietro had just enough time to shield his siblings with his own body before the bomb exploded, turning half of their home into shreds.

Pietro didn't move, he didn't dare to. Sasha and Wanda didn't move either, remaining hidden under Pietro's larger but still small body. Pietro didn't know how long they remained that way, and for a moment he thought that perhaps they were dead. The only thing he could feel was his siblings' bodies under his own, until he felt wind blow through his hair. There wasn't supposed be wind blowing in his room.

He took a deep breath and slowly lifted his head up. He gasped when he realized that the only thing left from their apartement was his room and a small part of the hallway, everything else was gone, inclusing their parents. But he couldn't think about it right now, he needed to get his siblings to safety. He noticed how close to the edge they were and he knew that if they fell, they would die.

He crawled slowly to the far wall. He pressed himself against the wall and then pressed Sasha and Wanda to his chest who refused to look up and see their home destroyed by the bomb.

"Мы умерли?"(Are we dead?) Sasha mumbled into Pietro's chest.

"Нет, мы очень даже живы." (No, we are very much alive.) Pietro whispered back.

Sasha and Wanda looked up at once, just in time to see another bomb drop at their feet. Their heart stopped and they closed their eyes in anticipation. They waited for the bomb to explode but it never did. They waited and waited but it never exploded.

Pietro knew that if they moved, the bomb would explode and he couldn't have that. "Не шевелись." (Don't move.) He ordered his siblings.

"Пьетро, мне страшно!"(Pietro, I'm scared.) Sasha mumbled as he buried his face into his brother's neck.

"Я знаю. Я рядом, ты в безопасности." (I know, I'm here, you're safe.) Pietro said as he ran his fingers through his brother's messy hair in a soothing motion. A small frown appeared on Pietro's face as he stared at the bomb. It was gray with a few letters on it. Pietro's frown deepened as he could read: Stark. He vowed right then and there that if he managed to stay alive, he would find the one who had killed his parents and had put he and his siblings into such an awful situation, waiting for their death.

The night passed, and then the day, and the night, and the day, and the night. Next thing Pietro knew, it was the third day and they were still stuck in their ruined apartment. No one had come to rescue them and they were too scared to move. They didn't want for the bomb to explode. They didn't want to die.

Pietro looked down at his sleeping siblings. They were still curled up in his arms. Wanda was sleeping peacefully, as peacefully as she could knowing that there was a bomb in front of her, ready to explode at least. Sasha, on the other hand, was shivering madly and had a runny nose. They were all weak from their lack of water and food but they had to be strong. Someone would come. Someone had to come.

Sasha curled in on himself, his eyes still closed, as he coughed hard. Pietro sighed. They couldn't stay here any longer or else they would die anyway. "Ванда, проснись." (Wanda, wake up.) Pietro said softly as he shook Wanda's shoulder slightly. "Надо выбираться." (We need to move.)

"Но бомба..." (But the bomb...) Wanda started weakly.

"Мы больше не можем здесь оставаться."(We can't stay here any longer.) He said as he slowly got up, Sasha still asleep in his arms, praying for the bomb to not explode.

Pietro allowed himself to sigh in relief when they finally were outside of the building, or the ruins at least. He was relieved to see that he and his siblings were safe and sound. "Давайте найдем безопасное место, где можно будет переночевать." (Let's find somewhere safe to spend the night.)

They walked slowly around the town, trying to find a house still standing. Pietro's world started to spin when four soldiers stopped them. "Where are your parents?" One of them asked but Pietro couldn't for the life of him understand what he meant. He looked up to see that they were Americans and he couldn't help but glare.

Another soldier sighed. "Где ваши родители?"(Where are your parents?) He asked and Pietro didn't want to answer but he knew he couldn't act like he didn't understand, it would only put he and his siblings in danger.

"Они мертвы." (They're dead.) He spat, still glaring at them.

"They're dead." The soldier said to another.

He sighed and shook his head. "What should we do? The younger one could come in handy but the older ones are useless. They're too old."

"Let's just leave them here then, we only take the younger one."

Pietro frowned deeply. He wanted to know what they were saying. They obviously were talking about he, Wanda and Sasha and he hated not knowing what they were saying. They could be planning their death for all he knew.

"Я возьму твоего маленького братика, хорошо?" (I'm gonna take your little brother, okay?) The soldier told Pietro but the boy only shook his head. He didn't want to let go of Sasha. He didn't trust the soldiers enough to let them take him. They were Americans. What if they were planning to kill him because he was too young? "Ты слаб. Я отнесу его в безопасное место, клянусь." (You're weak. I'll carry him to safety, I swear.)

A soldier sighed. "We don't have enough time. He's a boy, just take the child and let's go." He growled out. Pietro didn't understand and he felt utterly helpless. Wanda was obviously scared for she was clutching Pietro's arm hard and was hiding behind his back.

"I'm sorry." The soldier who had been talking to him in russian said, his eyes flashing with regrets. He ripped Sasha from Pietro's arms, waking him up in the process and handed him over to the mean-looking soldier.

"Нет! Остановитесь!" (No! Stop!) Pietro exclaimed as he watched the soldier walk away with a screaming and crying Sasha in his arms.

"Пьетро! Ванда!" (Pietro! Wanda!) Sasha screamed restlessly as he kicked, trying to get away from the soldier.

"Отпусти его!"(Let him go!) Wanda screamed as she and Pietro tried to escape the three other soldiers who were holding them back from running after their brother.

Pietro was angry. He couldn't let the man take his baby brother away. It was his job to take care of Sasha and Wanda and he was already failing. He couldn't fail. He started to kick around, hitting the soldiers anywhere he could reach. He managed to take down one soldier before he felt a fist collide with the side of his face. He fell to the floor and looked up just in time to catch sight of the soldier and Sasha's retreating forms.

Another bomb fell from a plane passing by, it fell not far from where the soldier was walking with Sasha in his arms. Wanda screamed. It was deafening and Pietro had to fight the urge to cover his ears. The bomb exploded, fire spreading around and it turned the soldier and Sasha into ashes.