Maria was watching the TV with a vengeance, desperately pretending to be distracted by the loud action movie.
Natasha had shifted during their weekly movienight. The poor redhead shouldn’t be at her apartment at all, she just came back from a tiring mission in Siberia.
Maria gave her the option to back out on their weekly hang-out, knowing that the spy would be jetlagged, grumpy and quite possibly very very sore. But Natasha had insisted that they couldn’t interrupt their ritual.
So there she was, slouched on Maria’s couch, her glass of wine left untouched on the coffee table.
Maria didn’t need to be a spy to know that Natasha was falling asleep slowly. Falling asleep with her head on Maria’s lap.
She tried not to show how nervous it made her. She really did. But it wasn’t everyday that Natasha Romanoff pooled herself on her lap and she had to pretend that that was perfectly fine, friendly behavior.
Maria’s fist were clenched at her sides and her posture was more rigid than when she stood on bridge of the helicarrier shouting orders. She’d give anything to be there. Hell, she would even give anything to be standing in the middle of the battle of New York instead of here.
She could handle aliens and robots, but this? This was a kind of torture not even Commander Hill could withstand.
“You’re going to burn holes into your TV if you keep glaring at it like that.” Natasha had turned on her back, staring up at Maria.
Maria fumbled a little, “I… I was just watching… not glaring. No glaring. I don’t glare.”
Natasha smiled a little droopy, sleepy. She was going to retort, no doubt on Maria’s lack of composure, but yawned loudly instead.
Maria chuckled at the small woman and turned the TV off, she wasn’t watching it anyways, “I think Itsy Bitsy Spider needs a nap.”
Natasha pretended to glare at her, but had to concede, “Yeah, I’ll just have to remember where I put my shoes and then I’ll be on my home.”
“You can’t go home like this Nat.”
Natasha smirked, “Worried someone is going to take advantage of me in this state?”
Instantly, Maria felt a bit of pity for anyone who would try to bother a grumpy and tired Natasha. Just a little bit though.
“No,” Maria cracked a smile, “Worried that you’ll fall asleep in the subway and I’ll have to come and save you somewhere in New York.”
She drew a chuckle from the redhead, one that filled her stomach with butterflies.
She willed them away, crushing on the Black Widow was not a good idea, no matter how lovely and gorgeous Natasha Romanoff was.
“You still have pajamas in the guest room.” Maria remembered, “Come on.”
Natasha didn’t budge, instead she turned a little on Maria’s lap, so that her face was firmly tucked into Maria’s stomach.
“Naaaaat, you can’t sleep on top of me.”
Natasha looked back up at her face, green eyes twinkling, “I can’t? And here I was thinking it was your ultimate fantasy.”
Maria went red. Logically, she knew Natasha was only teasing her. She knew that. But the comment hit too close to reality and Maria was spluttering to respond.
She didn’t have to, Natasha laughed heartily at her, no doubt mortified, expression and tucked herself back into Maria’s belly.
“Natasha.” Maria nudged her gently, “You’ll be more comfortable in bed.”
“Doubt it.” Natasha mumbled against Maria’s shirt.
Without thinking, Maria brushed Nat’s hair out of her face. Natasha sighed happily, prompting her to brush her fingers through soft red locks.
“Now this I like.” Natasha hummed and shuffled impossibly closer.
Maria smiled only a little. Natasha was being so close and cute and sleepy, and it was annoying and endearing at the same time. Maria wanted to push her off, away from those treacherous butterflies in stomach, but at the same time she wanted her closer, she wanted to hold her tight until they fused into one. She wanted to crawl inside of the redhead and live there forever. Close.
Natasha was drifting off, the jetlag and general comfy-ness of Maria soothing her gently.
She wished it was possible, but Maria couldn’t stay like this with Natasha all night. Neither of their bodies would appreciate spending the night on the couch. Especially not when there were two very comfy beds very close.
Maria wriggled out from underneath her friend, making Natasha grumble sleepily. She crouched down next to the couch and gently jostled the redhead.
“Nat? Come on honey, you need to go to bed.” The term of endearment fell easily from her lips.
Natasha cracked one sleepy eye open, turned to face Maria and wrapped her arms around her neck.
Maria nearly fell over from surprise.
“Carry me.” Natasha pleaded, hanging onto her like a dead weight.
Maria had a hard time wrapping her arms around the small woman to lift her up, desperately trying to avoid touching… things. She swept Natasha off the couch with a little grunt. The assassin was surprisingly heavy.
Natasha hummed and buried her face in Maria’s neck, rubbing her nose against the sensitive skin.
Maria’s mind was reeling and it took all her concentration not to think about Natasha’s nuzzling. With careful steps she carried the woman all the way to her guestroom.
By this point, the room could easily be dubbed Natasha’s bedroom. The redhead was the only one who ever stayed over, and the room was littered with her clothes and shoes.
Ever so gently she laid Natasha down on the soft bed, but to her surprise Sleepy Nat didn’t let go of her.
She was bent awkwardly over the bed, almost touching Natasha’s nose. Maria chuckled uncomfortably, “Nat? Let go of me Sleepy.”
Natasha grunted and turned on her side, dragging Maria with her. The tall woman toppled over onto the bed, narrowly avoiding crushing the redhead.
“Stay.” Natasha mumbled, obliviously asleep, snuggling into Maria.
“Natasha, don’t…” Maria pleaded. She couldn’t do this. Not with Natasha.
She was fine staying friends with Natasha. Honestly. Perfectly fine. It was just a little crush, Maria could handle it. But when Natasha did this. When she got close. When she made Maria feel special. Maria couldn’t deal with that. She couldn’t get that little bit at night, and forget about it in the morning. Even if Natasha was blissfully unaware of Maria’s struggle.
Natasha shuffled until she was almost on top of, pinning Maria onto the mattress. She could have gotten away. She could easily have gotten away. But to Maria, it felt like she couldn’t. Her brain told her to run, but her body didn’t listen.
Natasha was soft on top of her, her warm breath hit her neck steadily. She seemed so comfortable.
Maria couldn’t help the tear in her eye. It was just too hard to crush on her best friend. Natasha didn’t play fair. She was too gorgeous and cute. It wasn’t fair.
One tear became many, and Maria was having a hard time suppressing the sobs that wrecked her body.
Her jostling seemed to wake up the redhead on top of her, and Natasha blinked up at her.
“You’re crying.” It didn’t sound much like a question, but Maria knew it was. She knew Natasha and her awkward attempt at emotions.
She wiped at her eyes, “I’m fine.”
She couldn’t tell her. Not ever. Because no matter how hard it got, being Natasha’s friend was the most amazing thing ever, and Maria could never give that up.
“You can talk to me Mia.” Her voice was soft and a little husky from sleep.
Maria nodded, “I know. But there’s nothing to say. Just emotional.”
Natasha stared into her eyes. Observing her. Trying to detect the truth.
“Okay.” She was quiet, and slowly, maybe even hesitantly, she settled back down on top of Maria.
“Don’t you need pajamas?” Maria protested weakly.
“No, I’m too comfy to move.” Natasha paused a little, “Mia? You think you can… stroke my hair again? I liked it…”
Maria swallowed heavily, but did what the redhead asked. She wrapped one arm around Natasha’s middle and gently raked her fingers through her hair.
Natasha made a noise between a moan and a hum, and melted into Maria’s arms.
Slowly but surely, Maria’s racing heart calmed down, and she found herself soothed by the warmth and closeness of Natasha. She felt herself drifting off to the soft rhythm of Natasha's heartbeat.
She vaguely felt Natasha move in her arms. Barely noticed soft lips press against her cheek and breath ghosting over her ear, “Я люблю тебя.”