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Another Country

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Wanda Maximoff is not a child.

Steve understands this. A woman who has been exposed to the light of Loki's sceptre is not a child. A woman who has seen her country, her homeland, broken to rubble is not a child. A woman who has fought Ultron and grieved her brother is not a child. A woman who has been a prisoner in the Raft, held in a straitjacket, is not a child.

Her skin is chill to the touch, but the red flame inside her flickers behind her eyes and on her lips. It's in her mouth when she kisses Steve, clumsy, greedy, commanding. It shivers against his skin when her fingers clutch at the nape of his neck.

They are exiles and wanted criminals under the protection of a king who is also a fighter on their level. Scott and Clint are cut off from their kids at the moment; Sam, from his mother and sisters. Bucky is housed in a lab, shut down like a broken machine until the Wakandans figure out a way to fix him. Stark is playing by Ross's rules, at least for now, and Pietro Maximoff is dead and all Steve and Wanda have is this: A bedroom in a house in Wakanda, windows open to the wash of light and heat, humidity and perfume that is the air in this country (neither his country nor hers), his hands and mouth on her bruised, chilly skin, her fire slowly waking to weave around them.

She is slight of build and that makes him careful, but few people know better than Steve how strong a seemingly weak, fragile body can be. When he fucks her, her muscles are taut, the grip of her hands relentless, and she growls like an animal when she comes. She shakes in his arms afterward, but her sobs are silent and no tears come. Steve knows what that feels like, too.

So he strokes her hair until she quiets, kisses her until she warms up again, then slides between her legs and eats her out. Nice girls didn't do this, in his day; good guys didn't ask for it; he and Bucky sucked each other off all the time, and the few girls he was with before Peggy had all wanted this. "Ya can't get pregnant from spit, honey," said his first chorus girl. He goes as slow as he can stand, makes her come--hard--before he teases her with one finger, and two, and then fucks her again, making that last as long as he can--which is a very long time, thanks to the serum.

The tears do come, after that, and sleep, the sleep of exhaustion. Steve dozes beside her for a little while, then showers, orders some food, and takes a sketchbook and pencil out into the garden to wait for it. Is it a garden, or is it jungle? There's not much separation in Wakanda between the city and the land itself. He loses himself in putting an exotic flower on the page in every detail.

When the food comes, he thinks about waking Wanda, but no. She needs sleep more than food right now; he needs food more than sleep. So he eats, a lot, and orders more. Which turns out to be a good idea, when Wanda comes into the garden, hair loose and damp, wearing a loose Wakandan dress as vibrantly colored as the flowers around them.

"I ordered more," he says, a little sheepishly, as she surveys the empty tray and picks up a small fruit.

A tiny smile flickers across her face. "Good. I'm hungry." She sits down near him and eats her fruit, looking around in silence. Steve opens up his sketchbook once again and begins the sketch with her wide, interested eyes.