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The Devil's Christmas

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The red-haired woman sat alone in a gray room, with a mug of coffee and a plate of gingerbread of all shapes on the table in front of her. If she wanted to, she could be on her way out a long time ago, but for now, she decided to stay. She was quite curious about how the situation would turn out. After all, the agent was supposed to kill her, and she was still breathing.

The door opened and a tall, dark-skinned man with only one eye entered. Natasha assumed he was in charge. She noticed that he wasn't too thrilled that the archer had brought her here. He didn't look very friendly even now, but she didn't expect him to. After all, she was his enemy. Potential.

"Aren't you going home? It's Christmas, no one wants to work at this time," she said first as he sat down in the chair opposite her.

"If you stay, you'll find this job is my life, Romanov," he said without emotion, after which she had to smirk. She liked him.

"You know I'd run away if I wanted to, don't you? It wouldn't even cost me much work," she informed him.

Now he grinned for a change. "That is the point of view. I considered you a threat, Natalia. So tell me, are you a threat?”

"Call me that one more time and you'll find out soon enough," she said. She hated that name so much.

"Isn't that your name?" He asked, somewhat incomprehensible. Her reaction surprised him slightly. He tried to find out as much as he could before sending Barton on her. They had woefully little information, and he didn't like it. If he was to consider Clint's suggestion, he must have known much more about the woman in front of him.

"My name is Natasha," she replied simply.

"All right then, Natasha. You still haven't answered my question. I don't know what to think of you and believe me, I hate ignorance. According to one of my best agents, you could be of use to us. I do not deny this, but I do not believe you. And I have to trust my people. So if you want to leave this door, we have a long night ahead of us," he informed her of the situation.

Natasha glared at him for a moment. It wasn't hard to guess what he was up to. She had to laugh at that. "And you think I'll want to be an instrument of your government when I ran away from mine?"

"Good question. However, we are not a government organization. We do not serve one state. We serve where it is needed. But enough about us, I can tell you more about that if you consider my offer."

"Who's going to stop me from just walking away?"

Nick Fury chuckled. He expected it wouldn't be easy with her. "Maybe someone does. Maybe no one. But if you escape from here, I will send more agents to see you and make sure they do their job this time. Do you still want to be on the run?”

"If you don't know anything else, you don't mind," Natasha lied. She could tell him all kinds of fairy tales, and he would believe every one of them. Memories went back to Alexi. With him, at least for a moment, she felt like she was just an ordinary citizen. But he was dead, and she knew they were never meant to meet. That it was just another Soviet government playing with her life. And she didn't want anyone to play with her life anymore. She was enough on her own.

"Maybe," he said uncertainly. "I only ask for one. Tell me about your past."

"In that case, you ask for the impossible. You will never know about my past," she said immediately.

Fury paused. The silence usually worked. He had a hunch that it wouldn't work with her, but he didn't give anything for the test. "Too bad," he said at last when she said nothing.

"You look like a smart man, so tell me the truth. Do you really expect me to tell you about my past here? Just like that?” she asked a good question.

"As far as your life is concerned, yes."

Natasha had to laugh. "You don't mean that, do you? It's ridiculous! I have no danger here. I'm here as your guest. You have no idea what I had to go through during training at home in Russia! My life was at stake there. Here? Definitely not here,” she laughed with a contemptuous look on her face. Maybe she overestimated the man in front of her. He's probably just another stupid American.

"All right, then go," he muttered defeated. He had never met anyone like Natasha Romanov. He had to change tactics because the tried one obviously didn't work.

"What?" Said the redhead in surprise.

"You heard me. Go before I change my mind and I'll shoot you in the head in person."

Natasha could feel the catch, but she didn't want to try, so she got up without a word and hurried to the door.

"I'll see you," he added when she was partially out of the room.

"Sure," she snorted. She had no idea which one of them was more naive.

It wasn't until the last midnight of that year. Exactly a week since they met, when she found out she was the one naive. Although she didn't like it at all, something inside her told her she could trust the weirdo. It could have been the new beginning she had longed for. She could finally atone for all the bad things she had done. She could close the door to the past and imprison the bloodthirsty Black Widow forever.