“Where's your moon at?”
Wanda glances up from her tea, fingers curled to better absorb its heat to counteract the chilly pre-winter day, and finds Natasha grinning at her over a pancake. “My moon?”
The way her eyes revolve dramatically makes Wanda think she must have missed something obvious. “I'm looking for Vision, Steve wants us to try some new weight machines today, figured he could help me set it up.”
“I believe he’s in the lab.”
“Perfect.” Natasha shoves the last bite of pancake in her mouth and walks away, leaving Wanda in confused silence. With a shrug her thoughts settle on the steam curling up and over her nose, releasing all ill thoughts and aches from the night before. Soon after Natasha leaves, Sam strolls in, one hand deep in his pocket and the other gripped around a protein bar. “Morning!” She briefly matches his smile and nods her head as she sips her tea. “Flying solo this morning?” The word solo cracks in half as he laughs.
Wanda places the cup on the table, chipped fingernails tapping a steady rhythm. “What does that mean?”
“Come on, really?” She doesn’t respond beyond staring at him. “You really don't know?” He stares at her in disbelief, eyebrows raising the longer she stays silent. When she shakes her head he collapses into the seat across from her, his ever present smirk making her feel both comfortable and yet oddly on edge. “We were all talking about how Vision seems to always like, be drawn towards you. So Tony said he was your moon, caught up in the gravitational pull of planet Wanda.” For added effect he lifts the half-eaten protein bar in one hand and an apple in the other and then makes the bar circle around the fruit with a whooshing sound.
There is an air of insinuation in the information, but Wanda merely shrugs, unperturbed at his words. “I guess I hadn't noticed.”
“It's not a bad thing,” his fingers stop moving long enough for the protein bar to find its way back to his mouth which makes the next words slightly muddled. “We just realized it last night because he was gliding towards us until he saw you on the couch and then, well, he just kind of drifted over to you.” Once he leaves, Wanda resumes her quiet ritual, eyes occasionally wandering to check the time and thoughts attempting to remain calm and unobtrusive.
Despite her best efforts, their pointed looks and Sam’s hand gestures won’t let her ignore the fact that Vision is by her side for most of the training that afternoon, even though they weren’t originally partnered together. But, she has silently gesticulated back in a complicated interpretive dance, her powers are the only thing strong enough to safely protect Vision if, for some reason, he drops the weights. Although he never does.
“Okay Vizh, I think I’m done.” Gently he reaches over her head to re-lock the machine, fingers unintentionally brushing against hers. Wanda finds sunbursts spreading under her skin, cheeks reddening at this new acute awareness of their position to each other. She glances around to make sure no one is watching them. “Thanks.” His casual hover and attentive stare does not betray if he has detected the awkwardness in her stance, particularly the way her arms cannot find a comfortable position at her side. “Well, I need to shower so.”
“Enjoy your shower.” A soft smile and nod of the head lets her know that he is utterly serious and for a moment Wanda can feel her body shifting towards him. “I am planning on watching a movie later, if you wish to join.”
Her feet shuffle back and her arms fold across her chest as she smiles. “I’d like that.”
Back when they first arrived at the compound and Wanda was still reeling from the loss of Pietro, there was a day where Vision spent the afternoon informing her of several studies he had read. The intention, or so it seemed, was to comfort her by explaining why her mind was incapable of letting go of her brother. He was wholly unsuccessful but, much to Wanda's surprise, his words from that day still come to mind often.
“Wanda, do not think of a white bear.”
“Just do not think of a white bear.” If she remembers correctly she rolled her eyes and her body followed, curling around a pillow on the bed and ignoring the gentle yet insistent man at her side. “Wanda, what are you thinking about?”
“A stupid white bear mauling Pietro.”
“Precisely.” That was the first of many times she threw a pillow at his face and then laughed at how his eyes would follow the pillow as it fell, confusion evident in his fingers running haltingly along the edge of the fabric as he assessed the reason for its attack on his face. But now, just like the damn bear, she cannot stop thinking about the way he moves in her presence.
Based on three days of observation, she has identified two categories of approach. The first is purposeful, like when they meet for their twice weekly levitation sessions and then later in the evening when he joins her for a planned movie in the common area. In these instances he simply glides, or walks depending on his mood, straight towards her, the sole purpose of the action is to join her. But, it is in the second type of approach that she begins to understand Sam and Nat’s comments.
At lunch she makes sure to arrive before Vision, but after Steve so that she can position herself in a different part of the room. As Vision enters the room, his path is clearly set on the table where everyone else is seated, until he glances to his side. If she had not been watching him closely, Wanda is unsure if she would ever have noticed the change, but once he sees her, he turns and instead of a straight line, there is a subtle, fluid arc to his path as he readjusts his movements to approach her. “Are you not joining us for lunch?”
“Oh, I’ll be right there.” His smile is enough to halt her observations for the rest of the afternoon.
Now that Wanda has realized his trajectory in conjunction with her own, it becomes a point of contentment. There is an oddly blissful comfort in knowing he will always find her for company, or have her back during a fight, or listen to her fears when everyone else is asleep, or simply sit in silence and watch the rain fall. And she doesn’t think about it again for several weeks regardless of the comments and looks from teammates.
“I do not think I enjoy this game.”
Wanda pauses, hand hovering above the board with a blue chip clicking back and forth against her rings. A smirk crawls across her face as she places it. “Is it because you’ve lost four, sorry, five times in a row now?”
“No,” which is said with more hesitation than Vision typically allows in his voice. Her smirk grows into a grin as she feels his thoughts swirl, attempting to identify the reason for his dislike of the game other than his need to win. “It is mainly a game of luck, which is frustrating. There is a small amount strategy but it is nearly impossible to plan moves in advance.”
Red envelopes the blue and green chips on the board, lifts them into the air, and separates them out to each side. “Are you saying you don’t want to play again?
“Not at all,” his fingers expertly shift his chips into five neat piles, before he shuffles the deck of cards. “I am attempting to construct an algorithm in order to form a strategy, so the more games we play the stronger the algorithm will be.”
Wanda laughs, settling her back against the couch cushion and raising her legs to rest her feet on his thigh. “You are such a sore loser.”
A tiny, barely perceptible smile flirts with his lips while he deals the cards out. As he waits for her to take the first turn his hand comes to rest on her feet, thumb absentmindedly rubbing her left sole. “Have you heard of binary planets before?” Wanda shakes her head while she places a chip on the board and draws a card. “There was a fascinating documentary the other night about them. They are planets that orbit each other after being drawn into the same gravitational field.”
“How is it different from a planet and a moon?”
“With a moon, it is typically smaller and orbits around the planet,” his fingers deftly place a chip right next to hers before drawing a card. “Binary planets would essentially form their own bound orbit and remain together. Granted, there is no evidence of such a thing yet, but one third of their simulations formed binary planets and the calculations suggested the orbits would remain bound for billions of years.”
Wanda stares at him, weighing his words, curious to know if their teammates ever told Vision the Planet Wanda theory. “Can you show me?”
“Of course, I saved the documentary to watch again-”
“Not that, come here,” Wanda reluctantly pulls her feet from his hand and stands up, arm outstretched and beckoning him to follow suit. He stands, though uncertainty mars the intricate lines of his face, bunching them together around the Mind Stone. “Okay, so I’ll be a planet. How would a moon orbit as compared to another planet?”
Vision stands still for several seconds before his shoulders stoop infinitesimally and she chuckles at his reluctant sigh as he begins to walk around her. “Orbits are typically elliptical,” as he says it he walks close to her when he passes her side and makes a wide arc once he passes in front of or behind her. “With binary planets, the orbit is much closer.” With this revolution he steps close enough that she can feel his cashmere sweater brush against her arm and it makes her begin to turn with him so she can watch him as he moves. “You are actually acting appropriately.”
“Well,” the way he hesitates when their eyes meets lets loose the butterflies in her stomach, “eventually the planetary rotations would slow until the same side of each planet is always facing inward.” At some point they stop turning around and stand still, facing each other with barely an inch between them . “Did that illuminate things for you?”
A smile parts her lips and her hands act of their own accord when they rest upon his chest. “It did, thank you.” Her fingers tap against his muscles before pulling back, and it does not go unnoticed the way he ever so slightly leans towards her when she steps away. “I think I should get some sleep.” Wanda brushes a hand against his arm before walking away. “Night, Vizh.”
“Sleep well, Wanda.”
She makes it ten feet before the effort of walking away becomes too much and she glances back to see him settled back on the couch and cleaning up the game. When he looks up at her, she knows her fate is sealed and can feel her body heading back into his gravitational pull. “Do you want to watch that documentary and I’ll just fall asleep on the couch with you?”
“Of course,” they share a smile and Wanda curls up next to him, head resting on his chest and his arm slowly descending on her back.
Perhaps their teammates were wrong in their assumptions. In fact, as she lays there with his fingers running through the ends of her hair and her own tracing along his chest, she realizes that it makes sense to redefine their gravitational relationship because she seeks him out just as much as he does her. So she resolves to correct Nat the next time she makes a comment, explaining that she has a planet, not a moon, thank you very much.