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The Minute That Never Passed By

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They finally won.

 

The avengers have successfully reversed the snap and defeated Thanos.

 

However, Steve didn’t completely feel triumphant. This victory has caused them his best friend and the love of his life. His everything. Natasha.

 

After they have said their goodbyes, Steve couldn’t bring himself to face his team. Everybody. He darts to his bike and heads to the compound. He doesn’t know where wants to go but all he wants is to escape from everything. He ends up at a very familiar place, bringing him all the painful memories. 

 

The sign says ’R&R Territory’.

 

Oh. It’s his and Natasha’s room.

 

As he slowly enters the room, he gets this sense of familiarity and comfort, bringing him to the edge of breaking down. Tears cloud his eyes but ignores it. He heads to their bedroom to change. He tries to find his—well, Natasha’s—favourite sweatshirt of his. Natasha had always loved to wear his shirts. He didn’t mind. In fact, he secretly loved it for he would smell her distinct sweet scent in all of his shirts.

 

Steve rummages through all his things when he spots a very familiar velvet box. 

 

“I never even got to give this to you,” he huffed.

 

He tries to reach for it from the top shelf. And as he gets his hand on the box, a piece of paper comes falling down, landing on his feet.

 

A letter.

 

A letter, addressed to him, with Natasha’s handwriting.

 


 

 

Dearest Steve,

 

I know you would never dare to go in my closet without my presence near, or without me knowing. Well, today is a special day, so I’m going to allow that. 

 

I need you to do me a favour one last time.

 

First of all, thank the whole team for me. Their dedication to keep the world safe is what motivates me every early morning training. This journey hasn’t been exactly kind to us but we stayed and fought together. I am eternally grateful to have this dysfunctional, yet loving family we have.

 

Thank Scott because all of these wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for him. He gave us the light to our caved world. He gave us the chance of winning against that purple motherfucker. And the hope of regaining all the lives that have perished because of the snap.

 

I also never got the chance to sit down and chat with Bruce. Give my proper goodbyes to him. We never really talked about the past because of all the more important things that’s been happening. I know I’m asking for too much right off the bat, but I need you to be patient. I want him to be at peace and to stop feeling bad about how our situation ended so abruptly.

 

Tell Wanda I’m sorry. I promised her after Pietro died that I wouldn’t ever leave her. I kept telling her that as long as the sun shines on Edinburgh, she won’t feel alone. And yet, here I am, breaking all of those. I promised her a lot of things and it breaks my heart that I just couldn’t keep them.

 

I want you to help Thor to be happy again. I know the universe has been more than hard on him for a long time now, but I still want him to give that heartily laugh we hear through the walls everyday. I want him to smile again, genuinely. Get him back in shape, will you?

 

Now, Tony can be a little handful. Keep him straight when Pepper’s away. Get him to sleep in time when he stays at the compound. Continue the bedtime rules we enforced. Don’t let him do experiments in the kitchen. Never ever go soft and let him build another time machine just to bring me back. Don’t let him make one of those dangerous experiments that knocked him unconscious again. Keep him alive.

 

I know you inside out Rogers. All throughout these years, I’ve come to known every single quirks you have—both annoying and cute ones. I’ve grown familiar with that stomach of yours that is so hard to please and satisfy. How you secretly hated cucumbers and would ‘subtly’ spit it out when I wasn’t looking. I’m the world’s best spy, silly. We’ve both shared our darkest nightmares and honestly, I didn’t know how I’d get through them then without you. And I also know how, now, somewhere in your heart, you secretly keep telling yourself that it shouldn’t have been me who fell off the cliff in Vormir. Somewhere in your heart, you blame Clint a little bit. You just don’t want to admit that. So do me a favour, Rogers. Hug Clint. He is probably at his worst right now and also blames himself for my death. He tried his best to stop me. He tried his very, very best to hold my hand just to keep me from falling. Thank him for me. I owed him my life. He risked his life just to spare mine. And lastly, tell him I’m sorry. Sorry that I couldn’t keep my promise from Budapest. That I ended the adventures of Aunty Nat. And that I’m throwing the worst possible guilt to be carried at him.

 

You know, all my life, I’ve tried to be this ruthless, icy, and cold-hearted person because that’s what I’ve been taught to do. They said it was weakness and the Black Widow doesn’t do weakness. And me being me, tried to show as little emotion as I could. Because I am the Black Widow, well I was. 

 

I’ve felt nothing for the longest time. But then, you came along, and tore through the walls that I built. How annoying. Just when I thought that I am impermeable, you made me feel everything. You made me feel wanted. You made me feel like I mattered. Because of you, I learned that being vulnerable isn’t a disadvantage, that crying doesn’t make me weak. It just tells the people around me ‘Hey I’m hurting. Come give me a hug’ and it reminds myself that I’ve been strong enough for too long. 

 

Because of you, I learned to not let a moment pass by. To say what I feel, not what I think. You know what, if I were given a chance to live one last day, I don’t know. I guess I wouldn’t take it. If I would, I’d risk myself contemplating on giving my life because I’d get to see your face again one last time. I’d risk you realizing what going to Vormir demands and have yourself go instead. I realized the moment we were planning our time heist, whoever goes to Vormir might not be able to return. And it just happened to be Clint and I. Since then, I’ve made my decision to not let Clint sacrifice himself. I just can’t do that to Laura and the kids. I’ve accepted my fate. The moment I let go of Clint’s hand, I felt glad for what I did.  Not because I’ve finally wiped off the red in my ledger, but because I was really thankful that you were in New York. I knew that you would’ve done what I did because that’s who you are. Not as Captain America, but as the man I’ve grown to really appreciate, Steve Rogers.

 

I’m so thankful for you—for sticking with my stubborn ass, for showing me your unwavering support, and for making me feel special and loved. You’ve shown me how to live—that I’m more than just an ex-KGB spy. 

 

I’m sorry we didn’t finish completing our bucket list. We didn’t even get to the part where we would go to Russia together and I would introduce you to my parents. But I am glad though that we got to see a meteor shower. That was the night you told me that I was your everything, your future. That was when you told me that you love me. I’m sorry that I couldn’t get myself to return the three words you said to me at the rooftop. But nonetheless, that didn’t stop you. You told me ‘I love you’ every single day and it made me angry at myself. It broke my heart to see you try to hide your sadness every time I couldn’t say them back. I didn’t get why it scared me or why I couldn’t bring myself to say those damn words because baby they were not hard to say, especially to a man like you. And because I do. I really do. I always say ‘Love is for children’ and you taught me how to be a child. 

 

Remember the time when Fury sent you to a mission and it required you to be away for 3 months? You bought me a teddy bear and sewed your picture to it. You said that stuffed toy will keep my nightmares away. And it did. It really did. Now, I’m going to return the favour. I am going to be that teddy bear though. I’m going to be here for you always and I will fight your nightmares away.

 

Now, I didn’t leave you anything. I didn’t want you to hold on to me forever. However, I am returning something. Well, it never was officially mine. I did wear it for a while if you must know. The ring is back inside its blue velvet box. You actually dropped it when you guys left the van at the airport, in Germany. 

 

With all the impossibles that we’ve seen and been through, if it’s possible to still feel love after one has passed, then I will love you for eternity. 

 

It was really hard to write this letter. Not only because this will be my last time talking to you but also because I know that I won’t be there with you when you read it. Because I won’t be there to wipe your tears away and kiss you until you feel better.

 

I love you Steven Grant Rogers.

 

With all my heart, I love you 3000.

 

Yours truly,

Nat