“Natasha…Nat?!” Sarah opened the door of her house. “What are you doing here?” “I missed you too, Enders. Do you mind letting me in. I don’t think Marie will appreciate it, when I bleed all over your front door.” Natasha Romanoff removed her hand of her left shoulder and showed her bloody fingers. “Oh gosh, come in.” Sarah ushered the avenger inside her house, “Upstairs with you, in the bathroom.” Natasha slowly made her way upstairs, holding onto the rail, she needed to blink twice to keep her vision from getting blurry. Oh, man that fucking hurts! With a loud thud, she sat on the toilet.
Sarah appeared in the doorway medical supplies in one hand and a bottle of Kristal liquid in the other. The young woman sat both on the sink before kneeling in front of Natasha. “Can you get out of that shirt or do you need help?” “I should be fine.” Natasha winced as she slowly moved her way out of her shirt. “Ouch, that looks...” Sarah crinkled her brow, before they disappeared in her hair, “When did you got shot?!” “Couple of weeks ago.” Natasha shrugged, “Shortly before the whole thing in DC.” “I hope you haven’t pulled your stitches, Nat. I don’t know if I’m able to fix that.” “You’ll be fine. Just clean me up and stick a plaster on it and I’ll be on my way.” Natasha winced again as Sarah started to clean up her shoulder. “The hell you are, you stay a couple of days...” “i can’t, I don’t know if they followed me here.” “As if that ever mattered. You look like you need to sleep in a proper bed for a while and get some food into you.” Sarah said forcefully. Natasha looked horrible, not only the blood covered shoulder but also the bags underneath her eyes and badly done hair dye job, told the story of days on the run instead of a normal mission. “Here drink this.” She gave Natasha the bottle, “it’s gonna sting.” “Fuck me!”, Natasha exclaimed, as Sarah applied pressure to the graze wound and taped it up. “You are lucky, your old stitches didn’t burst and you don’t need new ones. Just a flesh wound that bleeds like no tomorrow.” Natasha gulped from the bottle again: “Decent Vodka you got there.” “It’s Marie’s.” “Ok, all done. Now, I need you to follow my finger.” Natasha swatted at her friends finger, “What do you think you are doing, Florence?!” “Funny, real funny, Romanoff. However, do not think I saw how you swayed up the stairs. I just want to make sure you don’t have a concussion that’s all.” Natasha grumbled but followed the woman’s finger and a couple of other exercises, before Sarah declared her all clear on the concussion front. “Bed or Food?” She asked while getting up from her kneeling position. “Shower!” Nat answered. “Not possible until tomorrow when I change your bandages, you know that.” Sarah shook her head “and then I’m gonna fix your bad dye job.” Natasha nodded, it felt good to be here, have someone to make the decision for her. Almost has well as when she is at Clint’s and Laura’s, but there was no way she would make it back into the states now. She did not realise it but she closed her eyes while Sarah was cleaning up her utensils.
She startled when something shook her and she almost hit her friend. „I think its bed rather than food for you.” Sarah smiled at her and helped her off the toilet. “The guest room is ready for you.” Slowly they made their way across the hall into the small guest room, the bed was already turned down and the curtains drawn to not let any light in. Carefully Natasha manoeuvred herself into the PJ’s that Sarah had laid out. For how long had she been out? “Try to rest at least for a little bit, ok?” Natasha nodded, already getting droopy again. The mattress was soft and she could smell the detergent of the clean bed sheets.
Slowly she breathed in and out, and counted in her head, she threw her enemies for a little after they shot her, making them think she headed back to the states instead of staying put in London. That should buy her at least 12 hours if not a day of peace to regroup and put her next step into action. Who would have thought blowing all her covers would get her chased all across the world. Some of the old KGB grudges really run fucking deep. She heard Sarah potter around the bathroom and then walk downstairs to the ground floor.
Natasha startled awake...where was she? Her breath hitched...then she recognised the bed. London...Sarah’s ...safe...safe for now. Slowly she sat up and was glad that her vision was clear and she felt no longer shaky. It was dark outside, but her clothes were neatly folded on the armchair in the corner. Natasha turned on the small lamp on the bedside table and opened the door slightly.
“It’s all over the news, Sarah. How can you not have told me before?” “What, that my friend Natalie isn’t Natalie but the Black Widow? That wasn’t my secret to tell and it’s much more dangerous to know than not to know.” “Well, I would have liked to know who is sleeping under our roof and with whom I have been drinking with over the last couple of years.” Natasha stepped into the living room “I think I should go...I shouldn’t have come here...ever.” “Yeah... Marie nodded, that would be best.” Sarah set her glass of wine down with a thud. “Nonsense. You - she pointed at Natasha - sit down and I reheat some dinner for you and you - she moved her finger onto Marie - pour us another glass of wine.” You couldn’t tell whose snort was louder Natasha’s or Marie’s “Yes, mum.” Marie got Natasha another glass out of the cabinet and poured before refilling Sarah’s and herself another ginger ale. She sat down opposite the tired spy and sighed: “I just worry about her. Ever since the incident she isn’t careful anymore... she draw little circles on the turquoise wood dining room table and looked at Natasha through her dark fringe, worry etched on her face. “I get that, Marie. Believe me I do, but I was also the person that got her out of there if you remember and I tried not coming here, but...” “But I would kick your ass if you would do that and I’ll kick yours if you don’t stop this nonsense.” Sarah looked at them both pointedly and put a plate of fried rice with shrimps in front of the spy. “Eat!” Natasha picked up her fork, suddenly feeling ravenous. Sarah sat down but not before pressing a kiss onto Marie’s head. “I get that you are worried.” She looked at her intently “but Natasha being here isn’t going to put as anymore in danger than being a tourist trying to cross Oxford Circus.” They spent the evening the way they spend many evenings in that house, around the bright wooden dining table drinking wine and chatting. It was the second wince and Natasha rolled her shoulder to reduce the pain.
Marie stood and motioned to Natasha “I have some new pain meds from work...a bit stronger than what Sarah will have been giving you.” Natasha nodded appreciative. The two women made their way up the stairs "I'm sorry." Marie went into her room and gestured Natasha to follow her. "It's fine." Nat leaned against the door frame, she understood the French doctor, she wasn't save to be around at the moment, not until this whole thing had died down and Sarah was just too young to get involved with all of this, she was only 25. "No it's not, I mean I guess you know what you do and if Sarah trusts you then so should I. But the last time I did that she got kidnapped and her fucking ex-boyfriend cheated her not only out of 25k but also almost out of her life." Marie turned around and handed Natasha some painkillers. "Thanks. And believe me I would have killed the bastard and got her money back if she would have told me his name and allowed me to do it." "Take them with lots of water. Yeah, I guess I understand now why she wouldn't tell you." Marie chuckled. "It's a pity; he deserves to rot in hell for what he did." "Right with you on that one." Marie nodded before grabbing her bag and leading Natasha back downstairs to Sarah.
"I'm heading to the hospital now. I'll be on shift for the next 12 hours." "Take care." Sarah pressed a kiss to Marie's cheek. "Bye!" the French doctor shouted from the hallway before the door closed with a thud. The two women stayed up a bit longer, before Sarah helped Nat to get into the shower and then wrapping her wound again. "Sleep tight, Nat." "You too."
Lying in Sarah's guestroom Natasha, turned on her phone, it had been off for the last few days now. A couple of text messages from Clint and Laura including a video from Lila and Cooper that made her smile. She quickly texted back that she was safe and would be home soon to see them all. The avenger’s group chat was full with messages from Tony and Bruce, and a couple from Steve confirming that he was still in Europe but returning to the US. An email from Pepper telling her that her apartment at the Avenger Tower was waiting for her and to please return Tony's phone call. Nevertheless, it didn't matter how many days she scrolled back on her texts or emails, there was none from Steve except the one on the group chat. She would have thought he contact her, let her know how is search goes, checking in with her, but nothing. One day you are on the run together, rely on each other and the next, he ignores you and runs off with his new best friend. She knows she shouldn't care, she never did, but Steve was different. She wanted that he cares about her and that scared her more than anything.
The next morning Sarah and Nat went to a little cafe for some breakfast, Sarah chatted away about her recent assignment and what she is going to do with her time back in London, but her friend didn't listen. Natasha's attention wandered between watching the door and checking her phone. "Ok, I guess I am boring you." Sarah crossed her arms and looked at her friend with raised eyebrows. "What - no - never!" "Really? I just told you that during my next assignment in the Middle East, I was planning to marry a Sheikh, and not even that got a reaction out of you." "I'm sorry." "It's ok. What's on your mind?" Sarah expected to hear about the people who shot her or the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D it was her home after all, but not the blurted out :"Steve!" that even startled Natasha herself.
"What about the Spangled Man with a Plan?" Natasha looked down and played with the food on her plate, why did she say anything. She could fool Sarah easily, why did she just blurb it out? "Nat, come on." "He hasn't called, three weeks and nothing. I mean doesn't he care." Natasha let her head fall into her hands. "Oh look at that, the Black Widow has boy troubles." Sarah singsonged. 'Don't!" Nat groaned. "Hey, I am just teasing. Have you called him or messaged him?" Natasha shook her head "Shouldn't he have contacted me? After everything we went through together with S.H.I.E.L.D." "Didn't you say that his best friend kinda came back from the dead?" "And?" "That he is currently searching for?" "Yes." "So don't you think you should call him and ask him how that's going?" "I gave him the file I had." "Nat!" "What it took a lot of favours to get that and I don't feel that charitable to the man. He shot me twice." "He his still Steve's friend though?" Natasha nodded and looked at her friend irritably, why did she care so much. "And you care about Steve?" "He is a friend." Natasha answered back. "A friend that you love?" Sarah smirked into her Flat White. "I don't love. I am the Black Widow remember." "I am not asking about the Black Widow, I am asking about Natasha Romanoff." Another round of coffees was placed in front of them. "Then Natasha Romanoff tells you that she doesn't love Captain America." "Oh come of it. You don't love Captain America. You love Steve Rogers." Sarah looked Natasha right in the eye. 'Come on, Nat. Admit it...don't think I haven't noticed.'
"No, I don't." "Yes, you do." "No." "Yes." "No." "Yes." "No." "Yes." "No."
"I have three older brothers, Natasha. I can do this all day." "Ugh..." Natasha let her head thud onto the table and Sarah stroked her hair. Did she really love, Steve? She thought about him a lot. Trusted him with her life. Went on the run together. In order to save him, pushed all her life onto the Internet, blew all her covers and top it off indebted herself to some people to get him a head start on his quest to find the Winter Soldier. The way he lay on the shore of the Potomac, bloodied and beaten, brought her to her knees, literally. Her burst stitches didn't stop her from attempting CPR until Sam pushed her away and took over. For the first time since she can remember, she prayed, not for herself but for Steve, Steve who still goes to church every Sunday he could.
"Really, you really think I love Steve?" "I think you have been compromised, lovely."