The first time happened on a Sunday, when it was a few minutes past midnight, just a few moments before FRIDAY shuts the gym off and locks it to prevent any outsiders from entering it and stealing their equipment.
Yelena was the last one inside, deciding to blow off some steam because she had just gone in another argument with Bucky. Not that it was ever serious—it was playful banter until their conversation shifts to Russian and suddenly they were literally shoving knives on each other’s throats.
Usually, they would start laughing after one of them gets too close but today was different. Both were kinda mad at something else and one thing led to another and next thing you knew, Natasha had to interfere before a murder happens.
While Bucky had decided to walk away and tend to his goats that he had brought from his time in Wakanda, Yelena opted for the gym, breaking two bags and firing at least three rounds of ammunition on the range.
“You will never be good enough.”
She knew he didn’t mean it. She’s literally told him that he’ll always be the Winter Soldier no matter how much he tries to erase that but… the words still hurt.
The words that were constantly used on her growing up, constantly used to belittle and motivate her at the same time—no matter how much it gets repeated, no matter how used she was, it hurts all the same.
So, yeah, maybe shooting at a metal man and breaking two leather bags filled with sand was an overreaction but can you really blame her?
“FRIDAY?” She calls out, using her voice for the first time after three hours of continuous grunting and growling, the AI comes to life, its voice blaring through the speakers, “Yes, Yelena?”
“You can shut the lights off and lock the doors once I’m outside.” The blonde says, one hand on the door and the other clutching a thermal flask she got from Sam that one mission. It was originally his but he had lent it to her. He never took it back so she assumed he had given it.
“Will do. Goodnight.”
Truth be told, she wanted to spend the night there but knowing Steve, he’d end up being there in the crack of dawn and she didn’t really want to be there when he’s beating up a dummy.
Plus, he’s too nice to wake her up so he’d probably carry her to her room.
“Well you look like you could use a drink.” A voice announces from the corner of the kitchen, making the blonde jump in her skin as she places a hand on top of her racing heart, “Jesus Christ.”
“Will it be mean if I listen to stereotypes and give you vodka?” Tony Stark asks, leaning on the counter by the fridge as Yelena stares at him, watching him drink something from a thermal flask similar to hers, “I’m fine with my water.”
Although vodka does sound good. But she wasn’t about to steal from Natasha’s stash without her permission. She’s been there and she doesn’t want to hide from the woman in the vents with Clint ever again.
“Fine choice. Staying hydrated.” Tony nods, taking another sip from his drink when the blonde tilts her head, taking a seat on one of the stray stools that no one has an idea why it was there, “Why are you drinking this late?”
“Oh, I’m not drinking alcohol.” He laughs, placing his container down, making the blonde arch an eyebrow and step away for a second, “Then why did you offer me alcohol?” She asks, not that Stark was anything shady and yeah he’s a better man now with a kid but given his past…
“Nothing.” Although, as casual as Tony tries to be, he knew better. He knew that the spy already knew why he was offering her alcohol or why she looked like she needed it.
But he doesn’t push it. He lets her talk.
“What are you drinking, then?” She asks, making the man chuckle for a bit, “Aren’t we curious?” He asks with a tilted smirk, Yelena glares at him tiredly before he raises his arms in surrender, “Calm down, it’s tea. Strange got me into them.”
“Of course he’ll make you drink something healthy.” She murmurs, remembering when the man had told her to stop drinking too much sugar because she’d get diabetes and cavities. Did she listen? Well… yeah, I mean, he is a doctor and she got scared because that same night she searched it up and found out you could literally die from complications so…
“Listen, I know we don’t talk and I know you tolerate me for the most part,” The man begins, his voice wasn’t raised nor was it too silent, it was eager, though, determined, “But what I’m trying to say is if you need a friend or anyone, a father figure, maybe? I’m right here.”
Yelena had to stop herself from audibly gasping as she stares at the billionaire who was now scratching the back of his head sheepishly, “You? A father figure, to me?”
“Peter already relies on me. Wouldn’t hurt if I got Morgan another sibling, would it?” He chuckles, hoping he didn’t say anything wrong or anything, “Listen, I don’t know what Barnes said to get you all riled up but I’m assuming it’s not good so just… shake it off. He says a bunch of bullshit he doesn’t mean anyway.”
“Oh, yeah? What has he told you?” The spy asks sarcastically, there’s no way Bucky would tell Stark anything, right? I mean, he already killed his parents. If he says anything else that would be just viles.
“He told me I didn’t deserve a happy ending.”
Well that’s cruel.
“That’s better than being told you’ll never be good enough.” She responds, not that this was the trauma olympics or whatever but Tony already has his happy ending and he doesn’t take shit from anyone so Bucky’s words literally don’t mean anything to him.
Unlike Yelena, he could shake it off.
“He told you that?” Tony wasn’t a man of too many emotions, but he soons finds himself sympathizing with the girl, moving close enough to her but not too much that she feels uncomfortable, she waves it off, “It’s fine. Nothing I’m not used to.”
That makes his heart clench, his chest tightens as her words echo inside his head. This was too close to him.
“Used to? Hey…”
“All my life that’s what I’ve been told. And it’s coming from him. Someone who used to train me in the Red Room. So it’s fine, I’m used to it.” She adds with a laugh, although her eyes betray her, as they usually do, as a few tears escape her eyes.
Tony doesn’t say anything about it, he knew she wouldn’t like it but he had to do something. Anything.
So he straightens himself, offering her a warm smile, “Well if that’s the case then be prepared to get used to the opposite.”
“What do you mean?” Her voice was cracking, and so were her walls. But she tries to keep them from falling apart, she wanted to push Tony away and to just walk away but she couldn’t.
“You, Yelena Belova, are good enough.”
“Ah, ah! You hear me, kid? You’re good. More than enough. You’re amazing.” He continues, unable to stop himself from rambling, from telling her shit that he needed to hear when he was feeling this way.
“Why are you doing this?”
If no one was there to tell him these words when he needed it, then it’s just fair that he’s the one who says it to someone who needs it now. No one should feel this way. He knew that.
“You wanna know why? Because I know that. All my life I also thought I’ll never be good enough but I realized; who am I proving myself to, anyway?” He chuckles, Yelena stares at him, “You don’t have to prove yourself here. You don’t have to think whether you’re good enough or not because you are. And words would never change that.”
“You’re home. You’re family. You don’t have to prove anything to your family because we’re meant to accept you for what you are.”
Oh my fucking god.
Yelena had to blink, pinch herself and dear lord did she do it over and over again because this cannot be real.
Although, as much as she tries to convince herself that it wasn't—the more she stares at Tony’s encouraging smile the words sink deeper in her.
“You don’t have to prove anything.”
“You’re home. You’re family.”
Those words… she’s never been told any of that.
Natasha tries, she really does, but again, words were never their thing so she just hugs her and tells her she was there but this…
She had to stop herself from crying and throwing herself at the billionaire.
“You’re a total loser.” She replies instead, calming down and wiping the stray tears from her cheeks when he grins, “Come on, give me a hug.”
“No, you stink!”
“I don’t stink, you stink!”
And that was it. She wraps an arm around him so that it catches him off guard.
Yelena wanted to pull away, to run and pretend it never happened when he slowly hugged her back, making her sigh in relief.
She found peace.
“Thank you, Tony.”
“Any time, kid. Any time.”
The second time it happens, she wasn’t mentally fucked or anything—she was injured.
It was her turn to patrol the upper side of Brooklyn when she notices a woman getting mugged that she had to chase the men that stole this woman’s backpack three blocks before cornering them in an alleyway.
One of them had a knife while the other held the bag, attempting to scale the side of the building when she fought them, obviously coming out on top and giving the woman back her stuff but not without any injury.
She was stabbed, just by the side of her stomach that it hurt to walk.
But you know, she drives back to the compound on her motorcycle and ignores Sam in the garage, simply tossing her keys in the box before limping inside, the knife still stuck on her side.
The compound was obviously empty, she expected that, save for the others who finished their patrol early (i.e Sam), the only ones inside were probably Wanda, Strange and Thor.
Yeah, the magical ones don’t really go out on patrols like the rest of them do. I mean, unless they’re with someone else.
She had the choice to bleed to death or to sew herself up because there’s just no way she’ll ask any of them to help her out.
Doesn’t matter if one of them is literally a doctor. She wouldn’t do it—she will not be asking for any help.
So, she walks to the medical bay, grunting in pain with every step but thankfully making it there alive, ready to sew herself up when she stops.
Yeah, she didn’t think Banner would be here.
“Are you okay?” He asks, noticing the blonde by the door, leaning to the wall uneasily as she clutched her stomach, she winces, “What?”
“Are you okay? What are you doing here?” He asks, surely, she wouldn’t come here if she wasn’t hurt, right? She doesn’t necessarily hang out with him or Tony so to see her here worries him, Yelena waves him off with a forced chuckle, “Oh, I just came back from patrol.”
He moves from the project he was working on, deciding to move closer to the blonde instead so he could scan her body for any major injuries when she forces a smile, taking another step back.
“Do you need a wound to be dressed up?”
“Not really. Just need to get this knife from the side of my stomach and sew myself up.” She grins nonchalantly, knowing that there was absolutely no way out of this and that if she kept on stalling she’ll literally die.
“You were stabbed?” The doctor asks frantically, suddenly by her uninjured side as he led her to one of those metal tables, Yelena grimaces, limping with him as he tries his very best to sit her down on it, “Surprise?”
“Oh no. Yeah, stay put.” He was gone in a flash, scurrying to the drawers for supplies, the blonde frowns, “I don’t need your help.”
“You seem like you do.”
“You’re not even a medical doctor.” Then he laughs, shaking his head as he walks back towards her with some needles, antiseptics and surgical thread, “Tasha told you that? Don’t believe her. I’m a medical doctor too.”
Well that was embarrassing.
Hanging her head low and staring at Bruce sheepishly, Yelena murmurs, “You don’t have to.”
“I know you can do it on your own, but I want to.” His tone wasn’t indifferent or forced, it was willing, light, something the girl wasn’t used to so she evaded the thought of trusting this man and being vulnerable around him by nervously laughing.
“You just don’t want Natasha after your ass if I ever died or something and you were here.” He ignores her words, gently lifting her shirt up and asking her to hold it up before dabbing it with the antiseptic, while Yelena keeps a straight face amidst all the pain.
“This isn’t that deep.” He murmurs, staring at it for a while to make sure he was correct when the spy grins, “See? I’m fine.” “
Well that was a big fat lie because next thing she knew she was hissing and exclaiming a loud ‘ow!’ that makes Bruce redden, inching away from her to not hurt her any further.
“I’m sorry.” He apologizes, waiting for the go signal before approaching again, “You don’t have to be.”
It took a few more pained expressions before it was thoroughly cleaned and a whole lot of apologizing from Banner before they got to sewing.
“You seem used to this.”
The blonde stares at him, watching as he pinches the skin and does his very best not to cause her any harm, it makes her frown. Why was he so careful?
“I’m used to sewing myself up, now that hurts. You’re careful.” She says, unable to pry her eyes away from him as he pulls on the thread, “I just don’t want to hurt you.”
“I just don’t want to hurt you.”
Well that’s new. And it certainly lifts her mood up, somehow. I mean, when was the last time someone didn’t want to hurt her? Been a while.
“You wouldn’t.” Yelena reassures, although Bruce thinks differently, being more careful than how he was a few seconds ago, he lifts his head this time, meeting green inquisitive eyes, “So, why don’t you come to me or Strange when you need patching up?”
One truth wouldn’t be the end of the world, right?
“I don’t need help. I’ve been taught not to need help so I don’t do it.” She explains simply, expecting a nod in return or an awkward silence to pass between them when the genius laughs, “It wouldn’t hurt to get some, y’know?”
“It hurts my ego and pride.” Yeah, Yelena should stop spending time with Tony.
“Well, that aside, it literally wouldn’t. Sometimes you’ll need help.” He pushes, the blonde doesn’t appreciate it but she doesn’t tell him to fuck right off, either, so she sighs, “I don’t usually get help. I’m used to being alone.”
“But you’re not. You’re an Avenger. You’re basically part of the team—no one’s alone here.”
Psh. Yeah, right.
“How would you know that? You lock yourself up in the lab.” She says as if it’s a crime that it was him, the loner king of the Avengers compound telling her about being alone.
“But the guys still check in on me, don’t they?”
A beat. And then he opens his mouth, about to say something before closing it again, unable to find the right words before he starts to speak slowly, “When Natasha and the rest of us had to move in at the tower, she also shut us out. She also wanted to be alone because, as you said,”
“We were taught to be alone. To not need any help.” Yelena finishes for him and he nods, creating another puncture in her skin as he loops the thread, “Yeah. But she eventually needed it.”
Amused, the girl had to stop and stare at him in disbelief before blinking, “She needed help?”
Natasha Romanoff… needing help? Bullshit.
“Mhm. She came home shit faced drunk one night and it woke everyone up. We knew something was wrong.” Bruce recounts, remembering how the spy literally crashed and fell the moment she had gotten out of the elevator, alerting everyone that they all ran to her in their nightwear.
“We didn’t ask her to talk while she was drunk, but the next day we told her she could talk. So, she did.”
“She talked about feeling alone, like a leftover with no place in the world and always being left behind. Because of that, none of us haven't left her since.”
The description stings Yelena more than the actual wound. She never knew that, never thought that Natasha would be struggling too because, hey… she’s literally the Black Widow. But I guess, maybe, even heroes have their own problems and insecurities.
“You guys seem sappy.” Instead of saying something sweet, she opts for humor, which the doctor highly appreciates as he shakes his head, finalizing her stitches, “I’m just saying, you have us.”
“And done.” He says, cutting the surgical thread by her skin, Yelena takes a pause, wondering what he meant when she remembers—right, she was stabbed.
“What? Oh, thanks.” She grins, actually feeling at least a bit grateful as he stands up, admiring his work before bandaging it up in case blood seeps through, “You’re welcome. Now ask Strange for antibiotics.”
His tone was playful but Yelena knew he was being serious, nodding her head as she swung her legs over the table, landing on her right, an intense amount of pain shooting on her side as she held the man’s shoulders, “I will—ah.”
“You want me to walk you to your room?” He offers, allowing her to steady herself before gently letting go, she gives him a smile, “I can manage.”
Bruce knew his boundaries, so he nodded, stepping away again before letting the girl walk, “Alright.”
“Thanks, though.” The words weren’t foreign to her but it didn't leave a bitter taste in her mouth like it usually does, he chuckled, lifting his head as he returned to his project, “For what?”
“For being here and not letting me bleed to death.” It wasn’t sweet nor was it a proper response but he took it, smiling at her as she tried her best to stagger towards the door, “What are friends for?”
“Friends. Right. See you around. Although, I hope I don’t see you here again.”
“I wouldn’t wish for it.”
“Goodnight, Agent Belova.”
“Goodnight, Doctor Banner.”
Okay, she should really stop needing these people because it’s happening too often and she despises the fact that they would always come when she asks for help.
Although, she didn’t necessarily call them for this one it’s just—coincidence. Right. Coincidence.
It wasn’t late nor was it too early it was literally the middle of the day, just in between training and dinner that Yelena had finally gotten the nap she ever so craved when she was beating up their captain.
She found herself in the lounge, one foot dangling off the couch as she hugged the pillows close.
It was innocent enough at first but then it came. They came.
The muffled cries, the screaming, the memories of her being stripped away from Natasha—and that wasn’t even the worst part.
Because as she tries to fight it, try to erase it from her mind the thought of the Red Room enters her mind and she can't escape them. God, even in her nightmares she can’t escape them.
She can’t escape the beatings, the yells, the words. She couldn’t escape the lingering guilt as her missions all flashed in her mind in a swift blur.
Her body violently thrashes on the couch as whimpers escape her lips.
“Make it stop. Please make it stop.” She repeats, over and over again.
But she knew no one would hear. Natasha was out on a run with Maria and Sam, Steve had to discuss Asgard with Thor, Tony and Bruce are probably in the lab, Peter’s still in school and it terrifies her to know that no one was around.
That Nat wouldn’t shake her awake and tell her that she was there and she’ll protect her from everything, that Tony wouldn’t appear and make a joke before sitting on the edge of her bed to tell her that he gets them too even if his was different than hers.
For the first time it scares her that no one would be there for her.
But then she felt a light tap on her shoulder once, then twice, then suddenly she was being jolted awake by someone calling out for her.
Yelena’s eyes widen, sitting up so quickly that blood rushes to her head but she didn’t care, someone had woken her up and that’s the important thing.
“Nightmares?” The voice asks and as her line of sight starts to focus, she recognizes the voice more and more, making her sigh in relief, “Clint?”
“Yeah. I heard you… from the vents…” He murmurs, scratching the back of his neck as he stares at the ceiling, Yelena furrows her eyebrows, following his gaze, “The vents?”
“You know I hang out there.” A slight chuckle, then the blonde cracks a smile, “Oh.” She says, remembering this weird thing he has with vents, “You alright?”
The question throws her off guard for a bit, but she shrugs, drawing her knees close to her chest as she looks up at the man, “Nothing new.”
“Wanna talk about it, kid?” His voice was gentle, as if he was talking to a child and Yelena wanted to shove him away, wanted to yell at him and tell him to stop coddling her because she’s literally a twenty four year old adult living in New York with her sister that’s about to turn thirty in a few weeks.
She remains silent, not giving him an answer as he takes a deep breath before claiming the spot beside her, “You don’t have to if you don’t feel comfortable about it.”
“Are you really this patient?” The spy jabs at him, making the marksman lower his head in laughter, “I have three kids, you idiots and Kate. Being patient has to be second nature.”
Right, this man was basically everyone’s adoptive father.
“No wonder you beat Stark as Father of The Year.” It was meant to be sarcastic, accompanied with an eye roll or something but Yelena actually does give him a tilted smile, and Clint grins, “I try my best.”
Then they were silent again, not that it was awkward or anything, Yelena loved the company of the archer. He was always a great listener, even when it came to vests and pockets, he’d be there, nodding his head along and asking questions.
So, telling him about it, that wouldn’t cost her anything, would it?
“I had a nightmare about the Red Room. And when they took me from Natasha.” She blurts out, and it becomes word vomit from there.
“I know I have nothing to be afraid of now, I’m literally an Avenger. You guys defeated that big purple alien, the Red Room is destroyed and—I’m still scared.” At that, Yelena felt small, felt vulnerable, as if open for any attack, for a laugh, to be ridiculed.
It doesn’t come. Clint looks at her with a soft smile, reaching his hand out, waiting for her to let him touch her, she nods before he places a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
“The things that caused you pain might be gone but the pain still lingers, doesn’t it?” He asks the blonde who nods weakly.
“Talking about it helps, like a lot. But after that there’ll be scars and all you can do is to be proud of them because you overcame so much.” He continues and it makes her ponder for a bit.
Proud? Well I never thought of being proud that I escaped the Red Room, got Natasha back and freed the other widows but that does seem cool…
“I know Natasha’s the only one you lean on,”
“Stark helps too.” She interjects, he stares at her quizzically, wanting to know if she was pulling on his leg until he notices the serious expression on her face, so he takes another attempt at it, “Alright, Stark and Natasha, but we’re here. And worse comes to worst, we’ll get Wanda to erase those from your mind.”
That intrigues the blonde, making her turn to him in sudden curiosity, “She can do that?”
“Do you want her to?”
Yelena blinks. Does she want her to? I mean, yeah, they were bad but… there’s some good in them too.
So she responds with “I don’t know,” and Clint accepts it, nodding his head before standing up, “Alright. You wanna go with me? I’m teaching Peter and Shuri how to shoot bows when they get here.”
At first she wanted to decline, but then again, it would be really funny to see Peter fail while Shuri succeeds in it, so she smiles, “I’d like that. Thanks, Clint.”
“I got you, kid.”
Yelena Belova was not sad.
And she was certainly not wallowing in her room alone watching old chick flicks on the big television set Tony had given her.
She just had a very bad day. That was it.
I mean, she fell on goat shit, got her ass kicked by Strange of all people, Peter had gone on a mission so they couldn’t hang out and well, she had nothing better to do so she sat inside her room watching movies.
Besides, it’s raining, and Natasha and her had an argument so there’s no way she would go out now.
“He’s not my real dad anyway. He should stop getting in my business!” She had said and she truly regrets it.
Natasha had made sure to build their family again and for her to say that was just heartless of her because… they are their parents. No matter how fucking annoying Alexei was, he’s still the closest thing she has to a father.
So, yeah, she’ll be stuck in her room until it’s unbearable and she barges into Natasha's room so she could start apologizing to her in Russian.
“Hello?” A thunderous voice asks from the other side of her door, it makes the blonde jump slightly, nearly toppling the bowl of popcorn she had on her lap as she scratches her head. She knew that voice. Only one person has that voice.
“What in the… it’s open.”
The figure from the other end shuffles before her door creaks open and the other blonde in the team smiles, running his hand through his long hair as he enters her room, clad in a large sweatshirt and some sweatpants he had probably stolen from Steve.
“Thor.” She greets, prying her eyes away from the movie to meet his gaze, the god (oh my god?) nods, his eyes now situated on the television, chuckling for a bit before clearing his throat, “Uh, I heard you watching The Devil Wears Prada as I was passing by.”
“You wanna watch?” She asks, offering a seat on her messy couch when he shakes his head, deciding to lean by her desk instead, “While that would be delightful, may I ask you what’s wrong?”
“Wrong? Nothing’s wrong.” The spy whispers, hugging herself closer as she sinks deeper in the blankets, man, this guy is good.
“I also heard you and your sister fight.” Okay, maybe he’s not good, he just observed something.
She doesn’t respond to that, instead pouting at the television as she stuffs her mouth with an excessive amount of popcorn. Thor arches an eyebrow.
“You’re having a bad day.” He points out and she doesn’t disagree, nodding her head slowly before turning to the big man, acting as if she was a child, lifting her pinky up to the other blonde, “Can you not tell anyone about it?”
Thankfully, Thor knows what this meant so he approaches her, hooking his very large pinky to her dainty ones, offering her another smile, “I promise.”
She beams at him before she shuffles to make some space for him on the couch, this time he sits, “So, how do you know Legally Blonde?”
“Natasha had a habit of watching these films when she’s upset.” He answers simply, remembering the times she would come home and head straight for the lounge to watch her movies. No one was brave enough to enter the room while she’s in there alone but Thor was Thor and he literally had no fear of her so he did it.
And since then, that had been their little thing—watching movies together that he could quote along with her. Naturally, she had to explain that movies were basically plays but recorded because he didn’t get it at first but then he would bring DVDs to Asgard and watch movies with some of his buddies.
“She does?” Yelena asks, lifting her head from the sea of blankets when the god nods, “She oddly loves it, but she prefers action films more.”
“Okay, what are you doing here, then?” Another question and Thor doesn’t hesitate to answer, taking a heapful amount of popcorn before turning to her, a sheepish smile gracing his face, “I don’t think watching these films would be satisfying if you just want to find some joy after a bad day.”
“Hey, these movies make me laugh!” She argues, he laughs.
“Do you want to go on a walk with me?”
“On Asgard.” He says and the other blonde stares at him, looking at him and deciding whether or not this was a prank.
“Asgard?” She repeats, sitting up and nearly knocking her drink over when he grins, “Heimdall awaits and Loki does not like to wait. You coming?”
Now with a pep on her step, Yelena throws off all the sheets from her body as she drags the man outside, “Dude, of course I’m coming!”
So, yeah, that’s how she found herself on the Bifrost, or what she likes to call it, the gay bridge connecting Earth to the gods.
The city was literally made with gold and Yelena had to stop herself from you know, acting like a kid in a candy store or like, you know, being an annoying child to the god of thunder.
“Of course you had to bring one of your puny humans.” An exasperated sigh escapes the man’s lips as they approach, Yelena frowns, “I’m not puny.”
Damn, are all Asgardians mean?
“You’re human, you’re puny.” He repeats, his arms crossed above his chest, the blonde huffs, glaring at him as Thor clears his throat, “Yelena, this is Loki, my brother.” He introduces and the spy gasps, blinking as she stares at him, “Aren’t you the one who invaded—”
“New York, yes, I’m aware.” He grumbles and suddenly, Yelena has found a newfound obsession with annoying him so she takes a step forward, analyzing his face to which he doesn’t appreciate, staring at her in distaste, “Aren’t you supposed to be dead?”
A groan escapes his lips as he shoots Thor, who was chuckling madly beside her, a glare, “I’m not explaining this to one of your children again.”
“I’m not his child. I’m twenty four, I’m an adult.”
“Yippee, well I’m a thousand years old.” Loki replies, okay, maybe Yelena likes this man he seems tolerable.
But before she could push his buttons more to see how long before he explodes and stabs her or anything, a woman appears, her skin darker than the two gods, her hair as black as the night and her smile as teasing as Natasha’s.
“Is he being mean again? I’m Brunnhilde.” She introduces, and the blonde finds herself shaking her hand almost immediately, grinning from ear to ear, “Yelena.”
The woman—Brunnhilde, grins back before playfully punching Thor’s chest who then remembers why they were here in the first place.
“So, that walk I promised?” He smiles, reaching for his hand out as if showing the place, Loki scoffs, “A walk? It’s not a walk, you’re literally going to give her a tour.”
“That includes walking.”
Halfway through it, Yelena tugs on Loki’s hair before scrunching her nose in disgust, “You have greasy hair.”
“I do not have—I hate humans.”
And suddenly, her bad day had concluded with a smile and it’s all because of the god of thunder.
(Plus, maybe, because she had apologized to Natasha right after they got back because she didn’t want them to end up like Thor and Loki.)
Okay… so… she fucked up.
It was just meant to be her picking up Natasha’s present—a gun that’s been customized so it would have her logo on the handle and her name along with the word ‘Avenger’ engraved on it—but right now that seemed to be the worst possible thing she’s ever done.
Why? Because her motorcycle just decided to break down while she was stuck in Connecticut and she had no way home. I mean, yeah, she could take the train but she can’t just leave her motorcycle behind.
She could call someone to pick her up but she doubts that they’ll drive all the way here for her.
But as the cold settles in and as the clock hits 8:42, she decides that maybe she should call someone now so they could be home before midnight.
So, she contacts the one person she could trust with a secret outside of Natasha.
And boy was she glad when he pulled up in his shiny new truck, a slight chuckle escaping his lips as he stared at her, sat on the curb with her head in her hands as she blasted music in her earphones.
“Yelena, I’m here.” He says quietly, flicking the top of her head as the blonde jumps, sighing in relief as she sees the esteemed Captain, “Took you long enough.” And look, she should be grateful for him or whatever but Steve… really? You have a Quinjet that could’ve gotten here in five minutes and you take your new truck?
“It took me twenty minutes.” He responds, lifting her motorcycle with ease before strapping it properly on the bed of his truck, the blonde finds herself in the passenger's seat, glaring at the man as he gives her a cheeky smile.
“Sorry, I had to get some gas and take some time after laughing so hard.” Ah, there it was.
The previously apologetic and composed super soldier was now in fits of laughter as he started the engine, making the spy grunt and huff. Since when did Steve become so mean?
“Ha, ha.” She mutters sarcastically, looking out the window to see the lights of the city fade into view, Steve releases his final chuckle, “Just be thankful I’m close by.”
“Why were you close by anyway?” She asks, finally deciding to look at him instead of the road, the soldier sighs, “Tony told me to pick up the fireworks for Tasha.”
Of course this man would get fireworks…
She releases something between a laugh and a scoff, shaking her head in amusement as Steve takes a turn, stopping at a red light that gives him time to face the young spy, “So, what are you doing here anyway?”
“I picked up her present, you know, for tomorrow.” At that, she suddenly pats her bag, sighing in relief as her hand comes in contact with the black velvet box, he raises an eyebrow, “What did you get her?”
“Aren’t you curious? You should be Captain Nosy.” She snorts, although the man continues to egg her on, “Come on, just tell me.”
Rolling her eyes and sighing, Yelena lifts up her feet, placing it on the dashboard and ignoring Steve’s complaints as she removes the box carefully from her bag, opening it slightly to give him a view of what it was, “I got her a customized gun, happy?”
To say that Steve was surprised was an understatement. He was for sure thinking that the girl would get her a jacket or something but this was special, “That’s sweet.” He smiles, giving her a look of encouragement, as if silently telling her that Natasha would love this.
Because she would. And she’ll probably keep it close to her.
“What did you get her, old man?” He was snapped out of his thoughts as he heard Yelena’s thick accent bounce off his ears, he laughed, remembering the favor he called in from Okoye, “Oh, me? I got her a pair of sunglasses. Got them made of vibranium.”
“Why?” The shorter blonde mutters, lowering her feet and now leaning closer to the man in confusion, Steve shakes his head, scratching his beard, “Because I sat on her last pair and she’s been on my ass since.”
Smirking, Yelena suddenly puts on a straight face, sighing, “Sounds about right. Which reminds me, you broke my—”
“I didn’t break any of your stuff.”
And then they were silent, the only noise coming from the radio where old music that Yelena had no fucking clue about was playing, she groans.
“Your taste in music is terrible.” Okay, maybe a bit mean and Steve did take offense to that but he looks at her kindly, “What? It’s what I listened to growing up.” He explains and Yelena scoffs, “Right. It’s shit.”
“Like yours is any better? You listen to what Peter listens to.” He argues and the blonde gasps, hitting his arm, “It’s not my fault those songs are catchy!”
The soldier chuckles, the view of skyscrapers and the sound of the city greeting them as they approached New York, that’s when he turns to Yelena with a questioning gaze, “So, what’s your favorite song?”
“I’ve been in this team since that purple alien came to Earth and you ask me this now?”
Right. Halfway through their fugitive stint, Yelena had tagged along with them, an addition to their little team, to their family.
Steve was hesitant about her in the beginning but as soon as she heard her talk with Natasha in Russian, sharing laughs with them, seeing the genuine joy this girl brings, he thought that maybe she wasn’t so bad.
She was also the reason why Natasha was so eager to bring the blipped people back as soon as they got back to New York.
“Well, we don’t really talk, we literally just punch each other until Natasha tells us enough.” He recounts, making the blonde nod, “I guess you’re right. But it’s Miss American Pie.”
“The one you always sing off key?” He teases and the spy frowns, pouting before crossing her arms, “Shut up.” She says but Steve doesn’t, he just continues to ask, “What’s your favorite color?”
“Who’s your best friend in the Avengers aside from Nat?”
That stops Yelena, turning to him and staring at him in disbelief for the umpteenth time that night, “Are you a child?”
“Just answer the question, Yel.”
“Fine! It’s Thor.” She answers, hiding a smirk as Steve frowns, expecting a different answer, “Thor?”
“You really are gullible, aren’t you? It’s Peter.” This time her answer was truthful, thinking about the brunette who would always go on about his day at school and somehow she finds herself listening.
“Are you getting that dog you were raving about the other night?”
“Why are you so obsessed with vests?”
“Why do you still have that beard?”
“Because it fits me and I’m asking the questions.” He defends, honestly, the team had already held three interventions for him but he keeps growing the damn beard. Tony said they should dart him and shave his face when he’s asleep but Steve would always wake up before they could do the job.
“Gee, okay, grandpa.”
“What was that?” He asks, as if he hadn’t heard it, Yelena squeaks, “Nothing!”
They arrive at Manhattan in a few minutes, entering the compound discreetly as they load off Yelena’s motorcycle to Tony’s personal garage, the billionaire promising her that he’d try and take a look at it in the morning.
It wasn’t until they reached the rooms that Steve spoke again, tapping the blonde’s shoulder as she headed for her room, she turned, yawning and stretching her arms, “Goodnight.”
“See you in the morning, Cap’n.” Yelena’s voice was small and it made the older man chuckle, shaking his head, “See you. And, hey,”
“She’ll love your present.” He doesn’t say it just for the sake of saying something—he just wanted to know that she shouldn’t be scared or anything, you know, because she will love it.
Yelena grins at him before heading for bed.
But she didn't sleep that night, not even a wink.
And she doesn’t even notice the hours fly by because one second her clock says 11:38 in big bold letters then she blinks and suddenly it’s 5:17 in the morning, just about thirty minutes before they’re all supposed to silently meet up in the kitchen to surprise Nat with a breakfast.
It takes her approximately ten minutes to shower and just throw a hoodie on before she was walking on the halls as quietly as she could, even going as far to wear socks and tip toeing around Natasha’s door before slipping inside the kitchen.
To say that she was surprised that the super spy didn’t wake up with all the people and commotion in the kitchen was an understatement. But then again, she finds out that Stark had probably activated the soundproof feature he uses for… other stuff.
“Great, you’re awake!” Sam greets her as she enters the room, gently placing her gift down among the others before she rubs on her eyes, stifling a yawn behind her arm, “Barely.”
The kitchen was packed. Steve wasn’t the only captain in sight—Danvers was here—the talking raccoon, Fury, Thor, Nebula, Gamora, Mantis and Peter (Quill) were all sat with her by the corner, Okoye was present as well and she was trying to keep a delirious Shuri awake as T’Challa talks to Bucky in the far end of the room.
Pepper Potts was talking to Wanda, Maria and Rhodey while Strange was with Bruce, Clint and Scott preparing the table.
Tony had the task of fixing the decorations with Steve and Sam, the two men holding the banner in place as he taped it on the wall. As he catches sight of the blonde, he grins.
“Do you mind helping me with Morgan and Peter? If you’re barely awake they’re still knocked out.” He instructs, pointing to the two kids on the nook, their arms folded in front of them to support their heads, Yelena huffs, “Why am I in charge of the kids?”
“Because you’re the only adult they listen to?” Wanda quips, now approaching them with a slight smirk, Yelena rolls her eyes, shoving the half eaten piece of bread she had grabbed from the table on her chest, “Oh, right! Because I’m the cool adult and you guys are the dull ones with no life.”
The witch could only scoff, watching as the blonde walked over to the two kids. Yelena wasn’t good with children, to say the least, but then she met Morgan and the kid told her that Natasha had talked about her and suddenly she was going to risk it all for the tiny Stark.
Peter, on the other hand, was an awkward fucking mess. He had met her during the battle, cradling the Infinity Stones as he had fallen down on the ground, clutching it with his life before Danvers had taken it from him.
She remembers how Natasha had called him ‘Tony’s kid’ after the battle, all of them winded and bloodied yet joyful at their victory. I mean, sure, they all thought Thor was going to lose a fucking arm when snapping the stones and Yelena had a breakdown when she was told Natasha jumped off a cliff to sacrifice herself only to find out that the redhead was messing with her.
So, yeah, all of them were happy that their loved ones were back and she was an inch from going on a rampage before a loud fucking “HEH!” echoed in the battlefield.
Yelena and Peter have been inseparable since the kid called her vest cool.
“Hey, malishka… wake up.” She says as gently as she could, shaking the little girl’s shoulders hard enough to wake her up, Morgan yawns, opening her eyes slowly, “Auntie Lena?”
“That’s right, kid. Can you stand up and wake up for me, princess? We’re going to surprise Auntie Natasha.” She explains, lifting the girl from the seat to put her down on the floor, she rubs her eyes tiredly, “Mmkay.”
“Go to your mom, sweetie.” As the little girl walks to her mother with a smile, Yelena turns to Peter, grabbing the newspaper for the day and rolling it up before hitting him across the head.
“Hey, dipshit, wake up.” She says, ignoring the fact that Peter had literally grabbed the newspaper from her without looking up, “Leave me alone.”
His protest falls on deaf ears as she gets close to his ears, smirking, “I’ll tell Strange you’re the one who broke his favorite cup.” She whispers, making the boy sit up, “Okay, I’m up!”
“Good.” She grins, ignoring the confused looks that the other Avengers were giving them, “You’re mean.”
“Serves you right for tripping me the other day!” That’s the last thing she had said before Tony shoves the cake on her arms, telling her that she should be the one presenting it to Natasha since she’s her sister and stuff.
She hides by the door, a blind spot so Natasha wouldn’t see the light coming from the candle. It takes the spy approximately three minutes since they had hidden before she walks to the kitchen, the lights all closed as they usually do in this time of the day.
Natasha had her eyes half closed, her hair already tied on a french braid, wearing one of Danver’s Air Force hoodies.
To be honest, she doesn’t expect anything to happen today, maybe a movie night with Yelena while they get drunk on vodka as they force Steve to give them a day off but other than that? Nothing else.
But as she opens the lights, she is greeted by smiling faces and a loud confetti cannon.
“Happy Birthday!” They all chorused. And honestly? It looked ridiculous. A banner was hanging behind them, the words ‘Happy Birthday, Nat!’ in big red letters with a black background, balloons littered the place and it’s just—these were literal heroes and they all have those pointy hats that cartoon characters wear when it’s someone’s birthday.
“S dnem rozhdeniya, sestra.” The greeting comes from behind her and she sees Yelena, giving her a teasing smile as she approaches with a cake. Natasha had the sudden urge to throw up and cry at the same time.
“Shucks. You guys didn’t have to do this.” She chuckles, shaking her head in disbelief as she stares at all of them, actually grateful for all of them, especially to the ones who had literally travelled just to be here.
“Can you stop saying shucks? You sound like old man Rogers.”
Count on Yelena to ruin the moment.
As Natasha laughs along with the others, now more spread out inside the kitchen, Steve glares at the playful blonde, “Hey!” He interjects, making her stick her tongue out as Tony takes his phone out, recording this whole thing, “Make a wish, Romanoff!”
It takes the redhead a few moments, looking around everyone.
What else does she have to wish for, right? She’s here, and she’s happy. There’s nothing else she wants more than that.
But nonetheless, she closes her eyes, a small smile gracing her lips before blowing out the candle, making everyone clap as they sit around the table, Yelena setting the cake aside on the counter as she sat on Natasha's right side.
“Fucking finally, I’m starved.” Carol Danvers howls, shaking her head and putting her cap on backwards when Steve frowns, “Language, Danvers. There’s children here.”
To irritate him more, she takes a look at Natasha who shakes her head at her, turning back to Steve, she gives him a sickly sweet smile, “I don’t give a shit.”
“Keep it down, you two.” As asmused as she was, there was a child present and she’s only doing it for her, the pilot lets out an exasperated sigh, “I’m only doing it because it’s your birthday, Nat.”
It has been all chatter from different ends of the table since. Most of them are catching up and Natasha feels a different kind of joy bubble up in her chest as she stares at everyone, most importantly to Yelena, Peter, Shuri and Wanda, the four of them arguing over candy bars.
“No, seriously, thank you guys.” She repeats, again, and Tony grins from his seat, cupping his hands over his mouth, “Give us a speech!”
“Worth a shot, right?” He murmurs, earning a nod from his daughter who literally had no clue about anything else except for the waffles in front of her.
“So, how did you guys plan this under my nose?” She asks and Clint snorts from behind his cup of coffee, “For a spy, you were kinda shi—bad at surprises. Banner literally let it slip the other day.”
“I’m not a bad spy.” The redhead argues, frowning, Yelena laughs, “Ha.”
“Nothing.” She smirks but Natasha lets it drop, instead turning to Bucky who was now up, “Okay, before we let Natalia open her presents, there’s someone who wants to greet her.”
Confused, the redhead stares at him as he goes to Tony, whispering to each other as if they were school girls sharing a secret before the man hooks his phone up to FRIDAY, a big holographic screen appearing out of nowhere.
“Is it working?” A familiar voice asks as two figures appear on screen, one of them hogging most of it as he tries to work the camera, Natasha sighs and Yelena groans as the rest go silent, wanting to know where this is going.
“It’s working.” A calmer voice says, the younger girl’s ears perk up, “Why can’t I see my daughters, then?”
“Alexei, it’s working.” Melina informs the Red Guardian as Natasha puts her face in her hands, obviously embarrassed by and for the man, Yelena on the other hand, was just as amused as the other Avengers.
“Oh my god.” She groans and Alexei’s eyes widen in delight, “Yelena! My girl! Where are you? Can you hear papa?” He asks over the screen, Natasha laughs while the others snicker, “I hear you loud and clear!”
“Where is your sister?” He asks, not giving Melina time to ask her questions, but she seems alright with it as Natasha smiles, “I’m right here.” She replies and his eyes light up.
“Where… oh! There you two are!” As the screen finally shows the table, no matter how many other heroes, no matter how Captain America was literally sitting right there, Melina and Alexei ignore them all, their eyes trained on their two daughters.
“My girls.” The woman grins and the two find themselves mirroring her as she adjusts herself, the flannel draped around her shoulders with her hair down—it reminds the two of their time in Ohio.
“I apologize that we couldn’t be there right now. You know how the widows are without us.” She begins and the redhead dismisses it with a wave of her hand, “I get it.” She responds, not even caring about it because she’s still talking to them.
“Happy birthday, my Natasha, I hope you spend your day with joy. And I wish that you still keep your heart as you continue to avenge.”
“What your mother said.”
Frowning, Yelena tilts her head, “Do you have nothing to say to me?”
“Is it your birthday, pip squeak?” Natasha teases and the younger girl gasps before sinking deeper on her chair, “Well, no.”
“Then you get nothing.” She smirks but Alexei disagrees, shaking his head, “Of course, you get something!”
“You,” He starts and Yelena grins at the screen, pointing at herself, “Me.”
“Remember that you always have us and your sister. That we love you so much.” He reminds her and the blonde flushes, her ears turning red, yeah, this is too much affection.
So she replies with “Thanks,” instead of those three words back and Natasha stares at her disapprovingly, “You’re not even going to say you love them back?”
“Fine, I love you guys.” She mumbles begrudgingly, her sister then leans on the table, “I love you guys, too.”
“We love and miss you two. We’ll meet when we go to Ohio soon, yes?” At the hopeful tone in their mother’s voice, the Black Widow couldn’t help but nod with a smile, something that’s never left her face since she had entered the kitchen that morning.
“And bring Captain America with you. I want to beat him up and show him who the better soldier is.” At the mention of his name, Steve’s eyes widen in horror, staring at the screen as Bucky laughs, Sam nudging his ribs while Natasha rolls her eyes, “That’s enough.”
“Bye!” And then the screen was no more. At that point, Yelena wanted the floor to swallow her whole in embarrassment. Why? Because the Avengers were literally staring at them as if they both grew a new set of limbs.
“Today we find out that our dynamic Russian duo are daddy’s girls.”
Yeah, she’d choose death over this.
The teasing doesn’t stop until Natasha takes a knife to cut into the cake, everybody too afraid of what she could do with a simple kitchen utensil.
“So, presents!” Sam announces, standing up from his own seat as he takes his gift from the table, practically shoving it on Natasha’s arms like a child, the spy shakes her head at his antics but thanks him nonetheless.
To cut it short, he had gotten her a pair of shoes, sneakers to be exact because according to him, those are spies’ favorite type of footwear.
Bucky had gotten her a vinyl record of some indie band Yelena had never heard of, Steve had given her the sunglasses, a necklace from Thor, a jacket, a handwritten card, a camera, a helmet and some other knick-knacks she couldn’t even remember.
She’ll probably never use most of it but she was still thankful for it.
The last box was Yelena’s and the blonde wanted to retract her gift and just say that it was nothing but she fights the urge to do so, instead, she excuses herself, telling everyone that she had to go to the bathroom when in reality, she heads outside, feeling the fresh morning air New York could give.
She doesn’t hear anything from the kitchen, which was a good thing because that meant she was far away and she wouldn’t know if Natasha liked her present or not or if—
“Fuck!” She yells as she hears a gunshot being fired, a bullet landing by her feet, Yelena stares in horror and disbelief as she sees Natasha approaching, a glint in her eye and a twisted smirk on her face, the blonde sighs in relief.
“Why would you do that?” She asks, attempting to slow her heart down when the redhead shrugs, walking towards her and staying by her side as they watched the sun rise.
“So your present does work.” Natasha grins, the pistol on one hand as Yelena glares at her, “Jesus… and you try it on me?”
“Why did you run out here when I started opening your gift?”
The answer was obvious but Natasha didn’t want to assume things. That’s part of Yelena’s growth outside the Red Room—she has the choice to tell things herself instead of being forced to.
“Oh, you were opening mine? I didn’t know.” She smiles innocently, her sister scoffs, “You’re full of shit.”
The blonde gives no response, simply ignoring the older girl as she stared at the gun one more time. Truth be told, she nearly sobbed when she first saw it, holding it as delicately as humanly possible before realizing that Yelena wasn’t there to see her reaction.
So, she figures, maybe the girl was scared. I mean, all of this is still new to her so she gets it.
“I love it.” The words hang in the air for a bit and Yelena stiffens, her ears perking up as a flood of insecurity suddenly wash through her until she realizes what Natasha had said.
“It’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever gotten for me. I love it.” She repeats and the shorter girl’s head snaps up, staring at her in such a childlike manner that it reminds her of the time when they were in Ohio.
“You do?” She asks, her voice wasn’t tainted with any playful tone, it was innocent. As pure as it was about twenty five years ago.
“I do.” The Avenger grins, earning a nod of delight from her sister, “Okay.”
It was silent for a while before Natasha spoke again, her eyes finding the horizon over the trees, “You know I’ll love anything you give me, right? Even if it’s leftover from the takeout last night.”
Look, Yelena loved this moment and she’s sure she’ll keep it dearly but she couldn’t help but laugh at her sister’s ridiculousness, turning to her with a big smile and half closed eyes, “Why would you do that?”
“Because that’s how this whole sister thing works. I don’t care if you give me absolute shit, the thing that matters is that you remember to give me something.”
“I was supposed to get you a chopper but Stark wouldn't let me use his credit card.” Yelena mumbles, although it was a joke, Natasha sighs exasperatedly, shaking her head in complete disbelief and amusement over her sister.
“You don’t have to get me a chopper—you didn’t even have to get me this. You being here is enough for me.”
“That still doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get you anything. You’re thirty I should at least get you something.”
A beat. And then a loud crash echoed in their ears that they just had to walk over the glass doors of the kitchen, watching as Bucky’s metal arm fell off, courtesy of Sam who was holding a magnet of sorts as he laughed alongside Shuri.
“How are you holding up?” She asks, relishing the sight in front of them as she notices Yelena’s smile, truthfully, the blonde shrugs, turning to her and back to the Avengers before answering; “I’m fine.”
“Are you sure?” Just for good measure, she presses the question on again when the girl nods, “I am.”
“Okay.” They watch as Tony gets a huge slice of the cake, handing it over to his daughter while the two Peters argue about something, probably about a song, Natasha guesses.
To be fair, she doesn’t know why she’s asking a lot of questions but she couldn’t help herself. Turning to her sister once more who fakes a whine, knowing what was about to happen.
“How did you keep your heart?” She asks as if it was a normal question in day to day conversation, Yelena raises an eyebrow, crossing her arms and wincing as she hears Strange yell in exasperation.
“What do you mean?”
“You know how Melina told us to keep our hearts? I kept mine because of the Avengers. I didn’t turn to what the Red Room wanted me—no, us, to be because of them. We should be corrupted by now. All we should do is kill but we don’t because we kept our hearts.”
A brief pause, then green meets green.
“So, tell me, how do you keep yours?” Natasha asks, her voice swimming with emotions even though she wasn’t aware she had it. Yelena stares at her, hiding behind her hair and staring at her sister meekly.
“Will you laugh at me if I said it was you?”
She didn’t mean to tell this to her sister on her damn birthday but she asked! And besides… it’s the truth. Family’s supposed to tell each other the truth.
“Me?” The taller spy asks, her tone wasn’t indifferent, she didn’t scoff or pointed and laughed at Yelena, she smiles, somewhat baffled by the girl’s honesty as she nods weakly, “Yeah… you were my first love, not in a romantic way or anything because ew but… you were the first person I ever loved and loved me back.”
“Of course it’s not romantic dipshit.”
“You’re ruining the moment.”
“I’m sorry.” She apologizes, the blonde rolls her eyes knowing she hadn’t meant it but she still talks. I mean, if they’re talking now might as well get sappy with it.
“And, I don’t know, that opened a lot of doors for me since you let me tag along this family, this dysfunctional team that isn’t any different from those two old people back in Russia.”
Family. The word was still foreign to her but it doesn’t leave a bitter taste in her mouth anymore. Instead it makes her eyes light up as a smile gently makes its way on her face.
“It opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed.” She finishes and the older woman’s head looks up from her present, the red logo of the Black Widow perfectly aligned with her grip.
“You have your eyes set on someone, Yel?” Natasha teases, suddenly in the mood to make fun of her younger sister as she looks around the guests, wondering who opened this new door to her when she widens her eyes, scratching the back of her neck as she pries her eyes away from someone, “No…”
Look, Natasha Romanoff is literally the Black Widow. She’s a fucking spy so she knew exactly where Yelena was staring at.
Also, for the record, for a spy, Yelena wasn’t subtle. She’s kinda losing her touch here.
But as much as she wanted to poke fun at her sister and to, you know, do normal sibling stuff with her such as teasing her in front of her crush, Natasha doesn’t start announcing it to everyone but instead sighs, nudging her lightly.
“I’m not saying that you have a crush on Wanda but hypothetically, if you do have a crush on someone and it happens to be her, just tell her.”
Yelena goes from pale to pink in seconds.
God damn it, Natasha! Why do you have to be a super spy…
She doesn’t deny it but doesn’t give her a definitive answer either, simply looking at her in fear, “And lose one of my closest friends here?”
“She’ll understand. Besides, it’s better that she finds out by you telling her instead of her accidentally getting in your head.” The redhead advises and Yelena nods, wringing her hands together, something she does when she’s queasy, “I suppose.”
Natasha notices this, placing an arm around her as the blonde feels the cold metal graze her jaw, “Are you ready to head back in?”
“Are you not mad that I like her?” She asks quietly, you see, these feelings, they’re… new to her, and she’s kinda scared that maybe Natasha didn’t approve of them and maybe she hates her now and—
“Did you just not hear the support I willingly shared with you?” She chuckles, ruffling the girl’s hair which makes her groan, but she doesn’t leave her grip, “I just want it to be clear.”
“No, I’m not mad.” She reassures, Yelena sighs, nodding, “Cool.”
“I love you, sestra. Even if you made everyone tell me you were dead when I came back from the blip.”
“I love you too. And that was funny.”
So, she doesn’t tell her.
Why? Because she doesn’t know how.
And Natasha wiggling her eyebrows every time they’re in a room together certainly does not help.
For instance, she would always walk inside the kitchen singing some love songs off key every Thursday because Wanda and Yelena were the only decent cooks during that day.
(Breakfast was supposed to be made by Bucky and lunch was supposed to be made by Bruce, the team barely eats during this day.)
So, since they were both in charge of dinner, they were expected to be in the same place at the same time—today was different. Because Wanda was nowhere to be found and yes Natasha’s a bit disappointed at it while Yelena was stressing out.
“Hi, Miss Romanoff!” Peter Parker greets as he swings his school bag over his shoulder, making the blonde who’s stressfully peeling a potato groan, “Great, this himbo is here.”
“I’m not a himbo.” He retorts, slightly offended as Bucky and Sam enter the room, both drenched in sweat as they come from their run, Yelena doesn’t mind their presence and neither does Natasha as she scoots over to let them sit with her by the nook.
“Right because you’re smart and totally not my type.” Yelena mumbles, tossing the potato on top of the peeled ones as she grabs another, well, unpeeled potato, Bucky chuckles as Peter huffs, “Doesn’t mean I’m not attractive.”
“Don’t listen to her, Pete, you are attractive,” Sam grins, patting the boy on his back for the super soldier to snort, “To middle schoolers.”
Natasha doesn’t appreciate the way they’re teaming up on the boy so she ruffles his hair while glaring at them, “Play nice. You’re dashing.”
Now with a grin, Peter looks around, furrowing his eyebrows as he notices that they were a woman down, “Where’s Miss Maximoff?” He asks, still wondering if she had just gone to the bathroom when Yelena chuckles, “Up my ass.”
“Oh?” Natasha teases, raising her eyebrows as the three men stared at her in confusion. It took Yelena one side of a potato until she realized what she just had said, blushing madly as she began to stammer, “I—That’s not what I meant!”
“Oh my god, you have a crush on Wanda?” Sam was the first to mention it openly and the blonde nearly peels her own hand as she loses control of the peeler, frantically shaking her head and forcing a smile, “Crush… no… I’m going to murder you in your sleep.”
“I didn’t tell them!”
“You were pretty obvious. I see your heart eyes a mile away.”
“I will kill myself.” She deadpans and Bucky shrugs, Sam, however, grins at her, flashing her his charming smile.
“Hey, it’s not that bad. I was kinda rooting for you two kids to get together anyway.” It didn’t matter if it was the truth or if it made her feel at least a bit more reassured, she shook her head, now opting for the knife which made the three (except Natasha) move away just a bit.
“Her last relationship was with a smart, kind man made of Vibranium.” Yeah, she should not be using a knife if this is what they’re going to talk about. Where the fuck is Steve’s shield when you need it?
“And her next will be with an angsty twenty four year old who defends the world for a living.” Natasha attempts a response, and Yelena scoffs, “You act like that’s not what he did.”
“Well, if you’re looking for differences, you don’t have an Infinity Stone shoved up your forehead.”
“And you’re a girl.”
“For what it’s worth, she wouldn’t reject you.” At that statement, she stops, lifting her head up from the garlic and waving the knife around so that she makes the four Avengers flinch, “Gee, that makes everything better. Thanks, Buck!”
“No, I mean it. What are you so scared about? Rejection?” She glares at him at that, stabbing the board, the knife sticking upright as she leaned over, her hair falling on her face as she pulled her sweatshirt to her elbows, “It’s all I knew all my life. So yeah, I am scared of rejection because this time I will be fully aware of it.”
“No, this time, you will be fully aware when she tells you that she likes you back.” He argues and to be honest, she expects another full argument in Russian with hurtful words to be thrown but she sighs, instead of cursing him she lets her walls down, even for a bit.
“I’m not as powerful as him.” God, that was the weakest she had ever felt but… it was freeing, to say that. And Sam felt like his years of being a speaker for veterans was paying off because he finds the courage to interject, “You’re stronger than him. Yeah, you’re not made of Vibranium, you’re not born out of the mind stone but you got through shit he could never go through.”
“You two grew up about the same way, too. If anything, she relates to you the most and that’s saying something.” He adds, Bucky stays silent, Peter starts rummaging through his bag and Natasha nods, agreeing with him.
“They’re right, you know.”
Yelena was still silent, though, but Peter breaks it by clearing his throat, “You look like you’re going to throw that onion at me anytime now but can I change that by giving you this?”
As his question comes to an end, he shoves a black box on the counter, stopping directly in front of Yelena as she picks it up, inspecting it, “What’s this?”
“It’s been about a year since we met each other and I dunno, take it as a present for not killing me yet.” He laughs lightly and the blonde frowns, opening it and finding that one vintage Casio watch she’s been eyeing every time they go on patrol together, “Peter…”
“Don’t get me anything back.”
“Just tell Miss Maximoff what you feel and I’ll call us even.” He says, the spy freezes, taking a look at the three other adults to check if she heard him right when Bucky smirks, “You heard the kid.”
She wasn’t thinking when she responded, simply staring at the watch in awe before nodding her head.
It wasn’t long before the rest of the team excluding Wanda had known about the blonde’s little crush on her and it took them a lot of bribing before Banner let the cat out of the bag.
Yelena was supposed to have a plan, probably do it on their friendship anniversary or whatever but all of that came crashing down when she found herself awake in the middle of the night, clad in her most comfortable clothes but still unable to fall asleep.
Maybe she’s scared that the nightmares would come or she just drank a shit ton of coffee earlier. She couldn’t really tell.
So she does what she usually does when she can't sleep and has no energy to go to Natasha; she goes to the roof.
It had been Tony who had showed her the spot and she found herself sitting there alone, watching the pale moon and the city lights in the nights where she couldn’t sleep.
Sometimes, she’ll even call Alexei or Melina because she’d be certain they’re both awake, seeing as they have a seven hour time difference and all that.
She was ready to spend the night alone when she notices another figure sitting in her usual spot. At first she was ready to search for a potential weapon when she realized who it was.
And her breath hitch as she realized it.
“I know someone’s out there so either sit down if I know you or get lost if you’re an intruder.” Her voice floated through the New York air and Yelena found herself chuckling in amusement, “Gee, so hostile.”
“Yelena.” Wanda Maximoff mutters, looking back to see the blonde approach her sluggishly, taking the seat right beside her, “No, it’s Natasha.”
“You’re so funny.” She replies sarcastically, the spy arches an eyebrow, “And you’re so cranky.”
FUCK. ABORT MISSION. WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO—
“Did you just call me adorable?” Wanda asks in disbelief and Yelena, who was having an internal panic scratches her head, “What—? No…”
“I’m not a dog on Pinterest for you to call me adorable.” The witch reminds, unable to notice the other girl’s awkwardness before she clears her throat, “Which reminds me, you’re going with me when I adopt one, right?”
“No because your dog will fall in love with me and I get to keep it.”
The blonde laughs at her for that and Wanda feels more content than she ever has been as the sound reaches her ears.
This wasn’t the first time this had happened, the two of them sharing the roof in the middle of the night—it was a rare occurrence but whenever it happens, they cherish it. Sometimes they talk about their plans in what they wanted to do with their lives outside the Avengers and sometimes they just revel in silence.
Tonight seems like a mix of both. The two of them sit in silence as Wanda’s knees press up against her chest, her head sitting atop of them while Yelena had her legs in front of her, using her hands as support to not fall down.
“Do you miss him?” The latter asks out of the blue and Wanda sighs, “You have to be more specific.” The teasing tone doesn’t deter the blonde, but she changes her position, now crossing her legs and placing her hands on her lap, “Vision.”
“Sometimes.” Wanda admits, although, that pang in her chest doesn’t hurt as much as it used to, and that relieves her but it scares her at the same time. Yelena tilts her head, “Sometimes?”
“I don’t miss him as much as I used to. I just… don’t.” She had no idea how the words left her mouth with such ease, but she doesn’t question it, this was Yelena, it’s fine.
“You feel guilty about it, don’t you?” The blonde queries and she nods, frowning, shoving her head deeper on her knees, “Shouldn’t I?”
“I don’t think you should. People move on. It’s natural.”
“I just don’t feel him anymore… I used to. There was a time where I thought I did, now—”
“Now you don’t.” The spy finishes and the witch nods, “Yeah.”
They were silent again as they heard a loud siren drive by, then she tries a smile and finds herself genuinely doing it before copying Yelena’s earlier position, now resting her head on one palm as she looks at her through the moonlight, “Enough about my depressing love life, what about you?”
“What about me?” She asks, stifling a yawn behind her arm as Wanda shrugs, “How are you?”
“Why does everybody ask how I am? I’m fine.”
“I hear you screaming when you have your nightmares.”
“It’s nothing that I’m not used to.” At least that was true.
“You don’t have to lie to me, you know. You don’t have to please me.”
“I swear. I’m doing good! Better than how I was a few months ago.” She reassures and it takes a bit more persuading before the Sokovian nods, “Great. That’s… great.” She mumbles, wishing that she could stop being awkward when the blonde lets out a low whistle.
“You know, Sam told me something the other day.” She remembers the conversation in the kitchen, that one night where the redhead wasn’t present because she had fallen asleep after watching shitty shows leaving Yelena with four idiots that somehow persuaded her to talk about feelings. Yeah, that night.
“He told me we relate to each other the most with the way we were both raised.” The slightly older girl recounts and Wanda finds herself chuckling despite all the trauma, “Taken from a young age, got experimented on, used to work for the bad guy, turned on them and found themselves working for the Avengers?”
“That sounds about right.” She laughs back and suddenly they fall into a comfortable silence. It was this easy with them and that’s terrifying.
“You know, there were rumors going around the compound.” Wanda starts, playing with the hem of her shirt as she hides a smile, Yelena frowns, “About what?”
“About you. Harboring feelings for a coworker.”
“Excuse me?” WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO!
“So, who is it? Who’s the lucky guy?” This time she grins, unaware of the blonde’s rising blood pressure as she forces a chuckle, “Aren’t you curious?” She asks, hoping she had a portal right now to escape this.
“Come on! Just tell me!”
“Are you twelve? Why are you like this?”
Smiling, Wanda pokes at her cheek, “Because you got a crush!”
Yelena had a plan about how this was going to happen. But suddenly that was ruined when she takes a look at her wrist, the watch that Peter had given her sitting snugly on it.
She’s going to do this.
“Well, if it makes you stop it’s not a guy… it’s a girl.” She starts slowly, closing her eyes and expecting a disgusted expression from Wanda when she opens it only to find an intrigued look, “Oh? Is it Helen?”
“Cho?” She murmurs, the witch nods enthusiastically, “Yeah.”
“Come on, tell me about her!” She pleads, shaking the girl when Yelena blinks, “You’re not weirded out that it’s a girl?”
“I’m literally bisexual.”
“And I’ve seen Sam and Bucky kiss. Several times.”
“Don’t put that image into my head!” She groans, covering her ears, “Do you want me to actually put that image in your head because I can—”
“She’s cute!” Fuck.
Wanda stops at that, now grinning ear to ear as Yelena stares at her differently, softly.
“She’s, uh, my age. And she’s actually so fucking annoying sometimes but that’s one of the things I like about her.” The spy begins, clearing her throat every now and then and stopping herself from running away when Wanda starts to lean on her.
You save the world for a living and you’re scared of your feelings…?
“She can’t sing to save her life and she dances like an absolute dork. But I like it, even if I tease her about it all the time.” She laughs and Wanda hums, closing her eyes as she listened to the girl.
“When we were young, Melina, our mother, told Natasha and I to keep our heart before we were sent to the Red Room. I didn’t know what she meant until I grew up. Natasha was the first to keep my heart, and then the team, and then her. And suddenly, I felt safe. I felt like I was invincible.”
“I thought that these feelings were just me misinterpreting things because I wasn’t used to affection but then I realized… my feelings for her were completely different to what I feel with Steve.” She rambles and oh god she’s really doing this, huh?
(WEE WOO WEE WOO!)
She closes her eyes, running out of things to say, running out of playful banter so… she does it. She takes a leap of faith.
“And, uh, right now, she’s actually sitting beside me with no idea that she was the one I was talking about all this time.” The words come out of her mouth and it all feels foreign, Wanda’s eyes snap open at that, her heart suddenly racing a mile a minute, “What…”
Yelena frowns when she detaches herself from her shoulder, staring at her in shock as she sheepishly looks down on the ground, scratching her head.
“I wasn’t supposed to tell her about this—not this soon, at least, but I guess, it’s time she finds out.” The blonde chuckles, still in fear of looking up, “So, yeah, that’s her. And right now, even if all my feelings are a mess…”
With a sigh, she finally meets her eyes, a dark brown tinted with red meeting green, she gives her a tilted smile.
“I just feel you.”
Okay, look, Yelena wanted the world to crumble before her and just eat her as a whole or maybe get Natasha to just execute her right there because Wanda wasn’t fucking moving. This girl wasn’t speaking.
And that’s fucking scary!
“Wanda, say something, please?” She pleads and a sigh escapes her mouth when Wanda finally speaks, “You like me?”
“I’m not asking you to like me back. I just… wanted you to know. I’m sorry if this makes things weird between us. I shouldn’t have told you, I’m so sorry, I—are you laughing at me?” Her rambling is cut short when she hears a laugh, her chest tightens.
Of course she’s laughing.
“Nothing. I just thought you were a good spy.” The Sokovian smirks and Yelena stares at her in confusion, “I am a good spy!”
“Then why didn’t you know that I also liked you back?”
“Because—wait, what?” Okay, what the absolute fuck?
“I kinda had a thing for you since that long stakeout mission you and I did. I didn’t know you liked me back” She admits shyly, yet unable to contain her joy as she grins and listen, Vision was a great guy but Yelena was right.
People move on.
“Well shit, if you were a good mind reader then why didn’t you know I liked you back?” She retorts, unable to hide her competitive side when Wanda grins, “Maybe we’re not as good as we think we are.”
“Are you going to ask me properly or not?” She asks, narrowing her eyes playfully when the blonde gasps, fuck, “Oh! Right, so, don’t expect much but will you… go out? Is that the term? With me?”
Dating seems hard. Shit!
“I’d love that.”
“Cool…” She murmurs, now unable to keep the smile off her face when she feels a light tap on her cheek, she looks up, expecting Wanda to tease her again when she feels something damp against her lips.
Wanda Maximoff was kissing her. Holy shit.
Okay, look, in her defense, though, as quick as it was (seven seconds and twenty six milliseconds,) she tried her best to kiss back. Not that it was her first, it was just… the first one that she was conscious of what’s happening.
And fuck did it feel good.
“Please tell me that this was real and not some illusion you put me in because you feel bad for me.” She murmurs, eyes half closed as Wanda leans her forehead against her, “Don’t worry,”
As they both open their eyes, the witch gives her a smile, brighter than the lights of New York and the moon above them.
“It was real to me.”
(It was very real that they had fallen asleep on the roof in each other’s arms, the rest of the team finding them when they were late for breakfast.
All of them were very happy for them with the exception of Steve and Strange who had lost the bet.
Yelena was upset about it, Wanda found it amusing.)