Chapter Nine-Experimentation

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We go to the lab where Bruce already sits, working on what looks like a crude space helmet. I nod to him as we walk in and he smiles softly.

"Alright, so Mr. several Ph.D.'s over here came up with this great idea and we invented a little something." Tony waves at Bruce and he stands. "Mind if I take a little blood while the big guy explains?" My head shakes and I offer him an arm. A little pinprick is all I feel since my eyes are on Bruce.

"Instead of putting you in a machine, we designed a helmet that will read your brain activity so we can see what goes on when you actually employ your ability." He tells me and I stoop so he can put the helmet on. "This does mean you're going to have to actually use your ability though," Bruce says slightly apologetically. I take a deep breath.

"I think it should be me," Wanda says, stepping forward before Tony can speak. My lips pop open. "It's fair that I know what I do to people. Especially since you're letting me into your mind." Bottom lip between my teeth, I mull this over.

"Are you sure about this, Wanda?" I ask and ignore Tony's small sound of indignation. "Our gifts are different and what I do may not affect you the way yours affect others." She nods.

"Trust me, she knows her own mind," Steve interjects, slipping in the doorway and bringing me a semblance of peace with his familiarity. He moves next to me and I lean towards him slightly without thinking about it. "Rhodes and Sam are racing, so be ready with some mechanical fixes heading your way soon, Tony." The man huffs and rolls his eyes.

"Okay then, I'm ready." I agree, keeping Wanda's argument clutched to my chest as a plausible excuse.

"Sure, you do it to her." Tony scoffs and I roll my eyes as Bruce moves around me to plug me into things.

"Unique circumstances, Tony." My voice is tender but I'm filled with anxiety. "I've never done this to someone I wanted to stick around." Now, my tone wavers. Wanda moves in front of me and does her best to smile reassuringly at me.

"Do you want me in your head when you do it or...?" She asks, leaving it up to me. I chew on my bottom lip feverishly.

"Sure. Let's go with that first and then we'll see what happens." I suggest as Tony and Bruce come on either side of Wanda and me. "Go ahead." I nod at Wanda and she lifts her hands, red mist leaking out of her very skin and reaching out to me. The first thing that happens is my vision goes. I immediately claim whatever's nearest to me; Steve's hand. "I'm blind, Wanda."

"I know, I know. Sorry, it's something that happens when I delve into someone's mind like this. Deep. I don't know how to fix it yet." She trails off and Steve squeezes my hand. Still, panic is seeping into my heart like turpentine.

"You're still wearing my clothes." He whispers into my ear and I nearly smile. "Not complaining. Just an observation." My head shakes slightly at the fact that I can't turn and answer, and he knows it. Slowly, I'm soothed.

"That's alright. We can work on that later, right?" She hums. "I'm just going to start with something small and easy, alright?" Dread builds in me and I can't crush down the feeling that this is a bad idea.

"Go ahead. I'm just on the surface of your mind like...like a float on the surface of a pool. I'll be able to see if there's a large disturbance." Wanda tells me.

"Same on our end," Tony speaks for him and Bruce.

"Uh, I'm not sure how this is going to work since I can't see, so I'm going to ask the rest of you to plug your ears," I tell them firmly, really not needing to argue about this now. A moment passes before Steve slips his hand away from mine and Wanda gives me the go-ahead verbally. Now blind and without a touchstone, I wobble, but before I topple Steve is behind me. He's not even really touching me. It's just my shoulder blades lightly brushing his chest and my hair tickling his chin. Steady, I start.

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