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Natasha hasn't been Pepper's PA in a long time, but she still finds herself dropping by the office now and then - officially she's Pepper's SHIELD liason, but unofficially, Natasha likes her; likes the parts of her that are tough, that bend without breaking.

Today, Pepper is harried, distracted. Not that very many people would be able to tell; there's not a hair out of place, her clothes are spotless and unrumpled, and she greets Natasha with a polite, friendly smile. But the smile is slightly strained at the corners, and there's a tightness around her eyes and in the set of her jaw that evokes an answering tension in Natasha. She foregoes sitting in the comfortable leather chair and comes around to perch on Pepper's desk instead, putting her body within Pepper's reach.

"Hey," Pepper says, her smile loosening and slipping away. She cups Natasha's knee with her hand, absently, as if to ground herself.

"Tough day?" Natasha allows the touch.

"You have no idea," Pepper says, and now her facade vanishes entirely as she makes a funny overwhelmed sort of face, eyes wide as she blows out an exaggerated breath. Her hand, perhaps unconsciously (or perhaps not - Pepper is a very conscious person, which is another thing Natasha likes about her) squeezes Natasha's knee.

Bending down, Natasha slips two fingers under Pepper's chin and tilts her face upwards. Pepper watches her carefully as she moves in slowly, her mouth first just grazing Pepper's lips and then rushing forward to take her mouth completely. It turns wet, and hard, and after a moment Natasha can feel Pepper letting go, going soft and sharp and eager beneath Natasha's hands, against her skin, against her mouth.

When she pulls back, Pepper is smiling, and the tension around her eyes seems reduced.

"Maybe you need a distraction," Natasha suggests.

She waits patiently while Pepper cancels her three o'clock, but does not allow Pepper's hand to move from her knee.