Coverart by dapatty
“Could we meet in a more conspicuous spot?” Natasha asked, sliding into the seat across from Melinda. The outside cafe was busy with the last of the lunch rush.
“I suppose,” Melinda allowed, not looking up from her menu. She was dressed more casually than Natasha had ever seen her, in street clothes with a well worn leather jacket. Granted, Nat had mainly only seen her in her uniform catsuit.
“But the coffee wouldn’t be as good,” Melinda continued. “Besides, I’m sure Mr. Barton is perched on the roof across the street.”
“That’s because Triplett has eyes on him,” Natasha allowed. Clint insisted on tagging along. She could have told him to keep Stark distracted back in the tower but after everything that happened in D.C. and the Winter Soldier still off in parts unknown, it was nice to have backup.
Melinda gave a glimmer of a smirk in response and quirked an eyebrow.
“Like I don’t know about your little team. Your rogue off-the-grid little team, I might add.” Natasha gave a smirk of her own. Hell, she’d even read the file that Fury handed her himself. It was one of a few things that had stayed completely under the radar through this whole mess.
“It’s not my team,” Melinda countered. “It’s Coulson’s.”
“You picked them all and only one mis-step in the whole bunch.” Natasha turned her cup over and smiled at the waiter as he sat down a french press and cream, then dashed back off.
“Just like you realized that S.H.I.E.L.D. had been infiltrated from the inside out by Hydra.” May’s mouth didn’t quite frown.
“That’s fair,” Natasha didn’t quite grimace. “But it’s all over save catching the stragglers.”
“Nothing is over. We are rebuilding,” May said, taking a sip of her coffee.
“Who’s we?” Natasha asked, and Melinda May smiled.
“Phil is putting S.H.I.E.L.D. back together and he wants you to be the liaison between it and the Avengers.”
“I’m sorry but you seem to be talking complete nonsense. What do you mean Phil Coulson is rebuilding what I just helped destroy?” Natasha said, voice low and dangerous.
“Fury’s orders,” May shrugged. “He made Phil director and has gone off to do whatever it is he chooses to do. He believes Phil can do it right this time.”
“And that’s what you’re gonna do? Follow orders? You believe that out of anyone, Coulson can make it right?” Natasha leaned back in her chair, arms crossed over her chest.
“I believe in Phil. Besides, this wasn’t an order. I volunteered to handle communication with the Avengers.” Melinda took a sip of coffee. “But if you would prefer to deal with Agent Triplett, I’m sure that can be arranged.”
“Working with you is prefered even if I have no idea why you think I communicate with any of the rest of them. I’m not even an Avenger.” Natasha pointed out and finished her cup of coffee.
“But you are. Once you burn yourself so thoroughly, it’s retire or be a superhero. And face it, you’re too young and pretty to retire,” May smirked.
Natasha didn’t know what to make of this. Part of her wanted to storm off or have a fight in this cafe and the other part wanted to say yes. She had only run into Melinda May just a few times before, but May’s reputation certainly preceded her. Things would get bloody fast if it came down to a fight.
But there was something in the way the Melinda was holding herself, her quiet, self-assured strength, and the way the afternoon sunlight played off her face almost took Natasha’s breath away.
“You might as well call me,” Natasha agreed with a nonchalant shrug, and stood. “Just don’t look for things to be very organized on that front for awhile.”
“It’s always good to be prepared,” Melinda gave a small smile. “I’ll be in contact.”
“I expect no less,” Natasha tossed over her shoulder.
Clint, who had been quiet over the comms for this entire exchange, chirped, “So, you gonna hit that or what. Because I’m pretty sure that was Melinda May flirting.”
“I’ll hit something,” Natasha muttered, frowning.
“That’s what I’m saying,” Clint said. “See you back at the Tower or are you going back for dessert?”
Natasha sighed deeply.
“Aw Nat. I love you too.”
Natasha removed her comm from her ear.
Natasha decided that the shiny, deadly thing made of metal at the end of the street shooting laser beams out of its eyes and hurling cars might be a robot. She rolled into an alley just as the car behind her exploded into a shower of sparks, hissing curses as she held her side. Bruised ribs, probably, and sore shoulder from being thrown against a wall at the beginning of the fight. The cut on her arm bled sluggishly as she prodded it while she caught her breath. She just hoped that Clint hadn’t gotten his stupid ass shot off the top of the building he had perched on. Sam could get here any day now. Captain “I’m Five Minutes Out” her amazing ass.
Fine time for Tony Stark to make a trip to Japan with Bruce to look at some sort of giant, fire-starting salamander in the name of science. Really, it was bad enough they had Jane and Thor for additional science cooing or whatever the hell stupidly smart people did involving herpetological studies.
“That was close,” Melinda observed, dropping down from the fire escape.
“A little,” Natasha allowed, giving Melinda a nod and trying to peek down the street.
“Try this,” Melinda handed her what looked to be a shotgun-sized cannon looking gun. “But maybe from higher up. The building I dropped down from has an excellent vantage point.”
“Well that’s all well and good but climbing is probably off my agenda, unless you have a way up there?” Natasha gave Melinda her best unimpressed lifted eyebrow. Her day has not been going well and she just wanted a hot bath and to not have high-powered destructive beams aimed in her direction.
“If you insist,” Melinda smirked sliding her arm around Natasha’s shoulder, encouraging Nat to grasp her shoulder. “Hang on and don’t discharge that until we’re in position.”
“That’s what she said,” Natasha rolled her eyes as Melinda fired a grappling hook out of a gun that pulled them up to the edge of the building. Melinda boosted Nat onto the roof and hopped over after, crouching down beside her.
“Careful, a girl might think you could do more than snipe with a mouth like that,” Melinda said and Natasha was pretty sure that was flirting. Natasha couldn’t help but smirk back.
“Pretty sure I could teach you a thing or two,” Natasha said, not the least bit coy. She always found it to be direct, to be a challenge, worked best.
“Maybe later. When you can take a full breath,” Melinda suggested. “I can’t have you passing out before we get to anything good.”
“No, that would be quite the letdown,” Natasha agreed.
“I can come back later if you’re busy Widow,” Sam spoke in her ear-piece and Natasha decided that her life was full of smart ass men with ridiculous timing.
“So, how does this gun of yours work?” Nat asked, lifting it up.
“Do you want me to steady it for you, or would that be overstepping?” Melinda asked.
“Not as long as it brings down that robot,” Natasha countered. “Besides, I thought we were both on the same page here.”
“We certainly are,” Melinda smiled and reached to help Natasha steady the gun.
After the robot was a heap of twisted metal on the street, Melinda reached for the gun and Natasha handed it over.
“So, I’ll find you when you’re on the mend,” Melinda said.
“Maybe I’ll find you next time,” Natasha said, leaning in close and kissing Melinda deep.
“I’d like that,” Melinda said, kissing Natasha back before stepping away and vaulting off the roof.
“You really need to hit that before it hits you back, girl,” Sam said over the comm and Natasha almost wished she had that gun back. Meddlesome smartasses, the lot of them.
The Playground sat exactly where Natasha remembered, as did the back door that helped her avoid Eric as he minded the facility. She already had clearance, thank you. She just needed to infiltrate Melinda May’s quarters and wait. After all, it was Natasha’s turn to show up unannounced.
Melinda’s room was free of clutter and without the feeling of being lived in, not that Natasha expected to find anything. Natasha didn’t really have anything in her living space either, or hadn’t until after D.C.. Clint had been trying to remind her that people have things. That you can leave the mail on a counter and that you can have books on your coffee table. Maybe even a knick-knack.
Natasha knew about how hard it was to leave anything of value out for anyone to see.
After exploring all the nooks and crannies of the room, Natasha flopped down on the bed and was pleased to find it was softer than it looked. Unzipping her suit to just down enough to display cleavage, she got comfy enough to wait.
She didn’t mean to fall asleep, but woke when the door slid open and closed again. Opening her eyes, she found Melinda May in the doorway leaning against the dresser, smirking at her.
“Is this the part where I say, ‘Who’s been sleeping in my bed?’” Melinda asked.
“You could. But you never struck me as someone who asked stupid questions,” Natasha said, shifting onto her side.
“True,” Melinda agreed, then shifted her stance, favoring her right side. “Look, it’s not that I don’t value sneaky and highly attractive company that has the audacity to sleep on my bed like a present waiting to be unwrapped, but…”
“I’ll still be here in the morning,” Natasha said. “If you want me to stay. I’ll keep watch while you sleep.”
Melinda smiled this small and fond smile that had been more genuine than any of the other smiles Natasha had gotten. Natasha would stay forever if she could keep Melinda making those smiles.
Nat stood and walked over to Melinda slowly. She reached out and cupped Melinda’s cheek with her hand and took stock of the hint of a bruise on her cheek under her fingers. Natasha leaned in and placed a soft kiss on Melinda’s cheek and then her lips more of an unspoken “I’m here” than a promise of more.
“You should stay,” Melinda said.
“Okay,” Natasha agreed and then smirked. “Not to sound like I’m trying to get you naked, but the uniform is not the most comfortable attire for sleep. That’s the voice of experience talking.” Her tone lowered slightly. “The voice of seduction would have been far more smooth about it.”
“Oh, I have no doubt,” Melinda said giving Nastasha another chaste kiss and stepping away to the dresser. “I’m surprised you didn’t already know where everything is.”
“What? And completely unravel the allure and mystery of you by looking at your panties?” Natasha lifted an eyebrow. “I’m a very patient woman, Melinda May.”
Melinda rolled her eyes and pulled a drawer open and tossed Nat a shirt and pulled out one for herself. “Patience that has been clearly reflected in the way you snuck into a top secret base without Eric’s knowledge and waited for a woman in her room.”
“Pretty much,” Natasha confirmed and slowly unzipped her suit the rest of the way, giving a bit of a show as she slid out of the top half.
“I can see that,” Melinda laughed, unzipping her own suit without flash and a quiet confidence, only pausing to ease her right shoulder out. Natasha reached out a hand and Melinda allowed her to help, while Natasha took stock of the bruise on Melinda’s back and helped with the other sleeve.
Natasha kept her touch light as she undressed Melinda, kneeling to slide the suit the rest of the way down her legs to reveal perfectly unremarkable black cotton panties. Melinda placed a hand on Natasha’s shoulder for balance as she stepped out of her suit.
Melinda brought her hand up and gently tipped Natasha’s head back.
“I like you down there,” she said, gaze heated.
“I like me down here too,” Natasha agreed, taking Melinda’s outstretched hand and standing.
“We’ll get to that,” Melinda promised.
“We’ll get to a whole lot of things,” Natasha agreed and led Melinda to bed. Tucking her in and resting beside her, almost felt more intimate than anything she’d done in a long time. Natasha could get used to this.
The next morning she decided she could also get used to making out with Melinda in the kitchen. Only pausing for sips of coffee and the shocked squeak of a couple scientists and Coulson’s new favorite.
“Oh my. I’m terribly sorry. I had no idea that this was going on in here. I’ll get coffee later. Much later. Fitz, stop pushing,” Simmons stammered.
“What’s the holdup. Why are you in the way of coffee?” Skye moaned, exasperated.
“Black Widow is in our kitchenette drinking coffee and kissing Agent May,” Fitz explained.
“Sam Wilson owes me $20,” Triplett punched the air. “I told him Romanov would sneak in here.”
“Wait, sneaking! Who’s sneaking? Not without a pass!” Eric appeared looking cross and then completely froze when he saw the scene through the kitchen window. “Ah, Agent Romanov does not need a pass. I’ll just.” He scurried off.
“So your team is just as nosey and caffeine addicted as mine,” Natasha observed.
“Whatever we do, we will never top Stark’s single-mindedness,” Melinda allowed.
“Point,” Natasha agreed and smiled to match Melinda’s fond, private little smile.