Seeing Red

BY : DrunkenScotsman
Category: Marvel Verse Movies > Avengers, The
Dragon prints: 1494
Disclaimer: All Marvel characters belong to Disney. I don't own The Avengers. I make no money from this story.

Spoiler: I know Wanda doesn't claim the mantle of "the Scarlet Witch" until the end of WandaVision, but I'm using it here to delineate between the good person that Wanda is and the unstoppable engine of destruction she can become.

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Seeing Red

 

One of the reasons Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, had fallen in love with the artificial life-form known as The Vision was his voice – always thoughtful, always gentle, always kind.

Hearing that voice say, “Wanda, we are out of time,” had broken her heart.

Hearing that voice say, “You can’t hurt me. I just feel you," filled her with the resolve needed to reach forth with her powers to unravel the Mind Stone in his forehead, the source of her powers, the source of his life.

Hearing that voice say, “It’s all right. I love you,” gave her the strength she needed to hold off the Mad Titan Thanos, with all his might and that of the other five Infinity Stones besides, while she worked.

When the golden gem exploded and took her Vision away, Wanda collapsed, physically and emotionally spent. The Mad Titan claimed to understand her sacrifice, but then he channeled the Time Stone. He rewound only the last few moments, but those were enough.

Wanda could only watch in horror as Thanos lifted her sweet Vision by the throat, grab the stone in his head, and tear it out. He cast the now-lifeless, now-colorless android aside, as if he were nothing. In that moment, Thanos took the last good thing in Wanda’s life.

Her parents – dead because of Stark’s weapons.

Her twin brother, Pietro – dead because of Vision’s creator, Ultron, an artificial intelligence of Stark’s design.

Her Vision – dead because of this purple monster.

While Thor attacked, Wanda crawled over to the broken remains of the person she loved. She barely recognized him. She cradled his shattered head and wept. She didn’t really know what else to do.

Suddenly, Thanos snapped his fingers and vanished.

Through her connection to the Mind Stone – now stronger after having interfaced with it on such a deep level to unravel it – Wanda felt what he’d done: the Mad Titan had simply willed half of all life in the universe out of existence. She saw someone – the Wakandan king, perhaps – collapse into a pile of dust. She saw Steve pawing at the dirt, and he’d never looked so lost before.

Wanda felt herself starting to slip away. At first, she didn’t care; she had nothing else to lose. But when she remembered what Thanos had done to her Vision, how cruelly he’d murdered him, how casually he’d negated the hardest thing she’d ever done…

Something inside the Scarlet Witch broke.

Crimson light swirled all around her. The dust of her body began to reconstitute. Power, unlike anything she’d ever felt, coursed through her veins.

The Scarlet Witch gritted her teeth and snarled, “NO.”

Thrumming with fury, she picked herself up and tapped into this well of power she’d discovered, bottomless, fathomless as the universe itself. Echoes of her Vision and the Mind Stone showed her a scarlet thread leading to the spot where Thanos vanished. She felt, more than saw, how the Space Stone had connected the fabric of the universe from here to… somewhere else.

It didn’t matter where Thanos had gone. He couldn’t hide from her now.

The Scarlet Witch reached forth, her hand shaped like a grasping claw. Crimson tendrils shot out to that spot. With her other hand, she traced a circle. A portal began to form.

The Mad Titan’s words of feigned sympathy burned in her mind. He acted like he understood as he took everything from her, but he had no idea who she was.

But soon enough, he would.

Space-time splintered at the point where Scarlet Witch willed it. On the other side, she saw a vast field under an alien sky. More importantly, she saw him.

From the expression on the Mad Titan’s face, he hadn’t expected this. Through her connection to the Mind Stone, the Scarlet Witch knew Thanos had never felt the emotion he currently felt.

For the first time in his long life, Thanos the mighty Mad Titan, interstellar tyrant, seeker of universal balance, wielder of the Infinity Stones, felt afraid.

Thanos lifted his ruined arm to bring the stones to bear on this new threat.

NO,” the Scarlet Witch snarled again. With a gesture, crimson energy enmeshed his ruined arm. With another gesture, that arm tore free from the socket. Dark purple blood sprayed everywhere.

To his credit, Thanos neither flinched nor cried out from his dismemberment. Instead, he elected to retreat, limping away from the portal, hoping that moving beyond its edge might prevent his assailant from wielding her fury against him further.

He may well have been right. The Scarlet Witch wasn’t about to let him find out. “NO,” she snarled.

Power and fury surged forth from her fingertips and poured through the portal. A scarlet snare encircled the Mad Titan’s ankle and climbed up his damaged leg. With a turn of the Scarlet Witch’s hand, every bone in the entire leg wrenched a quarter-turn, with each connected bone twisting a quarter-turn farther.

The Scarlet Witch savored every snap, crackle, and pop. And there were a lot of them.

Thanos fell, his now-shattered leg unable to support his weight. Still defiant, he began to crawl away.

Still seething with rage, the Scarlet Witch wrapped a crimson tendril around his throat and yanked his head back. With another gesture, more of this scarlet energy poured into the Mad Titan’s mouth. One by one, she ripped the teeth from their sockets. More purple blood oozed from the mouth, down that hideous chin.

Thanos still didn’t cry out.

The Scarlet Witch reopened the chest wound Thor had inflicted and which Thanos had healed with the Reality Stone. More purple blood splattered everywhere.

Without a moment’s hesitation, the enraged witch reached into the open chest cavity, much as she had done to Ultron. When the robot stole her brother from her, she’d crushed his mechanical heart in front of him. Too quick, in hindsight.

What Thanos had done to Wanda was infinitely worse, so the Scarlet Witch would try to make this hurt infinitely more.

Balanced, as all things should be, she read from the Titan’s memory. In this case, she fully agreed.

A series of complex gestures followed. The Scarlet Witch didn’t know his exact anatomy, nor did she care to learn. From the open chest wound, strange organs encased in scarlet energy evicted themselves, one misshapen lump at a time.

Out of sheer spite, she left the heart and lungs alone. She wanted to hear him scream. Just once.

She sensed his resistance to the idea. She grinned. She relished the challenge.

She, the Scarlet Witch, would break him.

Maintaining this level of raw fury, however, couldn’t be sustained forever.

The Scarlet Witch smirked. She’d just have to work faster.

Boiling his eyes out of his skull didn’t garner the desired scream. Exploding every bone in his remaining arm, leaving jagged shards protruding in every direction, didn’t garner the desired scream. Firing the nerves in the uninjured leg, making it feel as if it were immolating in fire or immersed in acid for minutes at a time, didn’t garner the desired scream.

The Scarlet Witch remembered the Infinity Stones, still embedded in the gauntlet, still attached to the severed arm. Her link to one became a link to all. She felt the Soul Stone’s connection to Thanos, and the Mind Stone showed her what Thanos, cold and calculating balance-bringer, most regretted.

What he’d said to her – “I understand, better than anyone. Today, I lost more than you can know” – burned in Wanda’s mind as she watched Thanos kill a green-skinned woman he called “daughter.” She knew that he could see no difference between what he did, and what she’d done to her Vision. He’d sacrificed one person for the universe; so had she.

Maybe there’s not a difference, Wanda thought, and she knew Thanos could hear her. You rendered my sacrifice meaningless; we will now find a way to render yours meaningless, too.

Fresh, delicious fear surged through Thanos once more as he contemplated that, and the Scarlet Witch could feel she was close.

Balanced, she reminded the Mad Titan, as all things should be.

As the weight of the idea crashed down on Thanos, the thought of everything he’d worked for, and fought for, and cast aside… all coming to naught…

The Scarlet Witch finally got her scream.

For five full minutes, she savored the exquisite agony, the existential horror, the despair, the dread.

Thanos was still screaming when the Scarlet Witch poured crimson energy into his mouth and eye sockets and exploded his brain from within, splattering skull fragments and bits of brain all over his precious field.

Fury finally spent, Wanda collapsed to lie beside what remained of her Vision. As she slipped into unconsciousness, she didn’t know what the other Avengers might do.

Without her Vision, she also didn’t particularly care.

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A/N: Greetings, readers. I'm back! And, in this case, with something wildly different from most of what I've written.

Unpopular opinion: I didn't like Infinity War, though I'll admit it had its moments, like that scene where Wanda has to kill Vision. Paul Bettany is such an underrated actor, and he and Elizabeth Olsen have great screen chemistry. Thanos was entirely OP; I get he had to be strong enough to fight literally everyone, but it hit the point where I found it annoying to watch, pretty much from the first scene, rather than interesting. Also, his plan was utter nonsense. And the Soul Stone shouldn't count abusers killing their victims as a sacrifice. (shrug)

Please leave your feedback - I'd like to hear what you thought about the story.



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