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What secrets can you unlock

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Natasha blamed Clint. She always did, but now she did so more than usual.

The straps of her heels dug into her feet and she really didn’t feel comfortable in the dress he picked out for her. It was so not her, she felt ridiculous.

But her friend had decided she needed to get laid, so here she was. About to be pushed into blind date number… 6? Yeah, she thought it was 6.

No, 7. She shouldn’t forget about that dental assistant that kept nagging her about the importance of flossing.

Let’s just say that that date wasn’t ever getting a repeat performance. Never ever ever.

The fabric of the dress barely reached her knees, and it showed off too much of her shoulders. Clint could be such a man sometimes, honestly, she wasn’t 25 anymore. These kinds of dresses were long behind her. But even she had to admit that the deep green color complimented her eyes more than she would ever give him credit for.

She was waiting at a slightly too fancy restaurant, and she desperately hoped that she wouldn’t have to pick up the check. Her job paid well, but not that well.

“I’m sorry miss? Are you Natasha Romanoff?” A voice behind her asked.

“Yeah I am.” She turned her head eagerly.

Oh dear lord.

Natasha stared a little, she couldn’t help it. Maria Hill was gorgeous. Clint’s description of her didn’t do her justice at all. She was tall and dark and dear lord those cheekbones could kill a man.

But what a way to go…

“Hi, I’m Maria.” Natasha had the sense to shake the hand she held out and how could a hand be this soft?

Maria sat down across her with a smile, “Honestly, I’m glad to see I’m not Clint’s only victim. He’s been trying to set me up for weeks now, though I’m slightly disappointed he didn’t introduce me to you before.”

Natasha marveled at the crooked smirk for a second before finding her composure, “How do you know I’m worth the torture? I haven’t said a word yet. I could be dreadfully boring?”

Maria smiled, “Well, just being able to look at you makes up for those past horrid blind dates.”

“Well aren’t you the charmer?” Natasha smirked, “Can’t believe those other ladies didn’t hold on to you.”

“Yeah.” Maria cringed a little, “Clint didn’t realize before yesterday that he should set me up with ladies, hence the horrid dates.”

Natasha laughed, “Ow, so those horrid dates were with…?”

“Men.” Maria pulled a face, “Men who thought I’d be interested.”

Natasha cringed in sympathy, “Yeah, Clint really isn’t the biggest social expert. I’m sorry for you though.”

“Eh, it’s alright. It makes for one heck of a story.” Maria shrugged with a twinkle in her eyes, “Besides, Clint promised to pay for dinner, to make up for the awkward.”

“Oooh, that’s why the fancy schmancy place?” Natasha laughed, “Well in that case, I’m having champagne.”

Maria’s chuckle sounded like music to her, and she really couldn’t believe that there was a woman out there who could be so beautiful.

They chatted easily, about Clint, about their past horrible dates. It was easy, comfortable.

“So what do you do for a living?” Maria asked between bites.

“I develop specialized software.” Natasha said, “It sounds boring, but I like it.”

“No, it doesn’t sound boring at all.” Maria assured her, “Tell me about it. I have to admit that I don’t know a thing about computers.”

Natasha shrugged, “It’s nothing too fancy. I build software for companies. Like translation programs, or programs to build databases. I provide the shell, and then we sell it to other companies who put the actual data in it, and they sell it to the consumer.”

“Wow, that’s pretty impressive.” Maria whistled.

“Thank you.” Natasha happily accepted the compliment, “What do you do?”

“Eh, human resources… I, eh, I lead the human resources department at a technological company.” Maria shrugged a little awkwardly.

“And you call my work impressive? Wow!” Natasha chuckled, “That is so cool!”

“You think?” Maria seemed a little relieved, “A lot of people don’t like it… they just assume I’m some snobby workaholic director.”

“Dude! No! You worked your ass off for that job Maria! You should totally be proud of it!”

Maria blushed cutely, “Thank you. And I swear, I’m not a workaholic. I barely have any real work at all. Sometimes it just feels like all I do is sign papers.”

“I bet you do more than that.” Natasha reached out and touched her hand, “I think you’re job is awesome Maria.”

They both blushed, looking away a little, and Natasha took her hand back before things got too awkward.

Maria was the epitome of gorgeous, and Natasha couldn’t look away from her all night.

They talked about nothing and everything, like they had known each other for years. Natasha couldn’t remember the last time she had felt this at ease with another person.

It was like the pressure of a first date just completely melted away, and they were just having dinner as if they did so every day.

But too soon, it was time for them to leave. Maria gave Clint’s creditcard information to the waitress with a satisfied smirk.

“He’s so going to regret that.” Natasha chuckled, shrugging into her coat.

“Hmm, I might pay him back though. If meeting you is what I get for being mistaken as straight, I think it might have been worth it.” Maria winked, holding open the door for her.

The redhead blushed a little, “You’re too smooth.”

“I try.” Maria’s eyes twinkled flirtatiously.

“Well, it’s not going to get you anything miss Hill.” Natasha could be flirty too, “I don’t put out on the first date.”

“Why, miss Romanoff, are you asking me on a second date?” Maria mocked with a grin.

“Maybe. Depends on your answer.”

Maria grinned, “I’d love to go on a second date with you. Maybe someplace less… fancy? This isn’t really my scene.”

“Same. I feel like a clown in this dress.”

“I think you look gorgeous.” Maria winked and Natasha blushed for the umpteenth time that night. She just couldn’t with Maria.

“Can I walk you home?” Maria asked tentatively, “I swear, I have no assumptions or intentions, I just wouldn’t want anything to happen to you. And I kinda don’t want to leave yet.”

“How can a girl say no to that?” Natasha grinned.

As far as wooing went, Maria was doing one hell of a job. Natasha hadn’t felt this special in a long time.

They reached Natasha’s apartment building soon, staring awkwardly at each other.

“This is my place…”

“I, eh, can I have your number? Please?” Maria asked hesitantly.

“Eh, yeah.” Natasha grinned, “Give me your phone.”

She quickly saved her number in Maria’s phone and handed it back. “You’ll text me right?”

“Definitely.” Maria nodded eagerly with a huge grin.

“And just so you know, I don’t care for that stupid rule of waiting one day before texting.” Natasha added.

“Duly noted.” Maria smiled, “Anything else you wished?”

Natasha shook her head, smiling along with Maria.

“Goodnight Maria, I had a lot of fun.”

Maria nodded, “Me too. Goodnight Natasha.”

Natasha watched her turn the corner before heading inside, still grinning when she rushed up the stairs to her apartment. Maria was nothing short of amazing.

She needed to buy Clint something pretty to thank him.

She unlocked her frontdoor, smiling when she saw the sleeping form on her couch.

“Hey you,” she whispered, kneeling down next to the couch, “Wake up. I’m back.”

“Natasha? How was your date?”

“Pretty good, I think.” Natasha grinned again widely, “Yeah, it was pretty good.”

“Oh!! Awesome! Tell me everything!”

“Another time Erin.” Natasha smiled, “You need to get home now. How much do I owe you?”

Erin looked at the clock, “Eh, 24 dollars.”

Natasha handed her 30, “I know you’d rather be doing other things with your Friday night. Just take the money.”

“Thanks Tash.” The teen grinned widely, “Well, I better be going home now, mom never really sleeps when I’m out.”

Natasha walked her to the door, and kept an eye on her until the girl disappeared in the apartment across the hall.

Not for the first time, Natasha thanked her lucky stars for having Erin around.

She slipped out of her heels and headed up the stairs of her duplex.

Rubbing at her eyes, she figured she’d better go to bed straight away. Tomorrow would definitely come too early.

But passing the other bedroom, she couldn’t help but look inside.

Her heart melted completely at the sight in front of her, like it always did. It was just too damn adorable.

Her phone buzzed softly, pulling her away from her thoughts.

Hi! You said you didn’t like to wait for a text, so here it is! I really had a great time tonight. And I can’t wait to see you again, if you want to? Let me know! Xx Maria

Her face broke into a grin, and she was just going to text Maria back, when someone else grabbed her attention.

“Huh? Are you back?”

“Yeah sweetie, I’m here.” Natasha stepped into the room and sat down on the bed.

The boy rubbed his eyes, “Did you have fun?”

“I did.” Natasha nodded, “I had a very nice dinner.”

“Was she nice to you?”

“Yes Leo, she was very nice to me.” Natasha rolled her eyes a little.

“Good! Everybody should be nice to you, Mama.” The boy decided firmly.

Natasha hugged her son firmly. He was just too precious.