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Sweater Weather

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It was a beautiful room, a beautiful place actually, a spacious cabin with modern architecture in the middle of snowy mountains, far away from the chaos of the rest of the world. It was silent and bright with the snow falling lightly outside the large windows in the bedroom overlooking snow covered mountains and valleys.

“Natasha? Sweetie?”

Pepper called concerning into the bathroom coming off the master bedroom. There was a thunk and a small crash before a voice answered,

“Yeah? I’m good, Pep.”

Natasha’s voice was gravelly and slow, Pepper leaned with her arms crossed over her thin house robe.

“You didn’t come to bed last night, Is everything alright?”

She heard Natasha sigh, and she leaned her ear closer to the door,

“Oh that, yeah, I was in desperate need of a shower and I was to tired to take one so I just crashed on the couch, I didn’t want to get the bed dirty. I’m about to take one though, just give me a sec and then we can enjoy our day together, I promise. I can make some breakfast and then we can watch some things if you want, or we can go outside and play in the snow, I can show you how to make the perfect snowball--”

“Natasha.”

“Yeah?”

Her voice was much more agitated and impatient and Pepper shook her head and opened the door. Pepper’s mouth dropped open slightly and the shorter woman looked up expectantly, she was naked save for a pair of black underwear and had smudges of dirt and ash all over her body, Pepper eyed especially the bruises on Natasha’s lower abdomen and hips. Natasha smirked as she leaned over sideways over the sink, pulling bits of glass and plastic out of her tangled hair.

“Just another day at the office.”

Pepper looked her over with unease from the door frame,

“Sweetheart…”

Natasha put a hand to calm her down,

“It’s alright, I’ll be cleaned up in a bit and then we can have a great day.”

She smiled reassuringly up but instead of accepting Natasha’s calm voice the taller woman shook her head, her lips thin on her face and she walked over and Gently but firmly took the brush out of the other woman’s hand.

“Pep, I--”

Pepper took the shorter woman’s wrists and pulled them close, looking her in the eye, her face was serious and she shook her head pointedly.

“No. The other’s may fall for that act, but I don’t, okay? Now---”

She placed a soft kiss on Natasha’s bottom lip, closing her eyes and pulling away slowly before replacing her lips with her finger, and whispering a

“Shhh..”

Natasha made to speak again but with one quick look from the taller woman who had just walked past her, leaving her at the sink, she went silent and looked down. Her eyes drooped shut in the silence before she heard water running in the large tub behind her. She looked up as Pepper came back, putting both hands on her arms and steadying her off the sink, leading her to the tub. She moved around the shorter woman, pulling her knotted hair off of her shoulders and adding a kiss to the back of her neck. Natasha leaned her head back with a smirk, normally she didn’t allow people behind her but Pepper was a very different situation. The C.E.O traced her fingers lightly up and down Natasha’s sides, barely coming in contact with her skin, giving her just enough to make her shiver. She snuck her fingers down her body, pulling the underwear down with them, so lightly Natasha barely even felt them leave. They fell around her ankles and Pepper leaned down, placing a kiss and a quick nip to the back of Natasha’s knees.

“Step out.”

The order was delicate yet firm but Natasha obeyed, taking a small step out of the garment around her feet, letting Pepper throw them to the side. She stood up, pressing her front to Natasha’s back,

“Pep, What are you---- hhmmm…”

The taller woman had begun rolling her thumbs around Nat’s shoulder blades, hitting all of the knotted areas making her neck limp and putting a smile on her face.

“Now, into the tub.”

Natasha didn’t look back as she took a few steps toward the steaming water, she felt Pepper’s hands on her arm and her side and she knew that she wouldn’t let her fall. She stepped into the hot water which felt amazing on her skin and aching bones. Pepper guided her in, keeping her back to the taller woman and laying on the bottom with her head laying on the cool side of the tub. She felt Pepper pulling her hair up over the edge, patting it down softly.

“This is nice, baby, but I’m fine, really.”

Pepper’s mouth was close to her ear now, the hot breath making her shiver slightly,

“Stop talking and close your eyes.”

Natasha obliged and soon Peppers lips were pressed to her forehead, the woman in the tub hummed responsively,

“Good.”

Pepper began to finish what Natasha was working on, pulling out pieces of debris and brushing out the knots while Nat soaked in the tub, silent with her eyes closed. Pepper washed her hair with the hose, cleaning it and brushing the beautiful red locks out all without disturbing Natasha. It wasn’t long before her breathe evened out and Pepper knew that she had fallen asleep in the hot water. Natasha woke up a little later with a damp warm rag being dragged tenderly across her cheek, Pepper was on the other side of her face and kissed her cheek reassuringly as Natasha’s eyes opened and her muscles tensed again. Pepper washed the dirt and grim off of her wife’s face, cleansing the skin and then moving down her neck and repeating the process till she deemed the job done. Pepper stood up and the woman in the tub lifted her neck slightly to look behind her,

“I’m not going anywhere, sweetheart.”

Natasha laid back as Pepper moved around behind her till her lips were back on her forehead, she put her hands on Nat’s shoulders and the shorter woman followed her as she supported her up and out of the water on wobbly legs. She guided her back to the rug in front of the sink and motioned for her to stay put. She shivered slightly in the cooler air but Pepper was back only a moment later, a fluffy white towel over her arm. She traced the warm fluff over Natasha’s dripping body, tracing up and down her curves with incredible precision. She ended with her hair, soaking the water up, making sure it was taken care of before wrapping a scrunching around the bulk of it and leaving it a loose pony tail. Natasha’s face was soft as she craned her neck to get a better look at her wife,

“Pepper---”

“They push you too hard, You push yourself to hard, Natasha, it’s time to let me take care of you.”

“Yes Ma’am”

Pepper pulled a big folded item off a shelf and opened it in the air, a big sweater, soft and baby blue. She slipped it over the shorter woman’s head, pulling her arms up gently and slipping them into the cozy item, she let it fall over her waist, it stopped just below her bottom. The next item Pepper pulled off the shelf was a pair a gray sweat pants, she kneeled down and guided Natasha’s legs into the clothing, pulling them up her legs and tying the string comfortable around her hips. She nuzzled the sweater and kissed her navel,

“You’re so beautiful.”

She was serious but Natasha huffed out a laugh

Pepper stood up and wrapped her arms around her waist, cuddling up to the oversized sweater and slowly pushing Natasha towards the bed, laying her down on her stomach in the middle of the bed and settling herself next to the woman who was completely amused at this point. Pepper was nearly laying on top of her, dragging her hands over the sweater, pressing down on tense spots and loosening her muscles, then she began to speak,

“You’re so kind, Natasha.”

Natasha lifted her head up slightly as Pepper’s voice deepened and she whispered behind her ear.

“I--”

“Shhh.”

She paused again, but Natasha remained silent so she continued,

“Almost too kind, I’ve never met anybody who puts everyone else’s needs before their own. It doesn’t matter how much you’re hurting, it doesn’t matter how much guilt you’re carrying on your shoulders, you’ll always make sure that their pain is acknowledged and taken care of. You’re selfless like that, Doesn’t matter what’s going on you’re always reminding everyone that it’s not their fault. So let me remind you, Natasha, it’s. not. Your. Fault.

Her voice was soft but clear and Natasha had become tense again despite Pepper’s hands digging wonderfully over her sore muscles.

“You’re so loving too, I know the mission you came back from last night was hell, something world threatening with situations that probably called for a superhuman, but they called you first, because you’re the best at what you do. Yet this morning, you were only worried that I wasn’t taken care of, that you weren’t paying enough attention to me, you never thought of what you needed, only what you had to do to better take of me.”

Natasha was crying now and tears were running off her face onto the bed, Pepper kissed her neck as she shuddered underneath her words.

“Pepper--”

“You have so much compassion, You would do anything, sacrifice anything to protect the lives of innocent people, and still when you talk about the people you protect you speak of them as if they were better than you, no price is too great for the people that you protect. Such an amazing person…”

“I don’t think that---”

“You don’t think you deserve to be talked about like that? Natasha, I want you to listen to me right now. Are you listening?”

“Y-yes”

Natasha hiccupped. Pepper laid over the smaller woman, entwining their hands and putting her head next to Natasha’s.

“You are more than a sex- object. More than a desirable piece of meat for criminals to fall for. You are more than a mindless fighting machine. More than your past and you are more than what you have to give to everybody else. You are more than what you can give me. Natasha, you’re everything to me. Don’t hide your pain from me, you deserve to be taken care of simply for being who you are, just my favorite person in the world.

Natasha was sobbing into the blanket now as Pepper held on to her tightly, kissing her cheek and holding her hand as she cried. Pepper pulled her onto her side and wrapped around her protectively, wiping the stray strands of hair from her out her eyes and rubbing her arm as she cried.

“I-- I love you, Pepper.”

She choked out through the tears and Pepper leaned in tightly against her in her sweater,

“I love you too, baby. Today’s all about you.”

Pepper held her long past the point where she fell asleep comfortably in her arms and they remained in bed together, holding on tightly as the snow fell slowly outside their window.