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Travesties and Spiders

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“Well well, you really couldn’t help yourself could you Romanoff?” Jessica watched in amusement as the Widow spun around from where she’d been trying to hack into the door controls. Friday had certainly been giving her a hard time of it. Like she could out-hack a Stark AI.

The Defender tilted her head and she studied the other woman. Romanoff’s hair was dyed blond and cut short, probably so that she could stay hidden while on the run. T’Challa had said that she kept slipping out of the palace to go try and get information over the last year. Not knowing what was happening must have just about driven her insane.

Romanoff watched her with narrowed eyes.

“I know Carol’s already given you the whole lecture on where you’re allowed in this building,” Jessica continued. Her voice hardened a little. “And the West Wing is off-limits. You hard of hearing or something? Or just stupid?”

She got a glare for that comment.

“I just want to talk to Tony,” she said in a friendly tone, softening her features into something contrite. “He needs to stop hiding from us. We’re worried about him.”

Jessica stomped on the urge to snort and only tilted her head.

“Tony doesn’t want to talk to you.”

Romanoff opened her mouth to start to argue.

“He’s a human being just like everyone else and deserves the basic right of being able to say ‘no’ Romanoff.”

The spy jerked back like she’d been slapped.

Jessica moved forward, affecting a bored look.

“Natasha Romanoff, born Natalia Romanova. Russian. A graduate of the Red Room. Assassin. Spy. Joined SHIELD, which was mostly HYDRA already so wasn’t much of a change was it? Did you even change how you did your job after joining them? From the files, it didn’t look like it.”

Romanoff was tense now. “What files?” She demanded.

Jessica let a grin stretch across her face. People forgot that she was a Private Investigator.

“The files you provided Spider. You know, the ones you dropped onto the web when you took down SHIELDRA. When you threw all that information out with no encryption whatsoever. Did you ever care that you took down more than just the HYDRA agents? That there were good Agents in SHIELD? Did you care about the Agents on undercover missions who were found and killed or tortured? Do you care about the families of Agents that were attacked and killed by their enemies?” She stopped right in front of the Black Widow. “Does Hawkeye know that his family’s existence and location were in those files you dropped?”

Romanoff’s breath left her in a harsh exhale, eyes widening ever so slightly.

“Does he know that the details of what he did under Loki’s control were there too? You didn’t think about any of that, did you? And you didn’t care when it was brought up afterward. Because you’re the Black Widow. You’re an Avenger. You can’t do wrong and everyone must just bow down to your judgment.”

She gave Romanoff a mocking smile. “'You need us'. That’s what you told the Senate. The gall of that. To blackmail the world into letting you do what you want because they needed the Avengers to protect them. Guess HYDRA really trained you well.”

It was only because Jessica was this close that she could see the aborted flinch from the other woman.

“Karma’s a bitch though. Because you dropped your own files in that Data Dump too. It wasn’t hard to find with a little digging. All your dirty little secrets. The assassinations. The corporate espionage. The ‘collateral damage’. And that was all after you joined SHIELD! I’ll tell you I needed a drink when I got to the stuff you did before.”

Jessica met the spy’s green gaze. She was a lot paler than before.

“What was that thing Tony said you were always going on about?” she tapped her chin with her index finger. “Oh right! Clearing the red from your ledger. Sorry to tell you this sweetheart, but you’ve only been adding to it. You haven’t changed at all. You’re still a killer. You’re still a liar. You still can’t do anything but manipulate people.”

She took a swig from her beer bottle.

“You’re still what the Red Room made you. I’m sure they’d be so proud of you.”

“Who are you?” Romanoff managed to demand though there was a subtle waver to her voice.

“I’m Jessica Jones,” she answered. “I’m a Defender. I’m Tony’s friend. And I’m not letting you hurt him again. I saw the footage. Friday showed us all how you lot have treated him since the beginning. She delved into JARVIS’ memory banks to make sure she got it all. You were never his friend. You were barely even a teammate. You used him. You manipulated him, you gaslighted him, you insulted him and you guilted him. Nothing was off-limits as long as you got what you wanted.”

Jessica roughly shoved past the woman to get to the door, making her stumble.

“You keep going on about Tony’s ego. I’m pretty sure you’re projecting. After all, you have to have one hell of an ego to tell the world that they’re screwed without a baseline spy with pretty eyes and long legs. You’re nothing special Spider. Spies are a dime a dozen nowadays. After all, Tony saved as many SHIELD Agents in the Data Dump as he could. Do you really think they returned to SHIELD after that?” she looked back at the shaken spy and smiled. “If Tony needs a spy, he just has to look at the security division in his company. Any of them would jump at the chance to help the man who saved them.”

She opened the door.

“Have to say though. You’re a pretty shitty spy. You dumped your own information after all. What kind of idiot does that?”

She shut the door in Romanoff’s face, laughing as she headed to the kitchen to set up for Tony’s pizza.

She was kind of disappointed the woman hadn’t tried to hit her though. Punching her into a wall would have been so damn satisfying.

Jessica was still mad over that ridiculous ‘Iron Man: Yes, Tony Stark: Not Recommended’ report.

What a load of bullshit. The Black Widow had no training in profiling and psychology.

They seduced and killed. That’s all they knew.

Since when did a killer prostitute do psychological profiles on dying men?