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The Meaning Of Halloween

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"Do we have to go to this Stark thing?" Wanda glanced distastefully at a news report about this year's Stark Industries 'Halloween Bash'.

"Well, we did promise to put in an appearance" Vision pointed out, making her a cup of tea. "We haven't been out in a while, and the event is child friendly this year because of little Morgan.. the boys are already so excited.."

"Tommy and Billy are excited because Tony promised them free candy" Wanda frowned.

"Well.. That is what Halloween is about, for children."

"That's not all it's supposed to be about.. It was different, in Sokovia. Less commercial."

"I see" Vision sat beside Wanda, presenting her with the tea. "I know how important it is to you that the boys learn about Sokovian culture.."

"It is" Wanda took a large sip.

"Then we will teach them. They can have a bit of fun at the Party.. but we'll teach them about Halloween Mama's way, too."

"Yes.. I guess you're right."

"But first.."

"First what, Vizh?"

"Well, first you will have to teach me" Vision smiled, leaning in to steal a quick kiss.

Wanda returned his kiss, chuckling.

"Okay."
--

A short while later, Wanda sat across from Vision, carefully painting his face.

"Sokovian tradition.. It is a bit closer to.. Dia De Los Muertos. The Mexican Day of the Dead" Wanda began to explain. "Here, in the original custom of All Hallow's Eve, costumes are worn to scare away spirits. In Sokovia, it is the opposite."

"I see.." Vision listened intently, tilting his head to help Wanda reach a certain spot.

"Thanks, Vizh. In Sokovia, Spirite Bune- Good Spirits- are welcome. The barrier between life and death is weakened, and we paint ourselves up as ghosts or skeletons so lost loved ones feel comfortable to walk among us for the night."

"It sounds like a lovely tradition."

"I always enjoyed it.. imagining my parents were somewhere in the crowd." Wanda stepped back to examine her work. "All done."

A few moments later, the room was filled with the sound of small footsteps, the sign that their five-year old twins had woken from their short nap.

"Wow!" Tommy gasped.

"Daddy's a skeleton!" cried Billy, taking a nervous step backwards.

"Yes, I painted him as one for Halloween" Wanda smiled. Not a lot phased Tommy, born with endless courage that reminded her of her brother- a fact that inspired both pride and slight terror in Wanda. Billy, however, was a softer soul, innocent, very much like his Father had been in his early days.

"It's alright. It's still me underneath" Vision poked out his tongue, pulling a silly face, making Billy giggle as he pulled the little boy. "Still Daddy."

"Can we be skeletons for Uncle Tony's party, Mama?" Tommy asked.

"Of course you can, dulce inima" Wanda replied. "And while I paint you, Daddy can tell you all about what Halloween is like where Mama is from."

"And then.." Vision grinned, with a cheekiness Wanda knew she had taught him, "Somebody has to paint Mama.."

"Oh.." said Wanda quickly, glaring at Vision, "I'm not sure if.."

"Don't worry, Mama" said Billy. "We'll make you a pretty skeleton."

Wanda's expression immediately softened.

"Well, as long as I'm a pretty skeleton.."
--

As soon as they reached the party, the twins rushed off, Tommy towards the candy, and Billy to find Morgan Stark, wanting to show him his face paint. Wanda watched them go with a fond smile, then turned to Vision.

"Do I really look alright?"

Vision thought for a moment, searching for the right word.

"Frumusel, just like Billy promised" He replied. "Your lost loved ones will feel very welcome to visit."

Wanda smiled at him through the make up.

"Thank you, for helping me teach the boys."

"It is important to you. And I do not have much cultural heritage of my own to speak of, so I am happy to share in yours."

"You are very welcome to share it" Wanda kissed his cheek.
--

In the end, Wanda was happy that Vision had convinced her to come to the party. It was nice to catch up with their friends, and it seemed the boys had managed to keep themselves out of trouble.. for a while.

Wanda and Vision spotted Natasha striding towards them, looking an odd mix of concerned, impressed, and amused that only the Black Widow could pull off.

"You two better come quickly. Tommy ate too much candy and threw up on Steve, and Thor's having a crisis because Billy picked up Mjolnir."

The couple shared a look, then rushed off to wrangle their children.

"It is as you always say, Wanda" Vision chuckled. "Tommy takes after his Uncle.."

".. And Billy has a lot of his Daddy in him."