The Avengers tower was far too grandiose for Wanda's tastes, but it did have one thing she enjoyed - an excellent view. She'd never been afraid of heights, and she loved being outdoors, even if the New York air was heavy and distinctive with its smoggy, city scent.
Up here, Wanda had the place to herself - or she did, until Vision phased through a wall, a talent that would have made him seem unsettling except that he held a steaming plate of food in his hands. Wanda doesn't really find him intimidating anyway - especially when she noticed he was wearing an expression not quite a smile, more in his eyes and in the soft openness of his face than on his lips, but she could sense the intent.
"Miss Maximoff." He held out the plate. "You've been missing your meals."
Wanda was surprised that he'd noticed. She was going to protest she wasn't hungry, but the scent of whatever the kitchen staff prepared caused her stomach to rumble and gaze her pause to reconsider. "Thank you."
She accepted the plate, her fingers brushing lightly against his as she took it. His gaze dropped to his hand, and his head ducked to break eye contact between them. Wanda felt a wave of endearment overtake her. Here was this intensely powerful, endlessly knowledgeable android, getting shy because she'd touched his hand.
"Can you do me a favour, Vision?" She asked to distract him. His gaze returned to her.
She chewed and swallowed. Urgh - frozen vegetables. She'd always been able to taste the difference between frozen and fresh, despite Pietro's teasing that she was just being fussy. "Would you call me Wanda?"
He hadn't yet grasped showing emotions on his face very well, but Wanda got a strong sense of his emotions telepathically. He was surprised by her request, making her wonder what he thought she'd been going to ask him. To fetch her a drink or something else from the kitchen? He was a lot more than a butler.
"If you wish me to, M- Wanda."
"Only if it doesn't make you uncomfortable."
"No, it's - I was under the impression that titular greetings accompanied by the use of a surname was a gesture of respect."
"You're not wrong." Wanda tried the chicken and found it much more to her tastes. "But it's also something you do in a more formal situation, or with somebody you don't know very well. You don't have to do it with a friend."
His head tilted, just perceptible, but there was a pleased flow to his ebbing tide of his thoughts. "We are friends, then, you and I?"
She smiled at him. "Well you did save my life." She pointed out, but her smile quickly faded, setting her plate aside. "Vision, I never actually thanked you for that. I was too angry, too, too upset over losing Pietro, at first. But you came back when the city was falling apart to get me. I'm grateful."
"Oh, you're welcome." Wanda felt a warm glow emanate from him - acceptance. She'd kept mainly to herself these past few weeks, only just now ready to continue with her life after the death of the most important person in her world. She hadn't had any occasion to gauge how well Vision was settling in with the team, which Captain Rogers had recently expanded. He'd invited Sam Wilson and James Rhodes to form a new Avengers team after Bruce Banner's disappearance, Thor's temporary leave to spend some time with his girlfriend, and Clint announcing that he was retiring from active duty to spend more time with his family.
She felt a pang of sadness mixed with deeper, more difficult emotions for her to figure out. Clint was at home with his new baby - Pietro's namesake. But it was more than just missing her twin. Now the raw memories of grief had been given time to dull somewhat, allowing her to handle them without cutting herself, she was becoming aware of her more secondary feelings. It wasn't just Pietro she missed.
"Come and sit down." She invited, patting the concrete edging she was perched upon. He was good company - easy to be with, with his clear, fathomless mind radiating serenity and capability. He was very authentic, she decided, never playing games or pretending or switching allegiances. He was just himself.
Vision clearly wasn't bothered by heights either, which only made sense since he could fly. He joined her readily, peering unafraid down at the towering drop below them, and took a moment to fold his long legs into a sitting position.
"Wanda." He tried out her first name again as he sat, getting used to using it, and she smiled briefly at him. He was processing her information, thinking about names, she realized, staying quiet and giving him time to formulate what he wanted to say.
"I have no surname, nor applicable title. Nobody will ever call me anything but Vision." He mused, and Wanda realized he considered it just another way he was set apart from humankind. She made a snap decision.
"Well, I will. You don't have to make a name longer, you know. I'll call you Vis. If you want."
She felt the inner glow from him again. "I quite like that form of my name." He told her, seriously but honestly. She chuckled. "Well then, that is settled."
For a while they sat in companionable silence. Though it was far below them and very late at night, there was a great deal of activity occurring in the city that never sleeps.
"Is there something bothering you, Wanda?" Vision asked at length. When she looked over at him he as studying her intently, and she wondered what had given her away. After a few moments she realized that, just as she found his mind easy to forge a connection to, so was Vision able to telepathically sense her emotions. It came as something of a surprise - with Pietro, their mental link had always been initiated and controlled by her, and though he'd been able to read her emotions and thoughts as easily as he could hers, it was due to her power, one-sided. Vision was like a mirror, a reflection of her telepathy inside his own head, and it was a different experience having somebody else able to shape an unspoken connection.
Not to mention that Vision's mind was nothing like her twin's.
"I miss Clint, actually." Wanda hadn't realized she was going to admit the truth until the words were already out. "Even though I understand why he had to go. There is nothing more important than family." Miserably, she reached up and wrapped her fingers around one of her necklaces, one Pietro had given her when they turned sixteen.
When she felt Vision's mind gently nudging hers again, she looked up at him in surprise. He'd been able to recognize her loneliness so readily because it was he himself was feeling. "Vis? Who do you miss?"
He lifted a hand and rubbed the back of his neck, a very human gesture, notable because he hadn't seen him preform too many of those. "Thor." He replied after a moment's hesitation. "I find him to be very admirable, and as he too, is still relatively new to this world, he was instrumental in helping me adjust."
They were so much more alike than she'd realized.
"Well, if you want, I'll help you." She offered, looking up to find his gaze upon her, intent but steady. "I would like that a great deal." He agreed quietly. "I feel as if you would be very beneficial for me, Wanda. We are both somewhere new, after all."
"Some parts newer than others." Observed Wanda wryly, looking over at a building several blocks down from them, almost completely restored after the events of Loki's attack on the city. "This isn't exactly the most... restful place in the world. War is too fresh upon this city. Upon many cities."
"Do you miss Sokovia?"
"Sometimes. It seems silly - to miss a mere place, when... well." She looked away.
"It was your home, after all." Vision assured her. "Home is an important concept."
She picked up on a regretful flare within him and examined his downcast features, skin darker red than normal in the starlight, the mindstone, not lit up since he was at rest now, a barely detectable smudge of gold. "It must be even harder for you." She realized. "You don't think of anywhere as your home."
He met her eyes. "Not yet." He agreed, and she smiled a sad smile. Vision lifted his hands to examine them briefly. She remembered him doing the same thing just after he'd emerged from the cradle, when the Avengers were trying to figure out exactly what he was. "Perhaps I will determine belonging once I discern my purpose. While Ultron was a threat, my purpose was clear. To protect all life upon earth, humanity included, Ultron had to be eliminated. Thus, I strove to achieve that goal, and my actions led down a specific path. Now - there is peace, but - what is my purpose? Barring any present catastrophes?"
Wanda listened, his own sadness infusing her. Pietro would have lightened the mood with one of his ridiculous jokes, and because she couldn't think of anything better to try, she made a lackluster attempt and brought a flare of crimson to her fingertips. "Do you want me to blow up a building for you?"
She was expecting to have to explain the humour to him but something surprising happened when he turned his head towards her.
It surprised him as much as it did her, and feeling his flash of startled bemusement, Wanda had to join in and laugh with him, and the melancholy of the night melted away. "There. That's part of what it means to be human, Vis. We find a path to follow, and we choose to either stick to it or deviate from it. Nobody knows where it leads."
For the remainder of the night they spoke of happier times, idle things, and their observations of the world flowing along underneath Stark Tower. Wanda experienced Vision's powerful regard for life as they spoke, and even after they parted for the night, a sliver of it remained within her, ready to restore her hope in people once again.