Who were you? You were no one, a shadow that passed by in silence, disturbing no one and keeping yourself to yourself, physically frightened of becoming visible once more, but if you were no one, why was Pietro Maximoff staring at you? It wasn’t exactly the first time you had caught him doing it either, you had seen him in the middle of that God forsaken forest in the very centre of Slokovia, you saw it in Klaw’s facility as you felt your mind being tampered with and stolen out from under you, again. There were those times, thoses fleeting moments but none quite like this, not the way he was looking at you now, with such adoration and affection, that you knew you didn’t deserve, his gaze unwavering from where he stood on the other side of the room. You were alone, no one else was around to witness this display from Pietro, the others were scattered around the Avengers tower, most likely screaming at each other, Ultron was tearing you all apart at the seams and what had happened at Klaw’s facility was enough to fry your mind once more.
That incident you had his sister to thank for and now you couldn’t close your eyes, the images you had been sunjected to were scorched into your brain, perfectly imprinted. You could see figures dancing behind your eyelids, as clear as day, but you couldn’t move, you couldn’t breathe, you were unfortunately familar with asphyxiation. No one could hear your screams, no matter how loud you called out, you found yourself completely isolated and alone in the darkest corner of your mind, blanketted in your own terror and your worse fear was that there was longer anything left of the woman you had once been. All of you had seen something, everyone was shaken and yet you knew that you had come out the most affected by the experience. The others didn’t have a past quite like yours.
You turned your head away from him and his beautiful blue-grey eyes, being the centre of attention wasn’t your thing, you supposed that you hadn’t used to hate it this much, you weren’t quite sure, they had taken away most of your unimportant and unnecessary memories. You got fractures sometimes, of your old life-more like someone elses now or a distant memory that had been distorted so much that it now resembled a faded photograph. You distincty remembered laughter, tears and eyes that were crinkled into a smile that you couldn’t see, but most of all you remembered the rain. The rain pouring around you as you lay down on the sodden earth, gazing up at the heavens and the greying clouds that loomed over you and a hand clutched in yours, the warmth against the cold.
Pietro’s eyes were the first thing you noticed about him as he slowed to a hault, when he saw you in the forest, they were as sharp as the rain filled sky, as grey as the soft clouds that hung above your head and as familar as the cold of rain droplets falling onto your bare skin. The only problem you had was that the rain was your old life, memories you no longer had the capacity to keep and filled with pain you could no longer bare. You glanced back up, but he was no longer there and just like the rain he left as quickly as he arrived, gone within a blink of an eye, like smoke between your fingers. How could you ever cope with that?
“(Y/N)?” His voice rung out in your ears but as soon as you turned towards the sound of his voice, there was nothing there but the chaos of disturbed air. Then you felt something brush past your left shoulder but this time you didn’t turn, you chose to stay put, there was no point in moving if he wouldn’t be there when you did. You shook your head softly your (H/C) hair jolting against your shoulder as you did so, smile creeping into the corners of your mouth, no matter how much you fought against it and how much it was against your better judgement.
The air around you suddenly became thick and harsh, like someone had left open a window in the middle of a cyclone, you could just about make out flashes of blue in front of you. You didn’t know what you thought about this sensation, you didn’t know whether you liked it as it reminded you of the conditions of rain fall or whether you hated it because you could already begin to feel the lack of oxygen but no matter the option you squeezed your eyes tightly shut as the hurricane feeling continued. It stopped only moments after you had closed your eyes, the air returning to normal and when you slowly re-opened your eyes he was standing before you, the toes of your shoes almost touching, his eyes on yours. Pietro Maximoff was staring at you again.
“I love your smile,” He grinned, looking genuinely happy for the first time since he stepped foot in the Avengers tower, which was entirely understandable, but what wasn’t was that statement. You didn’t know where it had come from or how to respond and before you knew what you were doing you let your head fall down so that your gaze was directed at the floor, your hands tucked tightly in each other. They had taken everything from you, why should you be allowed a little happiness now? right before you were to face the one entity even more influential and destructive than Hydra.
“Is that so?” You mumbled, folding your arms across your chest, and taking one precise step backwards. You didn’t know if you could trust yourself, because God you wanted this so much and those words and his smile and you couldn’t. You couldn’t let yourself slip, no matter what you felt because God knows what could happen to you both with that homicidal megalomaniac of a robot loose, that you had helped to build, you hadn’t done quite as much as Bruce or Tony but you had been there, you had helped. You were the biggest monster on the team, not Bruce, not Natasha, you. You had been genetically engineered to be just that, there was no point denying that now.
“Yes.” He took a step closer to you, his hand caressing your cheek and wiping away a single tear that you didn’t even realise had fallen. His hand trailed softly down your neck and came to a rest beneath your collar bone, his fingertips gingerly touching the faded pink mark that lay there, without thinking you reached up and held onto his wrist but you didn’t stop him. Your were far too concentrated on his eyes and the way he was looking at you now, there was just something about his eyes that made you want to forget everything that had happened so far and everything to come and stay within the blue-grey haze for eternity. “Hydra?”
“I got off easy, a few scars and a mild case of anemesia.” You muttered under your breath, pushing his hands back down to his side, only to have his other reach for the back of your head, his fingers searching across your scalp, until he found the raised skin. You didn’t like to talk about what had happened to you, what Hydra had done to you and not even the Avengers knew the full extent of your trauma. You had kept what they had done to your mind to yourself, you had no desire to be outlawed and untrusted because of your mind being unreliable, but it wasn’t any more you had flushed Hydra out of your system with a little help from a friend who owed you a favour. The point was Pietro shouldn’t have known.
“Just because you don’t appear to have it as bad as the others all it means is your better at hiding the pain.” He whispered, pulling you gently closer by the back of your head and somehow your hands had made their way to rest flat against his chest, something you had thought of countless times before.
“Who?” You asked walking around him and making your way towards Tony’s slightly destroyed bar, hoisting your self onto the same stool you had sat on only a few nights before, avoiding the claustrophobic hustle and bustle of people all crammed into one place. You didn’t want to look at him now, you didn’t need to be held, vunerable in his eyes, you needed your space. You could never get to close, your friend had told you that, who knew what it would do you your brain, it could fry it for all you knew, one false move and everything you had worked for was lost and because of this and all that was happening you had decided that it was for the best that once everything had died down, if of course you hadn’t, you would return to North Salem.
“Ultron’s very interested in you,” A muffled sob erupted from your direction unwillingly as you leant forward over the bar, head down and arm stretched out reaching for the last remaining bottle of scotch, but it was just out of your reach so you simply gave up, letting your arm drop limply in front of you. He was next to you in a moment arm wrapped protectively around your shoulders pulling you toward him. You believed Ultron to be right in one sense, you were all puppets on strings, but you would not let that effect you or the other members of the Avengers, because if you had one redeeming quality of your sparkling personality, it was loyalty, but the question was how far it ran.
“What do I do?” You sobbed to the table hot tears streaming down your face, you had built up the very idea that you were free from the moment the Avengers had removed you from Hydra’s labs and taken you into their ranks. You had believed you were free but then their was Pietro’s eyes and Wanda’s mind games, that brough you crashing back into the past that you had been running from and now there was Ultron. You didn’t want to fight any more and you would give anything to be back in North Salem, where no one knew who you were and no one knew where you were just like before Hydra had found you.
You were just a lost little girl when it all started, a fire broke out in your home and your mother perished in the flames, but you hadn’t cried, you just walked away from the firefighters that tried to stop you. You had walked without direction and without food for three days, until you found yourself at the gates of a guarded institute and even then you just collapsed to the ground in a comatose state, until the nice bald head man had found you and taken you inside. You had stayed there for ten years of your life although you didn’t belong, raised by the man and another in blue, your friend, but you left again, the thing was you could never really stand being the odd one out, how ironic life had been to you. Hydra found you two years later, an orphan, alone in the world, who had wormed her way into S.H.I.E.L.D out of pity, no one to miss you if you disappeared. That was all you could remember about how you came to be, although it was all still hazy, at this point you had no clue whether or not that was entirely fictitious.
“You let me help you (Y/N), you don’t need to be alone any more.”
“Alone? Alone is what I am Pietro, it’s what I’m good at!” Your head shot up from where it lay, to glare at the man by your side, wondering for the first time how he didn’t have similar feelings to you, you had both been subjected to Hydra’s experients but he hadn’t had his head opened and his brain altered and he had volunteered for the experiments. He was one of Hydra’s sucessful experiments, you on the other hand were torn apart and discarded when they couldn’t break you any further and forced to help them. Not that you were bitter.
“No. It’s what you’ve told yourself and if you keep letting yourself believe that we’re all as good as dead,” He spun the base of the stool around so that you were facing him, his eyes searching yours for something that he didn’t find so he dropped his hand to his side and used the other to brush back the grey mop on top of his head.
“This is not a disease you can cure me of with a few words and hand holding.”
“You used to believe just that (Y/N),” The words flew out of his mouth before he could stop himself, too angry to hold them back and you were left in a stunned silence, searching for within the confines of your mind. He looked almost as shocked as you were, but it was nothing to calm the rage you felt building, but you didn’t know why you were angry. You didn’t hate him at all, but you did hate the words that fell off his lips, he couldn’t claim to know you anything about you because you weren’t even sure you knew yourself.
“Wha…What? You have no right!” You exploded, jumping up from the stool and charging at him, hands clenched in fists of rage that slammed into his chest, the tears that had dried quickly returning to your eyes. He didn’t do anything, he just stood there as you hit him weakly, watching you behind his blue eyes as you collasped against him. His arms were around you once more, preventing you from falling to the floor, but he still kept his distance from you, like your temperament was a live wire in his palms.
“It’s true though isn’t it? Because you’ve never been alone, you just couldn’t see us because you were blinded by fear,” You glanced up at him, through a shrowd of tears, your anger disipated by confusion, but you couldn’t help think back to the rain and those eyes, there was something you were missing but then again, there was almost always something you were missing. He made you want to think of him and your friends, the ones who had helped you, Hank, Charles, Natasha and Reed and although the memories burnt like hellfire you thought back to the Hydra facility but all you could see was black and all you could hear was your screams.
“You think you were all alone in that facility? They may have taken away your memories (Y/N) but they didn’t take mine, or Wanda’s,” He cut you off with such sadness in his voice and for once in the last few days, things made a little sense. it explained why Pietro had been staring at you, it explained why you so desperately wanted to believe you knew him and it explained why Wanda had been avoiding you specifically. It explained a lot, but perhaps you didn’t want it to, maybe it was better if you had no clue what was going on because either way, you were going to hurt him.
“This… It can’t change anything,” You stated, pulling yourself up so you could stand on your own, trying to push back against the block in your mind, but knowing it was too strong for you and it was a lost hope trying to regain your memories, because inorder for Hydra to bestow upon you hightened senses and abilities they had to take away your past life so you could become another one of their puppets just like Sam and James. Now you fit in, now you belonged but that was something you you no longer wanted, what you wanted was to be free and neither Hydra or Ultron or the Avengers could give you that and you would undoubtedly have to do it yourself.
“I know,” He smirked, but turned to leave walking away before you had a chance to say another word, but you had no words left. You were done, you shouldn’t have been here anyway but what’s done was done and you were the one who had to carry that weight on your shoulders, that you knew but you simply couldn’t remember. You watched silently in the centre of the room as he stopped in the doorway, he didn’t turn towards you, just stood there staring into the darkness as he spoke those familar words.
“But at least remember you’re not alone.”
“Pietro!” You whispered into the air, but it was too late, he had already disappeared back through the doorway, ironically leaving you all alone.