Natasha really doesn’t know how she manages to gets herself into these situations.
Well, maybe its all to do with agreeing to Steve Rogers’ ridiculous plans.
It definitely is, she decides.
But now, she’s currently at a diner called Benny’s, posing as a college student with Wanda, complete with physics textbooks, stationary and backpacks procured by Tony, who insists they’re the only ones who could pull this off.
They’re supposed to be spying on a rogue Hydra agent (yes, they still haven’t completely gotten rid of them), who’s in the vicinity, trafficking some stolen weaponry that, if sold, would lead to a hell of a lot of people getting hurt. And no one really wants to deal with another national- or global-level threat, so here they are. Just another normal day’s work.
It’s all ridiculous, this charade, probably unnecessary, but Steve and Tony think it’s efficient, and, she has to acknowledge, it has allowed her to spend some much-coveted time with Wanda after they’ve both been on separate missions, so, she’ll put up with it.
The diner’s nice, as well, reasons Natasha. It’s one of those quaint 50s retro places tucked away in a quieter part of the city, with booths, and framed photos on the walls, music in the background, complete with the black-and-white tiled floors and neon signs, just like in the old movies. It’s fairly peaceful, the lunch crowd having already passed, with only a few customers dotted here and there.
The two settle into one of the booths in a corner by the window, selected for its view and vantage point over the street outside and the entire diner, where their Hydra thug will be appearing shortly— if their information is correct. They’re both thinking that in another life, perhaps they could have been normal college students, studying physics and meeting for a study session. But not here.
Wanda looks over at Natasha who is going over their plan of attack, covering all eventualities, and thinks to herself about this crazy new life of hers. Of heroes and monsters and villains and magic and saving the world. Of planning attacks and being attacked. It’s utter madness. And, she’s just a little fed up with just talking about missions with Natasha, and how this job, this life of theirs means more often than not, they’re separated from each other.
“So, Steve’s finalised our plan of attack, but I’d like to take my own precautions,” Natasha says, more to herself than Wanda. “The place will be surrounded once the others are in position, and then it will be just like we practiced. They’ve become more sophisticated with their attacks, so we need to be on high alert.”
She gives an almost imperceptible sideways glance to the far corner of the diner where a well-to-do looking business man sits alone. The buyer, she figures.
“That’s nice, but you know what doesn’t attack you?” Grins Wanda slyly, finally seizing an opportunity to divert the conversation to anything but the mission. “Milkshakes,” she says, gesturing towards the menu when Natasha’s brow furrows slightly.
Natasha rolls her eyes, but puts away the plans between the pages of her physics textbook, turning the page to keep up with their cover. “What flavour?”
“Chocolate of course.”
“Always,” says Natasha, the two sporting identical grins as the waitress comes over.
“What can I get you?” Asks the woman, smiling brightly as she brings out a notepad and pen from her apron pocket.
“One chocolate milkshake with two straws, please.”
“And a large portion of cheese fries,” cuts in Nat, figuring they might as well make the most of their time here.
The lady takes their order, smiling knowingly. To her, they’re just another of the many couples she get in there making the same request.
“Didn’t realise you were such a romantic, little witch,” comments Natasha once the waitress leaves.
“Like you’re not either,” quips Wanda, and Natasha can’t really argue with her on that. Instead, Natasha flashes her a grin that makes Wanda’s heart melt.
The former assassin may not admit it, but she could be very adorable sometimes. Wanda corrects herself. It was all the time, really.
Little did she know, the redhead gazing back at her was thinking the exact same thing.
“So, we’re physics students, huh?” Remarks Wanda conversationally, swinging her legs for all the world like an excited child being taken out for a treat. Honestly, she’s enjoying this: it might be a mission, but she hasn’t seen Natasha properly for weeks, and oh how she’s missed her.
“Tony’s idea. I just went along with it because, well, when you’re around him, you tend to pick up a lot, so it’s an easier cover to keep up. That and also I’ve had to study stuff for missions before. Clint couldn’t handle it,” laughs Natasha, thinking of their past missions.
But Wanda notices there is some sadness there, behind all Natasha’s smiles and bravado. Never having the opportunity to explore what she would have liked to do with her life, never being quite able to find herself, having such a life thrust upon her. She longs to reach over and wrap her arms around Natasha, to hold her close, but instead settles for squeezing her hand in reassurance under the table.
Natasha doesn’t question the brunette’s actions; she knows how intuitive Wanda is.
“I think maybe I would have liked to study art,” says Wanda softly. “I remember when we were younger Pietro sometimes would steal art supplies for me, he knew how much I liked it, and I would paint—just little things, you know. Never very good, but it was comforting, a nice way to pass time in such a place. He’d tell me one day we would leave, and I would become a famous artist and all the world would know me.” She falls silent, remembering her bleak childhood in Sokovia and the brother she had lost, and it is Natasha’s turn to provide comfort.
“Well maybe, when this is over, when we get back, we can go get some supplies, and you can start painting again. I know a craft shop nearby.”
Wanda positively beams at the thought of that, and Natasha thinks about how, if she could paint, she would paint Wanda smiling just like that.
Just at that moment, their waitress returns, placing the tall frosty glass of milkshake, piled high with a peak of whipped cream and adorned with chocolate shavings between the two, along with the rather large plate of cheese fries.
“Enjoy, girls,” the woman smiles before bustling away to take another order.
Wanda leans over and takes a cheese fry from the plate.
“They’re...” Wanda searches for the word, the one that she heard Tony use the other day, “divine,” she says finally, an expression of bliss settling on her face.
“Right?” Natasha takes one herself, smiling as a string of melted cheese hangs down from the corner of the witch’s mouth.
“Look at you,” teases Natasha, “can’t take you anywhere without you making a mess.”
Wanda blushes, her cheeks turning a soft rose shade as she wipes at the cheese on her lips.
Despite the teasing, Natasha thinks Wanda looks perfect. God, she’s so far gone on this girl she’d do anything for her.
Natasha leans back in the booth, whilst still watching Wanda devour the cheese fries, an amused look playing on her face.
“You know, I’ve never tried these before,” confesses Wanda.
“Never?” Asks the redhead incredulously, staring at Wanda. Even Thor had tried cheese fries (he’d proclaimed them ‘delectable’ and had vowed to introduce them to Asgard when he returned).
Wanda shakes her head, mouth full. “I’m still new to this whole America thing,” she reminds Natasha.
“Well, I’m going to buy you all the cheese fries you want,” decides Natasha seriously, pushing the plate closer to the brunette.
Wanda beams at her, so widely that Natasha is wondering how she’s not in pain right now.
“Wanna try the shake now?”
Wanda leans in, at the same time Natasha does, and she’s so close she can smell Wanda’s flowery perfume, it’s sweet and intoxicating and comforting all at once somehow, Natasha finds.
Their lips wrap around the red and white striped straws, cheeks hollowing out to drink from the cool, thick liquid. The chocolate and ice cream flooding their mouths, it’s a perfect balance of sweetness, Wanda thinks.
Their eyes meet and Natasha is enraptured at what she finds there in those big, blue-green eyes staring back at her. It’s something like wonder and adoration and a softness she doesn’t think she’s ever seen anyone look at her with before.
She’s so busy watching Wanda, lost in that moment, that she fails to hear Steve through her earpiece, who has been trying to get her attention.
“Natasha? Natasha? Romanoff!”
“I hear you, Steve,” says Natasha, fairly sure she’s in for a berating, judging by his tone of voice.
“I’ve been trying to contact you for the past five minutes.”
Shit. She’ll definitely be hearing about this later when they get back.
“I really hope you two aren’t canoodling right now,” says Steve, his voice crackling over the speaker system.
“Choose your next words carefully, Rogers,” warns the redhead in an undertone. “And you’d better hope no one else can hear you, otherwise, I can assure you, you won’t ever be speaking again.”
Steve just sighs. He really doesn’t want to deal with a lovesick assassin right now.
“Just be ready,” he says finally, and Natasha, imagining him pinching the bridge of his nose in exasperation, smirks.
“Copy that. We have eyes on the target, by the way,” she says, noticing another, new figure in the doorway.
“We’re in position,” returns Steve and the line goes silent.
She turns back to Wanda, who is looking slightly flustered, her cheeks a little red from having overheard Natasha’s conversation with Steve.
“Well, I guess that cuts this a little short,” Natasha says, placing dollar bills on the table, trying and failing to ignore how beautiful Wanda looks in the afternoon sunlight.
Wanda droops a little in disappointment, but quickly recovers. It’s part of this life, after all.
“We’ll have to come back another time, little witch,” promises Natasha, as she places a kiss to Wanda’s knuckles, having caught the expression on the Sokovian’s face. “Now, as the old man always says, stay sharp.”