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Unintended Side Effects

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It starts with Natasha bending over.

Well, if you wanted to be technical about it, it started around age thirteen when Sally Thompson jumped off the swing and her dress blew up as she fell down. Steve’s puberty kick started in that one moment with a flash of white panties covering a mysterious land. At the time, Steve didn’t understand what exactly was happening in his pants (which isn’t a question you get to ask yourself very often), but he knew that he better spend the next few minutes kneeling until whatever was shifting down there calmed itself down. Which was very, very hard—so to speak—since Sally kept swinging and jumping again and again.

And if you wanted to elaborate, it started after the serum, at least in its current, bafflingly cumbersome form. After Steve had returned to the base under the thrift shop with nothing but a dead madman in exchange for Dr. Erskine’s death, Peggy had found him sitting alone in one of the backrooms. No one knew what to do to him. “I’m so sorry, Steve,” she said as she came in.

“You knew him better than I did,” Steve said.

She gave him a little smile. “I know. That’s partially why I’m so sorry. You should have gotten the chance to know him.”

And after a moment’s silence, she crossed the room and hugged him. He was taller than her now. She had to reach her arms up to wrap them around his broad shoulders. His hands flailed for a moment before resting on the small of her back, and they covered more of her than he expected. Her head rested on his shoulder. He pressed her face into her hair. She was soft and curvy against him, and she smelled better than anything he had ever smelled.

And this, he quickly realized, was not a good idea.

She coughed politely and Steve jumped back, trying to figure out what to do with his hands. He tried to cross them casually in front of his crouch without looking like he was cupping himself. “That was the serum.”

“Ah,” Peggy said, a funny look on her face.

“There’s been a lot of strange reactions. Not based on anything. I wouldn’t—not that you aren’t a lovely—I respect you as a soldier and a woman.” Steve coughed. He was pretty sure he was the color of a tomato.

Peggy pressed her lips together like she was trying very hard not to laugh. “Completely understandable, soldier. Times of high stress can produce strange reactions from the body.”

“Exactly,” Steve said. “It’s only because of Dr. Erskine’s death, I swear.”

The room was silent as they both thought about that sentence.

“Not that I’m into that,” Steve said. “Death, I mean. That’s not. Um. Arousing.”

Peggy was losing the battle with laughter. Steve was pretty sure his ears were about to burn off. “I really am sorry,” he said, half turning the lower part of his body away from her. “I normally have it under control. It’s just a lot, a lot bigger than it used to be.”

Her eyebrows shot up. Steve should not have said that. He opened his mouth—intending to apologize which most likely would have resulted in him sticking his foot even deeper—when Peggy looked him up and down with a knowingly little smile. “Well, that’s good to know,” she said. Steve’s brain short-circuited for a moment. Peggy took advantage of his stupor to walk to the door. There was a bit more sway in her hips than usual. “The senators are waiting for you, Steve. We need to discuss what happens next. Come out when you’re…” She paused for a moment. “At ease.”

The look in her eye as she said that had kept Steve at attention for the next ten minutes.

But in modern day—because the past is not a good place for Steve to linger too long—the situation with Natasha starts after team dinner one night when the two of them are cleaning up in the kitchen and she leans over to put a plate in the dishwasher. And Steve just—looks.

He doesn’t mean to. His mother raised him right, and Natasha is a teammate and a friend, and ogling women is very, very bad. But he looks. And he looks. And he looks.

“Are you alright, Cap?” Natasha asks after she straightens.


She glances down at the plate Steve’s clutching in front of himself. “Do you want me to put that away?”

“I’ve got it.” He’s pretty sure he’s smearing marinara sauce on the front of his trousers. He leans against the counter and tries to look casual. “I can finish cleaning. By myself. Alone.”

She looks him up and down and then straight in the eye and he knows, even though her face is the same, even though she hasn’t said a thing, that she knows. “Oh, Cap,” she says sweeter than he’s ever heard her speak, “I couldn’t leave you to deal with this mess by yourself.” She picks up a dirty bowl and smiles. And leans over.

She takes an eternity to load the dishwasher. She does it very slowly, one dish at a time. And Steve just leans against the counter and tries very hard not to have an embolism.

Living in the Tower is hard—no, difficult after that. Difficult in a way that life hasn’t been since the first time he hit puberty, because that’s really what this is. The serum started his body anew and was kind enough to ignore it during the war (or maybe just the fact that Steve could go months on end without seeing a woman helped him avoid this problem). And after they’d found him and, well, thawed him, sex hadn’t been high on his list of priorities. Trying not to lose his mind in a world he had never imagined was a bit more of a pressing issue. But life’s settled down now. He’s adjusting. He has a routine. He lives a pretty sedate life, besides the frequent attempts by aliens and supervillians to take over the world. But on the whole, Steve has a chance now to relax. And his body—one particular part of it—has taken advantage of that.

And Natasha—Steve is not prepared to handle Natasha.

The problem is that she’s always there. And that’s great, it really is. Because Steve likes her, he likes her a lot, this quiet, smart, damaged, funny spy with a past she keeps to herself. The two of them were both made for warfare. The two of them know how it feels to be haunted by the things you did in the name of what’s right. Steve followed his conscience during the war, but it was still a war and sometimes what wakes him up, gasping and sweating, at night isn’t the horrors he’s seen but the horrors he’s done. And he can say this to Natasha and know she’ll understand.

But she’s also, to put it bluntly, the sexiest woman Steve has ever met. He’s not sure there has been a time in his life where he wouldn’t make an ass of himself around her.

Sparring practice is a fresh form of hell. Training with Natasha should be a dream come true. Steve may be stronger, but she knows a hell of a lot more than he does, and does not hesitate in the slightest to knock Steve onto his back. Everything Steve learned about fighting, he picked up on the go. The chance to learn real fighting from real experts is something Steve has been wanting for the last few years.

Except he’s learning with Natasha. And that—that presents some problems.

“Oof!” Steve grunts as she slams him on the ground. He’s not even sure how she did it. Her leg snaked between his, he knows that, but how they went from that to her pinning him with a training knife pressed to his throat, he’s not sure. “Yield.”

She smiles cruelly down at him as she sheathes her blade. “With that super strength of yours, you should be killing me every time, Captain.” She picks herself off him and hold out her hand. “You’re distracted.”

Her skin is soft and warm, and her grip on him is firm as she pulls him to his feet. “I’m focused. You’re just good,” he says.

She glances down at their hands, at Steve’s still gripping hers tightly. He lets go quickly and tries not to blush too hard. “No. You’re distracted.”

“Natasha,” he says with pink ears and false confidence, “I promise. I am focused.”

Her face is still save for her left eyebrow manages to convey complete disbelief by raising a fraction of an inch. “Alright,” she says. “Let’s go again.”

Steve braces himself.

Steve hits the ground.

If you put a gun to his head, he couldn’t tell you what came in-between those two positions.

He’s on his back, his arms trapped beneath his own weight, while Natasha straddles his hips, one arm pressed lazily against his throat. She’s not choking him. She’s not even really pinning him. If Steve wanted, he could shake her off in a moment. She’s proving a point.

He opens his mouth to yield when he became fully conscious of just how distracted he was. And if she didn’t move soon, she’d feel it too. He could feel Natasha’s heat in his lap, could feel her thighs pressing against his hips, and he could feel, most of all, how much he needed her to move if he wasn’t going to die of embarrassment.

He’d tell her she needed to move any second now.

Any second now.

She leans forward to press her arm harder against his throat, but her face stays calm. Her breasts brush against his chest. “What do you say, Captain?”

He can’t remember.

“You are,” Natasha says, her mouth a handbreadth from his, “distracted.”

And as she pushes herself up off Steve’s chest, he swears to God that she pushes her hips down first and grinds against him. Steve’s eyesight goes for red for a second. When he can think again, Natasha’s up and across the room. She leans in the doorway to the showers, arms crossed, and looks at him still sprawled on the floor. “Distraction is a dangerous thing, Steve. It can get you killed.”

He swallows. “Thank you for the lesson. I’ll work on that.”

Then Natasha gives him the sexiest smile he’s ever seen. It’s also the most frightening. “Still,” she says as she leaves, turning to the showers in such a way that Steve sees all her curves, “at least you have impeccable taste.”

Alone now, Steve sits up of the gym, still achingly hard in his sweatpants. The Black Widow, he thinks. It’s an apt name. She’s definitely going to be the death of him.

For the rest of the week, Steve tries his best to avoid her. He’s not proud of his distraction, after all. In fact, this is a terrible, unprofessional, and sexist treatment of someone he respects and leads. Unfortunately, his body doesn’t care. If he can just stay away from her, if he can just keep his mind off the way the way the roundness of her body disguises her raw strength, the confidence in her walk, the bounce of her hair and the quirk of her incredible lips, so full and luscious—

Steve takes a moment to calm himself down.

If he can just avoid thinking about that until his body remembers that he’s a grown man, not a teenage boy who’s just discovered the wonders of upper thighs, he’ll be fine. It’s not cowardly. It’s a just, wise course of action. Retreat is a sound military strategy. And if it seems strange to him that, after a lifetime of refusing to back down from challenges, he has the resist the urge to throw himself in the nearest closet when he runs into Natasha in the hallway, well, he’s never faced a challenge that seemed so insurmountable.

As in, a challenge he should in no way mount.

Oh, shut up. Steve’s horny and frustrated, he’s allowed to make bad sex puns.

“So people, I understand that no one likes paperwork, but that does not eliminate the need to do it,” Agent Coulson says at a team meeting one afternoon a few weeks after the gym incident. He stands at the head of the conference room like Steve imagines a kindergarten teacher surveying his worst class would. Hoping to spend the meeting doodling, Steve had grabbed the seat at the back of the table. From back here, it should look like note taking. Natasha had slid into the one next to him. Occasionally her feet bump into his and Steve tries very, very hard to focus on the least erotic things he can think of.

“Even the world’s mightiest heroes need to fill out incident reports,” Coulson says, and the room groans. Natasha’s foot bumps against Steve’s leg as she crosses her legs, and Steve quickly thinks about the Hulk pole dancing.

Bruce (who must never, ever know about what Steve thinks about to calm himself) raises his hand. “I know you all are just going to say I’ve been spending too much time with Tony, but can’t we pay someone else to do it?”

“No. And you have been spending too much time with Tony,” Coulson says. He turns on a screen next to him and dims the lights. “Now, everyone direct your attention to the screen.”

Steve sits back in his chair and makes himself comfortable. The proliferation of documentation in the twenty-first century is one of those changes that he hasn’t come around to. If Coulson says it matters, then Steve believes him. But that doesn’t make it interesting.

“And that’s form A-27,” Coulson says after ten minutes, during which time Steve has looked very focused and drawn quite a charming picture of Loki tying his testicles to a goat. That’s Steve’s favorite myth. He didn't actually know if it was true, he just really hoped it was. “Now I’ll walk you through form A-28, extraterrestrial encounter of the nonviolent variety.”

From his position at the back of the table, Steve glances around the room. Clint’s listening, mostly because Coulson lets him fletch his new arrows at meetings if he does. Bruce appears to be listening too, although there’s an equally good chance he’s sleeping with his eyes open. (Bruce is quite good at that. Sometimes when he’s sitting still, it’s hard to tell if he’s awake or asleep. Usually Natasha flicks rubber bands at him until they get a definite answer either way. She doesn’t like not knowing things.) Having been stripped of all electronic devices by Pepper before he sat down, Tony looks like he’s a few moments away from throwing himself out of the window. On the whole, Coulson seems very unconcerned about that.

And Natasha, across from Steve, leans forward on her elbow, the zipper of her suit tugged lower than usual. How low? Steve’s eyes snap forward. They sneak back. Pretty low. Very low. Steve looks forward. again. Think about the Hulk naked. Coulson and Thor are having a testy argument about why SHIELD’s initial response to alien contact shouldn’t be to lock it up. Steve should intervene in that. Natasha’s leaning forward to listen. Steve can see curvature he’s never seen before. No! Bad! Wrong! This is super terrible timing! Think about the Hulk ripping alien heads off while his massive trashcan-sized green penis swings in the breeze. Steve really tries to focus on that mental image. Natasha’s cleavage seems to beckon. His blood pounds. For God’s sake, look away! He looks away and up and sees Natasha looking back at him.

“This is inappropriate,” Coulson says. Steve jumps. Natasha’s the only one who notices. “We can discuss policy changes at a later date. Right now, we need to get you up-to-date on current policies.” Thor opens his mouth to keep arguing. “Or we can continue discussing this and extend the meeting as long as it takes to reach consensus.” Thor shuts his mouth. “Thank you.”

Breathe, Steve thinks. Even if it is a glass table, it’s a very dark room. Just stay relaxed and no one will notice. And then Natasha’s foot bumps against his leg. “Sorry,” he whispers, beat red, and shifts his leg out of her way. Natasha doesn’t look at him. She keeps her eyes on Coulson. Is she angry at him? She has every right to be. He’s behaving like a pig. But have you seen her breasts? his traitorous hindbrain says. Other parts of his body voice their assent.

Oh, no one asked you, the rest of him thinks sullenly. This is all your fault anyway.

Her foot bumps against his leg again. This time it stays there.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. The mantra takes on a manic tone internally. Steve sits ramrod straight and looks ahead as well as her foot runs up his calf and down again, sliding silently over his boot. She nudges against his knee and he moves it obediently, spreads his legs under the table. Her foot slides away. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Natasha’s face, still and calm. He wonders if anyone else can hear her unzipping her boot.

“But if we later determine the creature to be of terrestrial origin, suddenly it is deserving of the rights we previously denied it?” Thor demands.

Coulson looks like he wants to bury his head in his hands. “I will bring up your concerns with Director Fury, Thor, but policy change is not the point of this meeting.”

Natasha’s toes press against Steve’s leg, right above the top of his boot. His own toes curl.

“Wait, Coulson, Thor has a point,” Bruce says. “How can we cite their hostility as justification for imprisonment when we are just as hostile to them?”

Her foot slides up his leg. Her toes wriggle into his inner thigh.

“But are we hostile? Or are we just being smart?” Tony looks more alert than he has for the last half an hour. He likes it when we fight. “Alien comes to our planet, could be radioactive, could want to eat all people. Maybe it’s not even sentient. Maybe we all get chewed up trying to negotiate with a giant space bear.”

Her foot can’t go any higher without her stretching. She doesn’t seem interested in stretching. Steve glances at her face. She glances away from the argument and raises one eyebrow in challenge.

“So you’d lock me up?” Bruce asks Tony.

It really isn’t in Steve’s nature to back down from a challenge.

“If the Hulk was rampaging, killing everyone?” Tony says. “Yeah. If you’re normal, not rampaging, not killing everyone? No. But I don’t want you doing anything that you’d regret when you came to your senses.”

Steve scoots his chair closer to the table.

Bruce nods. “Alright.”

Natasha doesn’t look at Steve, but she smiles as she slides her foot higher and higher.

“Alright?” Tony asks.

Her toes brush against his ache. Steve quietly breaks the pencil he was clenching in half.

“If the Hulk’s rampaging, you should take me down,” Bruce says. “There is no question about that. I trust you to do that, Tony. I’d trust anyone on this team. I just wanted to see what you’d say.”

Natasha’s toes knead and press. Her heel digs in and Steve clamps his mouth shut. Breath, he thinks again, more frantically than ever. Breath. He keeps forgetting to do it.

“Dude,” Tony says, all mock-offense. “You’ve gotta stop pulling these friendship tests. You know I’m your bro and for you, I will straight up murder everyone, including you.”

“You’re forty, Tony.” Clint says. “You’re not allowed to start saying ‘bro’ this late in life.”

Steve reaches down and wraps one hand around her ankle. Her foot pauses. Stop? asks the tilt of her head. Steve stares back at her. He knows what his answer should be. Instead, he runs his thumb over the delicate bump of her ankle bone. Her lips part for a moment—Steve would say in surprise, but this is Natasha—before her foot arches and Steve’s eyes flutter shut.

“And Cap isn’t even listening,” Tony drawls.

Steve’s eyes snap open. As quick as lightning, Natasha’s foot is back on her side of the table, perhaps already back in her boot. The evidence of her behavior is much easy to hide than the evidence of his. He hopes no one said anything that requires standing. Besides the obvious drawbacks of a skintight uniform in this situation, he’s not sure his legs could even work. “You seemed to have the situation under control,” Steve guesses. When in doubt, stroke Tony’s ego.

“True,” Tony says. “But you still weren’t listening.”

“To be fair though,” Clint says, gesturing more freely with his half-built arrow than Steve thinks is safe, “were you saying anything worth listening to, bro?”

Tony chucks a pen at Clint’s head while Steve shifts in his seat, in search of a position that won’t press quite so uncomfortable on a piece of his anatomy that doesn’t fit as well as it when Steve put the pants on. And then he stops shifting when it quickly becomes clear that friction is not his friend here. Movement in the corner of his eye makes him glance over at Natasha. She sits perfectly still, her hands folded neatly in front of her. Funny. He could have sworn she was shifting too.

And then, because it looks like Coulson is a step away from shooting the lot of them and telling Fury that he better assemble a new team, Steve clears his throat and puts on his best Captain voice. “Come on, guys. This is important. We are a part of SHIELD’s apparatus. We use SHIELD’s resources and we collaborate with their agents. The bare minimum we can do is to learn their protocols.”

It sounds fairly commanding considering he’s a few quick movements away from coming in his uniform.

Tony points at Steve the pen Clint had thrown back. “Says the man who was falling asleep.”

“Enough,” Thor says. “Your ideas on nonhuman life are close-minded and petty, Coulson of SHIELD. I expect better from a warrior as valorous as you. Soon, we will have to return to this conversation and I fear that day will be a dark one for our lack of preparation. But this day, my lady Jane has tickets to the revival of Legally Blonde: The Musical, and she will be cross if we postpone our engagement again.”

The room pauses for a moment.

Legally Blonde is back on Broadway?” Natasha asks finally.

“Indeed,” Thor says, “Even in Midgard, people know the value of a story of valor and wisdom. The lady Sif says that it is the best tale she has heard on your planet.”

From the looks on everyone’s face, Steve makes a mental note to look up Legally Blonde later.

Coulson throws up his hands. “Forget it. Everyone forget it. I’ll just keep doing the paperwork myself.”

In an instance, everyone in the room is standing except Steve. “And that’s why you’re our favorite handler,” Tony says as he puts on his shades and blows Coulson a kiss.

“We really do appreciate it,” Bruce says halfway out the door.

“Hey, Thor, you and Jane got an extra ticket?” Clint asks as he and Thor leave.

Natasha pauses as she walks by Coulson, her hands clasped behind her back. Steve notices that her uniform is now properly zipped up. She looks as downright respectable as you can in a catsuit. Not that Steve’s judging. His uniform is basically hers but multicolored. “You should have known better,” Natasha tells Coulson.

“Yes, silly me, expecting some of the most powerful people on Earth to not act like children,” Coulson says. “What a rookie mistake.”

Natasha gives him a small nod of agreement and turns to look at Steve, who sits as casually as you can when you are trying to hide your massive erection. “Steve,” she says sickeningly sweet, “aren’t you coming too?”

While Steve’s very fond of Natasha, right now he also understands why so many people try to kill her. “I think I’ll sit here for a while.” He folds his hands in his lap like it’s a natural thing to do for non-concealment reasons.

She widens her eyes innocently. “Oh, are you interested in the proper paperwork protocol?”

“Are you?” Coulson asks instantly.

For a moment, Steve thinks very, very hard about standing up, apologizing to the sure-to-be traumatized Agent Coulson, and shuffling off to his bunk. Or any bunk. Steve’s feel flexible right now. But Steve’s still got his pride and besides, once a man tells you about how your propaganda comics got him through his abusive childhood, you feel bad saying no to him. “Sure,” Steve says slowly, like he’s hoping before he’s done saying it, Coulson will tell him not to worry about it.

“Fantastic!” Coulson says. “As team leader, we assumed you would be primarily responsible for the paperwork anyway.”


“I’ll leave you two kids to it then,” Natasha says, walking to the doorway.

“Natasha!” Steve doesn’t know why he says it. He doesn’t know what he wants to say. What can he say, with Coulson standing there as well. Remember how you just gave me a—what, a footjob? Steve’s vocabulary of sex acts is lacking. But Natasha stops halfway out the door and looks at him, half hiding her body behind the frame, and Steve has to say something. “Your hair looks really nice today. I like what you’ve done with it,” he says. Well done, Captain Rogers. Dignity saved.

She ducks her head. Steve barely catches a glimpse of her smile before it’s gone. “Thanks, Cap,” she says sarcastically and with a small salute, she’s gone. Steve watches her go as long as he can.

“Watch out, Captain Rogers,” Coulson says. Steve turns to him. Coulson looks every inch the professional agent, complete with serious eyes and a stern mouth. Sometimes, Steve remembers that Coulson had a long and bloody career before he became the Avengers’ handler. “It’s a dangerous game you’re playing with her.”

Steve thinks about the warmth of her ankle under his hand. The memory makes him stiffen anew. “Believe me, I know.”

“Dangerous for her, Steve.”

Steve has nothing to say to that.

“And you actually,” Coulson adds. “Dangerous for both of you. She’s not good with feelings and you’re very…” They wait for Coulson to find the diplomatic term for virginal. “Gentlemanly,” he says eventually.

“Nice save,” Steve says.

“Thank you, I’m very proud. Do you know about condoms?”


“Do you know about safe sex?”


“Do you have any questions?”

“For you? I mean no disrespect, but never.”

Coulson sighs. “Thank God. I wouldn’t want to do that to my childhood.” He gives Steve the appraising look that Steve’s gotten so much since he thawed. “Are you sure you don’t want to date someone simpler?”

“I don’t think we’re dating exactly,” Steve says. “But no. I like Natasha.”

He shook his head sadly. “They adjust to the modern world so quickly. Alright, you’re a grown man, she’s a grown woman, do what you want on your own time.” He stresses that last part. “And remember, if you have any questions about relationships or sex, any questions at all, do not ask your teammates. I have seen their personal files.” Coulson picks up his laser pointer. “Now, do you want to conclude A-28, jump ahead to A-29, or go crazy and start all the way at B-17?”

After the long, long, long, long, long, long meeting, when all the bits of Steve’s anatomy have calmed down enough for him to make a graceful exit, he finds himself mulling over Coulson’s words. A dangerous game, he thinks in the elevator ride up to his floor of the Tower. Accurate. This feels dangerous. Feels fun too.

The elevator doors slide open onto Steve’s floor—cavernous, dark, and empty. He can’t think of anyplace he’d like to be less. Steve presses the door close button. “Where would you like to go?” Jarvis asks coolly.

Steve thinks for a moment. “Where’s everyone else?”

The doors open on the ninety-seventh floor, the closest thing the Avengers have to a common space. Mostly because this was the floor where Bruce and Clint hooked up all the video game devices. “I can get you all everything you want in your own floors,” Tony had said. “There’s no reason you have to share.” Bruce and Clint had then declared this the saddest statement they’d ever heard and started a biweekly Mario Cart tournament. Steve has to admit, it has done wonders for team bonding.

And Natasha’s there when he walks into the kitchen. She’s just standing there in flannel pajama pants and a Radiohead shirt that’s about three sizes too big, eating a bowl of cereal as she leans against the counter. Her makeup is washed off, her hair’s pulled haphazardly back in a bun that’s keeping about hair her hair back. Her socks don’t match. One has pink polka dots. She freezes when she sees him, the spoon halfway to her mouth.

“Oh my God,” she says astonished. “This is turning you on?”

Steve glances down. “Um. Apparently.” He folds his hands over his crotch. “I am really sorry about this. It’s the serum. And you. At this point, actually, I think it’s mostly you. I have to be honest. I like you a lot. I’m working on it, I promise. ”

"The inappropriate erections or liking me?"

"Just the first. I intend to keep liking you."

Natasha sticks the spoon in her mouth and scrunches her nose at him. “I don’t understand. I’m not even sexy right now,” she says through a mouthful of what appear to be Lucky Charms.

Steve laughs a little. “Natasha, I don’t think you’ve ever looked more attractive.”

She smiles before she jabs her spoon at him. “Don't get sentimental. You’re wrong,” she says. “Very wrong.” She looks him up and down appraisingly. Steve stands up straighter. There’s really no point hiding his erection. For one, she knows it is there, and for another, he’s not sure he even can. It’s very large.

And Steve would never, ever, ever, ever admit it out loud, but, yes, yes, yes, he is immensely happy about that. He may be Captain America, but he’s still a guy. And he was very small for a very long time. The serum’s aftereffects may be inconvenient as hell, but that doesn’t mean he’s not grateful.

Natasha meets his eyes. “You really aren’t what I expected when we de-thawed you.”

Steve raises his eyebrow. “Is that a problem?”

“Not in the slightest. I thought you wouldn’t be any fun at all.” She pushes herself up off the counter and says, “Tell you what, Cap. After you go jerk off until you can walk around without risking poking someone’s eye out, why don’t you join me in the TV room? The team’s watching Legally Blonde in a few minutes.”

“Depends,” Steve says. “Are you planning on behaving yourself?”

Her grin as she bites the spoon is positively wicked. “Maybe.

And that does things. Anatomically. To his cock. Which is something he never felt comfortable referring to his penis as, but if he can let it be rubbed by his teammate’s foot, he can call it a cock. He’s reached that point. “Sounds fun. I’ll see you there then,” Steve says. And damn if Natasha, for a split second, looks like she’s gonna blush. But the second passes and she regards him, cool as a cat, as she drains her cereal into the sink.

“Good.” Natasha unlatches the dishwasher and pulls out the lower rack with her toes. Steve’s beginning to suspect that she’s giving him a thing for feet. He has no objections. “I look forward to the pleasure of your company,” she purrs as she bends over to put the bowl away.

I have no idea what the hell I’m doing, Steve thinks as he stares and stares and stares and keeps staring in the same general direction ever after Natasha’s straightened, smirked, and sauntered off. He is in way over his head. The thought makes him even harder.

Well. He always has liked a challenge. Steve grins to himself as he shuffles off to the bathroom, to make himself as respectable as possible before Natasha helps him throw that to hell. He can't wait.