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Crossing The Invisible Line

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Vision slept peacefully in his spot beside Wanda's bed, but as he'd promised, woke early and returned to Pietro's room before anyone noticed.

Or at least, they didn't think anyone had. Vision sneaking into Wanda's room at night became routine for the rest of the holiday visit. On Christmas Eve, Laura quietly deposited both of their presents in Wanda's room, Wanda's at the foot of her bed, and Vision's at the end of his sleeping bag.

"Why'd you put the kid's presents in Wanda's room?" Clint asked, catching her on the way out.

"Because Vision is sleeping in Wanda's room" said Laura matter of factly. "I don't want him to wake up and think he's got nothing."

"What? He's supposed to be in Pietro's room!" Clint snapped, heading for Wanda's room. "That little sneak, I oughta.."

"You take another step, Clint Barton, and I'll put a body-bind curse on you" Laura warned. "You know how good I am at those."

"But.." Clint hesitated.

"They're eleven, Clint. It's all innocent still at their age. And he leaves first thing in the morning, so it's not like they're getting changed in front of each other or anything.. not to mention" Laura added, "I seem to remember a boy who slept on my bedroom floor at least half of every Summer.."

"That's different.."

"Oh?" Laura smirked. "Just how, may I ask?"

"It just is!" Clint snapped.

"Hey, I get it. You're protective, and you've got an extra little soft spot for Wanda, you always have" Laura smiled. "But trust me when I tell you you've got nothing to worry about. They're young, sweet and innocent.. They'll most likely stop it themselves when they get older anyway.."

That was not something that ever happened, but that's a story for another day.

On Christmas morning, Vision woke early, about to get up and creep back into Pietro's room as he had every morning, when he noticed a pile of gifts at the bottom of his sleeping bag.

"Wanda!" He gently shook his friend awake. "Wanda, wake up!"

"Mmm.." Wanda stretched, yawning a little. "Morning, Vizh.. Merry Christmas."

"Wanda, there are presents on my sleeping bag!"

"Of course there are presents, it's Christmas" Wanda rubbed her eyes. Sounds of excitement from the younger Bartons could be heard down the hall.

"But they're on my sleeping bag.. they must have fallen off your pile."

"Why would you think that?"

"Well.." Vision shifted awkwardly, "I don't get presents."

Wanda's gaze softened, her heart breaking a little for her baby badger.

"You do now" She hopped out of bed, picking up one of the gifts. "Look at the tag, Vizh. Your name is on it."

"It is?" He took it, looking at the tag in disbelief. "Oh, it is!"

"Yup." Wanda smiled. "As much as I'd love to snag a few extra gifts, I'm not going to steal them from my best friend."

"I have presents.." Vision glanced between the tag and the pile of gifts, still slightly disbelieving. Then, slowly, a large smile began to spread over his face. "I have presents!"

"You do.." Wanda handed him the parcel she'd been holding, suddenly a little awkward. "Open this one. It's from me.. Well, Laura made it, but it was my idea."

"Your family won't be mad?" Vision gently took the parcel.

"No.. just one can't hurt."

"Okay.." Vision sat on the end of Wanda's bed, carefully unwrapping his gift. He eventually revealed a green hand-knitted sweater, with an embroidered image of a badger and a snake, apparently playing together. "Wanda.."

"I know people look at us strangely sometimes.." Wanda murmured. "Like we're weird for being friends, or that we shouldn't be.. And I don't want you to ever worry that I think that way, Vizh, because you're my best friend, no matter what house you're in.. So I asked Laura to make that for you, and I have a red one matching.." Wanda dug through her own pile of gifts, finding the right parcel and tearing it open. "..See?"

Vision just stared at the sweater for a moment, and Wanda was worried that he didn't like her gift, but the next thing she knew, her friend was pulling her into a tight hug.

"Thank you, Wanda.. This is the nicest present anyone has ever given me."

"You mean it?" Wanda had been startled for a moment, but soon returned his hug.

"I do.." Vision smiled, eventually releasing her to immediately tug his new sweater over his head before going digging in his trunk for a small parcel that he handed to Wanda. "My gift isn't nearly as good.. Just some Chocolate Frogs.. But I wanted to get you something."

"Thank you, Vizh" Wanda chuckled, putting on her own sweater. "I do love chocolate frogs."

At that moment, Gamora fluttered through the window, returning from her nightly hunt, with two mice in her beak. One she kept for herself, but the other she dropped at Nebula's feet, the little cat meowing greatfully.

"Well.." Vision's nose wrinkled, "It looks like everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit.."

After Clint and Laura woke, the children all carried their gifts out to the loungeroom to open them.

While Wanda enjoyed her own gifts, of course, she discovered, perhaps for the first time, the joy that could be found in giving rather than simply receiving. Watching the look of happiness on Vision's face as he opened the rest of his gifts.

A Hufflepuff scarf knitted by Laura.

A few books he'd said he might like.

Packs of sweets from Carol and Scott.

A Gobstones set of his own.

All little things, but they meant the world to Vision, who had so far grown up with nothing, and Wanda was happy to have played some small part in giving them to him.

Later, as they all sat down for Christmas lunch Vision, too, experienced a rather significant first.

Sitting beside Wanda in their matching sweaters listening to the laughter and chatter around the table, Clint telling off Cooper and Pietro for some prank or other, Laura dishing extra food onto his plate, repeatedly reminding him that he could have as much as he wanted, Vision felt happy. He felt like he belonged.

For the very first time, Vision felt at Home.