Sam stares at the frighteningly earnest face of Vision, an innocent anticipation in his unblinking eye contact that makes the question about fifty times more unsettling. “Um…”
“Please be assured,” Vision’s hands raise, swooping up and to the side as he talks, becoming a real pro at utilizing body language while talking, something Sam should be proud of but can’t bring himself to care about at the moment, instead hanging on whatever comes next, “it is no different than our usual Friday activities.”
Ah, and there it is, confirmation that someone put him up to this, at least that’s what Sam hopes. This puts him on more solid ground, shoulders relaxing as he shines a megawatt smile at the man in front of him. “You asked everyone else about it yet?”
“You were the closest in proximity when I determined to initiate a bonding experience.”
Sam’s smile broadens as he places a congenial hand on the man’s shoulder, “Good. You should probably talk to Nat next, she’s always super busy you know.” The understanding and obedient nod from Vision cements his plan. “Also, ask Wanda last.”
“I did not realize there should be an order.”
A nonchalant shrug slides the comment away, suggesting it’s something that everyone should already know, which means Vision won’t inquire further, “Listen man, as the social organizer, I promise, that’s the best order.”
Vision gives him one more serious nod and phases away. Immediately Sam pulls out his phone, fingers flying across the screen as he tries his best to get the message out before Vision finds her.
Sam: V is about to ask you a question. Play along and then hit me up.
Natasha: Roger that.
Ten minutes pass before his phone buzzes again, kickstarting his body with a jolt as his hands eagerly reach for the device.
Nat: I thought we agreed no more pranking Vision, he doesn’t know better.
Sam: Hey, mandroid came up with it himself, I’m just being opportunistic.
The ellipsis of Natasha formulating her response comes and goes, the three dots popping up and then disappearing until they finally stay.
Nat: We betting on the outcome?
Sam: Does Steve wear star spangled boxers?
Nat: $30 Rhodes says yes and then rushes to me.
Sam: I’ll take it, but he’s going to talk to me, not you.
Nat: Hope you’re ready to go broke.
Sam shoves the phone in his pocket, grabs a water bottle and begins wandering the common room, investigating each spot to determine where he can be most visible for when Rhodes comes walking into the room, face shell-shocked and voice cracking slightly. Sure enough, footfalls echo down the hall, slow and plodding, a hesitation and horror clear in the “What just happened?” that seems to be his mantra for the day. ‘
Rhodes stops and stares at Sam, mouth agape and eyes unfocused as he forms his question. “Has Vision asked you…”
“Do you think he’s serious?”
An amused smile forms on Sam’s lips as he shakes his head, “No way he has any idea what it means.”
A hesitant shrug goes along with Rhodes’ comment, “Maybe it’s his thing.” His tone develops a mildly defensive air at Sam’s eye roll. “What? He’s odd and we’re a freakishly attractive group, can’t fault the guy.”
“Don’t go lumping yourself in with my sex appeal,” Sam wags a finger towards the man in mock anger. “But seriously, no way he knows.”
Rhodes walks into the kitchen, still shaking his head, and Sam takes this as his opportunity to brag, turning to snap a picture of the confused and slightly dejected Rhodes and sending it to Natasha.
Sam: I’ll take your $$$.
Nat: I feel betrayed.
He starts to type a reply but stops as the ellipsis pops up.
Nat: $50 bucks Steve is just as clueless.
Sam: No way, we’ve taught him better than that.
Nat: You’re cute Sam, stupid, but cute. What about Wanda?
Sam: $70 she explains it to him, all sweet and gentle, before they get here.
Nat: Oh no, she’s joining him. $150 she’s all moon-eyed and giggly until she sees us.
Sam contemplates both options, he rarely wins against Nat, but he already bagged thirty bucks and he feels like he has a better handle on the social side of team dynamics.
Sam: $150 it is. Can’t wait to be rich.
That night Sam lounges on the couch, feet up on the table, arms out along the back cushion, and grins. “So are we just going to sit here in terrified silence?”
The scoff to his side belongs to Natasha, her legs crossed and a magazine in her hands, “I’d say anticipation of the upcoming shit show of embarrassment more so than terrified.”
“Speak for yourself,” Rhodes leans forward, elbows pressed into his knees as he glances back towards the dark hallway, “I wasn’t going to come but you two insisted.”
Lonely footfalls resound in the metal hallway, Steve’s broad shoulders lifting as he smiles at the group. “Hey guys.” He’s met with a chorus of Hellos as he sits between Sam and Natasha on the couch, hands clapping against his knees. “Really great of Vision to plan this, I’m glad he’s finally taking some social initiative.”
Sam groans a “Yeah, super proud,” as Natasha reaches behind Steve, mockingly rubbing her thumb against her index and middle fingers as she celebrates her first victory.
The conversation doesn’t continue, the voices floating down the hall arresting their attention. The gentle, polite intonations of Vision telling a story are met with, Sam frowns, uncharacteristically giddy giggles. Wanda is never shy to entertain Vision, even at his most weird and inhuman moments, but she’s not one for giggling. Natasha levels a pointed and victorious stare at him but Sam refuses to give in just yet. When they arrive in the room he raises an eyebrow at how Wanda’s hands are wrapped around Vision’s bicep, her body pressed firmly into his sweater clad chest as she looks up at him with a sickeningly sweet and hungry smile.
Natasha throws one more celebratory smile at him and loudly declares, “You two are late.”
That’s when Wanda freezes, smile faltering as she takes in the rest of the team and suddenly her cheeks are beet red, eyes turning up to the man next to her with a plaintive and confused “Vizh?”
Vision simply smiles and pulls her the rest of the way to the common space. “Thank you all for coming.”
Even though it’s juvenile, Sam can’t stop from tittering at the comment, confused lines forming around Vision’s gem as he looks between Sam and the intensifying blush on Wanda’s face. She turns towards the synthetic man gently brushing his arm with her fingers as she prepares to sully his beautiful, endearing innocence. “Um Vizh?”
She glances back at the varying degrees of amusement on the their teammates’ faces, minus Steve who also has the blissful gleam of ignorance. “You do know what Netflix and Chill means, right?”
“Of course,” which is said with less confidence than usual, his ability to pick up on nonverbal cues getting more fine tuned each day, “it simply means to watch Netflix while,” he raises his fingers to utilize air quotes, “‘ chilling ,’ or relaxing on the couch.”
Sam glances at Natasha and finds that even she appears close to breaking, lips held tightly shut as her face reddens slightly from the effort to remain neutral. Wanda sighs, an internal fight that manifests in her fingers waving with red when Sam releases another laugh. “Actually it, um,” only now does she seem to realize how the whole situation looks, a nervous, wide-eyed glance behind her as she tries to figure out if everyone else pieced together her intentions towards Vision. Sam gives a helpful wink and a thumbs up, mouthing Get it girl , and she ducks her head to hide another blush before addressing Vision again. “It means to,” her fingers lift awkwardly as she air quotes, “ watch Netflix but you actually, um fool around.”
Sam adds a gleefully helpful, “She means have sex!”
The confusion on Vision’s face fades slowly into intrigue, a brief, slightly heated questioning turn of his irises when he looks at Wanda that quickly dissolves into embarrassment as he takes in the smirks around the room. “I see.”
“Wait,” Steve studies the faces around him, “seriously?” Natasha gives his shoulder a soft, reassuring pat.
Despite the clearly awkward atmosphere, Vision raises a finger, eyes squinting as his mind works through the revelations. “I am a bit confused by the concept.” Everyone sits in rapt anticipation as he formulates his inquiry, the paths of Vision’s mind a fascinating and often unpredictable journey. “The enjoyment of Netflix is to consume entertainment, yet the very foundation of the,” now that they’ve defined the phrase it takes on a proper air, the same one he uses for talking about scientific terms, “Netflix and Chill is to forgo watching the entertainment. How is it possible to keep track of plots when otherwise occupied?”
“Um well,” the concern in his voice is so genuine that its effect on Wanda is immediate, her lips lifting at the edges as she brings a hand to rest on his forearm. Sam wonders if he can get some of his money back because Wanda did gently and sweetly explain it, just not before being thoroughly embarrassed. “You can always just watch something you’ve already seen or something that doesn’t require your attention.”
This seems to solve everything, Vision grinning in understanding as he adds, “Fascinating, so would it be fair to say we often HGTV and Chill?”
Natasha finally cracks, her sniggering mingling with Sam’s own laughter at the fact they all can feel the heat coming off of Wanda’s cheeks as she mumbles, “I think I’m going to call it a night,” and walks from the room.
Hope you enjoyed!