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each kiss to lip and cheek

Chapter Text

The mission wasn’t expected to go FUBAR.

According to Fury, it was a simple in and out mission. Collect intel and carry your happy-go-lucky ass back to the camouflaged quinjet.

Of course, it didn’t go as planned.

In fact, it was going to shit.

The warehouse was supposed to be abandoned, nothing inside except for a few jets and dry-rotted supply crates.

However, per usual, that was not the case.

The warehouse had been ridden with insurgencies, their military grade rifles strapped across their chests.

Of fucking course.

Whatever made Fury think that it would be a simple enough mission to send only two agents, albeit his best, was coming back to bite him in the ass the second Maria Hill stepped foot back onto the helicarrier.

Her and Romanoff were currently hidden underneath the stairs that led toward the second floor of the warehouse, but their position wasn’t one to stay in. While they were in a place that generally no one would look, they were practically in the open.

If any of these soldiers spotted them, they would be lit up in a millisecond, and there would be no way for them to prevent it. There would be no chance of survival at all.

“We have to move, Romanoff,” Maria quietly hissed, watching as a group of soldiers formed near the center of the ground floor of the warehouse. Unsurprisingly, considering their luck, said soldiers were getting closer and closer to her and Natasha’s not-so-hidden hiding place.

“I know,” the redhead hissed back, her green eyes shooting a glare in Maria’s direction before returning her attention to the matter in front of them.

There were a few seconds of silence between the two of them as they tried to formulate a plan, the only sound being the laughter of a few of the soldiers huddled together a few yards from them.

Hill watched Natasha, watching as her green eyes flit from the group of men to the jets and then toward the crates. She was attempting to come up with a pathway for them. Hopefully, it would be one that didn’t result in them getting detected and ultimately mowed down with a spray of lead.

“If we move toward those two crates, then we should be able to make our way behind those jets and straight out from where we came from.”

Maria’s cold blue eyes traced the same path that Natasha’s had, and after a few seconds of quick calculation, she nodded in agreement.

“Try to stay in the shadows.”

“Obviously, Commander. You must forget who your partner is, котенок.”

Hill stopped, casting a glare at the woman behind her before moving forward, moving her position as quickly and carefully as she could without getting spotted by the soldiers.

“Keep it moving, Romanoff,” she whispered through the comms.

Hill couldn’t help the small smirk that overtook her face as a small scoff entered her ear from the comms device.

Taking a quick glance around the rotting wooden supply crate, Hill watched as the group separated, covering nearly every direction of the warehouse. She cursed under her breath. She watched as the men got situated in their new positions, one stopping inches away from her current hiding place behind the crate.

Hill didn’t have time to send an order to Romanoff before she grabbed the soldier by his leg, pulling him down to the ground and slamming her elbow into his nose. The loud crack! was enough of a sign to know that she had broken his nose.

His eyes rolling to the back of his head was another sign that he wouldn’t be waking up for a few hours.

“New plan, Romanoff. Take the other side of the warehouse and I’ll cover this side.”

After a few seconds of radio silence, Hill watched as Natasha crept through the shadows of the warehouse and toward the other side.

She watched as the Widow weaved her web on the unknowing soldier, the woman’s amazingly silent steps not alerting the man whatsoever of what his impending doom was.

Hill turned away whenever Natasha reached up behind the man, her dagger finding home in the soldier’s jugular, and continued along on her own path, doing the same to her next target.

Hill and Natasha made their way through the warehouse in the shadows, easily taking down their unsuspecting victims. However, Hill hadn’t anticipated the last man to be close enough to hear the thud of his buddy’s body hitting the concrete floor.

She watched as he turned around, the sight of his rifle immediately zeroing in on her head. Luckily, he hadn’t been anticipating Maria launching up from her crouching position and pushing her shoulder into his stomach, effectively tackling him into a nearby rotting crate.

The wood splintered into Hill’s hands as she grabbed the barrel of the rifle, pointing it away from her chest and toward the ceiling right as soon as the soldier fired off a few rounds. Pieces of insulation broke loose from the ceiling at the impact of the bullets and fell to the ground.


Maria didn’t have time to look at Natasha to see what the problem was whenever she felt the barrel press directly onto her shoulder. She pushed it away once again right as soon as the soldier fired and she hissed in pain as the bullet tore through her uniform and her flesh.

Before he could pull the trigger again, Hill jammed her combat knife into his throat, drops of blood shooting from the wound and landing on her face.

It didn’t take long for Natasha to be by her side, hand on her uninjured shoulder.

For a split second, Hill genuinely thought that Romanoff was going to ask her if she was alright. But, per usual, the Widow simply pulled her to her feet and hauled her toward the door of the warehouse. They needed to get out now.

There would be absolutely no way that they would make it to the quinjet without letting the other soldiers in the warehouse where exactly the bird was, and that was something that they couldn’t afford.

So, instead, Natasha hauled Maria onto one of the snowmobiles that belonged to the soldiers back inside and hauled ass toward the city. The warehouse had been on the outskirts of Moscow. Not too far from the city to raise suspicion and not too far in. The perfect place for weapons dealing.

It didn’t take long for them to reach the city and find a place to hide the hijacked snowmobile. Unfortunately, they would have to walk in the consistently rising snow until they found a motel that seemed like a decent place to hunker down in until everything blew over.

They would definitely be hunted down after what just happened back in the warehouse. Mafia bosses didn’t take kindly to their men being killed and their documents being stolen. To S.H.I.E.L.D., however, it seemed necessary whenever the weapons that were being dealt were mock super soldier serums.

Hill tried long and hard to keep from shivering, but the harsh Russian winter temperature finally busted down her wall of pride and made her muscles twitch so hard that she thought she would fall into the snow and start seizing. Natasha, on the other hand, seemed to be completely fine.

Goddamn Russians and their immunity to the cold.

After a few minutes of roaming the snow-ridden streets of Moscow, the duo finally came across a run-down motel that seemed to be the perfect place to hide low for a few days.

“This should do fine. Come on, Hill.”

The gentle tug against her arm pulled her toward the direction of the motel, and she eagerly followed, sighing in relief whenever the warm air from inside the lobby ran over her body.

Maria stood toward the side as Natasha handled everything dealing with the room, rubbing her gloved palms together in a desperate attempt to thaw them out.


Maria looked up, watching Natasha nod toward the stairs before making her way toward them. Maria followed closely behind, eager to lie down in her bed the second they reached their room.

After climbing a few flights of stairs, the duo walked out of the stairwell and toward room 137. Hill stood behind Natasha as the Widow unlocked their room, and Hill immediately felt her heart drop whenever she saw the single queen sized bed.

Of fucking course.



Hill had claimed her side of the bed the second she realized that there was only one by throwing her pack onto the side by the window. Now, she was sitting in the bed in her black, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirt that had been underneath her uniform and her boy shorts.

Hill had her arm brought close to her face, a pair of tweezers in her other hand as she attempted to pull the splinters from her arm. She had already patched up the bullet graze on her shoulder, and now she was struggling to pull tiny ass pieces of wood out of her skin.

Natasha was lying on the other side of the bed, watching as Hill grew more and more frustrated every time she failed to pull a splinter free.

Every time she offered to help, Hill would growl out a sharp “No, I have this under control,” and go back to mangling her arm with the tweezers between her fingers.

Finally, Natasha got annoyed with Maria’s growls of frustration and sat up, yanking the tweezers from the brunette’s hand. A shocked expression flew over Maria’s face before it was replaced with the same angry expression that had been on her face for the past thirty minutes.

Natasha held her other hand out expectantly.

Hill’s looked at the waiting hand before returning her gaze back to Natasha’s face.


“Give me your arm.”


Natasha huffed.

“Hill, give me your damn arm.”




Finally, Natasha grabbed Maria’s arm with reflexes fast enough that Maria didn’t even have time to pull away even if she wanted to.

“Don’t be so fucking stubborn, Masha.”

Maria grumbled as she turned her body to face Natasha, making the strain on her injured shoulder lessen up. She watched as Natasha picked at her arm with the tweezers, pulling the pieces of wood out quicker than Maria could find them.

After thirty minutes of silence and Hill watching Natasha pluck splinters from her arm, the redhead finally set the tweezers aside and scooped up the tiny pile of splinters that had gathered on her leg. She watched as Natasha reached across the bed to her side, leaning over and tossing the splinters into the tiny trash can before returning to her side.

“Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Maria returned to her previous position, crawling underneath the sheets as Natasha turned the bedside lamp off.

As they settled into the bed, Maria felt her eyelids immediately become heavy. Exhaustion wracked her body and even though she was freezing her ass off, she came close to falling asleep in a matter of seconds.

The only thing keeping her from doing exactly that was the press of ice cold feet onto her shins.

Hill yelped in surprise, pulling her legs so far back that she thought the lower half of her body was going to fall off of the bed.

“You’re freezing. How the hell are you not shivering?”

She felt more than saw Natasha roll over in the bed, and it was safe to assume that Natasha was staring right at her. It was too dark in the room to really tell.

“It’s like you forget I’m Russian,” Natasha said, an airy chuckle leaving her lips. Maria could feel the air brush against her cheeks. Just how close was Natasha to her right now?

Maria opted to stay silent, Natasha’s breath on her face causing her brain to short circuit in just the slightest bit.

Seconds later, she felt cold, gentle fingers on her injured shoulder.

“How was the bullet wound? You patched it up before I could look.”

Maria shivered at her touch.

“It’s okay. Just a graze.” Her voice was barely a whisper.

There was silence once again as Natasha’s cold hand made it’s way down her arm, rubbing it gently.

“You’re cold.”

Maria couldn’t help but roll her eyes at the obvious statement.

“Thank you for pointing out that fact, Natasha. You’re so observant.” Sarcasm dripped from the statement, and she couldn’t help the sense of pride that filled her whenever she heard Natasha laugh.

Once again, there was silence between them.

She felt the sheets rustle between them and the wiggle of the bed proved that Natasha was moving. Closer? Farther?

God, she hoped it was closer.

The bundle of sheets that separated them was no longer there. Instead, Natasha’s body replaced them.

Maria felt Natasha’s hand return to her arm and she couldn’t help the shiver that ran through her body. She wasn’t sure if she was shivering because she was cold or because Natasha’s touch just did that to her.

Maria didn’t know which explanation she wanted to believe more.

“Come here, Masha. You’re shivering.”

Before she knew what was happening, Natasha had wrapped her arms around her, pulling her into her embrace. Maria stiffened for a few seconds before melting into the surprisingly warm body that was wrapped around her.

Maria sighed and buried her face into Natasha’s warm neck, wrapping her arms around the redhead. Their legs tangled together underneath the sheets. Natasha’s fingers stroked up and down her spine while the other hand played with her hair, strong fingers scratching her scalp.

Maria couldn’t stop the content sigh from leaving her lips and buried even further into Natasha. There was a faint press of lips against her forehead.

“Sleep, моя жизнь. You’re safe here.”

Maria slept.

Chapter Text

Things have never been overly difficult between the two of them. Even when Maria was STRIKE Team Delta’s handler, she didn’t have to deal with much crap from Romanoff or Barton until they got back to the helicarrier. Then, it was endless pranks and shitty lunch dates in the cafeteria.


Nevertheless, things have never been difficult between Maria and Natasha.


If anything, things have always been easy.


Surprisingly to the other agents on the carrier, the duo had clicked almost immediately. Of course, it took months for them to completely trust each other (more so Natasha than Maria). However, whenever that trust completely sealed, they were nearly inseparable.


Things have always just been easy.


That was why it was such a surprise to Maria that her heart felt like it was going to jump out of her chest and explode the second she realized that she was still in Natasha’s arms the next morning.


Her heart was racing unbelievably quickly. Honestly, Maria wouldn’t have been surprised if she suddenly went into cardiac arrest and Natasha would have to wake up to her corpse.


Despite the full on panic she felt overtaking her body, Maria refused to pull away from Natasha. Although she may have been having a mild heart attack, she was still content with being held in her friend’s arms, who was still asleep.


Maria never woke up before Natasha. Ever.


Either Natasha was worn out from the mission last night or she was damn good at pretending to be asleep while the person in her arms seemed to be on the verge of a panic attack.


After taking a few quick deep breaths, Maria calmed her sudden unexpected panic and nestled her face into Natasha’s pale skin. Her lips brushed against the assassin’s collarbone and she felt Natasha shift underneath her at the contact of soft lips against the sensitive area.


Maria held her breath. She wasn’t sure if she wanted Natasha to wake up or not.


To be fair, she barely remembered how they even got in this position, which was quite odd considering she hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol the night before.


Maybe she was just stupid when it came to her skin touching Natasha’s own.


At that moment, the brunette realized that not only was their upper half tangled together, but so were their bare legs.


She felt the slightest blush brush over her cheeks.


She wasn’t even going to think about the small trace of warmth that filled her belly.


Goddammit, Hill. Pull yourself together. You’re the damn Deputy Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and you’re acting like you’re sixteen.


Tension pulled at Maria’s brow for a brief second. Or maybe longer, considering Natasha pressed her lips to the small wrinkles on her forehead.


When had Natasha woken up?


Maria’s eyes shot open at the contact and her heart dropped once again. Was Natasha having the same brief moment of panic she had minutes ago?


Probably not. Natasha had perfect control over her emotions. Plus, the redhead probably remembered everything from last night whereas Maria felt like she was catching an early case of Alzheimer’s.


Maria looked up the exact same time that Natasha looked down and the duo did the same exact thing at the same exact time: look into each other’s eyes and try to decipher what they were feeling without having to actually say anything.


It was a stupid ritual of theirs. Everyone at S.H.I.E.L.D. was convinced that they were telepathically linked because of their consistent silent communication between each other. At first, Maria thought they couldn’t be farther from the truth. Telepathic linking was just a rumor and something that definitely didn’t exist, at least at S.H.I.E.L.D..


Their bond was just so strong that people simply chalked up their ability to think so similarly to telepathic linkage.


“Good morning.”


Natasha’s voice was raspy and full of sleep. Her eyes were still droopy just the slightest bit and strands of messy red hair stuck out in every direction. Maria couldn’t help but notice the happiness that flowed throughout her body as her blue eyes took in every detail of the woman underneath her.


She was a vision; so incredibly mesmerizing that Maria had a hard time putting her thoughts together.


“‘Morning,” she whispered. She felt like the moment would break if her voice rose to its normal volume.


Maria’s eyes searched Natasha’s blank face for a few seconds, her gaze unknowingly sliding to Natasha’s plump lips every now and then before latching onto her green eyes.


“How is your shoulder?”


At the mention of her wound from the previous night, Maria moved her shoulder, grimacing at the tightness that presented itself. She pretended that she didn’t notice Natasha’s concerned look after she caught the slight pain on the Deputy Director’s face.


“I’ll be fine. Nothing a band-aid can’t fix.”


Natasha’s brow raised.


“Sure. You’ll need to get it looked at whenever we return to the helicarrier, Masha.”


The helicarrier.


Oh shit.


She forgot to inform Fury about their situation.


Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.


Maria shot out of Natasha’s hold and practically sailed over to her side of the bed, hand scrambling for the cellphone that was charging on the bedside table.


1 missed call from Fury.


2 missed calls from Barton.




They must think that they wither went AWOL or were killed, though she knew Fury highly doubted the second option. Her and Natasha were S.H.I.E.L.D.’s best. They knew that the duo could have done that mission blindfolded and with their pinky fingers as their weapons.  


Maria could feel Natasha’s gaze on her back as she furiously typed in Fury’s number, raising her cell to her ear as the line began to ring and ring.


Finally, after what must have been the last ring before going to voicemail finished, Fury picked up.


Where in the hell are you, Hill?”


“Currently hiding out in a motel in the seedy part of Moscow. We were compromised. Extraction is going to have to wait for a few days until we’re off their radar.”


Hill spent the next hour and a half debriefing Fury and going through plans of extraction and combat if things got worse.


Every now and then, Hill would turn around to see Natasha still lying in bed and typing away on her phone. Sometimes Natasha would be looking at her whenever she turned around and sometimes she wouldn’t be.


She could feel the redhead’s gaze on the back of her head every time she faced away, though.


“Stay low and don’t leave that room for whatever reason. Think of it as max level witness protection, except you’re protecting yourself.”


The conversation soon came to an end and Maria hung up the phone, tossing the device onto the bed before walking toward the only window in their room with her hands on her hips. It wasn’t a ceiling to floor window, but it was definitely large.


She was tense all over.


The silence in the room was almost deafening save for the small pats of Natasha’s bare feet against the wooden floors, getting closer and closer to her.


“What did Fury have to say?”


Maria sighed. She didn’t like the idea of being locked up in a motel room for days, maybe even weeks. Especially with Natasha.


It would be absolutely torturous.


“He gave explicit orders not to leave this room no matter the circumstances. We’re to stay here until he gives us the all clear.”


Maria pulled the curtain over the window after a few more seconds of watching people pass by in the street below them. The big window would definitely be a bad thing. The curtain wasn’t thick at all and was practically no help in cutting visibility. They would have to rearrange the room if they wanted to be able to sleep throughout the night without receiving a bullet to the head.


“Help me move the bed.”


After a few minutes, Natasha and Maria rearranged the entire room. The bed was pressed against the wall that the window was in, completely out of sight from anyone trying to get a shot on them,  and the sofa was moved into a space where it was visible but would require a very hard angle in order to get a good shot. The small dining table was left where it was as to not draw suspicion that the entire room had been moved around. If everything was out of view from outside the window, whoever came to finish the job would definitely know something was up and would simply just come up to their room despite the risks.


Everything had to look normal.


The two ended up on the sofa, the small, old TV playing an old Russian show in the background.


Natasha had kept herself busy with filing her nails while Maria was absolutely going out of her mind with boredom, picking endlessly at the bandage on her shoulder before pulling it off altogether. The wound was red and swollen, but not infected.


Maria grabbed the first aid kit that she had used the night before out of her pack plopped back down onto the sofa, a small groan of pain leaving her lips as she twisted her shoulder in an attempt to fully see the wound.


“Turn around.”


Maria looked at Natasha, who had stopped filing her nails and was looking at her with the same expression she had on her face last night before she snatched the tweezers out of her hand.


Hill handed her the kit before turning around without a word. She brushed her hair away from the wound.


She hissed whenever Natasha pressed an alcohol pad to the graze without warning and she threw a glare at the redhead over her shoulder, who simply chuckled and squeezed her hip with her free hand in apology.


“That hurt.”


“Sorry, Masha.”


Maria grimaced and looked away, her eyes landing on the window. It was a little past two in the evening and they had gone without incident. Either they were incredibly good at covering their tracks or they were being watched right this very second.


There was absolutely no way that they had covered every clue while rushing to find a place to hide. They were already made. Whoever was watching them was just waiting for the opportunity to strike.


Natasha pat her hip, indicating that she was finished. Maria turned back around, surprised that the Widow hadn’t moved back to her side of the sofa. Instead, she was still sitting on the middle cushion. She watched as Natasha gently grabbed the arm she had worked on last night and rolled the sleeve of her shirt up to inspect the small holes in her skin where the splinters had been.


Some were small enough that they could barely be seen while others were bigger, red and inflamed. Maria grimaced at the sight. She really needed to start taking better care of herself, even if it was just splinter wounds.


Natasha wordlessly pulled antibiotic cream from the kit and applied some to the tiny wounds all over her arm.


“Wouldn’t want to lose an arm because you fell into a crate. That would be embarrassing. What would you tell the agents that wondered how Hardass Hill lost her arm?”


Maria chuckled at the words, watching as Natasha’s fingers traced over her arm, dabbing ointment here and there before rubbing it in.


“Probably something that goes along with Fury’s stories. It’s a different story every time if you haven’t noticed.”


“Oh yes, I’ve noticed.”


They both chuckled.


Maria watched as Natasha worked her magic, her touch calm and soothing, unlike the times they spar together.


So much like last night.


The gentle pat against her wrist told her that Natasha was finished working on her arm. The redhead let go of her arm and put the ointment back into the small kit before placing it on the tiny coffee table in front of them.


Maria pulled her legs onto the sofa underneath her, turning her body to face Natasha, her arm propping her head up. It had stopped snowing for a brief moment and the small amount of sunlight that entered the curtain shined on the Widow.


Maria’s eyes took in the pale freckles that were dusted across even paler cheeks, Natasha’s jawline, her green eyes that had tiny flecks of honey brown spread throughout them like they were their own mini universes. The way her red hair fell out of the loose bun and the way she pushed the thin strands out of her face and back behind her ear.


Maria sucked in a breath.


She was so unbelievably beautiful.


Hill felt herself inch closer to Natasha despite her brain screaming at her to stop.


Natasha’s eyes landed on the brunette, watching as she scooted closer to her inch by inch.


Maria reached forward, her fingers gathering the stubborn strands of hair that had once again fallen into Natasha’s face, and brushed them back. Her fingertips brushed over the freckles that she was slowly growing to adore. Maria cupped Natasha’s cheek and her thumb stroked her cheek.


Natasha sighed before she slowly melted into the gentle touch.


Maria opened her mouth to speak but was cut off early by the sound of Natasha’s phone chiming.


Maria and Natasha stared at each other for a few seconds before Natasha pulled away from the touch.


“I have to get that.”


Maria watched as she walked across the room and to the bathroom, her phone left ringing on the coffee table.