Chapter 1: 10:00 pm - 10:30 pm
To find the person you’re destined to be with is a tricky, stumbling path for most people. A genuine connection between two people is probably the most beautiful yet most terrifying thing that can occur in the human race. Think about it for a moment, having intense and powerful feelings for a completely different individual with different thoughts and dreams—somebody whose feelings are complicated and whose mind is fractured because of indescribable trauma or pain. In anyone’s next life, all of that could be gone and could be replaced with happiness and good health. But for some, they can’t move on until their business is resolved.
Anger is infectious, causing a chain reaction that could consume any same person if they’re pushed off the edge. This primal emotion can forever trap a soul in the veil of life and death, causing ungodly anger to seep into the environment. However, this time was a particular case. Two restless souls are lost inside their decaying home, forced to roam its halls eternally. While watching from a reasonable distance away, paranormal investigators would report sightings of a thick red mist enveloping the property border. This unusual phenomenon occurs around 3:00 am or a few minutes beforehand. A few investigators crossed the threshold and died almost immediately upon entering the other side. Many have reported that this smog could be a manifestation of the late witch’s magic that seeped into the earth.
Yet, here you are at 9:57 pm, standing on the borderline of the withering, two-story home that once belonged to a powerful witch and her Black Widow. The Witch’s Estate, as everyone has called it, has a tragic tale tied to it, but any crucial details were left out of any books or articles.
You were sent a report which said: ‘ There was once a witch who had control of ancient magic that even the most revered witches and sorcerers would shy away from. The witch, simply known as ‘Wanda’ to the townfolk, had cast a spell over the newly-formed town of Westview and held it hostage. Wanda and her Black Widow, whoever this Black Widow may be, would mentally manipulate the townspeople into building them a new home and a proper grave…for someone. After they were done forcing the townsfolk to do their bidding, they locked themselves away in the estate for the rest of their days, and the spell had dissipated as time went on. It is unknown how they passed away; a witch with such powerful magic could drastically extend her life and her Black Widow’s life. Yet, they died on their property regardless.
However, in more recent times, more events began to unfold here.
Dr. Stephen Strange and Wong investigated the manor as its magic had peaked in intensity. A dark burst of magic had pulsed through the land, causing shockwaves to ripple across 50 miles, thus causing the sorcerers to explore the property in the days after. Upon investigating, they were immediately expelled and teleported far away as they stepped on the lawn. They concluded that the wooden home repelled magic or magic-wielding entities.’
You were the only option to investigate this aberration of a location, along with your trusty partner and leader: Kate Bishop. The other Supernatural-Hunting Avengers were preoccupied with other vital hunts. You and Kate are at the top of your class hunting supernatural entities. Everyone simply called them ‘Supernaturals’; ghouls, ghosts, hellhounds, or any supposedly mythical creature under the sun. This was an unusual case for you both. Scans indicated that no paranormal entities had been detected, but you suspect they could hide from modern technology.
The home rests deep within a forest, near the town of Westview, where this incident with the witch occurred. You’re curious as to why a witch would take control of a small town’s locals and force them to build a large house in the middle of the woods. Along with a home, why make them dig a grave; what was that all about?
You take a deep breath; you and Kate, with backpacks and duffel bags full of Stark-issued equipment, cautiously make your way to the damaged front steps and open the rickety door to reveal the nearly untouched remains of a once-loved family home.
Kate pulls out an EMF device and searches for any unusual activity while you take a look around the living room. The living room is smaller than you thought it would be; a few wainscot chairs are placed in a half-circle around an extinguished fireplace. There are two bookshelves on opposite sides of the room. A few paintings are hastily strewn about the room on the right side of the wall, most of which are portraits. You notice two distinct people, briefly glossing over them, more than likely the ones mentioned in the report. There’s a third portrait closer to the fireplace, but you don’t see it right away.
“Sooo, I got nothing on the EMF - there’s maybe like a small spike here and there, but not much else,” Kate thinks aloud as she puts the device away in her backpack.
“It’s not even midnight, Kate; that’s when stuff starts to go down. Besides, we’re here until like 2:30, and then we gotta dip,” you murmur tiredly while sorting through your bag for some night vision cameras.
“Yeah, yeah, but I didn’t think we could stay until 3:00 am anyway,” Kate states as she places her backpack and duffel bag on the floor near a bookshelf.
“I don’t think we can come back after this expedition: it’s a one-time trip, and quite frankly, I want to get as much information as possible and see if there’s any possibility of returning,” you grumble towards the end.
“We’ll see; if we find anything significant, then we’ll be back here within the week.” Kate yawns.
“I’m going to search around for some clues about these supernaturals; maybe we can help them resolve their shit, leave, and have a drink.” you offer, and Kate smirks, chuckling at your lazy offer.
“Hmm, tempting, but this investigation is much more than our usual ones. You do know there are hundreds of lost souls from here to Westview that we might have to clear out, right?”
“I’m well aware, Katie. I dunno; I’m drawn to this place for some reason; I want to know more about it; it’s a shame that this place has a deadly mist that pops in at three o’clock; it’s not good for tourism.” You frown at that.
You and Kate grab your hand-held radios; you two link them together, and you start looking around. With each step you take down the short hallway, you casually look at some of the left-behind decorations. Small shelves with rustic, well-loved books
The kitchen looks like it hasn’t been touched in quite some time, yet no signs of decay are present in any of the rooms. How is it so perfectly preserved in time? No one could have come here and adequately taken good care of it all over the years.
The air is stagnant, unmoving as if time stood still here. Your mind is yelling at you to get away from here. Yet you don’t know why; there’s no danger here - at least not yet. There’s no reason to run away; it’s homely here. You could stay here forever if there weren’t any restless and angry spirits haunting the lot. As you saunter the kitchen’s wooden floors, a feeling of serenity fills the cracks of your heart and soul - warmth enveloping your chest and stomach. You reel your head back as if to suppress a moan from escaping your throat.
At this sudden intrusion of peace, you promptly move away, realizing that something might be in this room with you. Everything feels off; the kitchen gives off a presence of uncertainty and a faint pang of guilt roaring through your head. Why guilt? These spirits probably thought you were trespassing on their burial ground.
You had stuffed a spirit box in your hoodie pocket, and now would be a great time to start asking questions.
You click the power button before whirring to life; it clicks loudly like a camera shot, signaling that it’s ready for operation, “Alright, starting with some spirit box in the kitchen…here we go.” you say to yourself, prepping for what’s to come.
You press a button on the side, “Is anyone there?”
Amid the spirit box’s low noise level, you hear a soft, fuzzy static in the speaker. Not close enough. You are closer to the living room than the stove, so you move further into the kitchen and press the button again, raising it closer to your lips.
“Is somebody here with me?”
That was clear as day; a childish laugh echoes from the box, alerting Kate, who is a room away from you.
“What the hell? ” Kate asks as the radio starts to whine and crack in its audio.
“What, what!? It sounded like it was right by me!” your voice falters; nervousness coated your voice.
“I heard it from a room away, dude! ” Concern was etched in Kate’s voice, trembling with light anxiety.
FUNNY , the voice box crackled and barked.
“What’s funny?” you ask, your eyes dart around the room. You quickly switch the device to standby mode, where it would remain on instead of pressing the button continuously.
The voice box proceeded to cackle with each HA ; the audio would become more garbled before stopping dead in its tracks. What a bastard this ghost was.
“What is so funny?”
“Y/N, it’s not gonna change its answer. ” Kate sounded slightly annoyed.
You decide to poke the bear more, “Where are we?” Sure, why not?
HOME, HERE, FOREVER.
You always felt sympathetic for trapped spirits, especially when they said something on the lines of, “I’m here forever, I’m lonely, or I’m scared.” But the three words it said couldn’t be narrowed down to any specific emotion as the spirit box only spoke in a robotic tone. So, it could mean those words in a sad or possibly possessive way; you hoped for the first option.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” You pause, “You never did answer my question, though. What’s so funny?”
ALONE BY YOURSELF
“It’s funny that I’m here in this room by myself?”
“Y/N, it’s a little foolish to ask that; considering the history here, I think you should be a little more careful. I mean, there’s a spirit of a powerful witch still lingering…whose magic is still active ” Kate butts in.
Time for a new plan.
“Are you ALONE BY YOURSELF?” you inquire, hoping to get a rouse out of the spirit by countering it with its words.
NOT FOR LONG
“Oh,” you turn your head, embarrassed.
“ Geez, this thing is creepy! ” Kate adds.
“ Tell me about it ,” you radio back.”
The sudden and reposeful warmth returns and wraps around your torso like a snake. The warmth becomes hot and is burning your core. It reminds you of a live wire you touched while hunting for a poltergeist. The ghost had grabbed a wire and jabbed you with it, causing electricity to shoot through your body rapidly, and you freaked out and bumped into a cabinet of china…and it fell on top of you.
“Son of a bitch!” you twist and pull your hoodie off in a frenzy, hearing the clunk of your phone hit the floorboards.
The spirit box goes off again, HA HA HA HA HA .
It’s laughing at your pain; what an asshole.
Kate runs into the kitchen to see you huffing and puffing, leaning against the wall as you attempt to catch your breath. The temperature had gone cold as if the doors were open and the winter breeze was blowing.
“Y/N! Are you alright!?” she approaches cautiously as not to aggravate you.
“Asshole cranked up the heat,” you grab your hoodie, “I’m gonna sit down in the living room for a moment; this has never happened before!” you’re exasperated.
Kate grabs the spirit box before following you. Yet the spirit isn’t entirely done speaking as the device snaps, crackles, then pops. A high-pitched whine pierces the spirit box speaker before settling into a deep rumble. Radio static clears up, setting its volume to a low hum before a voice shines through like a summer sky.
‘Oh, you silly thing!’ it chuckles, ‘There isn’t much of a place to hide here, you know?’ The spirit box reverts back to its regular frequency.
You two had stopped dead in your tracks as the voice, which was a deeper feminine voice, spoke clearly. Both of you were so gobsmacked by the ghastly intruder that you both didn’t quite pick up the tapping in the walls right away. The tapping was then accompanied by incessant scratching that felt too close. Then it stops, gone with the wind, and the atmosphere goes back up to room temperature, causing you both to shiver in your boots. You equip your hoodie once more and re-enter the living room, sitting down on one of the wainscot chairs and slide down the backboard, letting out a breath of defeat.
Looking down at your smartwatch, you see that it’s only 10:17 pm. ‘Fuck, it’s only been seventeen minutes?’ you think as a yawn escapes you.
“Y/N, this is going to be a rough night; I understand that, but we need to do more research on the spirit(s) here, or else we have no idea how to help them.” Kate explains, pulling out her laptop, turning it on, and entering the passcode before connecting with your eyes in the sky’, Yelena.
Your head slowly crooks to the wall, and your eyes lazily scan the portraits that hung on rusty nails. The picture closest to you has the image of a beautiful red-haired woman with dull grey eyes, and her lips are sealed tight like a circus’ tightrope. She is wearing a grey and black gown and has her hands folded with what looks to be a small blade nestled perfectly behind her palm; you could see the blade’s edge poking out from between the middle and ring finger. The spirited moonlight illuminated the second picture, closer to the window next to a bookshelf. It shows another red-headed woman with lively blue eyes and a bright white smile. She is wearing a dark red gown, and… a red mist is shown behind her, she must be Wanda, while the other woman is the Black Widow that is vaguely mentioned. The third painting is obscured in the black of night, right next to the unlit fireplace. It’s difficult to make out unless you light the fireplace, but you couldn’t be bothered to look.
Yet, it’s crucial to the mission at hand, and with a deep, dragging sigh, you get out of the uncomfortable wooden chair and inspect the final portrait. Coming closer, you see that it looks…familiar somehow; it’s uncanny. You swear that the person in this painting looks almost like you. Not almost - but exactly like you; no doubt about it. You freeze completely while Kate and Yelena are chatting away about the investigation and the strange events with the spirit box when Kate glances over at you.
“Hey, are you good over there?” Kate raises a single brow.
You take the portrait off the wall, rush over to your companion and show her what you found. Kate inspects the picture, and her jaw drops, her eyes widening in alarm. From the other end, Yelena squints at the painting and looks frightened.
“That’s impossible.” Yelena’s face glitches as the signal suddenly weakens.
“You’re telling me, my ancestors weren’t even in New Jersey in whatever time the witch was here.”
“Ehm, I might have something that will say otherwise.” Yelena is uncertain, uncertain her new piece of information would be of any help.
Shortly after, a notification arrives; Kate quickly clicks on her email app and astutely studies the article. Which reads:
She was a loving woman who will be missed by her lovers, Wanda and Natasha. Surely, we won’t miss her. Not only is loving a witch wrong, but loving not one - but two women. It’s supposed to be a man and a woman, as our goddess says! Although Y/N L/N was a sweet girl…we had to do what had to be done, even if it hurt us.
“Of course, it had to be homophobia,” Kate snarls before shifting her attention to Yelena, who’s resting her head on her hand.
“Mhm, you’re not bothered by the fact Y/N’s full name is in a newspaper article from hundreds of years ago?” Yelena raises a brow then takes a hardy sip of her tea.
“Sorry, I was distracted. Everything points to Y/N being alive in the 1600s or whatever. But that’s impossible; we’re birth buds; we have known each other a few months after being born. I remember us growing up together.”
“The article you sent said I was the witch and the Widow’s lover, somehow… I’m tied to this place and its restless spirits. I’m confused.” You rub your temples easing the headache of a situation you found yourself written into.
“Guess you got to find out…and soon, you only have four and a half hours to go, maybe three-quarters if you’re lucky,” Yelena explains.
“Alright, we’ll let you know what we find; I’ll see you later…detka.” Kate winks then blows a kiss, to which Yelena returns the gesture.
Anything in this house could help you. Y/N-iffer, as you start to call the woman in the painting, simply can’t be you - you’re here in 2024, yet this ‘you’ existed 400 years ago, give or take. Who is this woman? Who are you really? The answers lie upstairs in a sealed-off part of the house.
The spirit box that had been in Kate’s hand turns itself on, and a shrill voice croaks from the device.
Y/N, DOROGOY, STILL HERE, AFTER, ALL, THIS TIME? N@TA$#&, IT WORKED!
The voice box goes dead silent, and Kate checks the battery, showing that it’s dead; luckily, you two brought a spare one with a more powerful battery. Things were only going to escalate from here on out.
Chapter 2: 10:30 pm - 11:20 pm
I'm on Tumblr now, and it's going very well; the first chapter received excellent reviews over there.
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“What did it mean by, ‘it worked’?” you ask rhetorically, hoping for the answer to be solved; alas, you knew you had to search around for more.
“That is the question of the night, my dear Y/N,” Kate adds, then starts talking to herself quietly as if to reassure herself that everything would be okay. She’s never been so shaken before; Kate is always composed in missions, this time was different.
The air is thick with intense, dark energy that surges through every crack. Walls are hollow bones compared to today’s standards; no insolation or any substance to keep heat in, so the manor is generally cold. That’s all you could describe in your current position: cold, so cold in fact you swear you could see your breath forming a mist. You had another hoodie lying around in the van, but you’re not so sure it’s a good idea to grab it. Considering that this house has your face on a painting, you assume the ghosts are attached at your hip and would not allow you to leave. The pale white moonlight shines through the sash-styled windows, bestowing you a glimmer of hope.
You will be outside again soon, and you’ll snuggle up in the bed of an Avengers Truck and fall asleep under the shining stars.
“I’ll look around for clues - anything about me being here so far in the past. There has to be,” you say aloud, but it falls on deaf ears. You grab some equipment such as a night vision camera, a flashlight, and the remaining spirit box as the other one is charging.
You walk down the short hallway, turn to the right this time, and find yourself opening the door to a large open office. You close the door behind you, and you clutch the flashlight, turning it on as you look around the room hesitantly. You flash your light to a small wooden desk to the farthest right of the room, with a brittle chair tucked into the leg space. A few pieces of ripped paper and opened books were crammed onto the tiny desktop. In front of you were six extended metal bookshelves whose books look ancient and worn. To your left is an oversized table filled to the edge with what looks to be withered husks of shrubbery and other plants, with some glass flasks covered in layers of dust.
The study room has some exciting decorations to go along with the theme of the old studio. An intricately-woven carpet with flower patterns consisting of roses, nightshades, and daisies. The daisies are hidden under vines while the nightshades hang over the daisies. The roses are attached to the vines, covered in thorns that constrict the dashing daisies. A chained, unlit chandelier looms over the center of the room as you take in everything around you…lighting itself upon your foot’s touch, causing you to jump in surprise.
A dim orange lights up the room, allowing you to have a candle-lit view of this now romantic office. Anything could attack from the blackness of the shelves obscured from view. Yet somehow, you knew there wasn’t anything there. As soon as you walked in through the door, it would’ve killed you before you had time to close it. The chandelier’s orange flames soothe you as your feet carefully tread the creaky floorboards of the office. You place a night vision camera on top of the shelves near the back and radio Kate to confirm whether the camera is linked up to her laptop.
“Did the camera connect to your feed?” you ask as you tweak the camera to show standard colors instead of having night vision active. The chandelier’s flames would cause problems for the night vision.
“Lemme see here…yeah, you’re good to go!” Kate confirms.
“Alright, sweet!” you put your thumbs up and search around in detail.
There are four total accessible cameras on Kate’s computer that she could look at at any given time. You’re placing Camera 03 in the office; if anything, the spirits haunting this place would have an attachment to a few items in here. Perhaps some of the well-loved books in the vastly filled shelves could hold sentimental value for the dearly departed? It’s best not to touch sentimental items in haunted sites like this - it will make the spirits angry. It’s Supernatural Hunting 101, volume 1, page 5, paragraph 4.
Your tired y/e/c eyes drifted to an opened journal on the small desk that you had apparently missed in your quick effort to establish your surroundings. Like the others on the shelves, the owners sincerely loved this journal; folds on the page corners every few pages and ridges that had unintended tears. You could tell the journal writer read this frequently as stains of an unknown brown liquid were splattered lightly across a few pages. Sometimes small notes would be written on the bottom, mainly gibberish witch lingo.
But, you start reading the text carefully with the radio close by and find some interesting things. Lots of text consisted of concise instructions for performing certain spells. One consisted of reversing burns or another that had rejuvenation properties; it seems like healing magic was the primary target of the reader. The desk had a strange scent; the wood felt brittle and chalky, ready to crumble under little weight. Looking closer, you see burn marks underneath the piles of paper and books.
You radio to Kate for a report, “Hey, Kate, there are some massive burn marks on the desk here; maybe a spell went wrong?”
“I’m starting to have suspicions about this place, Y/N,” Kate says breathlessly.
“Lay it on me, sister,” you acquiesced.
“I swear this place is stuck in time,” Kate pauses as she looks at the monitor then starts up again, “Like, everything is clean and tidy. It looks like that office isn’t exactly clean. So that makes me wonder if someone put a spell on this house to preserve it the moment the witch and widow died or…something else.” Kate’s voice quiets down considerably.
“I’ve considered that there could be two spells warding this place; one against any and all magic users, then another ward that protects the house from decay,” you suggest, putting some ideas out in the air.
“Maybe? Wards are a protective spell like you were being attacked by something, not to preserve an entire manor’s posh decor.” Kate loves reading about different kinds of magic.
“You get to cracking that while I do another spirit box sesh, okay?” you say as you sit in the old chair and place the spirit box on top of the journal, powering it on, “Here we go,” you pause, taking a deep breath then out, “Hello? Is anyone there?”
“Is this the spirit that talked to me in the hallway, or are you the one from the kitchen?”
The spirit box repeats what it did twenty-nine minutes ago and cuts to silence, leaving a small droning of radio chatter before speaking.
“I am…Y/N, but not your Y/N,” You responded meekly.
It didn’t confirm if it was Natasha or Wanda.
You weren’t prepared for the incoming crash of a banshee scream against your eardrums.
Y/N!!!!! WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!!
“WOAH!” You start to tremble and shake as the house quakes, rumbling the floorboards as you attempt to get up. You try to drown its voice with your own, but the wailing intensifies.
Then, it stops.
“Y/N, what the hell was that?” Kate is panicking as her voice threatens to crumble.
“I just asked it a question, and it asked me one, then I replied, and it freaked the fuck out,” you explain horribly.
“Wait, what, Y/N, explain - the whole house shook!” Kate’s voice faltered.
“No, I got this!” you turn off your radio, shifting your focus to the spirit box once again, “Erm, hmm, is this Wanda?”
SO COLD. FREEZING.
“Why are you cold?”
WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN? I CAN’T SEE. MY HEART WARMS, AT YOUR LOVE.
“My love? What love?”
FOR ME AND HER, ALONE, REMEMBER?
“No, I don’t, I -” the spirit cuts you off.
The spirit box shuts itself off before being violently thrown across the room; you yelp as more items fly off their respective surface. Books are flung, loose papers soar across the office, and the beakers explode, causing the glass to fly in all directions. During the chaos, you sought shelter under the desk, which proved fruitless as three books slammed right against you, clocking you in the head.
Kate radios in, “SHEESH, it’s furious! I guess we can write it down as a poltergeist.”
The very second Kate interrupts, the destruction stops dead in its tracks.
“Thank you for being concerned about my well-being, Kate; I really appreciate it.” Annoyed at Kate being too invested in the ghost than your health.
“No problem, Y/N,” Kate waves you off as you hear the hurried scribbling of a pen on paper. Right, Kate is always in the base camp writing down everything.
The once aesthetically-pleasing office is now a paper-filled disaster. Now, it will be challenging to find any leads on your’ past’. Other than the pages filled with note-worthy data about restoration magic. To what end did Wanda and Natasha go to for healing magic? Well, maybe they could have used it on you at some point or at least tried to.
Look at what has been seen so far: the books you read had brown liquid stains on a few pages, meaning they have been flipped to and from the most. The reversing burns page intrigued you the most; what was the constant need for burn treatment? If that page was flipped to, that meant this burn, whoever it was applied to, was severe. Restoration magic was also prominent; did the burn victim not get their burns appropriately treated? The spirit you talked to said they were cold, couldn’t see you, and your love is what warmed theirs, maybe?
You set the camera to its night vision mode and promptly exit the room with the restoration magic book in hand. The chandelier’s flames extinguish as you leave. This could help contact them later, maybe get a few clues as to why you were here hundreds of years back. However, presenting such information doesn’t come without risk; this could trigger a good or bad response from the spirit. So it’s best to have a backup plan if plausible. It’s recommended because some souls can become violent, like the one you spoke with.
You arrive in the living room to grab another camera.
“So the ‘cold’ spirit is a poltergeist, now we need to find the other one. I still don’t know who that was.” Your eyebrows furrow in annoyance.
“I have an idea of who that spirit might be. Wanda has magic, so she could be the clearer one, but also her magic is deep into the ground, so her connection could be weak. Natasha could have a bad connection, yet she doesn’t have magic tampering with her spiritual energy, so she could be the clearer one. All we need to do is figure out who is who.” Kate informs.
“Alright, I’ll keep those in mind,” You pause, “Did Yelena find anything about this place while I was gone?” you inquire as you search for something in your duffel bag.
“A little bit, not much data within the history books. I’ll pull up the few juicy bites of details for you now.” Kate pulls up a document that contains three different articles. All of which are short. One is an interview, one is observing the behavior of Westview’s citizens, and the other is about the witch stealing loads of resources from hard-working people.
Starting with the Westview’s odd string of behaviors:
“ You know, every time I go to Westview, everyone looks like they’re not…living. Not dead or anything like that, it’s just that…they stare with wide soulless eyes, kind of like a fish out of water. They never fucking blink, their breathing sounds like they’re always choking, and oddly enough, they smell like blood and guts…I can’t tell if it’s fish guts or…something else. None of them are acting like a human. Every time I go to buy something, they growl at me. GROWLING! It doesn’t sound like a human either; what the hell is going here!? ”
Interviewer: “Do you know what’s causing all of this?”
Citizen: “Possibly the witch in the forest.”
Interviewer: “You haven’t burned her yet?”
Citizen: “We would if we weren’t being controlled to build her damn house.”
Citizen: “We killed her female lover. The witch has another lover too, but she kills us quickly and remains unseen. The assassin and the witch shared the woman we killed, and they hurt us in ways we could not possibly imagine.”
Interviewer: “I see; I think I’m done here. Your eyes are creeping me out. Stop staring at me like that, freak.”
The last one:
“She stole all my lumber and stone, filthy Russian whore.”
“They, we, should not have killed that woman. Oh goodness, the witch’s screams haunt my dreams, oh, and the way she butchered the executioners…wretched. She loved poor Y/N; Y/N was every man’s dream.”
“Sounds like they really loved Y/N-iffer.” You say as you repeat some of the lines over in your head.
“Enough to enslave an entire town and steal other town’s resources? Some kind of love they had for you, er, Y/N-iffer,” Kate corrects herself.
“I’m going upstairs; there’s gotta be something up there,” You tell Kate of your current plan.
“Duh, it’s where they spent the most time,” Kate wiggles her eyebrows suggestively.
“Hilarious, Kate,” you grunt in annoyance before letting out a chuckle towards the end.
“I know I am. Thank you, I’ll be here all night long!” Kate bows while sitting down, “Make sure to place that camera somewhere safe; I have a feeling things are going to go down from here on out.”
“Will do, Kate; I’ll radio you when I’m set up.” You say as you exit the living room and ascend the creaky wooden staircase.
- 10:55pm -
You see five doors in the main hallway upstairs, two on the left and three on the right. You click on your trusty flashlight and search the area. The corridor is wider than you expected; you previously thought it would narrower for some reason. Its walls have sparse paintings, and there’s no light source of any kind in your current view, meaning you’re at a disadvantage if something were to be…a blade in the dark. The walls are darker than the downstairs, giving it the vibe of a friendly home, but you know that these spirits in life were not that.
With the spirit box in hand and a camera in pocket, you go for the second door on the right. You turn the handle and notice that it has been bolted shut using magic. Unbelievable, the middle room had to be closed with magic; of course, it’s basic security. So, you try the first door to the right and successfully open it.
Your spirit box turns itself on, and a low rumbling patches through before a quiet voice makes itself known. Pausing in the doorway with the door barely cracked open.
Beware, baby, you’re playing with fire.
You jump at the sudden intrusion of the ethereal.
It giggles, making itself known that it’s a female voice you’re speaking to.
Still so cute, Y/N.
The device returns back to its regular frequency before you hit up Kate again, “Kate, the other one, spoke to me. It was the clear one we heard after leaving the kitchen.”
“We now have two voices: Cold and Clear. Until we have a name, that’s what we’ll refer to them as. So, Clear spoke to you? What’d she say?” Kate questions hopefully.
“That I was playing with fire.” You shrug it off.
“That’s an odd thing to say; sounds like a warning,” Kate’s voice gets concerningly quiet, “Wait, ask Clear about the spell in the book and ‘that day,’ maybe she’ll give us something.”
“Gotcha, bestie,” you certified, turning off your radio, “Are you still here?”
“Is it…Natasha?” You attempt to pry an answer out of Clear.
“Fuck,” you curse quietly.
Uh oh, she’s here.
DOROGOY, HERE. I CAN…SMELL HER.
Yes, our girl is here. Still can’t quite see her. The lock on our door blinds us, detka.
SO CLOSE TO BREAKING IT. Then, we’ll get to break her again.
That’s right, so close to getting our hands on her. Just a little more.
SO NAUGHTY, ISN’T SHE?
Very naughty girl, indeed.
Dead silence. The spirit box resumes its regular frequency.
You secretly recorded it all on your night vision camera.
“Did you get all of that? Holy shit, that’s never happened before!” you said, bewildered by the exchange that occurred.
“I- I am at a complete loss of words, Y/N. This, I need to report this to HQ. How the hell did they have a conversation on entirely different frequencies?”
“No idea, dude. Clear was trying to talk with me, I think; she giggled at me.” you complained, “Still can’t get an identity, unfortunately.”
- 11:10 pm -
It has the basic pattern for how bedrooms are set up today, a desk and chair up against the wall, the bedstead on the opposite side, and some decorations; really, it’s the equivalent of a college dorm but larger. The desk has a worn yellow dress with a few vine and daisy patterns stitched into the stomach area and the skirt. The sheets are a frizzled mess: blankets were messily strewn about, and the pillows were crumpled against the bedstead and its frame. Kate’s theory might be correct; the moment the two died was when a spell or curse was cast on this lovely home. Perhaps, Wanda set it up - knowing she and Natasha would die.
“Hello? Is someone here in the room with me?” you run your hand along the dress’s side.
Of course, baby.
You knew Clear would turn the spirit box on by herself anyway; what was the point in setting it down?
“I found a book about restoration magic. Is that related to what someone said about me burning?”
The spirit box hisses and whines.
Yes. Even in death, I can still smell your burning skin. They burned you alive, and we were too late when we got to the town’s square.
As if by explaining Y/N-iffer’s fate, it stirred something deep within your fragile mind, a lost memory resurfacing for the first time in hundreds of years. It’s filled with such unimaginable pain and grief that it pierces your heart with a spiritual spear.
You can feel the fire igniting your clothing then it spreads to your precious kempt hair. Wanda’s eyes turn red, blossoming with an unquenchable fiery rage. At the same time, Natasha masquerades her pain with a cold, calculating glare, grey eyes taking in her surroundings before pulling out a large sharp knife. Wanda lets out a bloodcurdling screech, agony spilling from her plump lips. There’s nothing they could do. Your body was the equivalent of charcoal, and your eyes wanted to shed tears, but they couldn’t. You couldn’t even say good morning to them; you were pulled out of your garden and into the town square, now you’re turning into a crisp.
Your head drops only to hear a boom of magic explode across the valley before leaving this world, unaware of what’s about to happen.
More forgotten memories come flooding in like a tidal wave. So many, it’s hard to keep track of them. Thousands of fragmented thoughts, hopes, dreams, nightmares, and feelings overwhelm your psyche. You don’t recognize any of these; everything you see within these fragments is nonsensical. One involves you kissing Wanda, then another piece is you being locked in a cell by her with a key in hand, and a sinister grin is plastered on her gorgeous face… or is it Natasha’s face? It’s confusing; every attempt you make to connect the dots sends you spiraling down further into a whirlwind of nearly endless colors and sounds.
Only then does Kate’s meek voice pop in to reel you out of the ocean of memories.
“Y/N? You alright? I heard a loud thump.”
“Yeah, I talked to Clear about the restoration book, and she told me that I burnt to death, and now I have a shit ton of Y/N-iffer’s fragmented memories.”
“Weird. Never heard of that happening before. Did you find anything useful in those memories?”
“Not really; everything was jumbled together loosely like macaroni art.”
“Hmm, can’t help you there.”
“You’re telling me.”
You get off the ground, dust yourself off, and then inspect the desk for more clues. You see an outline of another book under the dress; you reach underneath the clothing and grab it. You’re surprised at how lightweight it is. There are only a few pages in it. The pages are littered with archaic words, pictures, and small drawings inside a rune. No wonder the book is small; the pages are collapsed like a map which reveals a much grander picture. A monstrous circle filled with symbols and incantations you couldn’t begin piecing together.
You turn on the camera, linking it to Kate’s computer, and point it to the drawing.
“Check this out, Kate. This is way more detailed than the restoration magic book from earlier. I mean, it’s a complete…whatever this is.”
“Imma screenshot it and send it to Strange; maybe he could understand it.” There’s a pause for a moment, “Alright, sent. Now we wait. I’ll update you soon, I hope.”
“How are you doing, Kate? It’s been a minute since I’ve checked on you.”
“Oh, I’m okay; just bored out of my mind and talking to Yelena about your findings. I sent her a pic of the thing you sent. Now, I’m just sitting here in the living room watching the cameras and doing some research. Thanks for asking; how about you?”
“Frazzled, my brain is a mess from all these memories. It’s a lot to process.”
“I’m sorry, Y/N. I wish this was a normal hunt. I hate it here,” Kate whined.
“Same, but I’m close to discovering something huge. I mean, I got old me’s fragmented memories. That has to be something.”
“Yeah, but I think these spirits are much much worse than they’re letting on. Enslaving an entire town, killing tons of people, and stealing scarce resources from other towns?”
“Good thinking, I-” the spirit box cuts you off.
“Oh boy, what does Clear want?” Kate groans, resting her head on her hand.
Wanda is restless. I am too. Soon, we’ll be a family again. You have forty minutes to prepare…you too, girl. Get out while you still can.
“Forty minutes till what?” you ask.
“Besides Midnight, I don’t know, and quite frankly, I don’t want to know.”
Forty minutes until midnight, and you can feel dark energy pulsing through the mansion’s wooden walls. Natasha was right; they really are restless; their spiritual power rises by the minute. Time to crack the mystery of this ominous mansion and go home to a hot bath. Yet, you have an inkling feeling you aren’t going home this time. A part of you wants to stay, and you still don’t know why.
Chapter 3: 11:30 pm - 12:00 am
I hope you enjoy this chapter of Chasing More Than Ghosts!
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- 11:30 pm -
Thirty minutes remained, and plenty of preparation was still needed to take on these two ghosts. You had been scrounged around in your backpack and duffel bag for anything that could help. Kate had been disassembling her makeshift base camp to officially set up shop in the van, parked a few feet away from the property’s border. On the wooden chair behind you lay the two remaining cameras that need to be set up; both need to go into the left side rooms.
As you go through your backpack, you notice a small brown paper bag neatly tucked away underneath a blanket, protecting the bag from damage. Picking it up, you gently open it revealing an assortment of small snacks that include fruit snacks, a single banana, some grains, and one of those circular pb&j sandwiches. You look to Kate and see she has a brown paper bag that she happily holds up.
“Did you pack me a snack box, Y/N?” Kate says as she pulls out a baggie of trail mix.
“Yeah, I always pack you a little snack; you always forget to eat on hunts!” you replied as you opened the bag of fruit snacks.
“I figured you’d be hungry, so I packed you one as well!” Kate adds, happily eating her trail mix.
“Dude, we’ve been picking each other’s lunches since we were ten! I swear we’ll never stop.” You chuckle at the ongoing tradition.
“To be honest, I love it when you pack my lunch; it doesn’t feel the same when I do it,” Kate says as she puts it back in her lunch bag then picks up the remaining pieces of equipment and carries it out the door before saying, “By the way, I left you some extra equipment; they might come in handy. Also, here’s a headset.” Kate tosses you a sturdy headset.
“Perfect, I’m going upstairs and setting up the remaining cameras in the left side rooms; I feel like there’s something important in those rooms.” You informed your companion as you officially separated.
You hastily head up the squeaky steps and crook your head as you see the first left door is ajar. The hinges are snapped and broken, and the handle has been noticeably smashed. Upon moving the door, you hear rattling as it moves, and you slide in through the crack to see that the deadbolt has been broken off - some nails still remain. Odd. You could’ve sworn that everything up here was untouched; maybe you didn’t look close enough? Maybe. However, the door’s wounds don’t seem old; in fact, everything would’ve been covered in thick dust despite the spell.
You equip your earbuds, power them on, and they successfully connect to Kate’s computer, to which Kate responds, “Oh hey! Good to hear you again. What’s up?”
“Hey, Kate, the first door on the left has been broken open. It’s like someone was attempting to break it down.”
You hear the light crunching of peanuts on the other end, earning a laugh out of you, “Sorry, I didn’t realize how hungry I was; you’re right, that is strange…I don’t recall any reports of a door being broken before arriving.”
“This might be worth a camera spot, don’t you think?” you inquire as you turn your flashlight and survey the room carefully.
“Definitely, there’s got to be something in that room,” Kate then concludes, “Set up a camera, and I’ll see what’s up.”
You turn on the camera and your flashlight, then shift it to night vision, and you place it on a shelf. The room resembled the abyssal ocean floor: darker and colder the more you travel. Your current location was once again frosty; your body shivered and quaked at its intensity. You had brought up your duffel bag of items, making sure you had everything needed for this fateful encounter tonight. Moving your flashlight around the room, you notice a peculiar lantern sitting on a desk; the lantern isn’t old as this house; it seems…modern. Then you remember that amateur investigators had come here before and possibly left some equipment behind. You can’t really blame them. You turn on the lantern, and to your surprise, it works.
This survey is more fruitful than you’d want it to be. There are many opened journals and books messily tossed across the floor. Could it be a study room or a personal library? You were too distracted by the mess on the floor.
You think to yourself, ‘Come on, have some respect for the dead, people.’
One by one, you pick up the books and journals from off the plank floors and place them on a bookshelf in random order. Out of your duffel bag, you grabbed the first spirit box you had used and turned it on to see if anyone was in the room with you. It made the usual grating noise, but this time, however, you’d hear bits of fuzzy static pop in small, erratic intervals as seconds passed by.
As per routine, you say into the spirit box, “Is someone there?”
The radio buzzes, whirring and chirring as a wretched shriek echoes through the hallway. You whip your head around, startled by the noise, and investigate the hallowed halls to see the source. Your radio’s whine increases into a high-pitched whistle that only grows in intensity with each step you take. The ground rumbles, and all sound is muted, creating a vacuum of silence and a shaking floor.
You lean against the wall for support and breath heavily as you hear a faint knell of church bells. Curiously, church bells only ring in the early morning; why are they ringing so late at night? You manage to stand up straight, relying no longer on the doorframe, and your eyes readjust themselves to see now that the middle door is opened and golden rays of the sun shining through the now lively hall. What is happening here? There’s no way it could be dawn now…yet, it is somehow. You go to check your smartwatch when you see it’s no longer there; instead, it’s been replaced with a leather armband. Not only is your smartwatch gone, but so is your modern attire. Your stylish kicks are now a light yellow flowery dress, the same as the one in the room closest to the staircase. Something isn’t right, and that thing is the time. You’re not at the time you think you are.
There was a time you were invested in Dr. Stephen Strange’s class about the possibilities of past lives and their memories. One lecture stood out to you: ‘Unique individuals can sometimes temporarily relive a memory of a past life depending on many factors. Those factors may include personal items such as journals, articles of clothing, or a lock of hair; anything can trigger an event. If you did have a past life, you could theoretically travel back to that time and see what is around you. I am still researching why this happens.’
“Y/N, detka, you look a little troubled.” a concerned red-headed individual, who speaks with a Russian accent, asks as she places a gentle hand on your shoulder, snapping you out of your stupor.
You’re in an ‘echo’, as Strange called it, and your spirit is projected far into the past. Time in the present has slowed down drastically for you; the moment this echo ends, it will be as if only a few minutes, or even less, have passed. While this echo is happening, be cautious: you never know what could happen.’
“A little bit, but it’s nothing.” Even your past self sounds like how you do in the present. Constantly dismissing your internal problems.
“You lie, printsessa. I can see into that precious mind of yours, you know?” You take a closer gander at the woman; the blue eyes give her identity: Wanda.
“I thought I told you no peeking -”
“You don’t tell me, remember? I, we, trained you to do better than that, lyubov.” Wanda scolds gently, then hugs you.
“I’m sorry, Wanda. Could you please not look into my head?” Y/N-iffer asks politely.
“Much better.” Wanda pulls you in closer, “I’ll try not to, sometimes your thoughts are loud, and I can hear them.”
The other woman, Natasha, comes upstairs to see you and Wanda nearly grazing lips before stating, “Alright, you two, save it for later. Dinner’s ready.” Natasha appears to be the head of the household.
“Ooh, she prepared your favorite! Can you smell it?” Happiness radiated from Wanda’s bright smile.
You smell it, even in this astral projected state…fascinating. You can smell, taste, touch, see and hear everything your past self is experiencing firsthand.
The house is different as well. It’s smaller than the manor that stands so rigidly in the present time. In fact, you’re on the first floor instead of the second. Right, you remember a little detail from earlier about Wanda’s magic enslaving the entire town of Westview for killing Y/N-iffer and the townspeople building Wanda and Natasha a manor.
YN-iffer follows Wanda out of the room and into the kitchen.
Now, as a wandering spirit, you take a look around the house as you follow behind them. The house is small and unassuming; it’s homey and aesthetically pleasing. Your dreams of living in a forest cottage have come true.
The couple sits down and eats their meal quietly. As they eat, you look around for anything that could help you in the present day.
“Y/N, you look cold. You need my scarf?” Natasha inquires as she takes off her tightly knotted scarf and offers it to you, who graciously accepts and immediately equips it. Y/N-iffer squeals and embraces the already-present warmth.
Wanda offers her jacket, which Y/N-iffer also accepts. You watch as this echo unfolds and attempts to show you its significance; for what purpose will this memory serve? Wanda and Natasha appear to be wearing the same dresses from the paintings from the living room; one wearing a shorter black and grey dress, the other wearing a dark red gown that covers the ankles.
“I was out at the marketplace today, and I got you a little gift for being such a good girl!” Wanda praises and grabs a small paper square out of her dress…somewhere and gives it to you.
Upon opening it, you see a vaguely familiar item within the wrapping paper; Y/N-iffer gasps in delight and pulls out an iron-cast crescent moon necklace; the moon has an amethyst within the curve. From what your mind is recovering from this echo, this necklace has some sort of magic attached to it. It’s unclear what this magic does, however.
Time fasts forwards slightly, and you’re now in the backyard watching Wanda and Y/N-iffer plant some seeds in their garden while Natasha feeds some alfalfa to a pair of goats. The three partners idly chat as they do their daily chores and bond with one another. That is until Wanda becomes touchy and grabby with you in an oddly pleasant way, but the implication of what her intentions are are unclear. Yet, there’s an impish smile plastered onto her usually soft face. Natasha spares a glance and chuckles lowly as the goats hoover up the addictive green grass.
Y/N-iffer, as she plants the last batch of cabbage seeds, twirls her necklace nervously as Wanda rests her head on Y/N-iffer’s shoulder and breathes heavily. A dark aura permeates from the redhead.
“Can’t believe you’re our girl, and to think all it took was you breaking into our bedroom…for a pair of undergarments. Such a foolish little prank for a boost of reputation.” Wanda purrs, then slowly licks the back of your ear.
You fell into their clutches because you got caught while performing a panty raid? Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?
Y/N-iffer inhales sharply at the sudden sensual contact, “Wanda! Oh-hoo-hoo!” you laugh as she continues to be affectionate with you, “Best prank ever!”
“You like that, huh?” Wanda whispers lowly, “I dare not pry into your mind…I want to learn all about you hands-on.”
“I’m all yours, Wanda, remember? Mhm, all yours!” Y/N-iffer giggles as Wanda peppers her neck with light kisses.
“Damn right, detka,” Wanda’s tone becomes more assertive, and a low growl escapes through gnashed teeth, “All mine, all Natasha’s, and all ours to have. No one in the world could ever tear you away from us, not even death .”
At the sudden, snapping snarl of Wanda’s harsh voice, you flinch and clutch Wanda’s hands instinctively. Natasha whips her head, looking directly at Wanda - concerned about her ever-changing emotions. A crimson haze formed around you and Wanda, who is wringing the air out of your lungs with her crushing grip.
Natasha steps forward, “Wanda, dear, you’re losing yourself. Come on, let her go. It’s okay; she isn’t going to leave. Shhh.” Natasha had crouched to Wanda’s level and had whispered into her ear. Wanda’s breathing slows down, “Breathe in,” Natasha inhales, “Hold,” she holds, “Then breathe out.”
Natasha repeats it once more before Wanda starts following along. Wanda’s ragged breathing slows and returns to a regular pattern; the storm that once raged had now dissipated.
You note that Wanda has a slight anger problem while Natasha is calm and collected. Hot and Cold.
“Detka, I- 'm sorry!” Tears fall down her rosy cheeks, “I don’t know what came over me.”
“It’s okay, babushka; I’m here.” You accept her apology and attempt to throw her off by incorrectly using her home language, which she would always get a kick out of.
“That means grandma!” Wanda laughs, her infectious happiness spreading like pollen. It earns a chuckle from Natasha.
“I know; I hate seeing you cry, Wanda. I thought you could use a little sunshine!” You shift your position so that you can kiss Wanda’s cheek.
“Wanda,” Natasha helps you and Wanda to your feet, “Let’s head to bed and snuggle up, okay? Tomorrow, we go shopping!”
The three heads inside for the night while you stand near the goat pen, mentally noting the cute moment that occurred and what information you could gain from it.
One more travel forward, and you are up in the bedroom.
‘Please don’t do the do,’ you beg silently.
Instead, you see Y/N-iffer knitting, Wanda reading, and Natasha snuggling with Y/N-iffer - laying her head on top of Y/N-iffer’s left shoulder. Wanda was on the right side. Natasha then twirls your crescent moon amethyst necklace and plants a kiss on it - whispering a quick blessing on it. Then, it glows.
Natasha somehow gets even closer before whispering a little louder, “Don’t lose it in the garden; it’s your protection charm!”
With her ending that sentence, you are abruptly sent back to your physical body and tumble to the floor.
Your radio drops to the floor as you fall.
Everything is blurry and warped; this isn’t going to be easy to get used to.
You drag your arms to the black object next to you, your radio, and barely manage to press the talk button. This sends a quick burst of radio static to Kate’s end.
“Y/N? You alright in there? I’m coming in!” Kate announces over the radio.
A moment passes before you hear the thundering of Kate’s footsteps ascending the staircase. Kate sees your crossed feet and rushes over; you can hear the jostling of water in a plastic bottle as she moves.
Kate slings your left arm over her shoulder and props you up against the wall inside the room, whose contents are still unknown. She gives you the water bottle, and you impatiently spin the cap off and consume the water in a few gulps. Before putting it down, you notice the Nestle logo and throw it across the room. Kate recognizes your hatred of Nestle and laughs.
“Fuck Nestle!” you spat angrily.
“Yeah, yeah. What the hell happened, Y/N?” Kate presses a hand to your heart, to your neck, and then your wrists - checking for vitals.
“It’s hard to explain, I - remember Dr. Strange’s lessons about ‘echoes’?” Your eyes erratically look around the room.
“Yeah, what about it? We didn’t really need to learn about it all that much.” Kate confirms, readying a small snack from your lunch sack that she grabbed on the way up.
“That’s what happened with me. My soul, or mind, or whatever got sent back into Y/N-iffer’s memories, and I found some useful bits of information.”
“So, what did you learn from this echo? Convince me they’re real.” Kate lightly demands.
“Alright, most of the moments I appeared in were primarily domestic and wholesome. Although, there were moments where Y/N-iffer, I think, had a praise kink. Uh, Wanda can get a bit quirky, and Natasha is the steely gal. Oh, there was also a moon necklace with an amethyst, and I think Natasha put a protection spell on it while I was in bed with her. She told me not to lose it, then I came back here.”
“From all of that, I only understood the part about the necklace. Hold up, you said Natasha, the phantom, had cast a spell on it?”
“Yeah, a protection spell perhaps?” you itch your chin.
“Considering the circumstances with Strange and Wong being sent to the other side of the state. I’d say there’s more to this house’s spell than a necklace.” Kate mumbles towards the end, “I’ve got a question: why did Wanda brainwash an entire town just to build a mansion? What was the point?”
“That I’ve yet to find out. I need more information on these two.” You rub your temples to ease the incoming headache. Kate pulls you up from the floor and dusts you off before giving you a cheese stick to munch on.
You hug Kate before mumbling, “I’m so glad we’re partners; I don’t think I could’ve made it without you,” You confessed.
“I’m glad I could be here for you,” Kate holds the hug for a little longer before letting go, “Well, it’s 11:50 pm; I should get back in the van. Be ready for anything, Y/N.” She says as she takes the cheese stick wrapper from you.
“I’ll let you know of everything, okay?”
“You better; I want to help in any way I can!” Kate waves as she leaves the room.
You wave back, now all alone in a house filled with angry ghosts. The question is, how do they die? How did a powerful witch and her lover die after you burned in the town’s square?
So many questions, so little time. Ten minutes remained until midnight; the moment the hand strikes twelve is when all hell will break loose.
For the first time in this hunt, you feel like you’re being watched - the unseen eyes are staring right through you. You clutch your spirit box and press the button.
“Is someone here?” you shuddered as the spirit box immediately whirrs to life.
GOOD, you got rid of the WHORE. Just YOU and ME and HER. Mmm, once again, a family. Just a few more hours, and we’ll be TOGETHER AGAIN!
“Kate is not a ‘whore’; she’s my best friend!” you argue.
DISGUSTING. You hugged a dirty WHORE. Soon, we’ll be together! Maybe then will we be merciful with your punishment!
The spirit box goes dead silent.
Interesting, Wanda had her dark moments in your memories of her - this was different from that. Wanda was the sweet one of you remembered, right? She never intentionally bite you in the ass for hugging someone. You always enjoyed any sort of contact with people. Something isn’t right with Wanda; maybe Natasha is off her rockers too. Everything is uncertain; Natasha hasn’t been very active lately, making you uneasy. You feel Natasha will become more aggressive as the night goes on, and Wanda will only become more and more violent. There has to be a reason why Wanda is acting this way. How could such a loving soul turn bitter and angry? Another thing, how did they ‘die’?
You have a lead, at least: the moon-shaped necklace with a circular amethyst in the backyard. Since this house is under some sort of time-stopping spell, it may not be six feet below. The amulet might be lying out in the garden somewhere. You’re one step closer to finding out what happens next in the story of Y/N-iffer.
There’s a chiming of a grandfather clock from inside the room; only now has it activated, which means it’s midnight. Three more hours until the mist, and maybe three more until you can leave. A few goals lie ahead of you: solve the mystery of this tragic mansion, purify Wanda and Natasha, and maybe leave this place. Who knows, you might find yourself wanting to stay just a little longer. It couldn’t hurt, right? Two ghosts love you dearly; why would you want to leave?
Chapter 4: 12:00 am - 12:45 am
I hope you all enjoy this chapter!
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It’s a full moon tonight, and as superstition says: ‘Midnight is when the monsters come out to play.’
However, it’s not superstition to the Avengers Supernatural; it’s a cold hard fact, one you wish weren’t true. As of now, Wanda and Natasha will become thoroughly more aggressive as each hour passes. Despite you being their lover hundreds of years later, somehow, they will not hesitate to attack you on sight or smell. It’s strange to be hunted and haunted by two women who supposedly love you. An eerie feeling is in the air, something unnatural about the aura of this house. Despite the cozy interior, you can’t help but feel caged inside.
There are a few things other paranormal investigators have encountered with these two. Yelena Belova, Kate’s girlfriend and overwatching supervisor for this hunt, has dug up enough pieces of valuable information that may help you with this mission.
“Hey, Y/N?” Kate radios you, abruptly tearing you out of your thoughts of what Wanda had said.
“Oh! Hey, what’s up?” You quickly compose yourself and exhale deeply before continuing, “Find anything?”
“Yeah! Yelena found some reports from other paranormal investigators and summarized each ghost’s behaviors. I’ll send it to your phone!” Kate cheerfully informs.
You hear your notification sound ring from within your pocket and pull it out to see a hastily-made report.
It goes as follows:
‘I’m keeping this brief, L/N; there’s not a lot of information, but enough to get you by.
Natasha is confirmed to be a Wraith. Salt lines in front of doors are enough to stop her for at least a few minutes; Natasha will find a way to break the salt line. Salt is toxic to wraiths in most cases. Not this one. If needed, get a handful of salt and throw it at her; it will burn her, putting her out of commission for a few minutes. Nothing can completely stop her. She is known to manifest and become physically violent; beware of that. It has been recorded that Natasha might be partially deaf and might not hear you. She can still sense vibrations and smell you out.
Wanda is confirmed to be an Oni. She can cause freezing temperatures at will, which allows her to become more aggressive. She throws objects rapidly, which has killed a few investigators before. Wanda is almost exclusively upstairs; when she isn’t, that means she’s hunting. When she’s downstairs, Wanda is exceptionally violent and will manifest herself to cause even more damage to the surrounding area. Wanda has been observed to be partially blind.
You save it then you exit the room. One camera is remaining, the second room on the left is the last place you need to go. The journals in the first room were all blank or filled with mindless scribbles.
You turn on the spirit box once more, “Is anybody here?”
The spirit box whirs and crackles and whines. They were changing channels rapidly as hundreds of indistinct voices come through the static. Outside the window, you see black streams of clouds ascend from the muddy ground, racing through the cracks in the wall. There are at least thousands coming in. The black foggy wisps start racing around the room, trapped in a cyclone of restless, bitter souls; as they pass by you, you hear their unending screeches.
Natasha is hungry for blood tonight, dearie.
Help, Wanda is angry. Her rage is suffocating.
Hundreds of tormented spirits make themselves known through the communication device. You radio Kate, and she immediately picks it up upon hearing the disturbance.
“Y/N! What the fuck is going on!? There are so many of them! What the hell did you do!?” Kate attempts to be loud but is drowned out by the excessive wails of the Westview’s citizens.
“I don’t know! I was seeing if Natasha or Wanda would respond. Now I have hundreds of voices screaming into my ear!”
You turn off the spirit box, and Westview citizens’ spirits are then shooting in all directions into the forest. With an anxious huff, you make your way to the last room and open the door, setting the camera down on the nearest flat surface, then swiftly make your exit. Kate gives you the all-clear, and you head downstairs to rummage through your bags.
In the center of the room, there is a circle of supernatural hunting equipment neatly arranged. You look through the various items, which included: an EMF, a can of salt, and an iron rod, along with a hard-to-acquire flash beacon.
You take the EMF, for now, to help decide which room or area will be unsafe. Now, in your possession is a spirit box, an EMF, and a flashlight. You’re leaving behind the salt, flash beacon, and iron rod for future use.
A quick explanation for some of the equipment:
Spirit Box: allows voices to speak to you can alternate between frequencies to talk to a particular ghost.
EMF: detects electromagnetic waves and senses anomalies within them.
Can of Salt: Toxic to wraiths, used as a barrier to ward off evil spirits and as a means of attack.
Flashlight: emitting an intense beam of light can disorientate ghosts.
Iron Rod: Used for attacking ghosts or other spirits weak to iron.
Flash Beacon: The most helpful tool in your arsenal, works like an old flash camera except that the flash is stronger than your flashlight. However, it only has six charges before it can’t be used. Use this wisely.
You grab your snack bag and go to the backdoor through the kitchen, and for the first time in hours, you breathe in the rejuvenating chilly air of February, and you have the rare opportunity to slump against a wall. You hadn’t realized how exhausted you were until now - all the mental and spiritual strain you had received tonight would have made the strongest investigator crumble into pieces. Well, it’s evidently different than most experiences. The weight of another life’s memories colliding with your current life is overwhelming. Sometimes while thinking, you find yourself browsing through a quick slip of a memory…this has been going on ever since you got another chunk of memories. Most memories are casual pillow talk between you and Wanda or Natasha. Some other memories are corrupted and are pretty negative. Perhaps the one you had earlier of Wanda locking you in a cell wasn’t a memory at all, it could be the collision of a memory of you being put in jail after a hunt, and the other one is of Wanda playing with a key to a chest.
That might be handy.
You mindlessly search for the amulet under the moon’s soft white rays, hoping the moon’s shine would illuminate the object you were after. It couldn’t be too difficult; this lot has been perfectly preserved since you had died four-hundred years ago. Looking ahead, you see a goat pen devoid of the adorable capra; hay still intact after all this time. A wooden shed that stood next to the cell was severely burned, and from a glance over, you see the skeletal remains of the goats who lay next to each other, resting their heads next to one another. It’s how you should have been laid to rest - next to Wanda and Nat, in each other’s arms. Yet that never happened. Instead, your happy ending had been taken away by ignorant, unaccepting people who wanted to take away and destroy a happy, loving relationship. That foolish thinking persists even today, unfortunately.
Now here, Wanda and Natasha roam the quiet halls of their estate, trapped by depression and anger and strife - bound in chains, with no hope of escape. Yet, in their blind rage, they forced an entire town to work for them to the point where they at some point died doing what Wanda commanded. If you were to meet them face-to-face again, you’d have no idea what to say. Slavery is something that can’t be forgiven, especially when magic is used. All of their lives, for a fucking house; the definition of monstrous.
As you stomp around, you hear a clink of metal underneath your shoe; you lift your foot and see a glistening gem attached to a dirty metal moon. Mission accomplished! Picking it off the ground by the lanyard, you let it dangle, causing the moonlight to shine upon the amethyst, to which it responds by glowing a bright purple. As if by instinct, you lift your hair up as you put the necklace on, then let your hair drop.
“So pretty!” you silent say, as you fiddle with it.
Upon donning the enchanted jewelry, you feel warmth surge through your whole body. Pride shines on your soul, and you don’t know why; all you’ve done is adorn yourself with jewelry. It’s a special one too; a piece of well-crafted jewelry made only for you, hell, it’s been blessed by a steel-eyed angel.
The gem is imbued with protective warding magic. It’s like what Wong or Strange could do, but it’s placed on a crystal. Perhaps it too has a few charges, much like your flash beacon? Only one way to find out.
A fluffy memory comes through.
You and Natasha stare into the night’s sky adorned with bright shining stars soaring through its vast emptiness. Your head gently rests on your girlfriend’s chest, close to the lulling sound of her heartbeat, and find yourself drifting off to sleep a few times before Natasha giggles - disturbing your descent into a peaceful nap.
“Aww, I was so close to falling asleep on your chest, Nat!” you pout, quivering your lip.
“Nuh-uh, printsessa, not out here; we use the bed to sleep!” Nat boops your nose, to which you squeaked.
“Nat, I use you and Wanda as a personal pillow. A majority of my body is always on one of you!”
“That’s true, but we need to sleep in our bedstead, love. Wouldn’t want us catching a cold, now would we?” Nat lightly kisses the top of your hairline, then rakes her fingers through your y/h/c hair as she lovingly stares back at you with her cloud-colored eyes.
Natasha slowly pulls you in for a passionate kiss as she plays with your hair.
It goes on for a few seconds when present-you sees Wanda leaning up against a support beam watching as her two girlfriends love each other. This is where you swear some of the corruption seeps in: you look at Wanda, but you swear that she isn’t staring at Y/N-iffer and Natasha. She’s looking at you. Wanda menacingly glares at you, a red glow shining in her eyes.
That’s when you’re thrown out of the echo and back into the present.
You hadn’t breathed in a minute, so you raspily inhaled precious oxygen as you exited your dream state and coughed hard. At a loss of breath, you pant heavily, and you barely manage to compose yourself before heading inside.
- 12:15 am -
Not even fifteen minutes into the hour, and things are already going nuts. More memories flood in through the cracks of your now fracturing mind. You remember your co-worker Thena had gone through similar tribulations before; maybe when this was all over, she could help you.
Doubt swirled in your head; maybe you won’t be getting out of this one scot-free. Your connection to these two is undeniable at this point. Despite it all, your puzzled mind connects some dots and sees how truly pleasant the two Russians were in your previous life. Simply put, they deeply cared about you and loved you with all of their heart. You remember the increments of this domestic life they shared with you. Your mind is conflicted, it seems. One part yearns for the days past where you could relax and get away from the world with these two beautiful women. The other wants to go back home, watch terrible romance movies to fill the never-ending void, hunt ghosts that probably died taking a dump, and be tossed around by said ghosts. Man, life sucks for you outside these walls.
Y/N is a simple girl, a higher cut above the rest in the Avengers Supernatural Ghost Hunting Branch. Life is that for you: hunting restless spirits and nearly dying every night. It’d be nice to have a break from it all, the monotony of go-to-this-house, okay, purify them, pack up, leave, eat, drink, bathroom, and sleep. The wandering damned were always easy to combat with; one little clue and boom, ‘it’s a revenant.’ Help it with its problem, it moves on, and you too get to go home. This hunt was different: it personally involved you, and quite frankly, you found it endearing in a strange way.
After every hunt, you’d hang out with the crew and have drinks; most times, you all were too exhausted and weren’t much for conversation, so you’d go to bed. There were times when you craved more than friendship; before you and Kate were assigned partners, you two were the best of friends. You dated her, which didn’t get very far as you two only saw each other as sisters. Kate then got with Yelena, and they’re happy. As for you, dating was pretty unsuccessful. But now, here you are in a haunted mansion stuck in the early 1600s with an Oni and a Wraith who are obsessed with you.
An unsettling thought creeps into your head, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice just to get away from it all? Just give in. ’
You shake your head to lose the intrusive thoughts, whispering into the living room’s eerie abyss, “No, my team needs me!”
You panic and head into the kitchen to collect your thoughts, but the thoughts were of Wanda and Natasha and nothing else. You think that Wanda must be using her witch magic to soften up your disposition towards her and Natasha. Wanda would never do that to you; she loves you so much; she vowed to never use magic on you.
“Hey, Kate!” you had gone to the living room and connected the headset Kate gave you.
“Yo!” she replies.
“I needed to hear your voice; I’m going a little crazy here; I just wanted to let you know!” You let out a whimper then groaned.
“I feel ya there, pal. What’s bothering you? Did Natasha jumpscare you like a FNaF character?” Kate lightheartedly mocks.
You laugh in return, “No, no, I found this necklace that belonged to Y/N-iffer. It’s been blessed by Natasha. This thing gave me a memory - it was a happy one.”
“A necklace, eh? Interesting.” Kate mumbles.
“It’s a crescent moon with an amethyst! It’s so pretty.” You marvel at it once more.
“You keep mentioning gaining memories. Is your mind still…intact?”
“I can’t say for sure. I remember the past life so vividly at times, yet I can’t remember much at all. It’s like browsing through social media, and you see something hilarious, and then you try finding it later and just… can’t - it’s gone for good.” You explained the best you could.
“That makes it pretty clear, but it’s still a little foggy, though.” Kate gulps down some water before you continue on.
“Understandable. Now, where was I going, and what was I doing?” you ask before ending the call.
Let’s get some of the current objectives straight, unlike you:
- Fend off Wanda and Natasha.
- Uncover the secrets hiding within the house.
- Open the middle room.
- Purify Wanda and Natasha, and give in to their loving embrace.
However, there are still a few things to figure out about Wanda and Natasha. You know what happens at the end of Y/N-iffer’s story but what happens next after receiving the charm? How did you get from receiving a beautifully-crafted necklace to burning alive in the town’s square; the amulet was supposed to protect you from violence, right? A few significant gaps are missing, but each memory was triggered by interacting with an object of value. So far, those objects have been a flowery yellow dress, a crescent moon necklace with an amethyst, a restoration magic book, another book with a rune, and something inside a chest. You have 4 out of 5 items needed to piece the puzzle together; all you need to do is find them and recover the remaining memories…and avoid two pissed-off spirits. That’s not too hard. You’re an experienced member of Avengers Supernatural, the top of your department.
The first thing on your list is the dress. When you equipped the amulet, you had memories coming through - perhaps, if you put on the dress, it too will restore what was lost? You know where it is. Time to head upstairs once more. You exit the kitchen and radio Kate on what you’re doing before going back up the creaky stairs. Kate might have a few questions about what you’re doing putting on an old dress while being haunted by your girlfriends.
Disregarding any opinion she might have, because of the camera located directly beneath the dress, you were going to continue on anyway without the fear of judgment.
You exit the stairwell and enter the first door on the right.
Upon entering, you immediately hear incessant scratching and tapping outside the window.
Rap tap tap.
Each tap rattles the window, and every scratch makes you want to itch your brains out. You look at the window, and for a moment, you swear you see a silhouette of a person in the basking moonlight; it vanishes upon you catching a glimpse. After it disappears, so do the noises. The second you focus on the dress, it appears again; the scratching and tapping become more aggressive. Tapping becomes eager knocking. It’s hard to ignore when silence has been the default setting.
You grab the dress, accoutring the delicate garment, and perform a princessy twirl. It feels right to wear it.
After the twirl, the knocking transforms into violent slamming, and that’s when the covers of the bedstead start rustling, tossing and turning violently. Books are flung off the shelves, hitting the walls with a loud thud. Suddenly, you hear a faint slamming against the corridor’s creaking floors from down the hallway. It’s louder than the rapping and tapping at the bedroom’s sash window; with each passing second, the pounding becomes louder, booming almost like a raging thunderstorm. It is rushing down the corridor faster than any living creature could; nothing…natural can run this fast, at least you think. Whatever is charging down the hall is furious, no, enraged, and it is coming for you. What a terrible time to have a dress on.
Upon realizing the imminent danger you’re in, with one fell swoop, you tear it off and throw it to the floor. You bolt out the door and are about to jump off the one-floor drop when the charging halts behind you then shoves you through the staircase railing, causing you to crash to the first floor. You are still conscious and scramble to your feet before hearing the clomping of furious feet descend the stairs. Adrenaline pumps through you, roaring like a freight train about to slide off the tracks. Your legs threaten to betray you as you nearly slide and fall to the floor, but you catch yourself. Whatever, or whoever, was chasing you is now on the first floor with you; you would hear the occasional tapping of a boot as you move backward.
The spirit is playing with you, as in like you’re a goat, and this spirit is a coyote. You still have your spirit box, flashlight, and EMF device. Only one of those items is useful now. For the flashlight to blind the spirit, it must first manifest itself, but it’s not physically appearing. EMF would be rather pointless; you know it’s directly in front of you. The spirit box might do you some good, perhaps?
You wretch it out of your open-ended pocket and press the power button. With a faltering tone and shaking hands, you attempt to not cry and curl up into a ball before barely managing to speak, “Who is in the room with me?”
*Unknown person’s laughter*
In half a second, it hurls the device out of your hand, throwing it against the nearest wall. You look at your spirit box, horrified at what the spirit had done. No ordinary spirit is bold enough to do that. A frightened, muted scream escapes your throat as you feel a cold, caressing hand slide down your face. Tears fall from your eyes, but they are swiftly apprehended by the spirit’s hands.
Only now do you have the strength to dash out of the ghost’s grasp and run to the living room to grab the iron rod. You dual-wield it, feverishly scouting the area for any sudden movement. Of course, it makes itself known as the clanking of boots makes its way to you. You ready your weapon, wind up your attack, and swing it as hard as you can. Before the rod hits, the apparition catches it mid-swing, tears the iron weapon out of your desperate grip, and catapults it across the room into the hallway, where it rolls continuously before colliding with the wall.
In desperation, you grab the can of salt, open it, and spray it in all directions hitting the entity to which it bloodcurdlingly wails, and it warps back upstairs, at least you hope it did.
Your stance falters, and you tumble against the jagged oak wood wall, and gravity drags you to the floor.
Ragged breaths escape your throat, panting like a dehydrated dog on a summer’s noon. In total, from the time you went from the backyard to the kitchen up the staircase into the room, running out of the room being thrown down the stairs, then fighting the ghost and finally spraying salt like a sprinkler, the total time elapsed was a staggering 30 minutes.
- 12:45 am -
You decide to rest for a few and chat with Kate, who is listening to you ramble on about what just happened. You tell her about the dress and how Natasha came down the hallway and threw you off the staircase. Kate does the best she can to comfort you and succeeds, albeit barely. Now wasn’t the best time to sit around and sulk, but the weight of memories is a heavy burden and is taking its toll. Your mind is scrambled, and your thoughts are sometimes incoherent. There’s a knelling of bells, and you inform Kate that another crucial memory is resurfacing, and you see an image of the dress. That means the dress finally triggered a memory despite it not being equipped. Perhaps, you had put it on and met a specific requirement to cause this phenomenon to occur. Was this dress stained by an emotionally damaging event that would cause this resurgence to happen?
From what you could tell before being absorbed into the ether, this memory is painful, and a jolt of anger rattles your bones.
You had been feeding the goats some homemade treats when a strong pair of hands ripped off your yellow dress and necklace and threw them to the ground. You still had another couple of clothes underneath the dress; you were now in pajamas. Farmers, ranchers, and the town’s militia had stormed the backyard in search of you. The militia had tied your hands with rope and then dragged you out. You struggled but to no avail. The goats were screaming as they were grabbed by the ears and taken to the supply shed, and beaten viciously before someone with a torch locked the door and set it ablaze. The goat’s agonizing shrieks were heard even down the hill.
No matter how much you kicked and struggled, the townspeople continued onward to the town’s square. Wanda and Natasha had gone out into the deeper part of town for supplies for the home and the animals. But you had to take care of the goats and hang around them as they were always anxious.
Anger bubbled in your stomach, and betrayal rang in your heart. You had loved the townspeople dearly, gave them everything you got to please them - to make the small town of Westview, New Jersey, a better place. Here they were, dragging you to the square to be burned for no reason. You frantically looked around and saw their faces were unmoving - careless, unyielding, and cold. They paid you no mind; they were following someone’s orders, probably the mayor’s. The mayor had become a godhead amongst the people and didn’t take kindly anything foreign to him, like homosexuality, for instance.
Upon reaching the stake at the square’s center, they tied your body and feet around the stake with rope, tying it tightly. Out of the corner of your eye, you saw the local blacksmith wielding a hammer and was coming your way. Upon reaching you, with an ire in his eye, he struck both of your legs relentlessly until they broke, leaving you immobilized.
Present-you felt like vomiting.
They poured oil on you, and somebody threw their torch at your broken feet and ignited the oil. ‘You can feel the fire igniting your clothing, then it spreads to your precious kempt hair. Wanda’s eyes turn red, blossoming with an unquenchable fiery rage. At the same time, Natasha masquerades her pain with a cold, calculating glare, grey eyes taking in her surroundings before pulling out a large sharp knife. Wanda lets out a bloodcurdling screech, agony spilling from her plump lips. There’s nothing they could do. Your body was the equivalent of charcoal, and your eyes wanted to shed tears, but they couldn’t. You couldn’t even say good morning to them; you were pulled out of your garden and into the town square, now you’re turning into a crisp . ’
Out of the memory, you go.
Just a replay of what you know, but with a few added details. The dress had been ripped off you, and so was the necklace. You piece a few things together and have an answer: the townspeople knew about Wanda and Natasha’s magic use and knew that your lady friends would attempt to protect Y/N-iffer from them, so the town’s militia went after the most obvious things. It was too on-the-nose with a bright yellow dress and a shiny gemstone necklace.
Time to get more answers.
You had gotten memory fragments from three items thus far. Gaining more memories would only damage your mind further, but you had to persist. A few flashbacks are what keep your mind strong, giving you the will to move forward until this hunt ends. The warmth of their love is what drives you now; nothing else matters.
Electricity is in the air, raising your hairs on end. No doubt another attack is about to happen at any moment. You quickly look at your current equipment and decide to leave the EMF behind for now - it’s no use in an attack. You put the EMF device back in your duffel bag and grabbed the can of salt from where you left it and headed back upstairs where you left off.
With each step you take, you wonder who that ghost was…it had to be Nat, right? She’s a wraith; therefore, salt would be effective against her, right? Well, kind of. Ghosts of all types can be fended off by salt, but it might as well be acid to wraiths. Was that a Westview resident? It didn’t respond to you in the spirit box - Wanda or Natasha would nine times out of ten respond. You guess this was the one where they didn’t. You had a feeling you were about to have a direct confrontation soon.
You try the spirit box again and hope for a response from one of your lovers.
With a heavy sigh, you changed frequencies on the spirit box for the first time tonight and spoke into the small box, “Is anyone there?”
Detka! My lyubov! Where are you!?
Hold on. Did you seriously not bother changing frequencies this entire time!? Sure, the box would change on its own, but come on! Just one turn of the dial and…boom, you would’ve saved a lot of time!
“Is it Wanda?”
Why can’t I see her? I need to see her face; I HAVE TO.
One moment, Wanda wants to love you, and in the next, she wants to hurt you. Something’s not adding up. Sure, there are other spirits on this lot, but why the two-faced attitude?
You can’t do this to us anymore, &*@%$@! STOP!
The line goes dead.
Chapter 5: 12:50 am - 1:15 am
I hope you enjoy this chapter!
This was difficult for me as I had to put as many plot points together as I could. This is also shorter than my usual chapter, sorry! This is meant to bridge the second half of the story.
Also, follow me on Tumblr @auraticere! I put together an exclusive Spotify Playlist and can help set the mood for reading the whole story!
If you do, maybe post a request?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
- 12:50 am -
For five minutes now, you’ve been trying to reconnect with Wanda, but to no avail. Natasha has been radio silent for a while now; there was no hope of getting Natasha on the line. You need to confirm whether or not the spirits attacking you are Wanda and Natasha or not. Something isn’t adding up; when they talk to you, they’re mostly friendly, but when manifesting, they become aggressive. It’s a rare instance that any spirit could feel one way then act another.
You had found an entrance to the lower level of the estate under the kitchen table, which went unnoticed for some time due to the lighting and the paranormal events that have occurred thus far. Moving the dining set to the side, you grasp the iron handle and open it to see a bottomless pit. You flick on your flashlight and point it downward to see nothing but a rickety ladder directly beneath the tip of your boots. Something important must be lying deep down in the crevices of this…basement. Before you make a decision, are you certain whatever you’re about to do is worth it? It’s best to go back up and prepare for such an expedition into the unknown.
You head back to the living room and make one more assessment of your current equipment; what will you take? As a fair warning, you will not be able to get out of the basement so easily. That ladder is highly unstable and could break should it be used frequently. This will more than likely be a single two-way trip; no climbing up the ladder in a panic to escape when you want. Once your feet hit the floor of the lower level, there will be no turning back until it’s time to leave.
One last look into your duffel bag and backpack; you currently have a can of salt, your spirit box, and a flashlight. What will be helping you the most here? You can only carry three items, maybe four if it’s small enough. You put down the can of salt; it’d be very inconvenient to carry around a medium-sized can of salt. Your EMF is small enough to carry in your back pocket, but the noise can be pretty loud, be wary of that. Next up in your backpack is a flash beacon, a treasured item indeed, but it’s too big to carry around and could hinder your movement speed drastically. It’s best to leave it behind for now; it could be used later. No matter what you do, you always fall back on your rookie gear: EMF, spirit box, and a flashlight. Everything else is either too big or not valuable for any current situation. You do still have your cell phone, which could be practical: audio lures, a second flashlight, perhaps used on the blinding SOS setting, and also night vision and thermal if possible. Seems like you’re set.
You’re about to head back into the kitchen until your spirit box goes off, which produces an eardrum-shattering whine, and you feel the room become slightly cold. Most ghosts tend to do that. Theoretically, Wanda would be different as she would make any room colder than winter; you have yet to encounter the Russian witch personally.
You find that whistle to be familiar and find yourself mimicking it.
Slow footsteps come from the hallway, echoing off the thin walls as it travels to the living room.
“Hey, you.” You say affectionately, seemingly out of the blue.
Right, hard of hearing.
You tap the floorboards gently, and Natasha makes a barely audible gasp before reluctantly putting her hand on the wall to sense the vibration.
Natasha turns the corner and spots you. You do your best to not look threatened or intimidated; instead, you fold your hands in front of your waist and do your best smile. Natasha squints before approaching closer; she spots the necklace she made for you. Upon moving forward, you see her lip quivering slightly, then she holds out her right hand, running her fingers along the leather cord before grasping the charm, fiddling it. Nat sniffles then looks deeply into your eyes; hers glow under the moon, giving them an ethereal shine.
Perhaps, she isn’t like Wanda and won’t attack on sight. Who are you kidding? Natasha was probably the one that rushed you down only a while ago. You still can’t wrap your mind around their split personality, though. At any moment, Nat’s personality can go awol. This time feels different, however. Natasha smirks, toying with the pendant more, and pulls you forward with a guiding hand at the small of your back. Now closer than before, she embraces you tightly, and she holds back a sob, settling on quiet whimpers and excessive sniffling. You hug her back, a tidal wave of emotions comes crashing into your heart, and your brain tingles.
You let Nat hold you longer, giving her the pleasure of embracing a future iteration of her long-deceased lover. This is probably the only moment in her posthumous existence where she gets any relief. All those years of wandering in the halls, lost in grief and screaming for someone who would never return. You believe that Nat is the more relaxed of the two, while Wanda’s emotions can sometimes fly off the shelves.
Natasha lets you go before she leans into your ear and whispers, “Still as beautiful as the day we found you.” She presses a kiss onto your earlobe, pulling away. Natasha rubs both of your temples; you feel a shock upon contact, causing you to shake for a split second, “I have to leave now.”
As her head turns away, you let out a ‘wait!’
Confused, she spins her head back to you, “What’s keeping you here?”
“Mmm,” she grunts, “Downstairs, there is a chest, and you need to break it open, it will solve everything, and I lo-” Natasha fades away into the dark as a dust cloud.
The tingling in your brain returns; you are about to astral project into the past when you feel the room become hot as a summer day. A low hum resonates in your ears which pulls you back to the present. Violet streams of magic swirl around the room like a waterspout, tearing and rotting the wooden plank floor, bending them violently before snapping, wooden shrapnel flying in all directions. Those that would have hurt you had magically avoided you by mere centimeters. Black smoke rises from the broken floor with violet magic that chaotically corrals the smoke into a thick subsuming vortex before immediately collapsing in on itself.
In the middle stood a familiar face. Wavy brown hair stretched down the woman’s shoulders, deep ocean blue eyes filled with mystery. She wears a purple collared sweater and blue jeans with dark brown boots.
This is a little awkward. In your past life, you and Agatha had a…relationship of sorts- in your past life. This life as well. No matter what time you’re in, she seems to follow you around, even to the point where she became the head of the Ghost Hunting Department. Just to have an excuse to be near you, but work had consumed her life, and she barely got to see you. With some memory fragments, you saw bits and pieces of your relationship with Agatha; you remember her being controlling and manipulative to a degree.
You rub your left arm nervously, “Hey Agatha, didn’t expect to see you here.”
“I could say the same to you, hon.” She puts both her hands on her hips, letting out a huff of disappointment, “All the way out here, putting yourself in danger…for what?”
“Aggs, you sent us out here, remember?” You approach Agatha as she holds you close. Her eyes glow purple, and wisps of dark magic start floating into your ear canals, luring you in closer to her.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, I don’t want you going on these missions. You could get hurt! I mean, you’re laying your life on the line because my spell waned?” the magic becomes stronger and more visible. She’s attempting to corrupt your mind, swaying you from your objective.
“What spell, Aggs?” You say as Agatha’s magic weakens.
“Don’t worry about it, honey-bunny. I simply tampered with Wanda’s spell scripts,” Agatha breathes in, then out chuckling as she does, “Those spells backfired every time, especially the resurrection spell they had come up with. Despite my best efforts, the resurrection spell worked - to an extent. They didn’t resurrect you. Instead, they reincarnated you…390 years or so into the future.”
“ Just give in to my spell, hon. ” Agatha’s voice penetrates your mind; it was Agatha’s voice that had told you to give in a few times before.
Your spirit box goes off once again, but it’s not Wanda or Natasha coming through.
Silly girl. Dumb little whore. Wanda and Natasha are long gone, lost forever in the trap I’ve made here. I killed them once, and I’ll do it again. I must find a way into that room; Wanda used the last of her magic to seal their bodies away.
“You killed them?” you gasp in disbelief.
“Mmm, not exactly. The immortalization spell that’s in the little book you found, of course, backfired, and it ripped their spirits out of their bodies. Now, here they are…roaming around, corrupted by my magic, forced to kill anyone who dares step onto this property.” Agatha explains, her magic’s influence becoming stronger, taking over your mind.
“That’s cruel. So, so cruel.” You push back against her temptation, “Why do this to them, they did nothing wrong? You enslaved the townspeople, didn’t you?”
“They took you away from me. You were my girl. So, if I couldn’t have you…then no one could! In my desperation, I controlled the townspeople to make a house that would trap the witch and the widow’s souls within its walls, all thanks to a neat little binding spell I found upstairs!” Agatha focuses on taking control over your mind, tendrils of black magic now writhing in your ear canals which are attempting to get to your brain.
Alas, the pendant Natasha blessed has come to your aid; it apparently protects from magical attacks rather than physical ones, that’s how the townsfolk were able to tear it off.
You smirk victoriously, “What’s wrong?”
Agatha lets out a frustrated breath, to which it forms a mist. The temperature has dropped to below 32 degrees celsius, at least. Goosebumps litter your skin and Agatha’s too. Agatha lets out a bark of laughter, nearly cackling, “Seriously, Wanda? Aww, come to save your girl, huh? Too bad, girlie. You and that little ninja aren’t gonna have her! She’s mine!”
The house starts to shake then quake as Agatha levitates into the air, and a crimson cloud starts forming around the property…shit, the scarlet mist! It was supposed to begin at 3:00 am, not now! It’s only 1:05 am. Wanda must be beyond pissed if she decided to summon her toxic mist. With the pendant, however, you’re safe from its effects.
Wanda manifests behind Agatha and is surrounded by rivers of living scarlet magic that restores all the damage to the living room floor. Her sorcery rushes through the yard and all through the house, pulsing like a barely-beating heart. Agatha growls like a wolf, and her magic quickly clashes with Wanda’s healing magic, which then turns into harrowing chains that attempt to hold Agatha in place, long enough for you and Wanda to escape.
Wanda then appears on your left then grabs your wrist before attempting to escort you to the kitchen. The breaking of Wanda’s mystical chains is heard a few seconds after Wanda had cast it. Before she could get a step in, Agatha shoots a magic bolt at Wanda’s hand, forcing her to let go of you. Surprised, Wanda looks up at Agatha; Agatha then summons dark tentacles from the floorboards, which go straight into Wanda’s earholes. Wanda struggles before going limp, crashing to the floor, magenta magic forming a small whirlpool around her unconscious body…spirit form?
“Aww, look Y/N. She’s already given in again! Look at her; she looks so much better with my magic flowing through her!” Agatha boasts as you look on in horror to see Wanda’s face covered with black streaks.
“This is what you’ve been doing to them!?” Wanda’s magic then fades, the mist dissipating as Wanda stirs in her nightmarish entanglement; all is then calm in transitory. The air is still and cold, the room was reversed to its original condition - as if nothing happened here, “Corrupting them!? You’ve been making them into your little puppets!”
“Umm, yeah!” Agatha scoffs, “Just like the townspeople! Except Wanda is my favorite puppet; I take good care of her, isn’t that right, sweetie?”
Wanda is then pulled up by an unseen wire, sitting up before mechanically speaking, “Yes, master!”
“Let me guess, all those times I spoke with her and Natasha on the spirit box, was all your doing?” you rubbed your wrist.
“For the most part, yeah!” Agatha beams, “Sometimes, Wanda would break away and would search for you, so I clouded her vision. Natasha being hard of hearing was not my doing, though; I rarely had control over her. She was always independent.”
“When and where, hon?” Agatha laughs at her own joke then opens a rift, “Wanda, go through, I’ll be there in a second.” Wanda complies mindlessly and, without any retaliation, steps through the portal.
“You can’t do this to my Wanda!” you stomp your feet childishly.
“Yes, I can. Y/N, you should have stuck with me in the village. Instead, you gave yourself away to two stupid whores! I’m going downstairs into the nether. I will find what will unlock that door and burn them while you watch!” Agatha steps through the portal, and it closes behind her.
Falling to your knees, your energy has been drained by the magic firefight, and all joints are weakened. No energy left to cry your heart out. Tears flow wherever they may; you don’t care anymore. Who knew your headmaster would be the cause of all of this.
With what remaining energy you had left, “Natasha…” you croaked out.
The spirit box hummed before Natasha manifested next to it, “Hello, darling…I couldn’t help you, Wanda summoned the mist, and I couldn’t get to you. I’m so sorry!” Natasha says as she pulls you to your feet then hoists you up with her shoulder. Nat guides you to the kitchen, plops you down on a cushioned chair, then retrieves your spirit box, which had fallen to the floor.
“I know this is bad, but trust me when I say this: I’m going to carry you down that ladder. When we get down there, time is about to flow differently, then you could rest for as long as you need. Can you stay awake that long, baby?” Natasha lays a gentle hand on your shoulder then readjusts you as you slump over.
“Nrgh,” you grumble.
Kate comes crashing through the front door the moment Wanda’s magic fades into nothing, “Y/N!!!” Kate screams.
Kate had her spirit box handy, and Natasha snaps her fingers then speaks, “In the kitchen.”
Kate rushes through the doorway to see Natasha, now sitting down, and you resting your head on Nat’s shoulder. Natasha looks directly into Kate’s blue eyes and says only four words, “She’s safe with me.”
I hope you enjoyed this chapter! This is the end of Act 1! See you in a few weeks!
Chapter 6: Memory Chunk 1
I know, I know, I'm supposed to be taking a break for about 1-2 weeks from CMTG, but I recently reached 100 followers on Tumblr, @auraticere! So, I had to make a milestone special!
This is a memory chunk that Y/N was able to form after the events of Chapter 5.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for your continued support!
Trigger Warnings: Mentions of negligence, implied emotional abuse (from Agatha), I can't quite remember the word for 'I'm using you only for my sexual pleasure only,' but that's implied, emotional abuse (lightly mentioned, never expanded upon), and manipulation (implied).
From the flowery, yellow dress, you had gained many happy memories. You hadn’t realized any memories resurfaced from the dress until after the encounter with Agatha. You were sleeping on Natasha’s shoulder until she scooted you closer, holding you in her arms while you curled up in her lap in the fetal position. At the same time, she would occasionally kiss your hairline as you fell deep into exhaustion.
Kate was grabbing equipment for the journey down into the basement, and you would hear snippets of their conversation. Natasha would make small talk but would put all her energy into holding you rather than having a full-on conversation with your partner. Your Black Widow stays afloat by absorbing the energy out of an Arc Reactor that Kate had sewn onto your backpack; where did she get an Arc Reactor? All that matters now is Natasha’s loving embrace lulling you to sleep.
From the enchanted crescent moon pendant, you gained first-hand experience of Wanda’s obsession and Natasha’s protectiveness. One of them was always near you, no matter where you went…except that one time where the townspeople murdered you in the town square - thanks, Agatha. We don’t talk about Agatha. Not now, it’s only Natasha Time™. Natasha Time™ is currently your favorite time, as she is warm and muscular, making her a great bed to sleep on. Natasha would always make sure you were within arms reach, never out of sight or mind; the moment she laid eyes on you, she knew you were hers. Nat ripped you away from Agatha’s frosty clutches the moment she and Wanda discovered a wispy tracker implemented on your scalp, hidden by a clump of hair that Agatha made with some mud.
From the restoration book, you remembered the times when you were sad and alone or hurt and uncared for. Agatha could care less about how you felt; she only wanted you as a means of sexual relief and to ease herself of the day’s troubles. She would be controlling and manipulative of you: using you as her retriever, her test subject, and would treat you like dirt if you disobeyed. More often than not, you’d escape her witch’s hut and shuffle through the town; other times, you were only a mile away from it, kicking stones and hiding under collapsed trees. You went farther than usual once, and then you were being taken in by the couple as a simple house guest. Of course, now you know what happens after that; you three became a triad.
A few days after taking you in, you were picking flowers near their property; you loved the daisies and the lilacs that would grow…even the ever-so-loving dandelion weed that would appear in the cobble. They found it adorable. So much so that they let you have a small backyard garden filled with some flowers near the goat pen. Your garden was located next to their vegetable garden. Natasha would help you pick up the unusually overabundant fruit and vegetables and carry most of them inside for you. After finishing your gardening, Natasha would give you a heavenly back massage to relieve your aches and pains.
Wanda was, and still is, a nurturing, motherly type. Wanda would often find herself tending the garden with you; you’d be sitting down when she would sit directly behind you and wrap her arms around you as to steady your back so that your back wouldn’t give out.
It took some time to take you out of Agatha’s torturous pet mindset fully.
Let’s ignore everything about Agatha and revisit one of your best memories as you lay on top of Natasha. Remember, Echoes may feel like they go on for a while, but it’s almost like a blip; no minutes are wasted. The best comforting memory you have of spending quality time with them was when they planned a romantic picnic at twilight.
‘Tonight’s the night,' you thought to yourself, ‘They’re taking me out somewhere nice, and we’re going to have a nice hearty dinner! Maybe do some cuddling out of the public’s eye?’
You put on a flower-patterned yellow dress, reequip your enchanted amulet, and your ribbon-adorned flat shoes before heading out the front door, locking it behind you as your two beautiful girlfriends stood a few feet away. Natasha held a large blanket and two pillows while Wanda held onto one pillow and a picnic basket with another blanket inside it. That blanket will likely be put on the ground to protect you from insects and other outside invaders.
Wanda takes your left hand and guides you along the walking path to her planned destination, with Natasha intentionally lagging, making sure there were no peeping eyes. Their destination was deep into dark woods, a good mile from your home, and was on a cliff with plenty of room. It overlooked the small village of Westview; the view was glorious, especially when the sun began to set. A vast, orange-pink sky filled with chrome clouds is what you encountered when you three brushed through dense branches and shrouding leaves. You buoyantly bound to the jagged cliffside and take in the view. The birds chirp as they glide across the open air, the brisk wind gently blowing as they fly to the west.
Wanda looks beautiful with the wind graciously tossing her red locks. Her smile is radiant with happiness, an animated display in her seafoam blue eyes. Natasha, on your right, is calm and collected but is delighted to have time away from work with you. Her faded jade eyes are a warmly welcome sight for any part of the day. Nat is always relaxed, but her work life as an assassin can be rough, thus making her snappy or easily irritated; you always let some snaps slide as her days as a hidden blade can take their toll on her. She uses every ounce of her being to ensure that you and Wanda are safe and sound in your lavish log cabin.
Natasha approaches you from behind and slaps your rear, lovingly teasing you about your unusually low-cut dress, to which Wanda giggles excitedly.
“You two are always ready to pounce on me, hmm?” you tease them by strutting your features.
Natasha growls lowly, “Yeah, keep doing that, and tonight’s little picnic will be more than eating and drinking wine.”
“I love it when we’re a little tipsy, and our clothes are off, truly a gay old time!” Wanda adds as her hand snakes around your thigh, giving it a firm squeeze, “Now, as I said before - I’m hungry!” she claps once before diving into the picnic basket to grab the cover and sets it out on a broad patch of dry dirt.
Wanda scoops out the food and the wine from the wicker basket and arranges them in proper order while you and Natasha hold each other’s hands as you witness multiple foodstuffs floating whizzing through the air. Wanda wants to make this as romantic as could be, even setting up some candles and summoning a magic barrier tinted so that nobody could see you…or hear you.
As Wanda finishes, you and Natasha sit down on the picnic blanket, waiting for Wanda to sit as well. The exact second, no, millisecond you sit down, Wanda has latched herself onto you and hums quietly, silently rumbling through her chest like a distant war horn. Attached at the hip is the proper term to use here; Wanda can’t get enough of you. Natasha continues holding your right hand, rubbing yours with her thumb. Natasha scoots closer and starts nibbling on your neck’s sensitive spots, and you let out a relieved moan.
You hear the chewing of sourdough bread on your left and turn to Wanda about to devour the entire loaf; she cut off a piece, and she almost takes a giant chunk out, yet you catch Wanda with her mouth wide open, unhinged like a snake. Actual animal.
“I was gonna save you a piece, sheesh!” Wanda grumbles before cutting the loaf like an adequate lady and hands you a slice with some cheese.
“Thank you, Wanda; hey, Nat, you need to eat!” you attempt to pry Natasha off your neck to no avail. You try again, but Natasha lets out a husky growl, “Okay, you may continue.”
“Always the adamant one, hmm?” Wanda playfully hits your shoulder as Natasha lets go, leaving a love mark where she suckled.
Natasha pulls your head with a guiding hand before pressing your foreheads together, “Look me in the eye, baby girl.” Natasha orders; her voice is low and sultry.
You comply and stare deeply into her now dark green eyes.
“Good girl,” Nat clears her throat, “You’re ours. No one else’s, mine. You’re Wanda’s girl. No one, even Agatha, could tear us apart. Not forever.”
“I know, lyubov, I know,” You rasp, you clear yours as well, “Always together, forever always.”
Wanda butts in, “I love you both so much, I can’t even begin to explain it.” Wanda admits as the grip on you tightens from both parties. Wanda puts down the bread-cutting knife, cups your chin, and kisses you long and passionately.
Wanda’s been kissing you for about a minute until Natasha pulls you away before Wanda gets too explorative with her dainty hands; it’s Nat’s turn to have her way with you. As Natasha kisses you, Wanda pops the cork off the wine bottle and prepares a few cups for the three of you.
Natasha, upon hearing the flowing liquid, gingerly pulls you away before caressing your cheek, “Now, we eat; for real this time!” Natasha declares as she grabs a plate.
You three each grab a serving and eat, chatting about local happenings and what needs to be done around the house. The farm animals are mentioned once or twice, but not much is spoken of them. You three exchange loving looks as the picnicking night goes on; the stars above are abundant and shining, just like your love for Wanda and Natasha.
It was 6:00 pm when you started your date night, now it’s 9:30 pm, and Wanda is drunk off her ass, and Natasha is tipsy. Wanda sloppily kisses your face and leans on you for support while you sit there and take it.
“I wuvvv youuu!” Wanda drags on, “Like this much!” her arms are as spread out as can be.
“Aww, I love you too!” you replied.
“Nnn- shhh, no, you gotta prove it!” Wanda hiccups.
“I do love you!” You retort playfully.
“Nunu, come here, detka, give Wanda some sugar!” Wanda slurs in her speech.
“Oh -” you squeaked as Wanda pulled you in for her signature Sloppy Wanda Smooch™.
The kiss is sloppy and wet with drunken drool, but you didn’t care - it was Wanda; she loves kisses more than any sexual touch, not that she didn’t mind.
Your hand seamlessly glides to her thigh, and she lets out a squeak of her own when your cold hand touches her warm flesh. You laugh impishly and push Wanda onto her back; then, she pulls you over to the side to lie down instead. Wanda, in a blur, straddles you and wobbles slightly. Wanda puts both her hands on your belly to steady herself, to which she giggles.
Natasha is sitting there watching this whole thing unfold as she takes another gulp of wine before crawling over to you.
Wanda manages to say, in between her excessive hiccupping, “You, *hiccup* are so fucking adorable…so so so beautiful, yes you are! Who’s a good *hiccup* girl? Oh my goodness, it’s you!” She pinches your cheek.
You blush furiously and stare at Natasha, who is eating this all up, “What do you want me to do?”
You shift under Wanda, but she pins your wrists down onto the fabric and answers for you, “Ummm, pfbbpt, I dunno…nnn, join? Naked, maybe?” Wanda shrugs before adding more pressure to your wrists.
“Oooh, tempting, dorogoy, but you’re drunk…I don’t, no, I can’t do that.”
“Oh, what a party pooper!” Wanda drunkenly frowns before tumbling to your right side, “Nyah.” Wanda lays her head on your chest, falling asleep within a matter of seconds.
“What a handful she is!” Natasha crawls over to you and does the same, instead of on top of your heart.”
“I’m glad we spent so much time together tonight,” Natasha whispers into the slow wind.
“Me too! I had so much fun!” You chuckle.
“Can’t wait for what tomorrow holds, detka.” You and Natasha are consumed by the alcohol’s intoxicating chemicals and drift to sleep under the stars.
Little did they know that you were going to die the next day.
You are pulled out of the echo, and barely any time has passed. Some of your energy had been restored, and you were able to open your eyes. Able to meet Natasha’s loving glance, you peck her on the lips before she tells you of the plan to save Wanda from Agatha’s evil clutches… down in the basement level.
Chapter 7: False View, Part 1
I hope you enjoy this chapter; it's the longest one yet!
Tumblr is @auraticere, where I'll post exclusive one-shots there!
Edited and Beta Read by Syd.
Kate glares, furiously clenching her fists, ready to attack at a moment’s notice. Natasha doesn’t bat an eye, only caring about your collapsed, sleeping form. Your ghost-hunting companion shook with rage at the unfathomable sight before her. Had you succumbed to Wanda’s magic, or was the magic something else entirely? That, Kate, did not know; emotions were attempting to override Kate’s usually logical thinking. Natasha spared a glance at Kate, if only for a second.
“Hmph.” Kate huffed.
“She’s safe with me,” Natasha repeated, uncaring of Kate’s rampant emotions.
“No,” Kate sniffles, then holds back an angry sob, “You hurt her, you and Wanda both!”
“Agatha did this,” Natasha pauses, “Agatha took Wanda as a prisoner and is now a puppet.”
Kate remembers a few things about Agatha. She’s the headmaster of the Ghost Hunting Department of Avengers Supernatural. Agatha would disappear for days on end and would be unreachable. Every time she was gone, there would be ripples of magic across the land. Nobody would correlate the pulses with Agatha’s sudden disappearances until now. It’s unbelievable that Agatha would be alive for so long. Kate concludes Agatha would use anything in her arsenal to extend her life, magic.
“I don’t believe you.”
“Understandable. Agatha is in the nether below us; she plans to use Wanda to further her plans - that much I know.” Natasha explains as you writhe in her arms.
“That I don’t know. Agatha never shared anything with me, but with Wanda - the whispers of a liar are always sweet to those blind to the truth.”
“Agatha fed her lies about this…thing she’s doing? Your analogy was a little confusing.” Kate admits, fidgeting with her fingers.
“Wanda had been easily deceived, she was desperate for Y/N to be resurrected, and Agatha stepped in to help. Agatha tampered with Wanda’s carefully crafted spells, and when they were performed…well, it caused a whole array of issues.”
“Like you dying or how this house is in nearly perfect condition?”
“It’s complicated, Kate. I will inform you of what I can before I fade again; keeping up this form is challenging.” Natasha admits, hanging her head sorrowfully, “Damn it, I just want to hold you forever, baby girl.”
Kate observes the way Natasha is holding you. Your head was resting on Nat’s shoulder; the red-headed woman had an arm under your knees, and the other supported your back - holding you like an infant or a bride on their wedding day. The purple-clad archer noted that you sleeping so comfortably was a sign of unspoken trust. Despite the attack earlier, you subconsciously leaned into Natasha as if you were back in the early 1600s; perhaps you were revisiting a memory from that time when you felt safe and loved. In your drowsy state, you smiled and burrowed your head into the crook of Natasha’s neck. Kate’s anger simmers as she watches Natasha whisper sweet nothings into your ear to comfort you.
Natasha then speaks up after kissing your forehead once more, “We must hurry and head into the lower level; Agatha is planning something diabolical. Please prepare accordingly, for once your feet hit the floor, there is no turning back until this is all over.”
“I will,” Kate affirms, “I’ll be back in ten minutes.”
Kate exits the kitchen and heads back to the black van outside the property border.
I don’t trust her, not one bit - there’s no reason to put any faith in her. I’m only going along with this because Y/N would kill me if I didn’t help. Y/N is my best friend, and I’ll do anything to help her come home safe, even if it means trusting - assisting - a ghost who’s been tormenting us all night long. This Agatha must’ve been a prominent figure in Y/N’s past life if she decided to make her reappearance now. Why now is she choosing to cause chaos? Was she the one who let out that dark pulse across the land? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m still in the dark about Y/N’s complicated past. Small servings of valuable information had slipped between my fingers. Agatha was the one behind everything? The voices in the spirit box, the enslavement of Westview, killing Y/N-iffer, and the reason why Wanda and Natasha are stuck in this house? What an awful human. There are things I will never know, and they should remain that way.
I swing open the van’s doors and click the phone icon on Yelena’s tab on our private communication channel, calling my beloved Russian woman. Of course, she immediately picks up.
“Hey, Yelena,” I stretched as I yawned.
“Is everything alright, my love?” Yelena asks sincerely.
“No. Y/N is unconscious, Natasha is apparently on our side, and Wanda has been taken prisoner by our Headmaster, Agatha. Now, we’re going down into the basement to rescue her and defeat Agatha.”
Yelena is stunned, “Wh-what!?”
“It’s a lot to explain, really. Y/N has been getting memories from her past life, and it’s been pushing this whole investigation forward, and I believe we’re close to getting this done and-”
“Slow down there, Kate Bishop; you aren’t making any sense!”
“Sorry. There’s so much going on; it’s insane! Agatha is planning something huge, and we need to stop it from happening!”
“I mean, for fuck’s sake, Y/N is cuddling with Natasha in the kitchen! Has Natasha been on our side the whole time?”
“Y/N is probably experiencing another memory that will help us, maybe!”
I breathe in, then out, “Sorry.”
Yelena pinches the bridge of her nose, “Finally.” Yelena rubs her eyes, “Steve ordered me to extract you and Y/N.”
Are you fucking kidding me?
“Uh-huh, this isn’t your problem; you hunt ghosts, Katie. That’s it.” Yelena pauses to calm herself down, “Wait, wait, your headmaster? Agatha, the leader of your department, is the one that’s been pulling the strings? That doesn’t make sense!”
“Well…if you think about it, Agatha would always find a way to be around Y/N and would disappear for days on end and wouldn’t return our calls…and she had an affinity for magic.”
“It boggles my mind, Kate Bishop. How could she have been around for so many years doing all of this?”
“Magic. I mean, the big, house-breaking light show I watched proved that. I saw red and purple magic tearing the whole property apart before it reassembled itself.”
Yelena, with both hands, grabs her face and groans, “So that’s what that magic pulse was, great….”
“Well, it’s too late to abandon the mission now, and I could care less about Steve’s orders anyway. Just make it home safe, okay?” Yelena asks with uncertainty coating her voice.
“I will, I promise.”
I end the call. Now, to get ready to descend into the unknown.
Back to 2nd person POV
Natasha’s hold is still so tight. No matter what’s thrown her way, whether it be an itch or an ache, she would not let you go. Soft and tender is her loving embrace on your weak, aching body. You’ve dealt with plenty the past few hours and held strong through the worst parts. Now to finally collapse in exhaustion after such relentless mental and emotional torment wasn’t too surprising. To have the weight of an entire life’s worth of memories come crashing down on you over four hours is detrimental and agonizing. You couldn’t think straight, nor could you recall important information such as what spirits you were dealing with or who you were at the moment. There’d be times, during this hunt, where you would think you were Y/N-iffer instead of your present self.
To have Natasha so close helped ease the mental mania considerably; breathing in her petrichor scent as you rested soothed your soul - encouraging it to remain calm. Despite the overwhelming fatigue, you wake and look into Nat’s loving moss-green irises. A smile tugs at her lips, and a single tear falls down her cheek; as it carelessly streams down her beautifully sculpted face, you wipe away each tear that dares stain Natasha’s cheek.
“It’s okay, Nat. I’m still here.” You smiled as you and Natasha’s faces drifted closer together but found yourself unable to feel her skin as she was still a ghost. She’s holding onto you by unknown means, perhaps the ghostly ability to levitate things at will?
But the shared feelings between you two are enough to trigger two distinct memories.
One was when Wanda and Natasha had rescued you from a few angry villagers who brutally beat you and dragged you into the middle of the square and harassed you with unrelenting, bitter malice. Wanda and Natasha saved you from their filthy clutches, only to be a little too late. The other was about a picnic at the crack of twilight. (See Chapter 5.5).
Wanda and Natasha were taking a stroll to the town’s square to see how your flower shop was doing, only to see a couple of bumbling teenage boys laughing maniacally.
One of them, in between breaths, managed to spew out, “Holy shit! Y/N can sure take a fucking beating! Used every ounce of strength to clobber her little face!”
“She doesn’t do anything for the village other than selling shitty flowers. What are we supposed to do with ‘lilacs,’ huh? Eat them?” Another one slaps his knee.
“Girls like her should be in the kitchen making food for her man. What a waste.” The final kid guffaws.
At that moment, the two Russian women freeze in place. Fear and boiling anger are evident in their expressions; a vicious scowl forms on Wanda’s face while Natasha is going through four out of the five stages of grief at once. Natasha’s legs move on their own, and dead sprints through a series of bushes, uncaring of any scratches or bruises she may soon have. Wanda stays back and watches the boys laugh at Natasha’s sudden speed.
“Is she seriously going to help that fucking flower girl?” The first boy points to Wanda, then the bush Natasha bolts through.
Wanda slowly turns her head from the bush to the cocky, mocking lad and maliciously grins. That obsessive, dark side of Wanda shines through once again, the delirious state she had while holding you in the garden, filling the air with a bitter and coppery scent. The boys detect it too, laughing nervously as Wanda’s baby blue eyes turn a bright scarlet hue.
Natasha arrives at the town square only to see you beaten and bloody against the cobbled road, wriggling in a mixture of dirt, blood, and tiny, jagged rocks. Without hesitation, Natasha breathlessly runs to your aid and tears off a chunk of her dress, and cleans off your face the best she can. Wanda comes into the square, pushing people away with bursts of magic.
Wanda gets through and comes to a halt upon seeing your battered physique and a choked sob escapes her throat before covering her mouth. Natasha’s composure threatens to teeter as she makes way to her taller lover.
“Wanda,” Nat’s voice shakes, “I need you to -”
Wanda clicks her fingers, and in one second, you’re inside your cottage receiving immediate treatment of your wounds. Natasha had learned how to properly treat injuries from a doctor halfway across Westview.
Within an hour, Wanda had stopped crying and laid beside you on the bedstead, allowing you to rest on her chest and fall asleep to the sound of her breathing. Natasha watched over you since you fell asleep and would pace around anxiously for seemingly no reason.
“She’s okay, Natasha.” Wanda whispers, her voice raspy from the excessive sobs and occasional screams.
“I know, it’s that we could have prevented this from happening! If we were there!”
“Tasha, dorogoy, there’s nothing we could have done. All we can do now is make sure one of us is with her everywhere she goes; she’ll be fine.”
Natasha’s anxiety-riddled movements stop when her sorrowful expression turns bright like a star, “Good idea, that way she will always know who she belongs to, and no one will begin to think about hurting her.”
The memory ends there, along with another memory that played after it.
Kate put an arc reactor onto your backpack to ensure that Natasha would stay in this plane of existence for your sake. She fished it out of the van while you were astral projecting; it’s unknown how she acquired one. Natasha feels a surge of power flow through her astral form and is almost fully manifested. If she were to be fully manifested, she’d be living flesh. Close enough.
Feeling the electrifying warmth of Natasha’s skin against yours, you jump out of her lap rather energetically and grab her wrist, pulling Nat to her feet.
Nat dusts herself off before caressing your cheek, “Hundreds of years without you, and you’re still as gorgeous as the day we last saw each other.”
Natasha kissed your hands one by one, earning a giggle from you, “Natasha….”
“Yes, baby?” Natasha pulls her hair back.
“No matter what time we’re in, we are always together, forever always.” You gingerly hold her biceps, giving them a light squeeze.
“No one, even Agatha, could tear us apart. Not forever. Now here we are, 400 years later - reunited, almost.” Natasha frowns.
“We still have to save Wanda; only then will we be whole again,” you concluded.
You pull closer to Natasha before you two share a long, passionate kiss for the first time in almost 400 years.
Chapter 8: False View, Part 2
Forgot to tell you that I rewrote the second half of ch6. Forget what you saw last chapter!
You three descend into the basement down a rickety wooden ladder into the dark below. The area is quiet but is disturbed by your echoing footsteps. Besides that, there’s no airflow or any sort of comforting noise, only an odd mix of shallow breaths and claps of feet to fill the gaps of deafening silence. It’s cold down here as well, rigid and bone-rattling - it’s at least below freezing. Luckily, you had a hoodie on to stave away the cold to a degree; you were still shivering. Nat hears your painful chattering teeth and pulls you close to her for some heat; as a spirit, the warmth she gives off merely warms your own soul, not your body.
You chuckle at the spiritual warmth, making your head clear for a moment, and realize Natasha’s touch is what’s keeping your mind from collapsing under the weight of memories. Nat is doing the best she can to help you despite her current state. Kate had lit up a lantern she had in her backpack and raised it in front of her, illuminating only what was around her. Upon moving her lantern around to see more of the basement, Kate sees Nat holding your waist and holding you close and smiles dryly, still untrusting of Natasha.
You didn’t seem to care about what Kate thought, you were happy, and that’s what mattered the most.
As you and your party move forward, Kate suddenly interrupts the quiet with a loud whisper, “What’s down here and why is it important?”
Nat considers the question for a moment, pondering how she should explain it, “The rune book we had upstairs requires…a special gem to be placed in the center; Agatha has hidden it down here so that the spell on us and our home would not be dispelled. It’s our leash.”
“Will it undo all of Agatha’s magic?” Kate asks.
“Only the ones currently cast; it will not restrict her attacks. We need Wanda to be back in her body to restrict Agatha’s powers.” Nat explained then continued, “The middle room must be opened to get our bodies back, and to do that, we must rescue Wanda’s spirit. Only then will Wanda and I join you against Agatha.”
“That’s not going to be easy, isn’t it?” You drop your shoulders and lower your head, expressing disappointment.
“Unfortunately not, detka. I wish it was that simple to get our Wanda.” Natasha frowns, then moves her hand from your waist and pats your back, “We’ll get her back.”
You’ve come to discover that this basement is larger than you expected.
Nat would give simple instructions like ‘forward then left,’ or similar as you walked down the path. Nat knew this place well, as she had been trapped in this mansion for centuries, so she had time to learn the ins and outs of her once-loved home. Over time, Natasha has become resentful and bitter towards the oak wood walls that have confined her to this hell. To think that Agatha has been behind this all along is still unfathomable to you, but it’s also not - you knew Agatha was cruel and power-hungry the moment you met her, yet she lured you in like a moth to a flame.
“Stop,” Natasha ordered, “Be very still.”
“Huh?” Kate whispered.
“Wanda is in the room with us,” Natasha says, wary of Wanda’s magical, electrifying presence.
Scarlet magic dances in the air and on the floor, forming circles of glowing red flower buds at your feet. The blooming buds then blossom into an assortment of crimson roses that gracefully curve around your ankles - their hold is gentle and kind, not strangulating like you thought they would. Roses then ascend to your knees before stopping completely; Wanda manifests a few feet away from you and your party, then the flowers fade. Wanda has a distant expression; her once-lively blue eyes are now clouded by nefarious magic, unable to see what’s ahead. For all she knows, she’s walking through the house looking for something that isn’t there. Her footsteps were slow and uncaring, her breath was raspy, and you could hear her struggling to break free. It’s good to see that Wanda wasn’t wholly consumed by Agatha’s magic, yet it broke your heart seeing her this way. Tears formed and ran down your cheek like drizzling rain.
Your heart ached for Wanda’s despair; all she wanted was to see you again. No matter what happened tonight, you were going to set her free, and then you could retire with Nat and Wanda in a cottage. You’d help Wanda make bread and assist Natasha with hunting and gathering just like you used to do. If there was any time to act, it was now.
You take a step forward and call out to your trapped beloved, “Wanda?”
Kate urgently whispers, “Y/N, what the hell are you thinking!?”
Wanda snaps her head in the opposite direction then whimpers, “No, it’s only an echo.” She appears to be talking to somebody else.
You winced and walked forward once more; the clap of your boot echoed across the basement’s stone walls, “Wanda, I’m right here…follow my voice, detka.”
A familiar mist surrounds Wanda, then starts spreading through the air, “She’s dead, she burned…I saw it…and I did nothing,” Wanda cries; she starts shaking and blaming herself even more for your death.
“Baby, it wasn’t your fault - none of it was your fault!”
“Mmmm, no, no! I hurt my baby girl, my detka. There’s no going back from that.” Her voice quiets as she finishes.
You have an idea: the spirit box! You set your backpack down, unaware of Kate drawing her bow, ready to fire in case something were to go wrong, and you reach for your spirit box. You press the button and begin talking, “Wanda? Is it you?”
Wanda then perks up at the sound of your voice, which timbres and lulls her anxiety, “Detka? Are you a spirit here to haunt me?”
“Wanda, I’m not here to haunt you. You resurrected me, well, I got reincarnated, I guess…but, I’m here now!”
“Mmm, I don’t believe you,” her Russian accent was thick, and Wanda had a snarl attached to it, “My spell fizzled; Agatha fucked it up and tore my soul away from my body.”
Natasha speaks up, “Wanda, it did work…but not the way it was intended to anyway.”
Wanda is on high alert, “Natasha, I don’t want to hear it; I failed, simple as that.”
“Dorogoy,” you whined, “I’m right here.”
You take two steps forward before cupping her chin, “Do you feel me, my hand on your chin? Maybe a little pinch of your cheek?” you pinched her cheek; to your surprise, she felt real, just like Natasha’s spirit does. Agatha’s magic is faltering; how strange, you thought she was a powerful witch. Apparently not.
Your beloved Sokovian gasps and flinches but doesn’t pull away from your touch; she’s panting - holding back a rainfall of tears before you wrap your arms around Wanda’s torso, embracing her. Even as a wandering spirit, she’s still as warm as a summer’s day - she smells of lavender and daisies. Wanda regains control for a few moments and basks in your embrace, squealing and crying as she tightens the hug; you couldn’t care less if you were losing air; Wanda was the only person that mattered at the moment.
You beckon Natasha closer with a mumble, “NatashaGetOverHere….”
Natasha smiles and chuckles before joining the loving embrace. Finally, in four hundred years, you were together again. Agatha’s magic had drastically weakened over an hour. You figured that Wanda had something to do with it despite being under Agatha’s spell - you remember Wanda always being crafty and cunning with her magic. Did she allow Agatha to control her? It’s unclear, Agatha’s powerful display in the living room seemed unbeatable, and you saw Wanda succumbing to it…what gives?
“Wanda…?” you dragged the ‘a’.
Her hold loosens slightly, then replies, “Yes, my love?”
You considered how to pose your question, “What happened up there?”
“Agatha has a leash on me; that much is true, but her magic has weakened drastically. She’s planning on doing something big, and I don’t know what it could be,” Wanda explained as she let you go.
“Hmph, I wonder if it involves the lingering spirits still trapped here?” Kate had lowered her weapon the moment you and Wanda hugged; Kate raises a lantern to the ceiling to see hundreds of spirits flying upwards.
You and your lovers look upwards as well, seeing hundreds of spirits rise from beyond the grave. Come to think of it, didn’t the mission report say something about the townspeople forced to build a grave?
“Looks like Agatha is using Westview’s spirits to fuel something; Agatha, what the hell are you doing?” Natasha grumbles.
“Oh!” Wanda jumps, “Looks like I’m being called. Listen, the thing you were looking for is on Ag’s sweater, grab it and put it in the rune book then slam it on the ground, finish it off with-”
Wanda is fading away, “Don’t worry, detka…you remember how I always played pretend?” She winked as she disappears.
Wanda is about to walk a tightrope with what she’s about to do. Agatha is about to perform something big and no one knows what it is. Wanda and Nat are still not back in their bodies, thus rendering them almost useless against Agatha’s waning magical force. Weak magic is still magic so it will be super effective against Nat and Wanda, maybe not Wanda. Wanda’s power is steadily increasing from when Agatha used it on whatever she’s doing now.
Next, Nat will find a way to get her body back without magic and the hunt for Agatha continues. After all, you’ve only explored half of the mansion…it is a large complex after all. Who knows what could be waiting on the other side? Once you enter the other half of the mansion, well, let’s say you’ll be chasing more than ghosts.
Chapter 9: Near the End
I hope you enjoy this chapter; we're one chapter away from Agatha being beaten, thus ending the main story. I will be adding four bonus chapters then the story will be complete. Then, I'll post requests here as well.
You three stood in silence for a moment before huddling to discuss the next plan of action.
“Okay, Agatha is more than likely on the other side of the house where the balcony is. At least, that’s where I assume she set up shop.” Natasha explains, ushering you out of the basement with Kate attempting to keep up.
“I forgot that this place was a mansion; of course, it would have another side!” Kate staggers, unable to match Natasha’s abnormally quick walking speed.
“I never found myself traveling to this part of the house, I was always following Wanda around.” Natasha hurries along and ascends the stairs with you not far behind, unlike Kate, who is shocked at Natasha’s stamina…woman could probably go at it for an hour.
You three discuss what you would need before entering the other half of the now-withering mansion. The floorboards are cracking, walls are peeling like hangnails, and the ceiling is caving in on itself; Agatha’s energy is being directed elsewhere. Agatha is so focused on her current task that she is unaware of the hole in her armor. If the spell completely dissipates, Wanda will be free of Agatha’s magic leash and return to her body. However weak the spell may be, it will remain and forever bound Wanda and Nat to the lot regardless of whether they are in their bodies or not. Who knows, Agatha could find out Wanda's 'play pretend plan' and lose her marbles.
You and your party head back into the living room for final preparations. You search through your bag, making sure everything you need is in there. You find your EMF, flashlight, phone, and flash beacon still intact. You open your duffel bag and clutch your trusty iron rod, and swap your phone out for it. Any weapon will do as Avengers Supernatural is still figuring out schematics for ghost hunting weapons.
Kate grabs her bow & fully-stocked arrow quiver - it’s apparent that Kate has had enough of Agatha’s existence and has decided to end it…good for her!
Nat, still a spirit, sits idly as she admires your figure. Always the admirer, isn’t she?
While they’re preparing, here’s an encouraging memory…one to keep you pushing forward. It’s about a time when you, Wanda, and Nat were sitting on your cottage's rooftop and enjoying one another’s precious, loving company.
“You’re our world, Y/N,” Natasha says, holding your hand in hers and kissing your middle knuckle.
You were lost in thought as you stared down the valley, sitting on your cottage’s rooftop, and were snapped back to reality at the sudden song of Nat’s sincere confession. Your face flushed red, not knowing what to say in return. There wasn’t much to say; all you could offer was, “I love you too, Natasha.”
Wanda floats up to the rooftop and sits down next to you and smells your perfume, basking in your scent - you had sprayed on some of your favorite floral aromas that evening, knowing Wanda would take in your smell the moment she arrived. Wanda often took comfort in you or Natasha to ease any worries or anxieties she had that day. If overwhelmed, she was prone to anxiety attacks; you two would do the best you could to help her. Thankfully, Wanda hardly had any reason to be anxious.
Wanda rests her head on your shoulder and sighs dreamily, “I wish we could stay like this forever.”
“Me too,” you rested your head on top of hers for a moment and kissed her autumn-colored hair.
Moments like these stuck out to you the most when viewing memories: peaceful moments filled with happiness or laughter. After a day of maintaining your home, you three would make tea and sit outside admiring the world’s never-ending beauty and wonder. The orange and pink sunsets were your favorite; if something was your favorite - chances are that they were Wanda and Natasha’s favorite too and vice versa.
The love you three shared was so powerful and profound that it remained strong and true over four centuries. Love is fascinating to experience; being held in high regard by someone who trusts and cares for you is endearing and delightful. It’s something everyone deserves to experience and to feel love.
Wanda levitates a plate full of piping hot cups of green tea and serves you and Nat first before serving herself.
“Thank you, Wanda,” you and Nat say together, earning a hearty laugh from Wanda.
“Anything for my girls!” Wanda beams.
Natasha takes a small sip then rests her hands on her lap, “Tomorrow, I think we should go and explore, maybe take a dip into the pond?”
“Maybe have a hot bath afterward; my muscles ache,” You added.
“Mmm, I know of a few ways to ease your aches, detka,” Wanda winks.
You blush harder than before, “Oh my goodness, Wanda!”
“What? I know how to use my fingers; I could rub your back, your hands,” Wanda flicks her eyes to below your waistline, “And so much more, if you’d let me.”
“Save some for me,” Natasha deadpans, then smirks impishly.
“Oh, of course, Natty! I could never leave you out!” Wanda chuckles, holding in a howl of laughter from escaping her throat.
Small chats like these, while sipping on hot tea, were what made a hard day’s labor worth it. Each one ended with them becoming flirtier as the evening went on - it would usually end with you having no clothes on and feeling delightfully satisfied.
Your heart ached for those days’ return. Living a simple life out in the wilderness and making bread for a night’s dinner or hunting a fine game and cooking it over a fire. To harvest your garden’s vegetables, clean them off, and store them for later use. The late nights where you would knit or crochet in bed while your partners would dabble in their hobbies. Best of all, feeling them breathing and falling asleep to it while they were lulled by your gentle heartbeat.
That’s what you were fighting for today, four hundred years later; to live in a cottage undisturbed with your two amazing Russian lovers again. You are also fighting for Kate, your best friend, who has Yelena eagerly waiting for her return. All that you had to do was defeat Agatha.
Natasha speaks up, “You there, Y/N?” She must have noticed you spacing out.
“Oh! Yeah, I’m okay. Just looked into one of my memories for comfort is all,” You confessed.
“Aww, dreaming of our cottage days?” Nat smiles as she begins crawling over and then kisses your forehead.
“Yeah, life sure was simple then…no interruption from Agatha - just us three madly in love, living in a cozy cottage out in the woods where we were hardly ever bothered.” You sighed dreamily, “When this is all over, I’ll buy some land and building material, then we could build a cottage together, just the way we want it.”
You get off the floor to face Nat, who holds your waist, pulling you closer, “I’d love that.” Nat pecks your lips.
Kate had been mulling over her options and decided to take only her bow & arrow and the flash beacon, “Alright, you two. I know you want to play catch-up and all - don’t get me wrong, it’s cute - but we need to get this done, and soon, dawn is only a few hours away.”
“What happens at dawn?” you asked upon approaching Kate, who was on the other side of the room, near the fireplace.
Kate pulls her phone out and scrolls through her messages before finding an onslaught of notifications from Steve, Tony, Wong, Yelena, Bruce, and Strange, all but Yelena saying emergency extraction happens at exactly 6:15 am.
“Damn it, Steve - stubborn pile of shit!” your tired hands reach for your temples, but Natasha takes your hands in hers and holds them. Nat’s touch is the only comfort you have to stave off the tidal waves of memories; it soothes your mind instantly upon contact, you concluded.
“I don’t want him here either, believe me,” Kate snarled.
“Well, let’s move forward with it then. If she’s not in the basement, then she’s on the balcony preparing for who knows what.” Nat presses a kiss to your hands before letting them fall back to your waist. Natasha proceeds to walk down the hallway, beckoning you and Kate to follow.
You three take a right and up another flight of stairs onto the other half of the second floor, which is noticeably longer and wider than the first half you explored. More rooms and narrow corridors awaited you here, so were thousands of restless spirits. Knowing Agatha, she has used her magic once more to rile them up and blame Wanda and Natasha, therefore, aggravating and enraging them. Getting to Agatha won’t be easy; you still have Westview’s citizens to wade through.
To your left, the first door starts opening and closing, then starts swinging open and being slammed violently against the door frame. Scratching, rapping, and tapping start along the walls and ceiling, escalating to knocking and tearing the oak wood planks off the roof and smashing the floorboards into slivers, causing multiple holes to form. Wails and distant screams echo through the empty home, some soaring past you like a jet.
“Y/N, malyshka, I’m afraid I won’t be accompanying you until you reach Agatha.” Natasha’s face is downcast and pained.
“W-what!? Why!?” Your neutral expression falters and is covered in worry and a festering sadness.
“I can’t wander these halls, Agatha will do everything she can to tear you away from me, and I can’t afford to lose you again.” Nat wears a half-smile and breathes heavily, “Don’t worry, I won’t be far.”
“Okay, I trust you to do what’s right for all of us.” You smiled weakly at the fleeting moment, “Go, Kate and I will handle Westview’s spirits.”
“I love you.” Natasha rubbed circles on your hand, “All of this will be over soon, I promise.”
“I love you too, Natty.” With that, she fades into the wall - leaving only you and Kate to fend for yourselves.
You two grabbed your weapons and made your way through the haunted home to encounter wandering spirits floating through the wall ahead of you. All of them, in fact, appear to only move that way. No soul would move to a room on your left or right, only forward…they were drawn or pulled there by an unseen force. No violet or scarlet magic was responsible for their direction; perhaps the citizens were following a set path or were stuck in a time loop. Agatha must be using their combined energy to pry open the middle room, but why would she need their power to open a door when Wanda could do it whenever?
“Looks like Agatha is nearby my best guess is that she’s only a few halls down,” Kate calculates, “Are you ready to face her? Ah, what am I saying…none of us are.”
“You’re telling me, I’m finally taking down the woman who made my life hell. All we wanted was to live in a cottage and vibe.”
“I can’t imagine such pain; the worst thing that’s ever happened to me was when my mom paid some girl to kill Clint,” Kate admitted; she offered a helping hand by stretching an arm over your shoulders.
“I wish my case was simpler. Help two chicks get their bodies back and take them home, simple as that, but nooooo, Agatha had to be the cause of it all!” you groaned loudly, mocking Agatha as you go about, “At least after this is over, she’ll be dead.”
“What makes you say Agatha will die? Steve would rather have her alive and put into solitary confinement.”
You cackled then said, “Oh, oh! Wanda will not let her live, not after what she did to us; Agatha will die…even Agatha knows it.”
Kate’s lips purse, “Okay. That, yeah, that’s fine, you go, girl! Not gonna fuck with her.”
“We know, Y/N. We know.”
You grab your flashlight from your pullover’s pocket and flick it on - the moment the light shines, a phantom who bears silver eyes is curled up into a ball, rocking back and forth and whispering to itself. It looks up into the beam and screams before vanishing into the wall. Other ghosts start crawling from the shattered wood floors mumbling and grumbling incoherent sentences. You and Kate start maneuvering around their grabby hands, and you draw your weapons in case one ghoul grabs your ankle.
Surprisingly, they’re slow, and no damage was done. Upon leaving the hall, you hear their arms being painfully dragged down through the planks; some get stuck and are then violently slaughtered by a slash of scarlet magic. Wanda must be helping out when she had the opportunity.
You turn on your spirit box and start talking, “Nat, what the hell is going on here?”
No idea; Agatha is blocking me off - I can’t see her; she’s behind a tinted magic barrier. Give me more time, dorogoy - I’ll be there soon.
The spirit box’s battery starts to whirr and whine, heating up the hard plastic within seconds, almost to the point where you felt it burning your thigh. In one sudden movement, you chucked it down the hallway, and it exploded on the floor. You and Kate swung around the corner and bolted down the hallway before more supernaturals started spawning further down the corridor. A familiar red mist consumes them, rotting each supernatural in your path; it quickly subsides, allowing you to sprint without interruption.
Along the way, Wanda assists in vanquishing the foul creatures of the night that were once Westview’s citizens. None of them were released into heaven; their souls became beasts driven by rage, thus corrupting them into a supernatural. Once a spirit becomes a beast, there’s no going back. Agatha’s magic forces them to abandon their humanity in exchange for a never-ending hunger.
You and Kate ran down flights of stairs and through many hallways before a door slowly opened to reveal Natasha. You and Kate stop and start chugging down water; you’ve been running for thirty minutes. Natasha no longer has a spiritual glow like before. Instead, she’s…back in her body?
“Nat?” you asked, “Wh-what’s up with you? Are you okay?”
Nat grabs your shoulders and smiles, “I’m okay, detka. I managed to get my body back…the floor collapsed underneath the middle room, and that’s why I had to leave; forgive me, detka.”
“You’re fine, my love, I- you’re back in your body!” you hugged Natasha, tightly wrapping yourself around her.
You feel Natasha falling to the floor, her weight dragging you down with her, “Woah, Woah! Easy there, Nat.” you steadied her, “What happened?”
Natasha pants for a moment; her breath is shaky and frantic, “I forgot about the whole -” she swallows hard, “breathing thing.”
“Right, I - forgot that you were ‘dead’ for hundreds of years.” You commented, holding Natasha in place as she gets her bearings straight.
Kate gets down on her knees and offers Nat her water bottle, to which Nat greedily accepts and downs the water within a few gulps. Nat breathes hard and heavy as she attempts to regain balance with your assistance. Nat is back on her feet with little effort, although she is wobbly in her movement. She leans on you for more support; you hoist Nat on your shoulder before asking where the balcony is and if she’s ready to go.
“The balcony is to the right, then a left, then straight ahead. Agatha waits for us there. Let me see if I have my dagger on me, first.” Nat checks under her dress and finds a sharp, iron dagger with a black handle under her second pair of clothes, “Aha!”
“Hold up, where did that fall out from?” Kate’s eyes widened.
“It came out of…her breast pocket?”
Natasha then takes off her black dress to reveal a pair of commoner clothes, “Okay, now I’m ready!” Nat brandishes her dagger.
“Before we leave,” you paused, dusting yourself off, “Where’s Wanda’s body?”
“I didn’t see it on the bed where I put it; I assume Agatha figured out Wanda’s little plan by now. We must go, quickly!” Nat ordered.
Nat leads you and Kate down the path she spoke of, and you three encounter a wall of thick fog; it’s more akin to smoke than fog. The stench emanating from the smoke is wretched; it reeks of rotting flesh and murky water. Moisture makes its way onto the floor, causing the floorboards to crack and rot, hissing as it decays. The substance left by the fog resembles acid and mucous; it’s also bubbling like boiling water. It would pop and growl too. You three back away slowly as the acidic substance starts spreading outwards, infecting the wall with green juices, almost like the super vegetarian smoothie you find at the grocery store that expired three weeks ago.
“It’s alive?” Kate is awestruck as the diseased green oozes off the wall like a five-year-old with a cold.
“Maybe?” You wondered, “Agatha, what have you done?”
Kate pulls out the EMF and turns it on to reveal that the green ooze is filled with spiritual energy, “Whatever she’s doing, it might involve all of Old Westview’s restless ghosts.”
“We should enter before the floor collapses,” Natasha states, “Let’s go.”
The walls hiss and crackle, resembling a raging fire - green ooze starts seeping from the infected throbbing veins. It feels alive; this house is thriving with an alien life created from the ectoplasm of the deceased. You swear eyes are forming within the holes and cracks.
Only then do you realize that the sound of fire is not coming from the ooze but from below you. You gaze through the cracks and witness a firestorm forming beneath you; it becomes larger and fierce.
Kate feels the slime and comments, "This feels like…oil." Kate looks through a hole in the floor and sees the connection, her eyes widening.
"We need to get out of here, now!" You screamed as you dragged Kate and Nat out and away from the fog wall.
You three bolt down the dilapidated stairs avoiding the reaching arms of the damned, even swinging at some who were in your path. Each supernatural went down without effort, disappearing into the black of night. The raging fire shreds through the support beams and the foundation, tearing the house down. You arrived in the living room, grabbed your backpacks and duffle bags, and sprinted out the door and to the van. Upon opening the van's door, the house detonates in a blast of hellfire. In the background, you see a few rooms held up by Wanda's magic to probably preserve precious items.
A purple bubble is floating towards you from the inferno, holding Agatha and Wanda’s body. Wanda’s spirit is nowhere to be seen, but a glowing red flask is in Agatha’s left hand while her right keeps the magic bubble steady. She should be mindlessly performing magic, given her power, but it appears that Agatha is struggling to keep it afloat.
Agatha and Wanda drop a few feet before Agatha stumbles over. Wanda’s hold of the rooms falters, and they fall from ten feet in the air, causing a minor tremor. Your Sokovian’s body landed in a bush; Agatha doesn’t seem to care about Wanda’s comatose body. All that matters is the red orb in the flask, and in that flask, you can now see the orb writhing. Agatha somehow contained Wanda in a tiny glass container, and boy did your blood boil at that.
Chapter 10: The End
It's been a journey, honestly. Thank you all for supporting 'Chasing More Than Ghosts'! I will be publishing exclusive bonus chapters on Tumblr, @auraticere.
It’s only you, Kate, and Natasha versus Agatha in the first and last battle to save Wanda. No holds barred. The mansion is destroyed, save for a few rooms, and all that’s left is a battlefield filled with wooden scraps.
Agatha shakes the flask, and the wisp screeches as it sloshes around, "I think I might have something you want."
Her expression is uncaring, colder than ice; burn marks and scratches are scattered across her entire face. One long gash went from Agatha's cheek to her left eye, dry blood on full display, her left eye is completely gone - only an empty hole remained; thus, she had wholly closed that eye. A few wounds were relatively fresh, still bleeding and oozing. Agatha's hair had been charred from the firestorm, meaning she had barely escaped the explosion with her bubble.
"Wanda…what did you do?" You whined pathetically as Agatha stepped forward.
"Oh, I'll tell you!" Agatha spat venom as she spoke, "While you were preparing to kill me, she decided to cast a few curses all while she slept. It's magic on autopilot." Agatha is having difficulty standing up straight.
"Incredible," Nat loses her breath.
"Still, I can't die until my spell is broken…but you already knew that," Agatha chuckled breathlessly.
"Uh-huh. We aim to end you, Agatha - you aren't getting out of here alive." You snarled as Agatha popped the flask's cork, stringing the will-o-wisp upon the length of her middle finger.
“I know that, but damn am I going to try to ruin everything for you!” Agatha proclaims as she forces Wanda’s soul into the palm of her hand and smothers the spirit with a crushing grip.
With a click of her fingers, Wanda’s soul returns into a physical manifestation - purple streaks of pulsating magic envelop her. You know she’s playing pretend, but to what extent? There’s a slight smirk gracing Wanda’s lip, and a faint hue of scarlet resonates in her corrupted eyes. She’s in control…now what?
Wanda conjures a familiar scarlet fog surrounding the property’s edge, trapping you all in an arena whose borders would instantly kill you.
“Banish that preppy little archer, would you, dearie?” Agatha commands, purple magic gleams in her eye as she lifts her corrupted fingers.
Wanda’s fingers curl into a claw, and under her breath mutters, “Forgive me.” Wanda shoots a scarlet bolt at Kate’s chest, knocking her into a portal Wanda had quickly conjured with a swift swipe of her hand. After Kate flies into the portal, it closes behind her, thus stranding Kate wherever Wanda chooses.
That only leaves you and Nat on the opposite side of the field with hardly any defense other than your blessed amulet and an iron rod which will do you no good here - same with Natasha’s blade. All you need to do is get that brooch off Agatha’s shirt and apply it to the rune’s center, then this could be all over.
Agatha whisks her index finger into the air, black storm clouds rolling with clapping thunder. The clouds expand across the sky, blackening the land - consuming all light in its wake. Lightning bolts rapidly flashed, searing through the clouds as they eagerly waited to hit the ground. The air is charged with warming magic that becomes hotter by the second.
“Wanda,” Agatha, awestruck, looks up into the dark storm raging above her, “What are you planning?”
Agatha’s binding spell shatters, then reassembles itself around Agatha, chains wrapping around her like a python on a crocodile, “You’re weaker than I thought.” Wanda scoffed, clutching her hands filled with crimson smoke.
Agatha growls as the chains become tighter than a vice, “I was a threat, then you cast a few forbidden spells that even my coven feared!”
Your former master performs odd gestures with her fingers which causes a weak blue lightning bolt to hit the ground near Natasha, barely hitting its target. Natasha is flung back a yard, nearly consumed by Wanda’s toxic mist in the process, but the fog promptly expands.
“Sounds like a you problem,” Wanda levitates off the ground and floats towards Agatha, further constricting her, “I mean…you burned my wife into ash because you couldn’t have her as your personal sex toy. You don’t get to complain when I burn you back!”
“I killed her for the hell of it, her death drove you crazy and I got off to it! I messed with you, tampered with every little spell you created, and look where it got you: close to death and alone, forced to wander the empty halls of my cage. Only now did you have the strength to fight back, Wanda!”
“I had no reason to fight back until now. When we learned Y/N was reincarnated, we did everything we could to see her again. You won’t take us away from her ever again.” Wanda clutched her hands tightly, scarlet magic surging through Agatha’s veins, rotting her from within. Agatha growls in agony with each second.
“Natasha!” you rushed over to your injured beloved, holding her up.
“I’m okay, dorogoy.” Natasha cups your cheek then kisses your lips before speaking, “It’s almost over…follow Wanda’s instructions, could you do that for us, baby?” Natasha is desperate for Agatha’s defeat that you could smell said desperation - smells like smoke and flowers.
“Yes, I will. I - we’re so close, Nat. We’ll be living together again, just us.”
“So close, baby. Go, Wanda is waiting for you,” Nat lovingly stares into your eyes, pulling you in for a hot and heavy kiss before patting your back, subtly telling you to go.
“What about you?”
“It only hit the ground in front of me, I’ll be fine, go!” Nat points to your left.
You turn your attention to the action ahead. Agatha’s health has rapidly deteriorated over a few minutes. Her flesh has rotted to where you could see her jawbone, exposed flesh, and some teeth. The witch can’t move even if she wanted to - you could see thick blood dripping from every place imaginable. Agatha is having moderate difficulty breathing, every breath sounded like iron on iron.
Wanda lowers your adversary to the dirt and then beckons you to grab the brooch. You comply, sprinting over to the rotting husk of a woman who starts thrashing and sobbing; you tear the pin off of her collar and hold the gem in your palm, glancing over it before clutching it as you put your backpack down. You find the rune book, and not even before you place the brooch into its center, Agatha shrieks and cries, begging you not to reverse her spell.
Her pleas fall on deaf ears, “Wanda, what was the phrase I needed to say?”
Wanda doesn’t hear you; a demanding red aura engulfs her with an unquenchable rage, “You know what Y/N’s first thought was when she woke up each morning?” Wanda and Agatha’s nose are touching tips, “Me and Natasha, not you. You were never mentioned once while we cuddled. Always an afterthought, a lingering parasite in the back of my wife’s mind. I now have the opportunity to purge you from this world, from Y/N’s mind…forever.”
Agatha’s mouth is shut tight with magic.
“Vanish,” Wanda tells you.
You delicately place the gem in the center, closing the book and slamming it directly below you, “VANISH!” you yelled into the air.
All of Headmaster Agatha’s stationed spells reveal themselves, illuminating the property with bright violet light. Each piece of Agatha’s spell breaks, shattering like glass on the pavement, and you feel it breaking. You feel weights being unchained from your shoulders. The immortalization spell and the soul tear; everything is crumbling into dust. Agatha looks on in defeat, sorrow plastered like hardened clay on her rotted face.
“Heh, fuck.” Agatha slumps over, unable to keep her head up, “If only I had known about your damned curses and your playing pretend bullshit!”
An arrow whizzes by your right ear, piercing Agatha’s left eye socket; a faint beeping is the only sound you can hear. Knowing Kate, it’s probably an explosive arrow. Wanda looks at the arrow, then at you, then back to the arrow before you two nod in agreement. Wanda waves goodbye for now and fades away while you run like hell towards Natasha, who is now back on her feet. Natasha grabs you to shield you from the disgusting flesh explosion about to occur.
Within seconds you hear Kate’s explosive arrow go off and are greeted by sloshing and plopping of blood and flesh chunks splattering across the dirt and wood scraps.
It’s over; Agatha is dead. There is no more torment from Agatha; all that’s left is living the rest of your life with Wanda and Natasha.
Natasha holds you close, tightening the loving, protective embrace as you start sobbing into her shoulder, “It’s over, it’s over. We’re finally together again!” you repeated numerous times.
You feel Nat’s chest tighten and heave, her cries are silent like the night and the shadows she steps in. Nat sniffles excessively, and her tears moisten your hoodie’s shoulder. You feel as if you’re about to collapse until you feel a second pair of arms coil around you and Natasha. It’s Wanda; her natural scent fills your nose as her face nuzzles against your neck. Wanda’s smile is contagious and bright; a joyous laugh escapes her throat as you three take each other in, entirely, for the first time in what feels like forever.
A few minutes pass, and Kate comes strolling into the picture. Kate decides to leave you three alone as she informs Yelena of the mission’s success and would be extracting without telling the other departments. Kate figured you wouldn’t want to deal with anyone in high command, considering your current state of exhaustion and your mentality wearing thin. At this moment, you couldn’t care about the repercussions of your rebellion; you found your mind always redirected at Wanda and Natasha, who still held you and kissed you.
Kate, unfortunately, must interrupt your reunion, “Sorry to ruin your moment, but uh, we gotta go…we’re needed back at the compound.”
“Let’s get some rest, loves. We’ll have plenty of time for…fun activities tomorrow.” Wanda winked and chuckled seductively; she yawns and rubs her eyes, “Sleepytime! Yay!”
Everyone heads to the van; Kate informs your wives (girlfriends?) that there’s a mattress in the van they could crash on for the journey home. Both don’t respond; their attention is solely on you alone; they make sure you’re okay, and they thank you for everything.
It’s time to go home and rest for the day; you earned it.
You head inside the back of the van with your girlfriends and are greeted by an old mattress covered in your blankets and ruffled pillows. Wanda floats toward the back while Nat ushers you into the middle with her following behind you. This reminds you of the way you slept back in the day: Wanda on your right, you in the middle, and Nat on your left - both laying their heads on your chest, falling asleep to the sound of you. In no time at all, you found Wanda and Nat laying their heads on you, relishing in the sound of your breathing and your beating heart.
Wanda hums, “I missed you so much, detka. To have you, here and now, fills my heart with endless joy. No one is ever taking you away from me again .” she growled the last part.
“It’s okay, Wanda…I’ll make sure she is safe at all times,” Nat reassures the protective witch, “I promise.”
“Mmm, ours. No one else’s girl, ours.” Wanda sleepily declares, murmuring sweet nothings into your ear which would be broken by a random, ‘I love you’, ‘Such a pretty girl’’, or an ‘All ours’. Wanda kept twirling a strand of your y/h/c hair as she struggled to keep her eyes open, eventually succumbing to the lull of your heartbeat and breathing.
Natasha is resilient and resists the temptation of slumber, barely, “Thank you, Y/N for freeing us…now we get to live side-by-side in peace. Maybe a cottage funded by your ‘Ghost Hunting Department’?”
“They paid me plenty for my previous hunts. I was hoping to build one just the way we want it, have a construction company help us with the house and a shed, we’ll do the rest ourselves?” You suggested, yawning in the process.
“You’re so adorable when you’re sleepy,” Nat complimented as she nuzzled her face into the crook of your neck, “We need all the sleep we can get, love.”
“Okay,” you kissed her forehead; Wanda is quietly snoring into your ear, “I love you, Nat.”
“I love you too, malyshka.” Natasha returns the kiss.
Kate quietly speaks, primarily to herself, but it’s loud enough for you and Natasha to hear, “Holy shit, stop being so adorable.”
“No, I don’t think I will.” You quipped, yawning heavier than last time.
Not long after that, you and Natasha fall asleep together with Wanda, whose snoring has gotten slightly louder.
You all left Agatha’s mostly decomposed corpse, or what was left of it, behind at the property. Animals would get to her before you, Wanda, and Nat would return for a few things for your future house as a few rooms survived thanks to Wanda. There’s nothing left to do other than that, purchasing property, building the cottage of your dreams, and leaving Avengers Supernatural for good.
Kate calls Yelena, and they mull over the mission report while you and your Russian lovers sleep.
What lies ahead is bright and beautiful for you three. No one is going to stop you from accomplishing your newfound dreams, not this time. There will be time to build your dream cottage soon, yet there are piles of paperwork to do. Integrating two people from four hundred years ago isn’t going to be easy, especially in today’s advanced society.
You’ll deal with Steve and the rest of the department’s wrath later; what’s more important is that you have your family back, all as one. As you dream along with them, you look ahead and see your future in a cottage - baking bread and planting vegetables and flowers. The best has yet to come. For now, there are plenty of paperwork and mission reports to go over in the meantime. The sun is slowly creeping up the horizon, signaling the beginning of a fresh start for you, Wanda, and Natasha - to live in solitude, unbothered by the outside world.