One Friday movie night, May falls asleep almost immediately.
Natasha had seen the weariness around her eyes when she had arrived, a bottle of wine and large bag of Chinese takeout in her arms. But that didn’t stop May from smiling as she opened the door to reveal Natasha, a smile that takes Natasha’s breath away every time. It always manages to melt any exhaustion on May’s face and softens Nat’s heart.
She had smiled gratefully as Natasha had poured her a large glass of the good stuff, an expensive bottle of wine she had definitely liberated from Tony. And dug into her food without much in the way of conversation, mostly just watching Natasha and Peter talk.
And as May had settled into the couch, a large blanket draped across the three of them, she let out a deep sigh. Peter had pulled up Netflix and was putting on their latest episode of Star Trek: Voyager. And Natasha was squished in between he two of them.
The intro has barely started when she feel May’s head come to rest on her shoulder. From where Natasha is still resolutely staring at the screen, she can smell May’s shampoo. It’s floral and probably makes her hair very soft; Natasha’s fingers itch to run through that long hair, so she curls them into tight fists to keep from doing just that.
She doesn’t realize that May has fallen asleep until the sound of soft snores reach her ears (May and Peter normally curl up into her side on nights like this). Turning to look at her, she notices the way her face has smoothed out in sleep. She looks soft and vulnerable, but remarkably open and at peace.
Natasha slowly reaches out and takes May’s glasses from her face, carefully not to disturb her. May snuffles slightly and turns her face more fully into Nat’s neck, now unimpeded by her glasses, her breath tickling the skin.
“It was a rough day at work,” Peter says as Janeway and her crew of misfits save the day in the background. “She’s been tense since she got home. I thought she might want to cancel, but I think this was good for her. She’s seemed more relaxed since you got here.”
“Must be all of Tony’s wine,” Natasha replies, trying to sound nonchalant. She still has May’s glasses in her hand, carefully folded up and cradled between loose fingers. There’s something very intimate about holding these, about having taken them off a sleeping May.
Peter is, as always, more observant than she would like. “I don’t think that’s it. You guys are always more relaxed around each other. It’s nice. I’m really happy that Aunt May has a friend like you. And I’m happy that you have Aunt May.”
“Yeah, kid. Me too. And I’m happy that we have you.” Her voice is thick with emotion as she stares firmly at the screen, avoiding Peter’s eyes.
Peter presses into Natasha’s side and rests his head on her other shoulder. “Thanks, Nat. It means a lot.”
She turns her face into his hair and says nothing, just letting this moment sink in. Surrounded by some of her favourite people, watching misfits become a family on screen, dozing lightly and basking in the warmth of these slivers of good times.
“Tom Paris is kind of cute,” Peter mutters sleepily, startling Natasha slightly. She thought he had passed out from the lack of commentary about whether any of the science is real.
“I don’t know, I’m more of a B’Elanna girl myself.” Or Seven. Or Janeway. Or May Parker. Especially May Parker.
“I like her, too...” He’s quiet for a moment, then almost whispers “B’Elanna sort of reminds me of Michelle.”
“Ooh, Michelle,” Nat nudges him, causing May to whimper at being dislodged. One of her arms comes up to hold Natasha still, wrapping around her waist.
Peter chuckles, but she can feel the heat of his blush in the way his cheek feels warm pressed against her. And soon, he is asleep against her shoulder, too.
It’s these moments, these small moments when Peter and May are asleep against her shoulder or when May smiles at her and Peter bickering across the dinner table or when May’s fingers brush hers as she hands her a cup of coffee, that make everything worth it. All the injuries and the struggle and the pain. It’s worth it to be able to sit here, having a normal evening with her friends, her almost family of three.
A family of misfits; a Spider-Man and his Spider-Moms.
And if Natasha has a dream (for once, not a nightmare) about the three of them on a starship, she’s not going to tell anyone.