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In Need Of Rest

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     Natasha is perceptive, but not when she’s exhausted and just back from a mission. Her walls come down a bit in the Tower, the only place that feels guarded enough to let herself be less than paranoid.

     So if she misses the way Tony’s feet are dragging a bit, blame it on the last few days of hell.

     But it persists, with the mechanic’s voice going a little raspy as he sweats over his projects from the building fever, and finally Nat notices what’s going on. She shows up in his doorway with some honey ginger tea and makes him sit.

     “Tony, you need rest.” 
     “I’ve been sleeping, it’s fine.”
     “You look like you’ve been running a marathon. I don’t even have to feel to know that you’ve got a temperature.”
     “Do not!”
     “And you’ve got a sore throat building. I can hear it.”
     “I’ve just been yelling at Dum-e a lot.”
     “You’re sick, Tony. Get some rest and cold meds and you’ll be fi–”
     “I don’t get sick. I’m okay.”
     “Oh, you’re totally alright then? Come spar me then.”

     Tony hesitates just a bit at that, and then smiles. “After this project?” It’s better than saying that he doesn’t feel up to it, right? Besides, all it’ll take is a good night’s sleep, he’s sure, although those aren’t always easy to come by.

     “Damn it, Tony, I am actually going to–” She cuts herself off with a groan and grabs him by the ear. “Up. Now. Take the tea with you. I’m shoving you into bed and you will get your rest if I have to tie you down.”

     “Ow ow ow,” he mutters, not really in any significant pain, but having little choice but to go along with her. “I should have figured that you were kinky,” he shoots at her, still attempting to sass her, but he doesn’t manage to provoke a reaction. They get to the elevator, and suddenly JARVIS’s voice comes through the speakers.

                    “Sir’s blood pressure is rapidly dropping, Miss Romanoff.”

     No sooner than it’s said does the mug of tea slip from Tony’s hands and shatters on the floor. Natasha barely has time to catch the man as he topples towards her.

     “Not sick, my ass,” she murmurs, even as she pushes his hair out of his face and gathers him up towards her. She hoists him into her arms as the elevator comes to a stop, and carries him to his bedroom. “Come on,” she urges him gently as she lays him down, watching his bleary eyes carefully. JARVIS apparently has robots everywhere in the building doing his bidding, because cold medication is placed in her hand. Natasha stirs it into a glass of water and tips Tony’s head up to make him drink.

     Tony passes out nonetheless– which is only expected after having overworked himself while ill– but his vitals are fine, and Nat sits at the foot of the bed as he sleeps. She’s not overly worried, but her mind can’t quite stay focused on what she’s trying to read on the Starkpad, so she eventually gives up and curls up to take a nap herself. Tony wakes to find the redhead in a little ball near his feet like an overgrown cat, and pulls her up to sleep properly next to him, grateful that she made him get some rest after all.


     A week later, Tony’s buzzing around in the lab, having been back in full health for a couple days already and cleared by Natasha to start working obsessively again. He heads up to grab some lunch– another of Nat’s demands of him– when he finds her sitting at the table and staring at her food. She looks immensely tired and sweaty and…

     “Fuck you, Stark. I’m not helping you when you’re sick next time.”

     Tony chuckles and grabs her hand. “Come on. Let’s get you some rest, shall we?”