Wanda looked up from her book as Steve poked his head through the door, a barely-hidden grin on his face as he stepped halfway into her room.
"Someone's here to see you," he said, nodding back out toward the hall.
Wanda sat up, feeling her brows pinch in confusion.
Who could possibly want to see her? Was it the doctors again? It seemed a little soon...
They had been in Wakanda for a couple weeks now, staying at the palace under King T'Challa's hospitality.
The recently freed prisoners had been rather wary of their "host" at first, but when the man had greeted Bucky and Steve as he would old friends - and Bucky had seemed genuinely happy to see him - they had thrown that caution to the wind. If Bucky was willing to trust T'Challa after the king had spent the better portion of a week trying to kill him, the rest of them figured they had no grounds to question.
They'd all been moved into the east wing of the palace that very evening.
The Wakandan palace was beautiful, an elegant combination of traditional castle opulence and modern architecture, but outside of a few hallways, Wanda hadn't seen much more of it than her room.
After they had landed and gotten settled in, the King had expressed concern about her treatment at the Raft, and had talked her into letting some of his doctors look her over for any possible damage that the shock collar, drugs, or general stress could have caused. The results so far had been promising, but she'd been ordered to take it easy until they were sure.
The doctors had told her that she should be fine if she wanted to wander the palace grounds or go explore the city, so long as she paced herself.
Wanda had told everyone else that she'd been strictly instructed to remain inside.
Honestly, she was still a little nervous about being in Wakanda...about staying in the country of the people she'd killed in Lagos.
Her face had been plastered all over the news, after all. There was no way that they wouldn't see her and know that she was the one who had murdered eleven of their own.
No way that they wouldn't want revenge.
T'Challa had assured her that it was water under the bridge - an honest accident where the blame had been unfairly shifted to the one trying to contain the bomb instead of the one who set it off - but Wanda still knew better than to push her luck.
Aside from her teammates and a few of T'Challa's doctors, she'd had very limited contact with anyone else in Wakanda. She wasn't sure if it was guilt or fear that kept her from wandering beyond the east wing, but she'd hardly set foot outside of her bedroom since they'd arrived, save for group meals with the others and the occasional doctor's checkup or "team meeting" in the little conservatory that they all used as a common area.
If the others thought it strange, they'd yet to mention anything, although she'd definitely noticed that Clint and Natasha seemed to be going out of their way to try and coax her out and about.
Perhaps her "visitor" was Clint trying to talk her into a walk through the gardens again.
But something wasn't right. If it had been one of them that was wanting to see her, why wouldn't Steve have simply said so?
She swallowed hard, glancing down at her book as she took a slow breath to steady her voice before speaking.
"To see me?" she asked Steve, placing her marker in between the pages and slowly closing the novel over as something small and cold and worried curled in her belly. Steve, however, was grinning like he knew some big secret that she didn't, and his smile only got bigger as she tilted her head suspiciously.
"Yeah. Demanded it, actually," the super-soldier shrugged, leaning back against the door frame in a pointedly casual move. "Phased right through the conservatory room wall and-"
But Wanda didn't hear the rest, already on her feet in a jolt of adrenaline, squeezing past Steve in the doorway a second later and heading for the conservatory at a dead run.
There was only one person she knew who could phase through walls.
The elaborate hallways of the palace passed her in a blur, rich tapestries and priceless carvings a vague background as the sharp click of her boot heels echoed loudly off the polished marble.
Right. Left. Another left at the grand hall. Right. Down to the end of the hall. Left. Third room down.
The door to the conservatory was already open, sunlight streaming from the windows out into the hall in a splash of yellow. Wanda skidded to a stop at the doorway with her heart caught hard in her throat, gasping for breath as she glanced into the room, and for a long second she just stared.
He was here.
Vision was here.
And for once, she wasn't dreaming.
The synth was standing on the far side of the room, his hands folded behind his back as he stared out the floor-to-ceiling windows into the Wakandan jungle, wearing a dress shirt and sweater vest that seemed overly formal when compared to the tank tops and shorts the rest of the Avengers had taken to wearing to escape the heat.
He had something cradled carefully in his hands that she couldn't quite make out, and there was a suitcase sitting on the ground nearby, bulging a little at the zipper with whatever he'd stuffed in it.
It was a little surreal, so find him standing here of all places.
"Vision?" she whispered.
He looked up, his troubled expression replaced with a smile the second their eyes met.
"Wanda," he breathed.
She ran over to him in a heartbeat and he swept her into his arms, crushing her to his chest. Wanda hugged him back and cinched her grip tight, taking a deep breath of the warm, crisp scent that was so uniquely him as she let her eyes flutter closed.
"Thank goodness you are unharmed. I feared that I was too late..."
"Oh, Vision, I've missed you so much!"
"I have missed you as well, Wanda," he murmured, and she felt her throat tighten a little with tears as he nuzzled his face gently into her hair. "I am so glad that you were not harmed in the escape."
Wanda froze at that, blinking hard.
It was the logical assumption to make, of course - that their removal from the prison was an escape - but the way he'd said it seemed almost familiar. As if he'd known what had happened, or what was going to happen, in order for him to be worried about it.
And the only way Vision would have known about something that secretive before it had happened...
"You sent Steve to find us," she whispered in dawning realization. "You helped him get us out!"
"I realize that it is technically a breach of the Accords," Vision admitted slowly, "and that should I ever be discovered, I would be facing severe punishment for assisting your escape, however...I simply cannot bring myself to feel remorse over it."
Wanda could feel the enormous smile that was working its way across her lips, and she pressed herself close once more, cinching her grip tight around his waist.
"I knew you wouldn't leave me," she whispered against his chest.
"Never," he promised.
Wanda took a slow breath to press back her emotions, scrambling for something to say.
"What are you doing here?" she breathed after a long few seconds.
"I came to see you," Vision replied, shrugging as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "To make sure that you were all right."
Wanda shook her head in amazement, but felt something cold prickling at the base of her conscious.
Vision had found them in Wakanda.
It must have taken hours of searching to be able to track them down.
An unwelcome thrill of panic ran through her at that, and she stepped back out of his arms before he could ask her what was wrong, nerves twisting sharp in her stomach. "You won't tell anyone, will you? You won't tell anyone where we are?"
Her panic was bubbling to the surface as thoughts of the Raft flashed through her head, the memory of the collar etched on her throat like a vice grip, choking her breath away. She couldn't go back there. She would rather die than spend her life locked up like that.
Vision blinked at her for a second before reaching one hand out slowly to cup her face. Wanda leaned into his touch as he brushed his thumb over her cheek, the man gently easing the worried frown from her face.
"I have no wish to see you locked up ever again. The only one who knows your location is myself, and that is how it will stay. No one in the UN needs to know that I've been here. I have not even informed Mr. Stark as to where exactly I have gone."
The relief was palpable, washing over her and turning her muscles weak.
Wanda let out a shuddering breath, smiling as she stepped into his embrace and hugged him tight once more, burying her face against his shoulder.
"Oh Vizh...I've missed you so much..."
"And I you."
When she drew back this time, she took a moment to look him over more thoroughly.
He was wearing the same sweater that she'd said he looked good in almost three months ago - the dork hardly ever changed his appearance to anything else - and had a little black suitcase sitting on the ground hardly a pace away.
It took her another moment to realize that while one of Vision's hands was resting open-palmed against her side, the other was fisted, and she drew his wrist into her hold in curiosity to look at whatever it was he was holding.
Vision opened his hand obligingly, revealing what looked like crumpled plant matter scattered across his red palm.
"What is this?" she asked, tilting her head as she examined the crushed petals.
"Ah. It is a flower. For you. I made sure that it was not toxic before harvesting it."
"How sweet, thank you," she smiled, cupping her hands to catch the loose petals as he tried to hand it to her. "You have a bag with you...are you staying?" she asked.
"It is yours," Vision corrected her.
"I...erm. I brought some of your things, as well. From the compound. It's nothing much, I'm afraid," he admitted, looking flustered. "A few changes of clothing, some personal items, pictures, your iPod and laptop..." He glanced up, awaiting her reaction nervously, and Wanda gave him a gentle smile.
"It's more than I could have hoped for. Thank you."
The synthetic man smiled back at her, his white teeth a sharp contrast to his dark skin, and Wanda felt her own smile trying to spread into a stupid grin as her cheeks got warm.
She opened her mouth to speak, but another voice cut in before she could.
"I don't suppose you brought anything for the rest of us?"
The two looked up to find Natasha leaning against the doorway, her arms crossed and a sly grin on her face.
"I...well...I'm afraid I only thought to pack for Wanda..." Vision began sheepishly, but Natasha waved the start of his apology away with a smile.
"Sounds like an excuse to drag the boys out shopping. Clint needed a wardrobe update anyway."
"Excuse you, my wardrobe is fine."
Clint's reply came from the couch, and both Wanda and Vision startled a bit, whirling to look for him. The archer was lying flat on his back across the length of the sofa, playing with a dart from the dart board. He merely raised an eyebrow at Wanda when she mouthed 'how long...?' in shock.
"You have exactly one set of clothing," Natasha said from the doorway, her tone deadpan.
"One is plenty."
"Wearing the same underwear for two or more days in a row is frowned upon. Also you wander around nude when you wash them."
"I do not! I have a sheet!" Barton said indignantly.
"You also need new sheets."
"You just want to drag me out shopping to torture me."
"Have to get you back for that right hook somehow," she shrugged. "Left a bruise."
"Don't even start comparing bruises, have you seen my back?"
"Yes, actually. Every time you do laundry. And most of your naked ass as well."
Wanda bit her lip, trying not to giggle as Barton groaned and Vision looked between the two curiously.
"Fine, fine. Shopping it is," Clint said with a huff, tossing the dart away carelessly. It landed dead-center on the target board.
Natasha smirked, straightening up and turning to leave the room.
"Come on then, papa bear. I think the lovebirds can do fine without a chaperone."
Clint grumbled out something that sounded like a complaint, but stood to obediently follow Natasha out of the room. He reached to ruffle Wanda's hair on his way by, and she ducked out from beneath his hand with a soft laugh. The archer smiled tightly as he leaned close, nodding at Vision.
"If he gives you any trouble, put him through the floor again," he muttered, and Wanda had to duck her head to hide her smile.
"Come on, Clint. She's got this covered," Natasha called with a smile. "Behave, kids."
Wanda shook her head at the two assassins, trying and failing to bite back her smile.
When she turned around Vision was looking down at her, a soft adoration in his eyes that warmed her to the core and set something fluttering in her stomach.
"Come on, Vizh," Wanda smiled back up at him, "you can help me put my things away. I'll show you to my room."
"Door stays open!" Barton called from somewhere down the hallway, and Wanda felt her face flush hot as Vision blinked in confusion.
"Why would the door need to stay open?" he asked.
"I...will explain it to you some other time," Wanda said sheepishly. "Come."
She turned to lead the way back down the hall as Vision picked up the bag to follow her, the remains of the flower he'd gifted her cupped gently in her palms and a bright smile on her face.
Vision was here with her. She and the others were safe and out of prison. The sun was shining and happiness was fluttering with a giddy excitement in her chest and for the first time in a rather long time, she actually felt safe enough and calm enough to relax.
Somehow, she knew...now that Vizh was here... everything was going to be okay.
Author's Note: Merry Christmas, everyone! This brings our story to a close. Goodnight, all!