Wanda had known many beds in her time. Lying in the dark she thought of them all.
The first bed she recalled was in their apartment back home. Back when they had a home, back when they had parents, when they still had more in this world than just each other. Things had been happier then, but never easier, money had always been in short supply. She and Pietro had shared a bed even then, through necessity more than anything else. Her mother had begun to broach the subject that a second bed would be needed, but as yet they still shared the same bed, it's iron bedstead older than any member of their family. Once it had been painted black, once it must have been a piece of be proud of, the metal curling into complicated patterns at the foot and head of the bed. Even by the time it reached the Maximoffs it was still beautiful enough to recall it's old majesty, even with the paint peeling and the iron bent in places. She could remember as a child lying there, watching the way the sunlight through the shapes would cast odd shadows, and how she would trace all the patterns with her finger, trying to get from one post to the other without repeating her steps. It has seemed safe, and she had imagined the bed was wise, magical, that it could take her to places in her dreams. Almost indestructible. Luckily for them.
After they had been pulled out from beneath it's shelter, she never saw it again. A pity. They had been two days of hell, she remembered them still, aching from keeping so still, hardly daring to move, shaking and trembling together, their hearts beating as one. The bed had protected them. It would have been nice to have kept it.
Then - the orphanage. Separated. The boys dormitory and the girls, and the first night they were ever supposed to have spent apart.
Exhaustion had tipped her into sleep, but fear and grief had torn her from it. In the night she had woken already weeping, struggling to breath for sobs. She had rolled over, to hide her face, to hide the noise - but in the adjacent room Pietro had already heard. He hadn't gone to sleep and in the dark he had come to her, not caring for the rules, he had come to comfort her. To protect but swift, like a Guardian Angel, he had padded out the boy's dorm and into the room where the girls slept. He had crawled into Wanda's bed and held her, shushed her, the two of them a cramped fit, despite their youth, in the little narrow bed.
Remembering that night she shivered. But the memory that was clearest was the feeling when he was with her. Of how alone she had felt, and how the burden was still there but so much easier to lift with him by her side. That...and the memory of the shocked realisation which had come some time later, when she remembered not all the tears had been her own, how her brother had wept silently, trying to keep his own pain under wraps to comfort hers.
How were they ever supposed to function apart?
They had been punished so many times in the orphanage, every night they were sent to separate beds, but every night they would find each other. Sometimes his bed, sometimes hers, sometimes together in the cold hallway, both their blankets brought for warmth, huddled and uncomfortable on the cold hard floor but better this then alone.
The worst night was when Pietro was locked away to stop him getting to her. She had howled, the noise more animal than human, when she could not reach him, screaming as though she were in pain, and she remembered the sound of his fists on wood and his curses as he tried to bridge the gap. Nobody in the orphanage had slept that night for listening to the grief of the twins.
The mistress gave up after that. Better they be left together, however odd they were, and everyone else get a peaceful nights rest. She had stopped fighting the bond between the twins and let them do as they wished, but not without a shudder of distaste as their oddness, their closeness, the way they were only complete when they were together.
They hadn't cared. What did it matter what other people thought if they were together? Why would they need other friends when they already had their perfect match?
After the orphanage, they had struggled to find anywhere to sleep. Quiet streets sometimes. Hostels. Sofas that belonged to other people, borrowed for a night or two. Nobody cared so much then, thought they huddled together for warmth, or out of practicality. It hadn't seemed important. The others cared more about the fight then looking for strangeness among the ranks. It had suited the twins. To spent the days fighting, organising, rioting, and the nights safe - they were always safe if they were together.
Till HYDRA found them.
Frowning she rolled over, as though to move away from the memory, but it came to her anyway.
They had agreed but oh, what they had agreed to. The ends justified the means of course, but the means - she would never forget the scepter's influence. How she felt sick when the exposures began, violently nauseous, it had felt like ice cold metal being poured through her veins, a cold so strong it burned like fire and the pain of it had been all she could think of, tendrils of agony from it's influence curling through every nerve in her brain. She could taste it on her tongue, like electric sparks and outer space, it had felt like how she imagined falling into a black hole would feel like. It had stolen her vision, and all her thoughts, all consuming, all encompassing. The only thing she had kept her going was the hand holding hers, fingers gripped so tight, knowing he felt the same thing. It didn't lessen the feeling, but had helped them survive.
The Baron put them in separate holding cells. But the sound of their pain that night - which had been worse, the pain of the procedure, or the separation? She couldn't tell, one had been in her body, the other in her heart and her mind, and both had been sharp - like animals believing they would die and whimpering, those sounds from both cells, in stereo - the guards had pitied them. Reunited them. Believed that, like all the others, they'd die anyway, that they might as well die as they had been born - together. But they survived and surprised everyone. Each night the guards let them stay together, and even when the Baron found out, he did not put a stop to it. They were the only survivors, precious because of it. If being together was what kept them going, let them be together.
Always together. That was how it worked. Their parents, the orphanage, the resistance, the doctors, Ultron - nobody had ever kept them apart.
Till the Avengers.
Last night they had slept on the jet, returning to America, slept sitting up with her head on his shoulder and their fingers entwined. But today they gave them two rooms in the facility - adjacent, but still two rooms. Bare little rooms.
They had gone to their rooms, but she could not sleep in here. It was not just these memories, it was everything. The sheets were cold around her, without the warmth of his body. The air was still and quiet without his breathing. She could not feel his heartbeat, the steady thump that spoke of security.
She could bear it no longer, and rose from the bed, throwing back the covers so the white sheets billowed dramatically in the moonlight as she moved. Opening the door she peeked out into the hallway, listening to all her senses, not just her eyes. Her eyes glowed scarlet as she listened. Sleepers. Many sleepers. And silence. Nobody to see her as she slipped out her room, silently closing the door behind her, and padded on bare feet to the next door along. Her fingers sought the handle immediately, she did not bother to knock as she eased the door slowly opened and slipped into the room like a wraith.
He was awake, in bed, sat up, and there was a smug smile as he looked across to her. She felt his gaze and felt the the cheek of it more than saw it, knew how he'd look without light because his was the face she knew better than her own.
No need to tell him she couldn't sleep, no need to tell him anything at all - the other side of her own heart.
"You took your time. Thought you were never coming".