" There will be mountains for us to climb,
There will be days when the sun won't shine,
But I'll stick through it,
Oh, I swear."
- Bridges (Aisha Badru)
Natasha Romanoff was skilled at, honestly, almost everything.
She could muster up 10 different ways to kill a man with her pinky. 15 if she really thought hard. She could seduce even the most secretive of people to spill their dirtiest truths. She could disarm someone aiming at her with a bazooka.
She was proficient at espionage, assassination, infiltration, deception, seduction and almost any intricate word one could think of which makes a person lethal. (she subconsciously credited the Red Room for making her such a weapon. Now, people tremble at the sound of the 'Black Widow' )
She was included in S.H.I.E.L.D's blacklist (the place reserved for the Hitler and Bin Laden of this era), and had S.H.I.E.L.D's best agent sent to kill her until said agent decided to disobey his freaking orders.
Natasha debated what Clint's mercy meant to her. Even though his stubbornness to do the right thing prevented her from ending up at the other end of a rope (A fairly thick rope that would crush her trachea and stop the flow of lively air from entering her body), she still had to live up to his trust and try to be 'good' which was rather exhausting in her part.
How can she not be the assassin the Red Room had beaten in her bones?
Being credited over 3 dozen kills and many more she can't remember (well she can, but who would care?) , one would be under the impression that the infamous Black Widow can't be fazed by meek gestures of loyalty, trust or love.
And what does that make her. Weak, soft, inept.
(Natasha considers such a word to be too innocent to describe her, sliding it through mud if it was ever aimed at her)
You are weak, Natalia. You are weak and always been Weak. Madame B.'s words hammered at her skull for letting the resilient walls around her heart crack in the slightest.
She ponders, more often than not, about how disappointed Madame B. would be in her. Her best work, the child prodigy, turned into a mush by simple acts.
The red head scoffs. If she was here right now, she would've had her beaten mercilessly for being subdued by a band of outcasts.
Outcasts that she loves.
These were the thoughts that polluted the Black Widow's mind whenever she returned from a mission, that demanded more than her skills set.
Director Hill had sent her to infiltrate a facility that was believed to be a secret hideout of Crimson, an organization that had made its mark under S.H.I.E.L.D's radar.
It was supposed to be a simple recon mission, get in, hack into their servers, get the drive and get out.
Was anything even uncomplicated if she was involved? Apparently not.
Getting the drive proved to be facile. However in a hurry to get home, the red head accidentally tripped the motion sensors and a herd of heavily armed, muscular guards came pouring in the server room.
Could Natasha handle such heavy artillery? Uh yah.
Could she escape with minimum injuries and complications? Oh now that's just insulting.
It's what happened next that has her a little on edge.
After the alarms tripped, the next thing the red head heard were shots being fired from automatic rifles. Click bang, click bang
She turned the metallic table over in order to shield herself from being completely and utterly fucked.
She looked around from her periphery and analyzed the situation. 4 guards, on all four corners (oddly in range. It looked as if amateurs were given high grade weapons.)
The weapons had a familiar stench. The pattern of shooting sounding mundane to the red head's ears. Then it clicked.
They were S.H.I.E.L.D issued weapons.
Firing counter shots, she ran from pillar to pillar, neutralizing every single threat but not killing them until...
The shoot out lasted for 10 minutes tops and all of the men were either unconscious or moaning with unbelievable agony.
Natasha too was hurt. A bruised rib, swelling in her abdomen, a wound adorning her left thigh after a bullet grazed her. Nothing too serious. (Though the pain she caused them was something to be proud of).
The red head had always prided in her stealth abilities. She had broken into Pentagon and had even out smarted steranko, the most top notch system out there. She was shown as an example to all the other girls in this regard.
Then how come she triggered some third grade motion sensors?
Was going back home so distracting that she screwed up a mission? Was she becoming soft? Was Madame B. right? If she is then...
"Natalia," she heard one of the men saying, his hoarse Russian voice audibly irritating, as if like needles piercing her ear drums.
The red head went near the man, as if he was a siren and she could do nothing but come inexplicably close, her earlier terrain of thoughts lost.
The devil finally beckoning her to meet her maker.
"How do you know that name?"
"They are coming for you." he laughed, drops of thick blood oozing out of his mouth, staining the floor in a crimson red.
Natasha's stomach churned at that, knots tying harrowingly on itself, nausea having settled deep in her gut.
She didn't think then, she just acted, consequences be damned.
A clean round hole adorned the man's head, his sturdy (and very much dead) body lying limp on the floor.
Natasha stood there watching intently, as if admiring the portrait the blood had made on the floor. She felt as if the red she spent years trying to wipe off her ledger, has just been soaked in crimson again.
Looking out from the Quinjet, the red head clenched her jaw at the memory, something so foreign but tasting so familiar flashing in her eyes.
Was it guilt? No, it was fear.
Fear she thought she could never feel, this humane feeling having felt meek to the Red Room for they had to extract it from their trainees.
Fear of what, exactly?, the red head debated. That the Red Room had returned. That the ounce of stability Natasha had spent years of maintaining had just been tumbled down by the utterance of one word.
Fear of this and so much more or nothing at all. (honestly she couldn't pin point it)
The quinjet landed and Natasha padded to her room. She silently searched the parameter, having feeling astonishingly relieved that no one was awake to see her cat-like stalk towards her resting place.
The rain spatted on the tinted glass of the tower. The weather faintly matching her mood. It felt as if God Himself knew of her self pity and mocked her by making it drizzle and painting the sky in a sorrowful grey.
Her heartbeat became inforseenly swift as she neared the approach to her chamber's door. (she totally blamed today's events for that, not the face she sees in the stars. Yeh definitely not her.)
She mutely opened the door and what she saw inside had her heart swelled and butterflies flying vigorously in her stomach.
There she was, the woman that had etched herself in the red head's mind, had plagued her every memory with the fragrance of her existence. A seemingly innocent and 'present' form that lingered ever so gracefully near the red head's body, reminding Natasha of something she thought she'd lost. Her humanity.
Wanda Maximoff was Natasha Romanoff's salvation. Her savior that rescued her from Satan's grasp (although today's events proved that Natasha had only landed a few steps ahead the pits of hell).
And there she lay, curled like a ball, near the edge of 'their' bed, her breaths even, snoring slightly with her hair puff and sprawled around the pillow. Her exquisite features ever so radiant under the soft moonlight.
An angel being bedded by the devil.
Going closer, Natasha noticed she held something close to her chest. Something small and by the intensity of her grasp extremely soft. Was that--a-- a teddy bear?
Natasha's lips curved into a gentle smile as she remembered that piece of fluff.
After a passionate night of making love, they both had cuddled around each other, regaining their strength. Wanda lay on top of her love, her head buried at the crock of her neck. They lay in silence, a comfortable one of sorts. (which was truly a blessing at the avengers tower)
"Once we were young," Wanda's voice cut through the air, Natasha lending all her attention into every word that slipped the brunette's tongue (it was moments like these, when Wanda felt truly exposed, would she tell some events from her past, baring her soul), "Pietro stole a teddy bear for me. It was a small gesture but one i truly cherished." Wanda's green-blue orbs glittered with drops of tears, as she took a deep breath to keep them at bay (it made Nat shiver). "I had it for years until Hydra took it away from me. I truly wish i still had it, a part of him with me."
After that Natasha made it her mission to give her one, the most downy plush she could find. (she did find one and she is happy to report that the mission was a success)
Natasha neared her sleeping heart and bent down near her resting face.
Wanda looked somewhat at peace, the storms of her past at bay as she lay rejuvenating. She wore a big baggy hoodie (Natasha's), matching her auburn hair and grey short shorts. Though the way she slept, her hoodie had bundled up at her chest, exposing milky soft skin.
She looked younger, tranquil, the whole scene 'private' and she felt lucky being the only one allowed to have such confidential data seared in her brain.
She dipped her head down, grazing her lips ever so softly on top of her beloved, relishing in this feeling she needed, after the mission had left her completely numb. (thankful she didn't wake the brunette from her peaceful slumber).
Natasha wanted nothing to strip there and then and savor in the warmth Wanda had to offer. But she couldn't go to bed smelling like gunpowder and covered in soot. (and she still had to tend to her wounds because she was stubborn enough not to go to the medbay for such minor complications)
Standing up, Natasha lingered a little longer, the utter divinity of this scene in front of her threatening to split her open. (That is the beauty of it, Natasha wondered, that one does not need prodigious moments to make something excruciatingly intimate). She silently ghosted to the bathroom to tend to her many wounds.
The red head looked at the mirror but couldn't seem to meet her eyes, feeling as though something so horrendous had made its residence there.(Maybe it had)
Natasha felt a rush of relief after seeing no sign of infection on her wounds. Nothing a little parrafin can't fix. But she still needed a shower to get that ghastly odor of gunpowder off of her.
Setting the shower to a desired temperature, Natasha bared herself of her work suit and stood under the fine spray of luke warm water, washing any indication of today's mission off of her jagged skin. She looked down where the water had turned a sorrowful pink before going down the drain. (but whose blood the water had the unfortunate luck of mixing in, she didn't want to know).
Her lips formed the shape of a crescent as she heard the faint footsteps of someone approaching. (years of training had increased the sharpness of her senses ten-fold. Even through the thunderous roars of the rain, and the stream of water she was under, she still knew to whom those gentle steps belong to)
The curtain opened and Natasha was met with weary, sleepy eyes. Wanda stood there, deprived of any clothing, her intentions apparent in her bleary eyes. Natasha let her eyes trace the creamy skin of Wanda's body. (Just like her, Wanda's skin was not deprived of battle scars, painful memories she hoped would shove themselves deep in her hippo campus. Wanda had always felt insecure about them, using layers of makeup to make sure no evidence can be seen by the world's gaze. It had taken the red head alot of time in their relationship to see her beloved bare and to make her accept it as a part of herself rather than look away in disgust. In doing so, she also embraced her scars too, wearing them like an armor, a warning for those who ever dared to cross her.)
Natasha instinctively stepped aside, such bathing now becoming a routine after late night missions.
She nourished in the warmth of the water and her beloved.
"Did I wake you up?" The red head asked, guilt masking her voice. (Why must Wanda be troubled if her past had come to haunt her? She doesn't owe her anything.)
"You know I can't sleep without you." came Wanda's reply. Plain and simple.
Wanda took the shampoo from the corner and poured some of it on her hand. The brunette applied the shampoo on the red head and started washing Natasha's fiery curls. Natasha didn't face her, she couldn't. So she just let her love wash the blood off of her hair, hoping it would be this easy to wash the red off her hands.
The domesticity of this whole situation gnawed at the assassin, tugging at her heart to give in. But her mind, fought, screaming to her that this, love was something the privilege of which, she had lost.
Her muscles tensed and Wanda's hand stopped a bit, a movement an average man would not have noticed. (an average man wouldn't have been a skilled assassin). Then her movements changed, became calculated rather than random.
"So..." the red head cut in, not knowing what to do with this information, "the teddy bear?"
"It reminded me of you."
"You are both cute and cuddly."
"Cute and Cuddly!! You know i can kick your ass right now?"
Without looking back, Natasha could see that the brunette's lips had tugged in a smile. Natasha loved that smile. How her eyes would shrink by the weight of her laughter, how crinkles stuck themselves at the sides of the witch's face whenever she smiled at the avengers, her family.
But she had a special smile, just reserved for her.
And, God, was that smile magical.
A smile so radiant that not even the Sun's light could weigh up with it. A smile so beautiful that even the Moon was embarrassed of such exquisiteness. A smile, she could've swore, had the ability to end wars. It made butterfly emerge in her stomach that such artistry was reserved, just for her.
And that smile was always there, at every stolen glance, at any chance look, plastered on her face. It made her feel special.
Wanda took hold of the sprinkler and gently started washing the shampoo off of the assassin's head. "How was the mission?"
"It was fine." Well, no, it was not fine. Natasha knew that and she knew that Wanda knew that too, but she didn't push. She never did, which was one of the gazillion reasons why Natasha Romanoff was in love with Wanda Maximoff.
But Natasha was hurting. Hurting by the weight of her past, if how her shoulders slumped every now and then was any indication.
And Wanda wanted to help, she needed to help because the woman she loves has something on her mind, because she is wounded, scared by some insignificant soul. And why, she ponders, would the big man in the sky bestow her, out of the 7 billion people in the world, with powers if she can't use them to (how did Peter put it, ah) yeet puny humans who even in their right mind, dared to make her love sad.
Wanda turns the red head around to face her, but her eyes still remained downcast, afraid to look up, fearing the mere sight of her would corrupt any soul she looks at and she rather be damned (which she already is) then let her ghosts and demons hurt her little witch.
The said witch, then, traced her fingers down Natasha's jaw and dragged them under her chin, earning shivers from the red head.
Green met blue-green irises as the sad forest sought comfort in the stormy sky.
Natasha Romanoff feared few things, she knew could make her break (almost five, she counted) but never in the seven skys, she could ever fathom that one of them would be soft and tender starry eyes looking at her from above. (because Wanda is taller than her and she hates that she loves it.)
And it's that look of home, of security and... promise in her eyes which has the power to break the resilient walls Natasha has spent years building around her heart. In that moment, the red head wants to do nothing but scream into a void, to keep screaming until her voice gets hoarse and she breaks because this woman who has been through as much shit as she has, is standing there, offering to help, to bear some of her burden. She wants to climb on top of a hill and she wants to shout her love for the brunette as she is her savior.
Blood colors the black widow's hands, but why does this particular murder bruise her so much. Natasha has always killed when she was told to and when it was absolutely necessary. If she could, she has stopped many unwanted deaths and casualties But never has she killed out of fear.
And now she has. She took a life to please her nerves that maybe his death would prevent the red room from coming after her (no matter how irrational that sounds). And it is destroying her from the inside. She needs to tell this to someone, anyone (preferably Wanda), a reminder that she is not as fucked up she thinks she is.
"I killed him". It was barely above a whisper, a naked declaration and she sighed, like a weight has been partially lifted off of her even without knowing whether Wanda heard her or not.
She looked straight into blazing eyes that she swore hid cosmos and continued "He knew my name, my real name and I was afraid. God, Wanda, I was so afraid that they were gonna come and screw up this life I fought so hard for and that they would find me and hurt you," Natasha's voice cracked at that part because she would never forgive herself if her demons, her monsters ever dared to hurt her little witch.
"So i pulled the trigger. I thought i had kept that impulse to kill in control but clearly i was wrong. And now i feel like I fucked up and my head hurts thinking about it and I .. I feel like you are gonna hate me for this."
For the entire time the read head rambled (Natasha knew she had hit rock bottom because when in hell did she started rambling?), Wanda kept silent. She listened intently and even after the assassin had stopped she remained silent, a brow raised as she thought.
Natasha assumed the worse (of course she did. She never had been the optimistic one. Steve Rogers used to lecture her on the importance of seeing hope in dark places), and as Wanda's silence stretched, her heart raced at an uncontrollable pace. She just confessed murder to someone so humane and she would understand if the brunette wanted to cut all ties with such a venomous viper.
But what happened next has the assassin feeling loved.
Wanda put both of her palms on her temple and planted a gentle kiss there. Even when she moved away from there, Natasha could still feel the kiss linger. She could still feel its warmth ablaze under her skin and she wanted to just drown in the meaning the kiss bestowed there.
"Where else does it hurt?" Wanda asked, her voice still and serene and felt like the first drop of rain in a land consumed by drought.
The red head stared at her love, understanding the question but failing to answer. It's like the words have choked up in her throat and she wants to push them out but has lost the ability to speak having been consumed by emotion at the witch's act.
She had just confessed something that had her troubled and was threatening to kill in a way so haunting that a bullet would feel like a safer way to die. She hated, still hates herself for all the blood that paints her hands and how she has just refurnished her ledger with fresh crimson.
And this woman, who had looked into her head, relived her horrendous past with her, was worried about her well-being. It was like a seed has been planted somewhere inside her, plunging its root deep inside her. The plant being of something she had yearned for her entire life but thought she would never have the privilege to receive.
"My hand." was the only thing she could choke out and for now that had to do.
Wanda smiled that same cursed smile and enveloped both of her hands with the red head's. Her hands smooth against jagged ones. She brought it close to her lips and rested them against every corner and inch of it. Although the brunette was not extending her scarlett energy, every skin the lips tasted had such magic infused in it that Natasha could swore had healed most of her wounds and cuts (even the ones her mind had to suffer).
She held such concentration at the task at hand, eyes downcast, brows knitted together making sure every touch lingered, cured and healed all the worries that littered the red head of her love.
"Where else?", Wanda asked again, content and determined. "My shoulder", Natasha breathed, tilting her head exposing a red patch, swelled from a hard impact.
Kissing her shoulder blade, the brunette made her way to her neck leaving a trail of frail affection behind. Natasha relished in this touch, feeling oddly exposed but secured at the same time.
Wanda took her time, making sure not to miss any corner of milky skin, making sure that her mark remains at her lovers neck.
The brunette moved her lips to the back of the assassin's ear, knowing its her favorite place to be touched. Natasha shivered at the weight of her lips.
The whole scene, though inexplicably intimate, was not sexual in any way. There was no push, no haste. A desire whose urge couldn't be fueled by the simple act of sex. Just two lovers, making each other whole. Curing each other, helping each other. Sharing a burden, one would run from. It felt as if they swayed in an eternal dance, pushing for love and pulling away in fear, two feelings though connected but very different.
The perfect yin-yang.
At last, their lips collided, the energy from before gracefully flowed. Their energy whirling between their bodies. Their lips met and moved back, air not being a major need. Their kiss heated, ablaze yet calm and contented. They pushed each other as close as possible, this moment seared into existence
They pulled back and Wanda held Natasha in a hug. They bodies fit perfectly together, like two pieces of a puzzle needed to make a picture whole. The red head didn't know she needed this, this simple act of affection, of tenderness to finally let go of the trivial thoughts in her head.
"I know you think your a monster and unworthy of redemption and love, " Wanda said, holding her love close. She wanted, needed Natasha to hear this and maybe one day, make her believe it too. "especially what happened tonight, but you are wrong. You deserve this and so much more and I am gonna spend the rest of my wretched life making sure you get a taste of what you deserve."
Wanda pulled back, bodies still intimately close. She caressed her hands on her lovers face and continued. "You have been with me till the end of the line and I promise you, Natasha 'bloody' Romanoff no matter what happens, we will face it together, okay?"
"okay", Natasha breathed, launching herself towards Wanda, hugging her with such intensity that it would seem as if she is the only person keeping her afloat (maybe she is).
The assassin's eyes brimmed with tears hearing her witches confession and she knew no matter what happens, no matter what judgment may come next, as long as she had Wanda Maximoff, she would be safe, and that doesn't sound bad, does it?
Boots cluntched over broken glass and bullet shells. A woman dressed in all black observed dead bodies as her lackies cleaned the place.
"She was here, the black widow." the woman said, heavy russian accent soaked in her voice. She looked at another figure near her. A woman, blonde, dressed in a black tactical catsuit, her abdomen faintly exposed.
"Our plan worked, she has the drive" the blonde woman answered, voice steady with sheer determination.
"Come on, Yelena, it's time to bring your sister home."