So I saw you were looking for request so here I am!!
Basically Natasha and Reader are arguing because Natasha came out of no where and started accusing Reader of doing something but the reader is just like “what? What are you even talking about I didn’t do that” but Natasha doesn’t believe her and walks out and doesn’t talk to the reader for awhile until one of the avengers has to explain to Natasha that reader didn’t do anything wrong and it was someone else.
You can end it any way you want to.
Anyways bye hope you have a nice day/evening/night￼￼
Pairing: Natasha Romanoff x F!Reader
Genre: Angst, Fluff
Warnings: Arguing, yelling ofc, Nat ignoring R at first, a punch, a push, mentions of beating, mentions of past hydra affiliation, an emotional rollercoaster i think, like 20 people get beheaded im joking
A/N: this was not supposed to take as long as it did. that is a fault on my behalf and i am sorry for the prolonged wait but now here we are if you're still interested. I hope you don't mind video games bc that's what R is doing before shit hits the fan. First angst fic so i'm kinda nervous butt i've read a fuckton of it so I tried to incorporate that into my own ideas? but enough from me since i've made you wait long enough. and pleaseeee enjoy
I Did What..? (N.R)
Your typical day at the compound consisted of waking up next to the most beautiful redhead in the cosmos, giving her a kiss, followed by 20 more, showering, eating breakfast, training/mission, then you hop on the game.
After a long day of saving people and interacting with them it's nice to have something to ease your mind at the end of the day.
Your favorite game was Call of Duty Black Ops 4. Occasionally, Natasha would join you but she was busy giving Wanda some pointers to hone her hand to hand combat skills. So it was just you and that's normally how you liked it.
You don't have to worry about reviving any of your teammates nor yourself since you're damn good at the game and you can go through whichever easter egg much quicker.
It was around 6:30PM and you'd beaten Voyage of Despair twice before moving onto Ancient Evil.
Your day was pretty good. You were able to play Xbox all day without any distractions from that eccentric boy Tony always has around. No Morgan to beg you to let her play with you then throw a hissy fit when you throw her out. Nobody bothered you and it was great. It was like nothing could ruin your good day and you were happy about that.
Days like this aren't common for you unless Natasha is around or in close proximity to you so you were proud of your improvement since Hydra.
Natasha still hadn't returned to your shared room and it's not that you thought something happened to her, it's just that she said she'd only be with Wanda for an hour and it's been 3 of those.
You contemplated searching for her but you were so close to the boss fight and you were sure she was alright so you turned your attention back to the game.
You were delivering the final shot to the Boss, Zeus, on Ancient Evil when the door to your bedroom flew open and in the doorway stood Natasha.
The angered look on her face was foreign to you as you ran up to her to engulf her in a bone crushing hug after not seeing her all day.
"I missed you Natasha you left me alone a lot longer than you promised to." You said as you buried your head in her chest.
Upon seeing this Natasha almost felt bad for being angry at you. She knew you were fragile as far as emotions and wanted to forget about the whole thing and cuddle you for infinity but that quickly subsided when she remembered why she was here.
That fucking conversation with Wanda. She knew deep down inside her that you would never betray her like this but her mind was so clouded with her emotions that she didn't even think when she pushed you off her.
You hit the ground hard but for you it felt like a cloud.
"Natty?" You asked confused by her sudden actions. It was then you looked up and noticed how pissed she looked but in a dangerously calm way.
You knew Natasha would never intentionally hurt you but the way she was right now you weren't entirely sure so you stood up and thought of what to do.
You're not exactly good in situations like this but you remembered the time she taught you how to handle people's emotions the correct way so you thought you'd put that knowledge to use right now.
"Do you need me to give you space?" You tried. No response.
Okay i'll try this.
"Do you wanna talk about it ?" You asked again.
This caused a reaction in Natasha as she moved from her spot in the doorway to the bed. It was like her body was on autopilot. Wanda words kept replaying in her mind like a broken record.
"You know I heard Y/N has the hots for Maria and if i'm being honest i can totally see it. Last week when you were on that mission in Siberia Maria kept going in and out of Y/N's room and they said that if you listen close enough you could hear squeals and what sounded moans. In my opinion the potential they have is amazing and they'd be such a cute couple. it's like a perfect fit, Maria's so tall and y/n isn't exactly short bu-"
Natasha had tuned Wanda out by then. She didn't need to hear another word. Wanda was still new kinda like you so she didn't know that you and Nat had a thing going on but the way she spoke of you and Maria made her sick to her stomach. She felt as if the whole world had been dropped on her.
She ended the training early and decided to walk around the compound in attempts to clear her mind but that was soon proven to be unhelpful.
Her mind was screaming at her to not believe the allegations but when she heard other people around the building talking about it she couldn't think otherwise and made her way to your shared room with murder on her mind. not literally
"Helloo Natty are you there?" Natasha was snapped back to reality by the feeling of you lightly shaking her shoulder.
"Why did you sleep with Maria while I was gone?" The question was so eerily calm that it would make anyone feel as if they were in an unsurmountable amount of danger.
"Natty what do you mea-"
"Don't fucking lie to me y/n i've heard what everyones been saying. That you fucked Maria on multiple occasions while i was in Siberia."
The words were coming out so calm and smoothly that anybody else would think she was asking a simple question but you could see the fire burning in her eyes.
"Natasha i didn't sleep with Maria I was just showing her-"
"Showing her what y/n!" Natasha exclaimed as she stood up. This caused you to shrink up a little out of instinct from past experiences.
"N-no i was just sh-showing her my vi-"
"Yeah showing her your virginity." Nat mumbled under her breathe and somehow it didn't reach your enhanced ears.
Something inside Natasha was screaming at her to stop but her anger overtook that something.
"You know something y/n I really thought I could trust you. I helped you free your mind of your past. I opened up to you and told you things about myself that i've never told anybody. Not even Clint and you go and pull this shit. We could've been great together Y/N and I knew that ever since we brought you back from Hydra but obviously a mistake. Once a fuck up always a fuck up."
Whatever fear you had quickly went away as those words came out of her mouth. Who did she think she was to criticize you on your past mistakes and blame you for something you had no idea about. All you wanted to do was show Maria your video game collection and maybe make another friend so that everyone could see that you were capable of redeeming yourself just like Bucky and Wanda. Was that such an issue ? Apparently it was.
"Oh so now you have no-" Natasha started but you quickly cut her off.
"Ever since you brought me back from Hydra the whole fucking building has been against me Natasha even the ex Hydra members who, you would assume, understood the hell I went through and how I was currently feeling. Maybe they could've, I don't know, helped me understand what I was feeling instead of dragging me through the dirt because I sure as hell didn't know. The only people who didn't treat me like absolute shit the whole time I've been here was you. You understood what it was like to be broken and molded into someone you didn't want to become. You were the one who taught me what it was to be a person and helped me work out my feelings. You showed me a whole new world Natasha and you're just gonna throw that away become of some bullshit you heard on the streets ? And FYI the only reason Maria was here a lot was because she asked me if she could start joining in on my gaming and I gladly said yes. She said she wanted to get know me instead of the shit she heard from everyone else and you know what ? It was nice to have someone else to talk to while you were gone. It was like a breath of fresh air to know that not everyone was against me but I didn't know me finally being willing to trust someone other than you would lead to the one I love the most treating me as if I'm a terrorist and I get it I am. I am a terrorist i'm a murderer a fucking psycho killer but guess what Natalia Romanova SO. ARE. YOU.!" You said jamming your finger into her chest with each punctuation.
The use of her real name and your outburst caused Natasha to realize what she was doing as she tried to pull you into her arms.
"Baby let's talk this through I didn't mea-"
"Don't touch me Natalia. You hurt me. You hurt me a lot more than Hydra or anyone here ever could and you wanna know why? Because I fucking love you and for you to turn around and lay this shit on me hurt a LOT you may not care and I don't know how to explain it but it hurt Natalia and I want you to know how much you hurt me because I never want to see your face again."
"Baby don't say that you don't mean it listen I'm so-"
"I said get OUT!" You screamed as your powers started to take control of your body causing you to shake with anger.
The tears were flowing from both of your eyes was unknown to you as Natasha stood up and slowly made her way to the door knowing what your powers could do if you lost control. Hell it was way worse than what Wanda could do.
Natasha stopped to take one last look at you in hopes that you would let her redeem herself but you only pointed towards the door and said one word.
"Go." And she did. She left and she immediately regretted it as she heard glass shatter from behind your door. She wanted to turn around and go back inside.
She wanted to kick herself for letting a silly rumor get to her. She wanted to break that door down and hold you and talk things out like responsible adults but she knew that if she went back in there while you were in this state, or if she went back in there at all, that just might be the last time she ever saw the light of day.
She contemplated paying a special visit to Wanda for putting these things in her head but instead she went to the source of the problem.
Natasha knocked on the woman's office door and awaited a response but she didn't get one. She tried again before she opened the door to see that Maria was not in her office so she decided to ask Jarvis.
"Jarvis can you tell me where Maria is please it's urgent ?"
"Miss Hill is currently in Y/N's Room but may I inform you that Y/N has specifically asked me to not let you into her room." The A.I. responded.
Those words hit Natasha like a church bell. Maria is with...you. In your shared room probably holding you like Natasha wanted to. Maria is the one comforting you when it should be her there picking up the pieces she so messily threw all over the place.
She could just see it now and it made her sick. She resented herself for her actions and she wanted to make it up but will you accept her back ? Did she even lose you ?
Everything that happened today was giving Natasha one hell of a headache and if she was being honest she needed a drink. Bad. So she headed over to Tony's.
"Ahh Romanoff how's it going?" Tony asked as he opened the door to his lab but he quickly took in the look on her face and stepped aside to let her in.
Tony wanted to ask what was on her mind but instead he just poured her the drink she so desperately needed.
After her 7th shot he took the bottle from her.
"What the fuck Stark?"
"Easy Romanoff I just wanna ask you something. " When she didn't respond he continued. "Is this about Y/N and Maria?"
Tony didn't even get a chance to react as Natasha sent a quick right hook to his jaw.
"HOLY FUCKING HELL ROMANOFF!" Tony exclaimed as he rubbed his jaw in pain. "I guess it is about them huh." He asked rhetorically but the question still made her tense up and glare at Tony.
"Woah now Red. Don't take my words as an insult i'm just trying to figure out why you came to my lab at... nine o clock at night."
Had it really been that long Natasha thought to herself. Everything happened so fast that she couldn't even register time.
"Yeah it's about them. I fucked up Tony. I let these stupid fucking rumors get to my head and I said shit to Y/N that I would've never said if I was in the right state of mind scratch that I shouldn't have said any of that period I can't make excuses for my mistakes. I know she's delicate coming straight outta Hydra and all but I don't know what came over me it's like I became a whole 'nother person."
Tony didn't interrupt once nor did he know what the fuck Natasha said to you, but he did know that none of the rumors were true but how exactly did he tell Natasha this without risking the possibility of death or serious life threatening injuries but you only live once so fuck it.
"So you do kno-"
"I know. I'm just fucking ignorant. She tried to tell me so many times that that wasn't the case but I didn't listen and now I think I just lost the one true person I ever gave a fuck about. How do I even face her when Maria is with her giving her the love and affection she should be getting from me in a situation like this."
Tony smiled as he saw you walk through the door. Not because he liked you per se don't get him wrong he doesn't hate you like everyone else but he doesn't exactly invest his time in trying to get to know you. He smiled because he knew you caught the last few lines of Natasha's rant and hopefully Nat would leave so he can finish his work. As much as he loved his red haired friend he loved working his ass off more.
"Natasha?" You called out and this made Natasha turn around so fast you'd think she'd have whiplash. She couldn't believe her eyes as she got up and started walking towards you.
"Baby I-" She started but you hushed her and pulled her outside.
"Listen I really wanna-" Natasha started again but she stopped when you placed your arms around her neck and brought her in for a kiss. And another. And another. Followed by another until you finally spoke.
"I know i'm not good with my emotions but when you started accusing me of sleeping with Maria it felt like a fire was starting inside of me and I wanted to extinguish it but the flames kept growing and somebody was trying to put them out but the flames engulfed them entirely and that somebody was me and I had to watch that somebody burn alive and it-"
"Shhh you don't have to explain yourself. If anything I should be the one explaining. Actually I don't think I can explain what I said to you but I can at least try. I didn't mean any of those words I said okay ? Not a single one but that doesn't exclude the fact that I still said them.
"No Natty you were right once a fuck up always a fuck up I can accept that because it's true but what I can't accept is how I called you all those horrible names but I forgive you."
Natasha watched confused as you backed away from her and opened your arms in an assumingely hugging gesture but instead you said
"Go ahead and beat me as many times as you'd like I can take it. As long as you don't leave me i'll let you hit me as much as you want as compensation for what I said to you earlier and for being involved in something that made you mad. I shouldn't have been talking to Maria in the first place and that's a fault on my behalf i'm sorry so go ahead and get it over with."
Natasha heart broke at the sight of you. She knew you were only doing this because Hydra would beat you for the slightest reason. It's like a defense mechanism for you. Over-explaining and degrading yourself in an attempt to get off the hook.
Natasha took a step towards you and you closed your eyes as you braced yourself for the impact but instead you were engulfed in the warmest hug ever.
You opened your eyes confused as to why you weren't being flung around right now but as if she read your mind, Natasha answered the question for you.
"I would NEVER inflict ANY kind of harm onto you even if it meant saving my life do you understand me Y/N L/N?"
You didn't exactly grasp the concept of what she was saying because if you did something wrong then a harsh punishment should follow but you liked how Natasha arms felt. The same feeling you got when you woke up in them every morning unless she was on a mission.
"I'm sorry. i'm sorry. i'm sorry. im sorry. i'm sorry. im sorry. im sorry." Natasha said between kisses.
"Natty I already told you I forgive you."
"I know but what you just said and did shattered my heart into a million little pieces. I just want you to know that despite everything you've been through and despite all the shit that unfolded today, I love you Y/N. I love you so fucking much that I could scream it from the top of Mount Olympus and it still wouldn't be enough to express my love for you because that's how much I fucking love you."
"So, tell me who all was fucking with you while I was gone."
Today was probably the weirdest day you'd had in a while but you're sure that weirder days were to come especially since you're an Avengers dating another Avenger but you wouldn't have it any other way especially if you had a Natasha Romanoff by your side.
A/N: Too much ? Too little ? I never wrote angst before so I kinda just went with the flow. Let me know in the comments please and thank youuuuuu for reading and for your request.
letters home ii
where the heart is
Pairing: Natasha Romanoff x fem!Reader
Word Count: ~6600
Warnings: not proofread
(A/N): Life, man. Takes a lot out of you right now, doesn't it? Hope everyone is doing alright.
Summary: Your love is the ink you wrote with. Or: Natasha receives her first letter.
letters home - Prologue , letters home i - to know your name
|| And I'll be in denial for at least a little while / What about the plans we made? ||
“Tangerines and clementines are both varieties of the mandarin orange. Did you know that?”
“Melina told me.”
You hum on the other end of the line, and Natasha presses the receiver closer to her ear to hear it better. The wind has picked up some time ago now, urging more heavy clouds towards the shabby telephone booth she’s in.
“She tells you a lot.” Your voice is scratchy, static. The latter Natasha can blame on the weather; the former she doesn’t know if she can ask about.
So, she answers you instead. “She does.” Melina tells her about oranges and bioluminescence, about history and fiction, Schlatter and his invention of Aspartame, and a part of Natasha cannot help but feel proud of being able to memorize it all to relay it all to you.
“How’s Brussels?” She asks when you don’t respond. Melina told her about that, too. A month later, Natasha still doesn’t know whether the remark was more than a simple slip of the tongue, but she’s glad for it all the same. There are only two safe houses in Brussels that have a landline. Out of those, there’s only one that she knows the number of. Yours, as luck would have it.
“Is that why your voice sounds like that?”
You don’t answer.
“How’s Katya?” She tries. “I haven’t heard from her in a while.”
“Ekaterina is fine.”
Natasha expects a follow-up, some background noise from the widow in question, a shout, or some disgruntled groan like the ones that came before. But you remain silent, and whatever noises Katya—no, Ekaterina, Natasha corrects in her mind—used to make do not come either.
“She is...” you continue eventually, words carrying with a wheezing sigh, “resting.”
A dull thud sounds on the other line. She thinks you might have pressed the receiver closer to your mouth because when you speak again, your voice is louder than before. Raspier too, and just a tiny bit nasal. “Very,” you agree.
The phone beeps in a low, flat sound, and Natasha digs her hand into her pocket to look for yet another coin. She throws it in. The call continues. You remain silent.
“Are you...” she licks her lips, twisting the cord around her index finger.
“Lonely.” She swallows. “Are you lonely?”
“I…” The metal casing of the payphone is cool against her forehead when she leans against it. Natasha wishes it weren’t. She wishes it were warm, wishes it were you—your shoulder, your collarbones—resting under her. Wishes it was your warmth meeting hers; a gentle, feverish hello. “A little.”
You don’t answer for some time, terribly curt where you were anything but before. She feels the difference in her bones, her blood, the briefness she once associated with drowsy mornings making her heart ache now. It’s foreign, and it’s wrong, and a part of her cannot help but wonder whether speaking more would bring you the same amount of relief as hearing it would do her.
“It will be over soon,” you say, and she wants to cry at the sudden sound. “Okay?”
“Okay,” you echo, sweetly, softly. “Soon.”
Natasha nods and closes her eyes. Cold and teary-eyed, she imagines pressing her face against your chest, hearing your heartbeat instead of the rain, feeling your palms on her cheeks rather than Yelena’s, always sticky with juice or dirty from outside.
I missed you, she wants to whisper into your skin. I miss you. You’re here with me, and I miss you. I missed you more when you weren’t in my arms, and I shall miss you most when you’re back in them because you weren’t in them once. She imagines drawing you closer then, pressing into your touch until no more room remains. Resting skin to skin, she’ll have the strength to say more. Something about love and air and how Melina told her about Sisyphus just last week. That’s me, she’d tell you, and missing you felt like that. Endless. Hopeless. An insurmountable task with the world as both enemy and witness.
“Are you still there?” Your voice brings her back inside the telephone booth. Small as it is, the air in it has long since grown stale. Natasha toys with the edges of an advertisement to keep her mind off of the headache that it’s causing.
The phone gives another flat sound. Immediately, Natasha rips her hand away from the poster and stuffs it back into her pocket in search of more change. There’s only one coin left. She throws it in. The call continues.
“That was my last quarter,” she tells you.
“Three more minutes?”
“I think so.”
“I still can’t believe Melina would give you some change to call me.”
“Me neither.” Because she didn’t. Natasha stole it. “But I’m glad she did.”
“Yeah,” you hum.
There are a lot of things she wants to say, a lot of thoughts she has yet to articulate, find the words for. But right now, with her forehead still pressed against the payphone, listening to your breathing on the other line, Natasha manages only three short syllables. “Stay with me?”
Outside the tiny telephone booth, it starts to rain.
The coffee is just beginning to brew when Natasha decides to wake you.
It’s barely six, and the sun has yet to start struggling against the thick blanket of clouds that has emerged on the horizon. The streetlamp from outside shines a path from the living room all the way towards the staircase to the second floor; a path she takes slowly, her steps halting, socks catching against the floorboards. Some steps creak as she steps on them, and a small part of her hopes that the sound wakes you before she has to.
The window at the end of the hall is slightly open, and the wind outside is playing with the curtain covering it, throwing the fabric back and forth. Streetlight, intrigued by the tug of war, peeks between the folds of fabric in sporadic beams. Natasha makes a game out of avoiding each one.
She hops over some and slides past others, the silliness of it briefly distracting her from her task. She stops only once she reaches your door, heels knocking together as if to stand to attention. You’ve picked the room farthest down the hall. The one closest to the window, and the farthest from the one she’s claimed as hers.
Natasha takes a long, calming breath. Then, clenching her right hand into a fist, she knocks.
You don’t reply.
She knocks again.
Are you—Natasha’s hand fumbles towards the handle, fingers tight around the metal as she opens the door. The window in your room is wide open, the white lace curtain blowing inside with the wind, and—there you are. You’re a curled-up lump beneath the covers, your head barely peeking out, face pressed into the thin pillow.
You stayed. Her heart settles at once.
Leaving the door cracked open, she creeps towards the window. She collects the curtain with her left hand, bunching the fabric in her fist, and closes the window with her right, careful not to make a sound. Immediately, the room seems warmer. Quieter, too, without the whistling of the wind outside. Natasha takes a moment to straighten the curtain back out, shifting her feet. They’re cold, and so is the floor, no doubt thanks to the still open window in the hallway.
For a moment, Natasha considers leaving to close that one, too, but the sheets ruffle behind her before she has the time to act on that thought, so the redhead dismisses it whole.
You’re motionless again by the time she turns, a corner of the blanket now clutched in your fist. Natasha smiles at the sight, foolishly imagining a world where you’d wake and smile at her, too. Like you used to. Like she misses. Softly, Natasha shakes her head to disregard that thought.
She thinks of calling your name but decides against it, raises a hand but doesn’t approach. And for a while, Natasha remains just like that; one hand lifted as if to reach for you while the rest of her body refuses to act.
“I am awake.”
“And it is rude to stare,” you add. Lazily, your eyes focus on where her hand is still uselessly hovering mid-air. “I do not bite, you know?”
Natasha’s steps are soft when she closes the distance between you; her hand softer still as it lowers onto your shoulder. “I wasn’t sure I was allowed,” she admits. She still isn’t, doesn’t know whether your remark was meant to be taken as an invitation, but you do not push her off or flinch away, and the redhead dares to take it as a good sign.
“I’m your wife,” you chuckle wryly.
“Outside, you are,” she agrees. The mattress dips under your combined weight, your body slumping against hers in the divot. “In here, you don’t have to be.”
You hum. “And what would you have me be in here then?”
A friend, she wants to say, the words heavy on her tongue. My friend. My everything. If she were brave, she’d even make a sentence of the truth. I want my everything back.
“I don’t know,” she lies instead, not selfish enough to ask you to be someone she helped bury with her own two hands. “Whatever you want to be.”
The pill bottle for your cough stands opened on your nightstand, and outside, the wind whistles a little louder, whipping loose leaves against the windowpane. Natasha focuses on those that stick to the glass, thinking of that stuffy telephone booth, caught in a rainstorm in autumn. You focus on her and think of Brussels, of pressing the receiver close just to hear the sound of her breathing on the other line.
“Mandarins and clementines are both varieties of the tangerine orange. You told me that,” you mumble into the pillow, still drowsy and warm. “Do you remember?”
“Mandarin,” Natasha corrects. “Tangerines and clementines are varieties of the mandarin orange.” She nods. “I do. Called you from a payphone across the city. Stole some spare change from a kiosk for it.”
“Melina wouldn’t have let me call.” She shrugs.
You smile around a tiny yawn. “I wouldn’t have either.”
“He was a good man,” Natasha continues, her hand still on you, warm. Warmer than the blanket, and your body, and the flimsy, peeking sun. “The kiosk owner. He had a family to feed.”
“You regret it?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.” Her thumb rubs tiny, slow circles into your shoulder. Then, the first letter of her name. The only way you could ever still be hers. “Why bring it up?”
You shrug, sinking lower under the covers. “Was it raining then too?”
“It sounded like it.” You hum wearily.
“Do you…” She purses her lips, unsure of how to continue. There are a lot of things she could ask—most of them about everything she’s missed out on, some about your missions, few about your life—instead, still staring on ahead, Natasha settles on something more familiar. “Do you remember what I asked you that day?”
“You asked a lot of things.”
Natasha’s lips quirk bitterly. “About you being lonely?”
“…Were you? Lonely, I mean.” Repeating it feels odd, almost distressing. Like she is asking you to say yes, and then, worse still, admit to being just as weak as she had been.
You’re silent for a long time. When you do answer, your voice has lowered into a whisper, as if begging her not to hear. “Sometimes.” Only when the sun rose in the east and set in the west.
“Were you alright?” Natasha adds on. She knows better, but you are talking, and her blood has been missing the richness of your voice.
You chuckle lowly. “Ekaterina had a mean chokehold,” is all you say. Then, grabbing the blanket, “What time is it?”
Natasha removes her hand to look at her watch.
“Ten past six.” She mutters. “We still need to get ready.”
You nod, sitting up. “Right.”
“Right,” Natasha echoes, awkwardly slapping her thighs as she gets up. “I’ll be waiting downstairs.”
She leaves the room with an uncomfortable urgency crawling below her skin. It makes her jittery, her hand slipping from the handle twice as she turns to close the door behind her. The window in the hallway has snapped shut with the wind, a part of the curtain’s fabric caught between the wooden frame and wall. She frees it to close the window properly, then descends the stairs to return to the kitchen.
The coffee has cooled by now, still hot enough to drink but not nearly enough to scald the tongue. She pours it into two cups and plates the food, pulling out a chair to settle at the table after. She lingers for a while, then, hastily scooting back, rearranges her seat to have a better view of the staircase.
Natasha picks at her nails while she waits, occasionally casting glances to the stairs and past them, towards where she knows your boxes still stand stacked close to the front door. She had hoped you would’ve opened them by now. But you didn’t, and the grey tape was first to glare at her this morning.
She has half the mind to kick them now, but—there you are, dressed in yesterday’s clothes. You could borrow mine, she wants to say. You could keep them. All of them, if you want. Instead, Natasha wrinkles her nose and doesn’t say a thing.
“I made breakfast,” she motions towards the plates. “Your favourite.” The last part comes out quieter, unsure.
Natasha almost flinches at your tone, watching your lip curl as you take your seat next to her.
The breakfast is spent in silence, safe for the occasional screech of a fork or a knife against a plate. Natasha sends you occasional glances after she’s finished, dividing her attention between the furrow in your brows and the remaining coffee in her cup.
“The Clarks live nearby,” she says eventually. “They’re—”
“Friends of the target. I know,” you cut in. “I read the file.”
“Of course.” She purses her lips, swaying the brown liquid in her cup. “I thought we could drive by after the shoot. See if they invite us.”
“Why would they?”
“Socialites.” Natasha shrugs. “I’ll bring a bottle of wine, say it was a housewarming gift, and suggest we open it together.”
You hum, momentarily quiet as you cut into the food. “They’re involved in the trade, aren’t they?”
It’s a rhetorical question, measured in a way Natasha doesn’t like. A part of her is certain that you’re about to ask for something she cannot provide, and the redhead feels the dread as it rises in her chest to lump up her lungs. “They are.”
“I assume we’ll be armed then?”
“You won’t be.”
“But you will?” You raise an eyebrow, eyes not yet meeting hers.
“If I need to be.” Natasha nods slowly, shifting in her seat.
“What if I need to be?”
“What if things go awry?”
“They won’t—” Her voice hardens, jaw clenching at your blatant refusal to let her plunge the conversation to its death.
“You expect me to just sit there while they fire at us?”
“Or maybe you expect me to just sit there while they fire at me? Surely, S.H.I.E.L.D. wouldn’t let you run around here unarmed.”
“Enough,” she hisses, fists clenching atop the table. “I’ve already taken a risk in bringing you here. I won’t take one in arming you.”
“Did S.H.I.E.L.D. feed you that line or—”
“That’s my common sense talking.”
“Weren’t using much of that when you picked me up, were you?”
“Or did you seriously think I’d take this lying down?” The redhead doesn’t answer. “Will you be armed?” You repeat slowly, daring her to interrupt you again.
Natasha looks into your eyes, seems almost hesitant when she answers. “Yes.”
“Fucking fantastic,” you grumble, lips curling in a snarl as you stab into your food.
The conversation doesn’t pick back up.
The shooting site turns out to be a warehouse three towns over, sitting snug amongst some evergreens. Natasha parks the car behind it and exits without another word, stopping only once she’s reached the building’s corner.
There, she crosses her arms and waits for you to catch up.
This morning is a cold one. Without the car’s welcoming warmth around you, you can do nothing to stop the goosebumps from rising along your skin. Natasha, watching you fold your arms across your chest to preserve some heat, bites her tongue to keep herself from offering her jacket.
She leads you past the door and through a hall full of covered-up machinery and rusty tools. Your steps drag up dust, the particles floating up into the air to settle on your clothes. Swiping a hand over a crate, you watch whatever dust doesn’t stick to your palm rise into yet another cloud. Natasha sends you an irritated glare over her shoulder, nose twitching, and you cannot help but huff amusedly at the sight.
Closer to the back of the hall, hidden behind more crates and dirt, you begin to make out a staircase. The redhead takes the steps down towards another door, motioning for you to follow her as she reaches for the handle.
“Behave,” she warns. The first words spoken in a while.
“Always,” you snark, half-heartedly. Still, your face smoothens. The frown disappears, replaced by a pleasant expression. Your back straightens, eyebrows lifting as your eyes widen just a bit. Then, you smile, and you aren’t quite you anymore. Natasha tilts her head, feeling the hairs on the back of her neck rise to attention.
It’s been so long since she’s last seen you do this. She almost forgot just how startling it can be.
“Are you done staring?” Your voice snaps her back. It’s still sharp around the edges, a sting that brings her comfort.
Natasha nods and turns the handle.
Inside, the air seems cleaner; the interior, brighter.
The slim hallway that greeted you starts broadening the longer you walk, the sound of voices growing louder just as the walls start opening up around you to give way to a huge, white room.
Photography equipment is speckled about the place, fabrics with tropical motives hung over some chairs and railings. In the back, a small group of people stands assembled, dressed in festive attire. One of them, an elderly blond male, notices you and hobbles over.
“There you are!” He greets Natasha, pulling her into a hug. He is as short as he is adamant to wrap his arms around her shoulders, leaving the redhead slouching in his hold. It’s undeniably charming.
Once parted, the man turns to face you. “The wife, I presume?”
You smile and outstretch a hand.
“Maxim. Just Max is fine,” he introduces himself, taking your hand in his ringed one. His grip is tight, a little sweaty, too. “Pleasure is all mine.”
You don’t deny.
Past his shoulder, two women start to approach. The first to reach you is a blonde, shorter than Natasha but just as brief of words. She greets the both of you pleasantly enough, then takes the redhead by the arm and points towards a curtained area in the corner, wordlessly asking her to follow. The second to appear is a tall brunette, her hooded eyes twinkling as she slinks closer to you.
“Irina. It’s a pleasure,” she smiles. Her arm is soft as it loops through yours, lean muscles flexing beneath the skin as she starts tugging you away in the opposite direction of where Natasha is being taken. You cast a glance back. Natasha doesn’t do the same. Irina, visibly amused, only holds on tighter and pats your bicep. “Do not worry,” she says, laughter in her voice. “We’ll make sure you have the wedding of your life.”
The brunette pushes you past another set of curtains and skips towards the mannequin standing behind them. It’s dressed in white, a picture of your mugshot printed out and pinned to its face. Irina grins at the sour look you send it, then jiggles her hands about the mannequin to redirect your attention to the outfit on it.
“Natasha had given us your measurements,” she tells you, eyes thoughtfully flicking between the fabrics and you. Your goosebumps have long since settled, but the way she steps closer to glide her palm over the exposed skin of your arm has some of them rising again. “Seems we’ll have to do some last-minute adjustments, hm?”
With ease, Irina commandeers you into the needed position and fishes a tape measure from her pocket to place it against your body. She mumbles your sizes under her breath, nods or shakes her head as if leading a conversation with the numbers, then fixes what can be fixed with safety pins once you try the outfit on.
Between ordering you to stand a certain way or turn another, she tells you anecdotes and objectively terrible jokes, making sure to glance up after each one, looking for a smile or the sound of your laughter. Whenever she does get a form of either, she pauses her work to send you a wink, grinning as if having just won a prize.
You, in turn, do not tell her that it’s her strange persistence that keeps you entertained.
“And…” Irina drawls the sound after a while, smoothening her hands over your clothes, “done.” She gives you an appreciative look, smiling when you don’t flinch away from the hand she places on your cheek. “A true doll, aren’t you?” Her voice dips into a murmur, amused, before her index and thumb suddenly pinch at the skin under her hold. “If half our clients were as cute as you—why, I’d never stop working!”
Irina chuckles at the look you throw her. “I mean it,” she insists, voice lilting, and takes your arm again to start leading you back towards where she’s taken you from.
Maxim stands waiting in the centre of the room, and some of the backgrounds have already been hung, adding splashes of colour to the otherwise sterile environment. Behind him, standing close to the background of a banquet hall, people have started opening bottles of champagne to pour them into glasses.
You do not linger on the scene for too long, partially because Irina insists on keeping a brisk pace; mostly because Natasha has yet to stop looking at the two of you from where she’s stood next to Max.
Natasha in white.
Your breath catches stupidly, chest suddenly too hot and uselessly small for the space your heart demands. It trashes against your ribs, and you fear it’ll rip your chest cavity open long before you manage to tell her that she is beautiful. Always. Even more so now.
Is this what you would look like at your wedding? You wonder, remembering the way she would talk about wearing all white, having a dress with frills and entire halls decked out in peonies—is seeing this enough? The second thought tastes much more bitter. You do not know whom the question is for.
“She does a good job, doesn’t she?” Irina murmurs from beside you, leaning closer. “Not as good as I, of course, but…” She gives Natasha a once-over. “Good enough, no?”
You do not find the words to agree.
The brunette releases you once next to Maxim, teasingly patting your shoulder on her way to her colleague.
“Finally,” Maxim grumbles, turning to give you both a look. “Ready?”
You nod. The redhead is quiet for a long time, still looking at you. When Max raises a hand to snap his fingers in her face, she blinks, then nods in confirmation.
“Well,” the man grins, “go and look happy.” He points towards the first background, a scenic landscape at sunset.
The stark white lights dim, reds and warm oranges falling around you as you step forward. Natasha follows closely behind, stopping when you do to comfortably wrap her arms around your neck. “Smile for the cameras,” she whispers softly and tips forward to place her lips on your cheek. Click. You blink at the sudden camera flash. Were they always this bright?
Maxim, already hunching to inspect the picture taken, nods and throws you a thumbs up.
Another kiss meets your cheek. Click. Then, the corner of your mouth. Click. Natasha is smiling into your skin, the green of her eyes vivid with warmth whenever she looks at you. Almost like—you swallow, praying that the lump in your throat won’t grow too big to breathe around.
“I’m your wife,” she echoes unhelpfully, the heat of her palms suddenly bleeding onto your elbows. “You can touch me back.” Click.
Slowly, your hands rise to her waist. Natasha meets them with a quiet snort, lips twitching against yours. “Must you make everything difficult?” She mumbles against you, grasping at your hands to guide them to just above her hips. She presses onto them as a sign for you to grip her harder, removing hers only when you start holding her as told. It doesn’t feel hard enough. Click.
“I wasn’t,” you mutter back, indignant because it’s true. “You’d bruise.” That too. Because no measure of distance would ever make you feel close enough to someone you once regarded as integral to your very being. Someone who was both sinew and bone and everything in between.
“I’ll forgive you just this once.” Her lips curl against yours, eyes never leaving your pair. They’re darker, a little desperate, too. Click. “Convince me,” she whispers against your cheek. You wonder whether her lipstick smears when she kisses there right after. Click. “That’s all you need to do. Convince me that you love me. Everything else will follow. You know how it is.”
“I do,” you agree and kiss right back. Your arms wind around her tighter, the last of the space between you disappearing, and—oh, how long it’s been. How very, very long. Click.
This is the closest you’ve been and held her in years, and it’s—it’s warm. You’re warm. Natasha’s eyes water. Isn’t this how it’s supposed to be? A voice inside her croons, a child’s cluelessness clashing against bone-deep pain. Why are you sad? It asks. Natasha doesn’t know. But she is. The artificial sunset is cold on her skin, you are warm in her arms, and she is so dreadfully sad it feels like it’s eating through her chest.
All at once, her hands can’t find enough purchase on your body. Click. The fabric of your clothes bunches uselessly between her grasping fingers, her face pressing into your neck. Click. No matter how close you are, it doesn’t feel close enough—click—and her heart trashes against her ribcage as if to make up for the distance to yours.
Warm. She’s forgotten that you could feel like anything but hurt.
“First dance!” Max calls from behind you, clapping twice to rally the actors. Natasha feels sick.
The lights around you brighten once more, the cool white almost blinding when it comes. The redhead is first to follow Max’s instructions, not waiting for you to catch up as she pushes her way past the forming crowd.
Her hand is already outstretched when you show up.
The music starts quietly, a slow song whose lyrics you cannot properly hear over the chatter of the people around you. What once seemed a rowdy crowd has turned into an admiring group of wedding guests, holding champagne glasses and watery smiles as you twirl to the melody.
“Takes you back, doesn’t it?” You murmur, remembering the odd waltz lesson you took for an even odder job.
“Hard to forget when you constantly stepped on my feet.”
Natasha seems to soften at the memory. “I seem to remember you being the one that had to be re-partnered,” she chuckles.
“And I did perfectly well without you.”
You did. The redhead swallows against the sudden flash of hurt. There are many things you did well without her. Too many for her not to feel pathetic about caring as much as she did. Does. Perhaps—and that is the most terrifying thought of all—always will.
“Well, you did learn from the best.”
Your lips twitch at her jab, a crooked little grin, and Natasha cannot help but push her lips against your smiling mouth. Click.
Not for the first time, Natasha wonders which one of you will survive the other.
The shoot ends in the late afternoon, the once howling wind now accompanied by rain.
You’ve changed back into your regular clothes some time ago, now waiting in the car for Natasha to collect the printed pictures and video footage. Her jacket lies sprawled across your lap, wet from when you’ve held it over your head to shield you from the rain. The redhead had thrown it at your face just before you left, stupidly trusting you with the keys to her only means of transport while she was at it, too.
For a moment, you considered driving off out of simple spite. You didn’t, but the thought was amusing enough while it lingered.
Now, you watch the raindrops slide down the window as you wait. Occasionally, you pick a pair to judge their made-up race. The wind steers some from their path and helps others, proving both ally and adversary in your game.
Behind the racetrack, rounding the corner with a hop, Natasha appears almost an hour later. She’s clutching a heart-dotted envelope to her chest, hunching her shoulders in an attempt to shield it from the rain. Once close, she rips the door open and jumps inside, throwing everything onto the backseat before shaking out her hair. Some of the water lands on your face. Her jacket, in turn, lands in hers.
The redhead yanks it off with a huff, hair mussed and dripping water onto her lap.
“Put it on,” you tell her, and she thinks it almost tender. “Or you’ll catch a cold.”
Natasha nods and, looping her left arm through the sleeve, asks, “Clarks?”
You hum in agreement.
The rain quietens as you drive, calming into an unpleasant drizzle by the time you reach the Clark household.
“The house on the right,” Natasha juts her chin in its direction, pressing her foot on the brakes to slow the car into something barely above a crawl. “And…” she pauses, nods, “that’s her.”
A young, blonde woman stands at the mailbox, hurriedly retrieving letters and magazines. She notices your car when it nears her house, her eyebrows furrowing slightly as she squints at the nameplate. Whatever she seems must please her because her lips fall into a sudden grin, and she all but hops to the curb to wave you over.
“Bingo,” the redhead mutters, smiling smugly. She rolls down a window once she stops, watching the blonde lean in from your side of the car.
“Hi!” She greets, stretching in a hand. “I’m Elena. You must be the new neighbours, no?”
“That’s right,” you agree kindly, taking her hand in yours. It’s a little cold, some subtle callouses blending in with otherwise soft skin.
“That’s us.” Natasha smirks from beside you, hand sliding to rest on your thigh. “We’ve thought we’d use this weather to explore the neighbourhood a bit.”
“Well, there is certainly a lot to explore!” Elena smiles around a light giggle. She’s still holding your hand, your joined limbs bobbing with her excited movements. “Would you like to come in for some tea?”
“We wouldn’t want to impose,” Natasha shakes her head, smiling as well.
“Nonsense!” Finally, the blonde releases your hand. “I’ve wanted to drop by and introduce myself anyway!” She opens the door for you in one fluid motion, then, jamming her mail under one arm, waits for you to unbuckle before pulling you to her side.
Her hold is light and friendly, easy in a way that makes you doubt the possibility of it being staged. “Marcus—my husband,” Elena adds as she opens her front door, “is away right now. Oh, he’ll be dying of jealousy once I tell him that I met you first!”
The minimalist décor jumps out at you and clashes with the woman’s smile, the cold geometry and sharp edges falling at odds with her apparent heartiness. Natasha must have noticed, too, because she subtly seeks your gaze and raises her hand, motioning towards her wedding band. Husband, maybe? You nod.
“Any particular blend you fancy?” Elena turns to regard the both of you.
Natasha insists on whatever is simplest while you volunteer to help in the kitchen, stopping only when the redhead kindly reminds you about the bottle of wine she’s forgotten in the car. You accept the car keys and leave before she can give you her jacket.
The housewarming gift sits neatly on the backseat. Next to it, the thick envelope of photographs you took hours before. Hesitating, you reach for the latter first. A plastic card greets you at the very top. Turning it over, you read the text written on it. Driver Licence, in neat, bold letters. And to the left, a picture of your face, shot mere hours before.
“I was just about to go look for you,” Natasha croons from the living room when you return. She’s eyeing you with a cocky grin, gaze on your wet clothes. “Did you find it?”
“I did.” You raise the gift; raise the driver’s license, too, watching her face crumble momentarily.
“I wanted to give that to you later,” the redhead mutters.
Natasha shrugs. “You asked, didn’t you?”
You do not reply, wordlessly placing the bottle onto the coffee table as you stuff your licence into the flimsy back pocket of your jeans.
“You’re back!” Elena appears to deposit the snacks. Then, seeing your sopping form, gasps and hurries to what you guess must be the bathroom. When she returns, she’s got a fresh towel in her hands which she carefully wraps around your shoulders. “You shouldn’t have,” she chides, ushering you to the leather couch. “Let me get that tea.”
Natasha remains at the sidelines, blankly watching the way you pull the towel closer to burrow in its warmth.
“What are you thinking?” Your voice is quiet, soothing, with the rain still whipping outside. Like this, you seem entirely too gentle. Younger, too, and only half as cruel as she knows you to be.
“Natalia?” You whisper when she doesn’t reply. “Are you still there?” That one comes out a little giggly.
Am I? Natasha blinks, trying to focus on anything but you. It doesn’t work. All the colours around her melt into the hue of you, and her heart feels sore at the lack of vacancy.
“Nat?” Your brows furrow. Natasha wants to cry.
“You’re terrible,” she says finally. It isn’t an accusation. Merely a reminder. A blister to stave off the eventual burn.
“I love you.”
“You are an idiot.” This is an accusation.
Elena is still in the kitchen, too close not to hear, and outside, the wind is snapping the branches against the windows so violently the frames start whining.
“Not an idiot,” Natasha corrects with a wobbly smile, sauntering closer just as Elena shows, “yours.”
The blonde settles by the window while Natasha settles in your lap, her side warm and growing warmer still from the way your arms wrap around her waist. Swathed securely in your hold, she repeats the words. “I love you.”
You pinch her thigh. Natasha persists. “I love you,” she mumbles, skimming her fingers over your cheek in silent prayer.
“I love you too.”
Please say it again, she almost says but catches it. Please never stop saying it. Instead, Natasha closes her eyes and smiles, head slumping against your collarbone.
“So,��� Elena giggles. At once, the redhead straightens. “Oh, don’t mind me,” the blonde waves it off, “I remember how Marcus and I used to be after our wedding. Unbearable, I say.” Her laugh is gentle, smoothened by whatever memory she is remembering.
“Still,” Natasha stops at Elena’s raised hand.
“Nonsense,” the blonde insists and pours the tea. You watch the soft white steam as it rises, momentarily taken by its graceful dance. “Any plans for what you’ll do next? Aside from work, of course.” She winks at Natasha.
“Haven’t really thought about it yet,” you shake your head. “Guess I’d start with redoing our floors.”
“Our floors?” Natasha raises a brow as the blonde gasps excitedly. “What’s wrong with our floors?”
“Don’t like them.” You shrug.
Opposite you, Elena is wiggling in her seat in sudden delight. She is, you find, truly into interior design.
Natasha nods her reply, not bothering to pretend that she is anything but. Elena closes the door behind you with another tiny wave, wishing you a safe drive and a good night for what has to be the fifth time now.
“Do you even know how?” The redhead quirks a brow. The chuckle that meets her makes her shiver.
“I have a license, do I not?” You fish the small card out of your pocket to wave it. Natasha doesn’t manage to fight off her amused smile.
She settles into the passenger’s side seat and reaches for the bundle of photographs when you start the car, closing the envelope back up to comfortably press it to her body.
“Really?” You ask. The redhead merely nods.
The envelope slips from her grasp whenever Natasha starts dozing off. It snaps her back to attention more than once, the little jolts she gives being as amusing as they are endearing. Each time, you snicker, and she pays you no mind—a childish game that ceases at the first red light, where the redhead finally falls asleep.
"You can rest now," you whisper, words hardly more than a breath. Leaning over, you brush some hair from her face, your fingers trembling. You try to imitate her gentleness from this morning, but the action doesn’t come naturally to you at all, and you accidentally skim the shell of Natasha’s ear.
The redhead wrinkles her nose but doesn’t stir. You think you could cry from relief.
Her grip tightens on the envelope just as the light turns yellow, the paper creasing where her fingers meet it. The tacky pink hearts scrunch and distort, and you clutch at yours.
It would be so easy to leave, you think. To drive away and never come back.
The light turns green.
Casting another glace at the redhead, you step on the gas and follow the street to what is to be your temporary home.
Beside you, Natasha shifts in her seat and clutches at the photographs. You do not know, but below them, stuffed into her jacket’s inner pocket, lies your very first letter. It’s crumpled and worn; the paper thinned around the Dear until only the Nobody remains.
It’s raining again. I tried to trail the raindrops on the window, follow their little race, but my breath fogged up the glass, and I wrote your name instead. How very stupid. How very much me. My neighbour visited me yesterday. We drank some tea and wine. But only later. The tea came first. Apparently, I talk about you when I’m drunk. Did you know that? Mrs. Andersson told me, said I cannot shut up about your green eyes. I’d like to think she’s lying, but it must be true. I’ve always found them beautiful. Tomorrow, I’ll go visit the house that I wrote to you about last time. The one with the tiny garden. I thought I saw a swing there, too, but walking past it yesterday, I couldn’t find it. No matter, dear. I’ll hang a new one when the time comes.
@mostlymarvelsstuff, @strangegardentaco , @natasha-danvers , @sxph-t , @5aftermidnight , @morbid-gaymer , @ludwigvonbaethoven , @mxrvellouspidey , @blackxwidowsxwife , @pleasantbearscissorstoad , @mostlymarvelsstuff , @imnotslouching
A/N: Another request for @moonkowkow and the perfect continuation! Took me a while to finish it, but I can proudly add the next part now! Enjoy!
Summary: It’s Kate’s mother’s birthday, and when Natasha can’t accompany Kate to the prison, Yelena takes her place
Warnings: hurt/comfort and fluff
Word Count: 4128
Yelena had originally planned for her day to be a chill day. Natasha would be returning from her mission tomorrow, and while Yelena longed for her sister’s presence, that meant that she had the apartment to herself for now. She was laying on the couch, reading one of the comics she had stolen borrowed from Kate, and that was the only thing she had planned on doing. Of course, all the plans she ever made somehow always got interrupted, and this interruption came in the form of a knock on the door. With a loud groan she got up from the couch, opening the door with a raised brow. However, when she saw Kate’s face, her expression immediately softened.
“Well well, look who comes knocking on my door,” Yelena said with a smirk, opening the door for her friend. When Kate didn’t immediately enter, the blonde raised an eyebrow again. Something was up.
“Yelena! Hi! Ehm, is Natasha home, by any chance? She came home from her mission earlier today, didn't she?” Kate asked, seeming a little more nervous than usual. Yelena shook her head with a frown.
“No, there was a delay in the mission so Natasha is returning tomorrow,” Yelena replied, and she could see the slight panic in Kate’s eyes. Now she really had to know what was going on.
“Oh…” Kate said, speechless for once. Before she could say anything else, however, Yelena had already taken a step closer to her.
“Anything I can help you with?” The blonde asked, leaning against the doorframe with her shoulder. She could easily tell that Kate wasn’t her usual self, and she would be lying if she said she wasn’t concerned. Kate looked at her for a moment, before letting out a heavy sigh.
“Well… it’s my mom’s birthday today, and while I miss her and I want to see her again, I’ve been afraid to visit her again. Those visits usually don’t go well, and I was going to ask Natasha if she wanted to come with me, because I really don’t want to go on my own, and now I’m not sure what to do,” Kate rambled in a long breath. The jealous sting Yelena had felt earlier, when Kate had asked for Natasha while she was right there, immediately disappeared as Kate did her explanation. Of course it had to do with Kate’s mother.
It had been over a year since Yelena had seen the woman, yet she still knew some details about her from last year. She also knew that Kate had been struggling a lot over the past year with the fact that she had sent her mother to jail. While Yelena didn’t per se care a year ago, Natasha had always helped Kate through her struggles, whenever she could. It was a normal reaction for Kate to ask for Natasha in this case, and maybe the perfect situation for Yelena to show Kate that she actually cared now.
“Natasha won’t make it, but I could come with you, if you want me to,” Yelena said with a shrug, trying not to show how nervous she was for Kate’s reply. Kate looked at her with surprised, wide eyes, yet Yelena had expected that kind of reaction.
“You would do that for me? You’d come with me?” Kate asked, sounding so hopeful that Yelena couldn’t help but roll her eyes, letting out a relieved breath.
“Of course I’d do that, you idiot,” She said with a chuckle, folding her arms as she looked at the brunette. “When did you plan on going?”
“I was planning on going this afternoon, but honestly, whatever works for you is fine! I just need a minute to get ready, and grab the gift I made,” Kate said with a shrug, trying to hide the obvious anxiety for seeing her mother again.
“Well how about this. You go get ready now, and we leave in ten? That way you still have most of the afternoon free, if it doesn’t go well,” Yelena suggested with a smile. She honestly had no idea what to expect, but she knew from Natasha that those visits never had a positive effect on Kate.
“Yeah… yeah sounds good. I’ll go get ready,” Kate said with a nod, flashing Yelena a nervous smile before heading towards her own room. Yelena let out a sigh and got ready too and, for her own and Kate’s mother’s sake, decided not to bring any weapons with her.
They arrived at the prison soon after, and Kate visibly got more nervous with each passing minute. The two of them were sitting at one of the visitor’s tables in the large, empty room, waiting for the guards to get Eleanor. Kate’s leg was nervously bouncing up and down underneath the table, until Yelena grabbed it and held it down.
“Hey, I’m here okay? I won’t talk, but I’m here with you,” She said, just before the doors opened and Eleanor entered the room. Yelena could hear Kate holding her breath as she saw her mother, her hands shaking slightly when she approached their table.
“Hello Kate,” She said after sitting down, her voice rather cold, as if she wasn’t happy with the visit at all. Kate swallowed, yet decided to ignore it as she gave her mother a sad yet genuine smile.
“Happy birthday mom,” Kate said, putting the wrapped present she had brought down on the table in front of her mother. Her mother gave it a quick glance before letting out an empty chuckle.
“I’m honestly surprised you remembered. After all, since you put me in jail, that means you don’t care about me anymore. Isn’t that right, Katherine?” Eleanor sneered, and Kate looked as if she had been slapped in the face. Yelena tried not to make a surprised face at the mention of the full name. Kate had never told them her full name before, and the blonde immediately could tell why.
“Mom, you… you know that’s not true,” Kate said, trying to keep her voice steady. Yelena knew that Kate was still feeling very guilty about putting her mother in jail. Kate had had countless talks with Natasha about it, and Yelena had overheard some of them. There was no denying that she still loved her mother.
“Is that so? Well then tell me, Kate, how many people you know have put their mother in jail, to desperately try and fit in with those heroes you so love? Your friends, as you like to call them?” Eleanor continued, narrowing her eyes at her daughter. When Kate said nothing, she leaned back and folded her arms.
“That’s what I thought. I bet none of your old friends were selfish enough to put their own family, their own mother, through something like that. That’s not how I raised you, Katherine. But then again, you never cared to listen to me in the first place. I always knew you were reckless, Katherine, but now I know just how selfish you are,” She added. Kate’s shoulders slumped forward in defeat, and Yelena had to bite her tongue to stay quiet. If she was gonna speak her mind, she feared she’d only make it worse for her friend.
“Mom please… I didn’t come here to fight with you. I’m sorry that I had to put you in prison, but I had no other choice. You know I still love you, and I miss you. I brought you a gift, I made it myself,” She said, forcing another smile on her face as she tried to defuse the conversation. Her mother scoffed and unwrapped the box, placing the gift on the table. It was a painted clay statue of Kate and her mother standing next to each other, holding hands. It looked a little silly, but it was one of the cutest gifts Yelena had seen so far. Kate was very proud of her work, yet her mother barely gave it a glance.
“Oh, so not only do you put me in prison, but now you decide to give me a permanent reminder of who put me in prison in the first place? Is that it?” Eleanor said, and Kate looked as if she could burst into tears then and there. Yelena could tell that she was feeling utterly hopeless, and she had to bite her tongue a little bit harder this time.
“Mom, please-” Kate said, yet quickly got interrupted by her mother slamming her hand against the gift, sending it flying across the room. It shattered all over the floor, the broken, painted pieces of clay decorating the gray stone. Kate let out a strangled gasp, and Yelena could feel a white-hot rage boiling in her gut. She had already spent many hours in Kate’s room since their first comic date, and she knew exactly how many hours Kate had spent creating that little gift. To see it laying broken on the floor made her want to hurt Eleanor.
“You abandoned your real family to desperately try and fit in with another one. When are you going to learn that you’re never going to fit in with them? You don’t belong with them. You’re not a hero, Katherine, everyone knows that. I’m sure even they know that, they’re probably just letting you stay with them out of pity,” Her mother sneered, and Kate couldn’t hold back the broken sob any longer, tears rolling down her cheeks from the hurtful words. And Yelena had had enough.
“I don’t understand why you’d even want to visit this person, even if it’s her birthday,” Yelena said to Kate, immediately getting the attention from both women. Kate, while blinking rapidly, looked utterly surprised by the fact that Yelena had decided to speak up, while Eleanor gave her a dirty look.
“Excuse me, who are you?” Eleanor asked, giving Yelena a once-over as if she had only noticed her presence now. Yelena turned to the woman sitting in front of her and scoffed, looking at her with disgust.
“You really are the most spoiled brat I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a lot of people,” The blonde said bluntly, and Eleanor gasped as if she had been slapped. Anger and embarrassment formed on her face at the comment as she placed a hand on the table.
“You dare say that to me? Who do you think you are?! Do you have any idea who I am?” She asked, earning a mocking laugh from the blonde.
“And an idiot too, it seems! First of all, I don’t care who you are. Second, all I need to know is that you’re a spoiled brat and a terrible mother,” Yelena continued, and she could hear a soft gasp coming from her friend.
“Yelena, you don’t have to-” Kate started, yet immediately shut up when Yelena looked at her. The assassin could clearly see the pain in the brunette’s eyes, and it felt like a punch to her gut. Even if Kate was hurt by her mother’s words, and obviously the victim in the situation, part of her still wanted to defend her mother. It showed just how Kate had been raised to agree to whatever her mother wanted, and how manipulative Eleanor actually was. And it angered her even more.
“No Kate, I feel like I have to. Do you even know anything about Kate? What she has been up to recently? How many hours she has spent making that little gift for you? Anything at all?” Yelena continued as she looked at Eleanor, who was still looking stunned. Eleanor opened her mouth to say something, yet closed it shortly after. The blonde stared intensely at the woman in front of her, before scoffing once again.
“You don’t even care, do you? You don’t give a damn about the fact that Kate is a hero, or that she’s trying to fix the obviously broken relationship between you and her,” Yelena added, leaning backwards in her chair as she folded her arms.
“That is simply ridiculous, of course I care-” Eleanor started, yet was interrupted by Yelena slapping her hand hard on the table. She was having none of this, and she had heard and seen enough. Just by the facial expression and the way Eleanor had reacted to the question, Yelena already knew the answer.
“The only thing you care about is yourself. It’s as simple as that. You’re wallowing in self-pity because you have been sent to jail, and obviously you’re blaming Kate for it. And you’ll do anything you can to make her feel miserable about the position and life she’s earned. Well guess what? Kate did the right thing, and it was the most difficult decision she’s ever made,” Yelena said, pausing for a moment to look at Kate. The archer’s lips were a thin line as she stared at the table, trying really hard to gain control over her emotions, her cheeks still wet from tears.
“And even now she’s making an effort to maintain a connection with you, which I honestly don’t understand, and you just reject her.” The blonde continued, pointing towards the broken present on the floor. “You reject her because she’s not the person you tried to bend her into. And that is your loss,” She concluded, standing up from her chair. Kate’s head snapped up rather wildly, looking frightened at the thought of Yelena leaving her alone, until she felt a strong hand squeeze her shoulder.
“Come on Kate, let’s get out of here. Your mother doesn’t deserve you, and you don’t need her,” Yelena said, giving her friend’s shoulder a gentle squeeze.
“Katherine Bishop, I’m not done talking to you yet. If you leave now, with her, then you can never return. Never.” Eleanor said, her voice low and her eyes cold. Kate looked her mother into the eyes for a long second, before standing up from her chair.
“Goodbye mom,” She managed to say, before turning her back towards her as she and Yelena walked towards the door, leaving a shocked Eleanor behind.
Everything that happened right after was a blur. Kate honestly couldn’t remember much of the way back to Avengers’ Tower, or how she ended up in the living room. The only things she clearly remembered were the pain she had felt in her chest, and the fact that Yelena had held her hand all the way back, leading her home. She was currently sitting on the couch and her mind was running all over the place, replaying the scene with her mom over and over in her head, until she felt a blanket being wrapped over her shoulders. Wiping her tears with one hand, she looked up and stared right at Yelena’s face. Anger and concern were still visible in her eyes as she sat down next to Kate, staring at the brunette. Yelena didn’t have the best relationship with her own mother, but Kate’s mother was on another level.
“I understand if you’re angry with me, but I had to speak my mind. I had to.” Yelena said, clenching her fists tightly at the thought of Eleanor. She never wanted to see that woman again, and she never wanted to see Kate hurt like that again. Kate blinked several times, as if confused about what Yelena was talking about, before shaking her head.
“No… no of course I’m not mad at you, Yelena… I’m actually glad you spoke up, otherwise I would’ve probably still been there,” She mumbled, sniffling her nose as she on her turn stared at the floor. The blonde bit her lower lip and shifted to look at Kate.
“You do realize that everything your mother said is bullshit, right?” Yelena asked with a raised brow. She knew Kate. She knew that her friend would take those negative words to heart, and she had to prevent that from happening.
“But what if she’s right? What if I just don’t belong here, no matter how hard I try?” Kate immediately said, looking Yelena into her eyes. The blonde could see the self-doubt, pain and more self-doubt in them, and she had a really hard time trying not to groan and roll her eyes. Where was Natasha when you needed her.
“Look… I’m not the best at this, but everything that woman told you is bullshit. Okay? She knows exactly what to say to hurt you the most, and it very clearly worked, but that doesn’t mean it’s the truth. It’s so far from the truth, actually,” Yelena said, putting a hand on Kate’s shoulder.
“I only met Clint through some dumb luck, and he wasn’t happy with me to begin with. Maybe I just forced him, and he went along with it, but never actually wanted it?” Kate continued, and Yelena shook her head. She had to get Kate out of this negative spiral, and fast.
“Trust me, Clinton wouldn’t have picked you off the street if you weren’t worth it. You may have met him through luck, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t meant to happen,” Yelena said, attempting to make Kate smile. However, when she saw that the brunette had tears in her eyes again, it dealt the final blow to the assassin.
“But what if-” Kate stammered, before gasping in surprise as Yelena pulled her in for a hug, wrapping her arms tightly around Kate’s shoulders.
“Shut up, you idiot. You belong here with all of us, with Natasha, with me, and that’s final,” Yelena mumbled with a blush. Kate hesitated for a second, before returning the embrace just as tightly, burying her face into Yelena’s shoulder. Yelena felt Kate’s shoulders shake slightly as she let out her remaining sobs, gently rubbing one hand on the brunette’s back. Hugging Kate was… not as bad as she had always thought it would be. It was comforting. Kate kept hugging her for a while, until finally pulling free from her friend.
“Thank you Yelena… I… I really needed that,” She said, wiping her eyes with a small smile on her face. Yelena could tell she was still sad, but she was also doing a little better, so it counted as a victory. Right?
“You’re welcome,” The blonde said with a smile, and she meant it. She hated seeing Kate in pain like that, and that meant Kate had actually become a close friend to her. The brunette let out a deep breath as her shoulders slumped forward.
“She actually meant it. I mean, I’m pretty sure she meant every word she said, but she meant it when she said that I can never see her again, not after today. I don’t think she’ll consider me her daughter anymore,” Kate said, still struggling to accept that fact.
“And I meant what I said. She doesn’t deserve you as a daughter, she proved that today. And you don’t need her in your life, Kate,” Yelena said, reaching out to gently squeeze her friend’s arm. Kate let out another breath yet nodded.
“Maybe you’re right… I don’t think I’d ever be good enough after sending her to jail, even though I kept trying. So I guess there’s no point in trying, at least not for now,” She said with a sigh. The blonde nodded with a smile, gently patting her hand on Kate’s shoulder.
“There you go. And of course I’m right, I give genius advice after all,” She said with a smirk, and Kate couldn’t help but smile at that. She felt as if a weight had fallen off her shoulders, and relief started to wash over her.
“Natasha was right after all, you really are wise,” Kate said with a chuckle, earning an eye-roll from her friend. It took her all her willpower not to smack Kate in the face with a pillow, since she wanted to be gentle with her for now.
“I do have my moments, yes,” Yelena grinned, gently shoving the brunette’s shoulder. “Is there anything else I can do? Or do you want to be left alone for now?” She added. Kate shook her head and suddenly got a blush on her face, tugging at her own fingers.
“Ehm… well, there’s one thing I can think of,” She mumbled, causing Yelena to frown slightly.
“What is it?” She asked, unsure what her friend wanted to ask. She usually could read Kate pretty well, yet she had no idea what she was getting at right now.
“Can… can you do the thing?” Kate asked, and Yelena couldn’t hide the massive mischievous grin forming on her face. Of course. She immediately knew what Kate meant, yet decided to play dumb for now.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Kate. What do you mean? What thing~?” Yelena asked with a grin, earning a groan from her friend. She loved bullying Kate like this, it fueled her evil side.
“Yelena! Don’t make me say it out loud! It’s embarrassing!” Kate whined while gently punching Yelena’s arm with one hand, earning a loud laugh from the blonde.
“Oh alright, come here you,” She chuckled, suddenly reaching forward to grab Kate’s sides, starting to gently squeeze up and down while dragging her closer. The brunette often asked for tickles, especially when she was feeling down, and it was, in Yelena’s humble opinion, the cutest thing ever. Kate yelped and let out a surprised laugh, immediately rolling onto her side as she curled in on herself, her back pressed against Yelena’s thigh.
“Aahahahahaha! Yelenaahahahahaha!” Kate giggled loudly, wrapping her own arms around her sides in an attempt to protect them. Yelena chuckled and shook her head, easily avoiding her friend’s arms.
“I’ve tickled you a million times already, and you STILL get embarrassed about asking for it? Come on now,” Yelena teased, reaching her hands down to claw at the part of Kate’s belly she could reach. The brunette barked out a laugh, both from the tickles and the teasing, and grabbed Yelena’s wrists. However, due to her giggles, she was nowhere near strong enough to pry her hands away.
“Shuhuhuhut uhuhuhuhup!” Kate cried out, giggling even faster as she tried to curl up even further. Yelena, of course, was right, and she loved calling Kate out for it. She could also tell that Kate was actively trying not to roll away from her. It was so cute.
“Can’t even say the word, now can you? Kate Bishop, you’re so silly,” Yelena giggled, grinning widely as Kate’s ears turned red from blushing so hard. Deciding to use her favorite trick, she gently scratched her nails against the back of Kate’s ribs and underarms. When said brunette rolled onto her back with a squeal of laughter, Yelena immediately snuck both hands under Kate’s shirt to tickle her bare, exposed stomach.
“NOHHOHOHOHO! NOHO WAHAHAHAHAIT!” Kate shrieked, arching her back while rolling side to side, sending a pillow flying as she kicked her legs wildly.
“Where do you think you’re going? No no, you’re staying right here,” The blonde teased, suddenly pulling a surprised Kate onto her lap, pinning her shoulders down with one hand while the other continued scratching her bare stomach. She gently yet quickly clawed her nails around Kate’s bellybutton, knowing exactly how ridiculously ticklish that little area was. The brunette howled with laughter and slapped against the arm holding her down, yet gave up the fight after a while. She placed an arm over her face as her loud laughter filled the room, with Yelena switching between tickling her stomach, sides and ribs until she was a hysterical mess.
“Had enough?” She asked with a smile, ceasing her tickle attack as soon as Kate nodded to gently pat her stomach instead.
“Y-yeheheah… ohohoho mahahahan… thahahanks…” Kate giggled, shifting slightly so her head was resting on Yelena’s lap. She placed the arm that had covered her face to her side, revealing her bright red cheeks as she caught her breath.
“Ha, flushy cheeks,” Yelena teased, poking one of her cheeks with her finger. Kate playfully glared at her for a second, before suddenly grinning widely. She was about to declare war.
“Squishy cheeks,” She shot back, before rolling off of the couch to bolt out of the living room. Yelena stared at her with an open mouth, before jumping up to run after her.
“Kate Bishop, get back here right now!” She yelled, grinning widely when Kate squealed in anticipation when looking back over her shoulder. She loved a good chase.
“Never! You’ll never catch me alive!” The brunette cried out, giggles filling the building as she tried to escape to safety. Kate wouldn’t be able to reach her room before Yelena would catch her, and Yelena knew that Kate knew that.
Definitely a victory, Yelena thought with a smile.