She stays clear of you (and you really don’t need to get inside her head to know that’s exactly what she’s doing). You’re pretty sure her avoidance is due to the fact that you’ve already been inside her head. She doesn’t seem the type to take such intrusion lightly; she also doesn’t seem the type to respect backpedalling apologies either, so you kinda stay clear of her too.
It’s an unspoken arrangement, solidified by her readiness to pass you over to Steve —or Clint (when he’s hanging around)— for one-on-one sparring sessions and her increasing but rather curt nods in your direction when you manage to dismantle those pesky Stark training dummies in team training exercises .
It’s this tentative understanding—one you’re not eager to change because quite frankly, she kind of terrifies you—that makes it so surprising when she approaches you one night.
It’s one of the team’s few nights-in and you had been playing—and beating—Sam in a game that he calls “hold ‘em” before he had decided to retire to bed with his pride still marginally intact. You had noticed Natasha lingering by the kitchen earlier but you know from your own restless nights that she’s a late night eater so you had paid her no mind. Now, though, she’s in front of you, her fingers dragging idly across the scattered deck of cards strewn on the glass coffee table before you.
She taps on the ace of spades that had been part of your last pair of aces and the corners of her lips twitch into a little half-smile that you’re accustomed to seeing directed at anyone but you.
She meets your eyes and holds your gaze far too steadily for someone who has made a habit of avoiding you.
“You’re either really lucky or you were definitely cheating,” she says, her tone light and airy like she’d be honestly impressed with either option. “I’m not sure which.”
It must be the sparkling little blue drink that Sam kept refilling that makes you so bold; you’re never this bold—you’ve never been this bold—but you hold her gaze just as steadily, your skin tingling with a rush of blood you’re sure is not too unlike the crimson sparks that often ignite at your fingertips.
You weren’t cheating while playing Sam. You wouldn’t do that. The Avengers have accepted you—adopted you despite your brokenness. You won’t breach their privacy like that – not now—not even when it feels like you might implode from the effort to block out all the latent knowledge and memories and emotions that seemingly try to seep into your synapses.
You’ve always been good at reading people though—long before Hydra, long before these powers, long before this life. You’re an observer; it’s how you’ve noticed that Vision’s an observer too, in the way that he often models his stance after Steve’s when talking to you because you’re most comfortable with Steve’s light, affable way of slinking into your personal space; it’s how you’ve noticed that James (“Rhodey”) very carefully avoids your eyes when recounting his limitless stories about Stark and how you’ve noticed that Clint still doesn’t know how to broach the topic of Pietro—dear, dear Pietro—without bracing himself like he expects you to shatter or rage or both at the memory of your beloved brother; it’s how you’ve noticed that Sam’s face is never actually emotionless unless he is trying very hard to be stoic—which seems very counterproductive to this card game he loves so much. It’s definitely how you’ve noticed that Natasha absolutely won’t expose anything she doesn’t want you to notice. You think it’s what makes you want to observe her even more.
It’s likely what makes you gather the collection of cards on the table into a neat pile. You shuffle them and hold them out for Natasha to take.
“You could always try to play me to find out,” you say and Natasha’s eyebrow quirks sharply at the challenge. You wonder if she’s as surprised by your boldness as you are. If she is then it doesn’t affect her for long before she coolly sits in Sam’s vacated seat, shuffling through the cards a couple times for herself.
She’s a far more careful player than Sam—that’s the first thing you notice—though it could be due to the fact that she seems more preoccupied with scrutinizing you than the card game.
It takes two Royal Flushes, a Four-of-a-Kind and a Straight Flush for her to give up on her venture.
“Luck,” she declares, shaking her head, bemused as she examines your latest hand—a straight set of diamonds. Honestly, you can’t even explain your run of luck yourself. “I can’t compete with that,” she chuckles. “Though, word of advice?” she offers, stretching delicately as she rises from her chair. You nod for her to continue, watching as her tank top falls back into place after her stretch. “If you want to put your luck to good use and really want to piss Tony off while you’re at it, next time he’s around, play him for his 458 Spider,” she suggests, winking as she retreats to her quarters.
You’re not sure if there’s enough luck in the world that could help you get back at Tony.
This is the third Hydra base the team has raided in two weeks (Hydra was nothing but an agency for revenge for you so you know where your allegiance lie).
“One head less is still one head less,” Steve keeps saying, though if the whispered words between him, Sam and Natasha are anything to go by then there’s a bit more to it than tying up loose ends and team building field training.
You don’t mind the secrecy—it’s sort of a comfort knowing there’s nothing you couldn’t find out if you truly wanted to anyway—and the training is indeed helpful.
The first Hydra base had been desolate and Sam and James had used it as an opportunity to test the limits of your improving levitation by flanking you at each side as you managed to ascend to new heights. At the second base, you had been met with resistance in the form of a few Hydra agents who Vision managed to incapacitate with a single energy beam. This time, you were either expected or you’re getting closer to thing or person or whatever it is that Steve, Sam and Natasha only mention in whispers, because you’re greeted with a fight that it seems none of the team had anticipated.
You fight to the best of your abilities —crimson mist dancing across the makeshift battlefield as you displace weapons and manipulate bodies through minds.
It’s an overwhelming sense of malice that causes you to turn your back to your own fight (the agent behind you lulled into a hypnotic calm anyway). Of course, this place is wrought with an overwhelming sense of malice—the heady contempt and thirst for devastation is so strong it feels like it’s singeing your synapses— but this feels different. This feels immense and imminent and when your turn to the source of the sensation, it’s to find Natasha in the hands of a Hydra agent with his knife so close to her throat, you can practically see the blood welling up at the tip of the blade.
It’s in panic that you raise your hands; you’re not even sure what you intend to do—disarm the Hydra agent? Sure. Get Natasha out of harm’s way? Absolutely. You’re not expecting the force of scarlet mist that tumbles from your fingertips like ocean waves. It just tears out of you—waves and waves of this mystic red force tearing across blood soaked land. It hits the agent threatening Natasha first—sending him propelling backwards like a plastic bag in a storm—and then it pushes forth and hits another. And another. And another.
It sort of feels like you’re being ripped apart from the inside—like there’s this massive storage place of power inside your mind and it’s splitting you apart to get so much of it out at once. You feel dizzy. The whole world is spinning and the ground is shaking. Your head is pounding. Everything is blurry.
The last thing you see is red.
And then white.
You wake to a sterile room. There’s a rhythmic beeping of machines that quickens with the sudden panic that rises in your chest.
Your first thought is Hydra. You’ve been captured by Hydra and they’re going to dismantle you again. They’re going to take you apart and stack you back together piece by piece with their needles and vials of serums until you’re what they want you to be—until you’re the perfect weapon.
Just the thought of being caged again—and without Pietro— unnerves you. You reach for the needle in your arm—ready to pull it out, ready to make an escape—when a hand gently covers yours.
You see red again—a fiery blaze of red hair coming into their view.
You can’t help but sigh a breath of relief.
“Don’t get up,” she says, her voice soft, her eyes even softer. “You’re fine,” she assures you quickly. “Tired, I’m sure— I mean taking out like every Hydra agent within a five mile radius will do that to you—but I’m told you’ll make a full recovery.”
There’s still a dull throb beneath your eyes—this heavy pulling that makes you want to slip them closed and sink into this overwhelming drowsiness but you don’t want to sleep. Not now—not just yet.
Natasha seems to get it—that you don’t want to succumb to slumber right now, that you don’t want to be alone because she squeezes your forearm gently—she’s here; she’s with you right now; it’s kind of what you need.
“That was seriously one hell of a lucky shot back there,” she says; she’s smirking, her tone easy (playful). She’s teasing, you realize, in the same way she sometimes calls Steve “gramps” or she sometimes calls for “metal man” to see if James or Vision will be the first to answer. It’s a thinly veiled deflection from her gratitude.
“I think the phrase you’re looking for is thank you,” you murmur and you’re smiling despite yourself—despite what this is (this is the aftermath—this is the outcome of destruction, the result of a million terrifying could-haves—and you’re smiling. You suppose this is what the Avengers are—friendships forged on the battlefield. You suppose this is what makes them formidable).
Natasha smiles back at you.
“Thank you,” she says, suddenly serious. There’s an intensity in her gaze—a stillness that you haven’t quite seen in her before. You don’t need to get inside her head to feel the gratitude rolling off of her, but you kind of want to; you desperately want to. You want to delve into the recesses of her mind—to feel the unbridled tide of emotions beneath the surface of quietness, but you don’t, you won’t, and in a moment, it’s gone and Natasha is smirking again. “Hey, I’m gonna let the boys know you’re awake,” she says, squeezing your shoulder before she leaves.
When she comes back, it’s with Steve, Sam, James and Vision in tow.
Sam brings you an oversized stuffed teddy bear with wings that looks like he tacked them on himself; Steve’s relief is almost tangible in the way he clutches your hand, James’ worry is evident in his military-esque stoicism, Vision is able to recount the whole ordeal in precise, calculated details and when you look to your right, it is to find that Natasha’s hand hasn’t left your shoulder since she came back in the room.
You don’t deserve this. Not after all you’ve done—not with all you’re capable of doing— but being right here with these people, that’s what makes you feel lucky.
“I suspect you lied to me.”
Natasha quirks an eyebrow, surprised, like she’s never heard those words before—super spy and all, you’d suspect she hasn’t.
“About angering Stark,” you supply, leaning back against cool metal. You’re not really into cars—never have been— but you have to admit that this one is gorgeous in its sleekness. It’s black and modern—all sharp angles and glossed paint.
What’s even more gorgeous though is the exquisiteness of Natasha as she leans against it. You had given her the keys, laughed from the passenger seat, wind whipping your hair against your face, as she pushed the car to its limits, easily speeding around twisting roads in an open display of her dangerous beauty until she had parked here.
You’re honestly not even sure where here is, only that it offers a secluded view of the sun setting over the city’s skyline and if how relaxed Natasha seems here is anything to go by, then she probably comes here often. You don’t comment on the sentiment of bringing you here—you won’t spook her from offering these olive branches of friendship—but you’re too curious about her intentions in facilitating your card game against Stark to just let it go.
You’re honestly still not sure where you stand with her.
“He wasn’t angry at all,” you tell her and it’s the truth; Stark had seemed almost pleased by the challenge, proclaiming, “you Scarlet Witch,” like a nickname between old drinking buddies once he realized he had lost. “He insisted we play again next time he visits.”
“With your luck and his inability to call it quits, you might win Starks Industries by the time you’re done with him,” she says, joking, but your interest isn’t a joke and you’re sure she knows this because she sits back against the hood of the car, stormy eyes turned contemplative. She crosses her fingers on her stomach and rests her back against the tinted glass windshield. “Look, Tony’s a lot of things,” she starts and you nod because, yes, that’s something you can agree with. “And a lot of those things are synonymous with asshole,” she chuckles and you nod again because you most definitely agree with that. “But he’s not the type to intentionally hurt innocent civilians,” she says, shrugging.
There’s more; you can tell there’s more but she’s hesitant.
“I don’t care about his intentions,” You note, trying to rein in the anger that boils at this blatant defense of him. “So, is that what this was? You want me to forgive Stark?” You ask. “His recklessness has torn apart my family twice; why don’t I get to be angry?”
Natasha leans back and you wonder if she’s even listening to you. It would be so very easy to just do away with the pretenses—to just read between the constructed crevices of her mind.
You don’t. You won’t.
You don’t need to because she turns to you, eyes contemplative.
“You are angry,” she says, shrugging like it’s the simplest deduction in the world and perhaps to her, it really is. “And maybe Tony is the right target for that vengeance. Maybe he isn’t. But if you hold onto all that anger then it’s just gonna bubble up inside of you until eventually it explodes and when that happens, Tony or whoever else you’re holding these grudges against will probably be relaxing on a private jet to Maui while you’re self destructing,” she says, somber and steely and just like that, you understand why.
“Been there, done that?” You ask, though she doesn’t even really need to answer it. You’ve already seen inside her mind; you’ve seen the torture and the devastation inflicted upon her. You can’t imagine anyone having been in her position come out without a need for vengeance.
“Been there, done that,” she agrees, relaxing back against the hood of the car. “And I didn’t even get a car out of it,” she jokes. “Speaking of which,” she springs off of the car, all subtle elegance and strength; you just now realized that the sun has set as she stands before you offset by the glowing city light. She smiles, light and playful, dangling the car keys from her pointer finger. “Gotta teach you how to drive this thing.”
‘Oh! No,” you protest right away, even as she ushers you off the hood of the car. “No, no, no,” you argue, pliant regardless as she ushers you into the driver’s seat. “I know you have this theory about my being unusually lucky, but think I’d need more than luck to not end up steering us into a ditch.”
“Good thing you have more than luck then,” she says, sliding into the passenger seat and guiding your hand into revving up the engine. You’re not sure about this and you’re positive she knows this because she’s gentle as she positions you hands on the steering wheel. She’s smiling lightly as she meets your eyes, calm radiating off of her as she squeezes your shoulder. “You have me,” she assures you.
You do not end up steering the car into a ditch.
“So, how does it work?” Natasha asks, starling you. You look up from the book you’re reading and she’s there, leaning against your doorway with her arms crossed over her chest. You hadn’t even sensed her presence.
Still, you signal for her to come in and you move over on your bed so she has space to sit.
“How does what work?” You ask when it seems she isn’t going to elaborate.
“You,” she responds, leaning gently against the wall that borders your bed. She’s wearing sweat pants and a tank top, her face scrubbed clean of all make-up; it makes her seem so much smaller than usual and it’s in moments like this that you feel you could really know her—know her for her and not for the front she puts on.
“How do I work?” you ask when it’s apparent she isn’t going to elaborate.
“Yes, you. You getting into people’s heads,” she explains. “Can you just locate someone’s fears just like that? Do you have to look from them? How does it work?”
“Oh,” You murmur—the surprised exclamation slips from your lips before you can even stop it. You’ve been wondering when you’d finally have to confront the subject of what you did to her. You’re not sure if anything could have prepared you for this moment. You had wondered if she’d confront you or if you’d finally cave and apologize. You always imagined she’d be livid but surprisingly enough, she doesn’t seem mad right now; she just seems curious. “I—it’s instinctual,” you stammer. “I mean, if I’m bringing forth memories, I have to have a starting point—like some vague idea of what I’m looking for,” you try to explain. “It’s really just a guessing game sometimes,” you shrug.
“So that’s it? Luck then?” she asks, chuckling softly—she seems increasingly amused by you lately and you’re not sure what to make of that.
“No, not luck,” you say, rolling your eyes. “It’s more like skill.”
“Skill?” she repeats, playful disbelief coloring her tone.
“Yes, skill. I mean, being able to look at person I barely know and being able to deduce their triggers, their fears, their pleasures, enough to project onto them an image or to find a memory that brings about a certain emotion—that’s skill.”
Natasha nods slowly, like she’s contemplating your words—and perhaps contemplating much more than that.
“So, back in Wakanda, what was it? Do I just reek of fucked up past or something?” she asks and while her tone is light—playful even— it feels forced in a way that makes you want to swallow back every bad thing you made her relive.
“Natasha,” you say, soft and conceding, even though you don’t know what it is you want to say or have to say or should say.
“Be honest,” she challenges, shrugging lightly. “What is it you saw in me? What is it you see in me?”
“I—you’re—” you struggle for words, trying to think past all the contempt and ill-will you felt back then to truly remember your encounter with the enigma that is Natasha. “You’re different,” you settle on, realizing that it isn’t much of an explanation but not sure how else to explain it. “You’re not afraid of fear—not like most people. You’re okay with being scared, but you’re not scared of things like death or destruction because I think you’ve seen enough of both to be sort of desensitized.” You scrutinize her face for a reaction but you see nothing but curiosity s you continue. “You don’t want to let people down but you’re not afraid of failure, not in the traditional sense, because you recognize that some things are out of your control. You’re not afraid of yourself either. You know what you’re capable of but that doesn’t scare you. I think what scares you the most is what other people can make you do,” you rationalize. “When I was inside your mind, I felt how you felt. I felt how terrified you were at what you were being molded into—at what you were forced to be part of. It was an awful feeling. I can understand why what I can do scares you.”
“You think you scare me?” Natasha asks, eyebrow quirked in thinly-veiled amusement.
“In a sense,” you nod, undeterred. “Not what I could do to you but wha—oh.” You’re not sure if it’s actually her lips that cut you off or the sheer surprise of suddenly feeling her lips against yours; whatever it is, it’s effective, you think hazily, grasping her shoulders to assuage the unexpected sensation of floating.
You’re not floating.
Seriously, you checked and everything.
Definitely not floating but definitely kissing Natasha.
She’s softer than you would have imagined—not that you actively imagined it, but if you had maybe actively imagined it, you don’t think you could have ever predicted the thrilling juxtaposition between the rough grip of her hands and the gentle way she coaxes her way into your mouth by licking at your bottom lip.
You open to her without even thinking about it, you fingernails digging into the soft skin of her hard bicep as her tongue sweeps into your mouth.
Strangely enough, even as she pulls away from your lips, smiling prettily in a way you don’t think you’ve ever seen her do before, you’re not thinking about getting into her head. You’re not thinking about her intentions or her motivations. You’re not thinking about what she’s thinking.
Maybe you’re not even thinking at all—which is a first, especially since HYDRA.
You find yourself smiling back at her, feeling oddly at ease as she holds you gaze, tenderly tucking your hair behind your ears.
“I am not afraid of you,” she whispers, kissing the corner of your smile. “Not of what you could do to me or what you could make me do.”
“Well,” you kiss her soundly, catching her bottom lip between your teeth—it still feels like floating this time around (perhaps even more so now). “People do overcome their fears,” you say, grinning against her kiss-bruised lips.
You’re joking, at least partly so, you think—you’re having a hard time remembering why she terrified you as much as she once did; the memory becomes even foggier when you catch her laugher—crisp and clear—against your skin.
“I guess it’s a lucky thing they do,” she agrees gently.
You don’t remember the last time you’ve heard anything truer.
You wonder if the others have noticed how often you and Natasha seem to end up in each other’s rooms.
If they have, they haven’t said anything about it and it’s mostly innocent anyway—mostly just movies and card games, kisses stolen but kept chaste amid soothing whispers and calming caresses.
Tonight, it’s not so innocent.
Well, it isn’t anymore at least—not with the gentle pressure of Natasha’s hips pressed between your thighs, not with your thumbs pushing against the dips of her spine, your fingers wrapping around her waist to tug her closer.
It had started out innocently enough really—Natasha at your door, bare foot and barefaced. (She makes no pretense of your time together being a refuge from the strain of the lives you lead so you had made no ruse of letting her command your space with the ease you’ve become accustomed to.)
You had kissed her first, the movie she had put on fading into background noise as you pressed your lips against the crease at the corner of hers—the one you’ve come to associate with her being deep in thought. You hadn’t asked what was on her mind—you’re almost sure whatever it was, she wouldn’t or couldn’t have told you, so you just kissed her. And kissed her. And kissed her. Until the soft plush of her lips parted beneath yours, granting you access to something almost as sacred as her thoughts—granting you the ability to feel with your lips and tongue and teeth the massive tempest of emotion that is the essence of Natasha.
You had imagined she’d be a methodical lover and in a lot of ways (kissing you until your lungs burn from exhaustion type ways), she is. She’s also spontaneous in ways you hadn’t anticipated (rough but not at all careless as she pulls you against her and drops you onto your mattress, immediately blanketing your body with hers).
She’s fervent in her exploration of your body—fingertips drawing patterns in your skin, tearing off your sleep shirt, fingernails grazing, tongue and teeth marking.
She bites at the skin of your collarbone and you surge into her. Everything is suddenly so warm—her breath on your neck, her skin beneath your fingertips; you feel as if you’re burning. You can feel the heat journey through you, crawling along your muscles, pumping alongside your blood.
You close your eyes, your fingers winding in her hair, her mouth hot on your breast, and you see red.
You can feel the power flowing through you—this stagnant, hazy mist creeping from your neurons to your fingertips.
You’re almost sure you’re glowing with it.
You realize, delayed in your cognition, that you can’t control it—not like this, not while losing yourself in her.
“Natasha, wait, I—” you falter, trying to gain control of yourself, of your words.
“You can’t control it?” she guesses, looking down at you—not with pity, not with fear, but with a soft amusement that tugs a smile from you despite yourself.
“I haven’t—with anyone, not since Hydra,” you admit. There hadn’t been time then—not with Ultron; not after Ultron, not after losing your brother. You were almost certain that you’d never find someone who could manage to draw you out of your own mind after all you’ve been through. Your certainty certainly hadn’t accounted for Natasha, who doesn’t allow you time for embarrassment—who climbs off of you easily and settles comfortably next to you, gently sweeping your hair behind your ear.
“It’s okay,” she assures you kindly, and that’s a thing you’re learning about her recently, she has far more patience than you would have ever given her credit for—far more patient that she’d ever take credit for. “We don’t have to do anything,” she says.
But the thing is, you really want to.
You want her.
It’s a desperate kind of clawing desire that makes you reach out to drag your fingers across her cheek, to dust your fingertips across her chin, to trace the shape of her smile.
“Lay back,” you instruct (sudden, even to yourself) and she does so without hesitation, red hair splaying wild against your white pillowcase.
You kiss her, soft and fleeting at first, chuckling against her pout as you teasingly retreat before moving in to capture her lips again.
You revel in the raggedness of her breath, in the surprised gasp she makes when you nibble on her earlobe.
She doesn’t close herself off to you and you revel in that the most as your hands unhurriedly peel away layers of her clothes until she’s bare beneath you.
She lets you see her—lets you see her scars, lets you kiss smooth skin as well as the jagged lines of scarcely healed wounds.
You press your lips between her breasts, down between each dip of her ribcage, over the jutting rise of her hipbone. You lap at the inside of one of her strong thighs and she shudders.
She’s all sharp angles and soft skin, delicate but hardened muscles that ripple beneath your palms and tongue.
You want more. You want more of her—all of her; everything she wants to give to you.
You dash back up her body to capture her lips again, to feel the tremble in her breath as you draw your fingertips up her inner thigh.
You finally touch her, fully, completely—your fingers pressing firm between her thighs, feeling slick heat and her breath against your lips as she gasps and bucks into you. It’s everything you could hope for, feeling her react to you like this, and still, you want more.
You brush your fingers against her clit—she’s swollen and ready for you—and when you press harder, she makes this sort of full-bodied moan that you find yourself wishing you could swallow and hold inside you.
You want her that intensely.
You’ve never wholeheartedly craved this sort of unreserved intimacy with anyone before. In fact, you’ve never really been with somebody like this before—not with this power surging through you, not with these neurological impulses reaching out for her in a way that transcends flesh.
You want to feel all of her—body and mind. You want it so badly it claws at you. You wonder if she’ll let you.
“Natasha,” you kiss her cheek, running your free hand through tresses of red hair. She’s beautiful in her pleasure, exposed in a way you never imagined you’d ever see her. “I want to try something,” you tell her, smoothing your fingers across her forehead. “May I?”
She nods her consent, green eyes dark but clear as she gazes up at you.
“You’re sure?” you ask, fingertips burning with the latency of your power.
“As long as you’re not going to make my head explode,” she chuckles, squeezing at your hip where her fingers are resting. “I trust you.”
There’s release in the way the power surges out of you and something else entirely in the way Natasha’s consciousness seeps into you.
It’s an indescribable rush, Natasha permeating your synapses like this.
You slip your fingers against her where she’s slickest, slowly drawing patterns into her sensitive flesh until she’s writhing. When you slide a finger into her, slow at first, feeling her out, her breath flutters; you can feel her strain in your spine.
You’re so in tune with the ebb and flow of her—with the little tips and tricks of her pleasure. You can feel the sparks of pleasure as they ignite inside her when you curl your finger, pushing up and hard against swollen flesh. It’s more of an ascending kind of gratification—like waves crashing against a shoreline—when you withdraw, slow, and push back in, knuckle deep, with two fingers.
You push deeper, pump harder.
She’s so full, swollen and slick and clutching on to you to hold you inside.
It’s so much. But not enough.
You can feel how badly she wants it—how she’s straining towards release.
You’d give her anything.
Kissing your way down her body, you pause to playfully nip at flushed skin, to inhale her scent, to rub your cheek against her stomach where it’s softest. When you bite at her inner thigh, rough but teasing, she tangles her fingers in your hair, guides you easily to where she needs you.
You lap at her once—slowly dragging your tongue across her sensitive flesh in exploration—and she bucks beneath you instantly; you moan when she moans, feeling the tightness that curls and unfurl in the pits of your stomach.
She’s close— you can feel the buildup drawing closer to its peak. It’s rising inside you too, this phantom pleasure drawing hot between your thighs, making you warm and dizzy.
You focus on keeping yourself connected to her—on keeping this mental link, on hauling her closer to your mouth, sucking her clit between your lips, twisting your fingers deep inside her until the muscles in her thighs jerk beneath your palm and still, you pull her closer.
She comes suddenly with a quiet, strangled gasp, fingers tightening in your hair, back arching and thighs shaking.
You’re expecting more of a muted sensation—a sort of dull sense of release from her tension—but it rocks through you far more intensely than you would have imagined. You find yourself biting the tender joint of her thigh to muffle your surprised gasp, your fingers still moving inside her, drawing out residual aftershocks of pleasure.
You wait until she has calmed to pull out of her, sneaking up her body to rest fully atop her.
She pushes your hair from your eyes, smirking mischievously as she pulls you into her.
“So, did you seriously—?”
You nod into the curve of her neck, grinning—sweaty and sated with her taste heavy in your mouth.
“Neat party trick,” she says, chuckling as she kisses you—sweet and chaste. There’s a certain lazy accented drawl to her in this moment; she’s not quite so put together—not quite so unyielding. It’s a special kind of beautiful. “That was totally beginners luck though,” she jokes.
“Oh yeah?” You recognize a challenge when you hear one. “We can definitely test that theory right now,” you assent, slipping your hand between your bodies.
Her body jerks when you touch her again.
You’re certain it wasn’t luck. Still, you wouldn’t mind going at it until it’s skill.
“Maybe it’s a part of it,” you say, taking an additional card from the deck.
You and Natasha are in your room playing blackjack; she still hasn’t beat you; you’re not sure if she’s even trying to win anymore or just trying to see if you can even lose. You’re leaning towards the latter, even more so when you pick yet another card and find yourself at a perfect twenty-one.
Natasha doesn’t even seem surprised.
“Part of what?” she asks, gathering the cards to shuffle.
“This thing,” you explain, gesturing to yourself. “These powers,” you clarify. “I’ve always been perceptive. I’ve always been good at reading people and now I can literally get into people’s minds. I suppose I’ve always been lucky in a way too.”
Natasha puts down the cards, her eyes fixed on you—urging you to continue.
“Luck is just defying the most expected outcome, right?” you ask and she nods—sage in her silence. “Well, my parents—” you swallow back the raw sting of emotion that scratches at your throat. “My parents were survivors. They were so strong, so adaptable, you know? They knew how to survive, no matter what. If anyone should have survived that day, it should have been them. And yet, the first explosion missed us—Pietro and I. And we wait and we wait and the second just doesn’t go off at all. What were the chances of Pietro and I making it out of that alive? What were the chances of us not vanishing in that toxic rubble? Perhaps it was luck then; perhaps it was luck after that too—two orphaned children just drifting, surviving against the odds until we found HYDRA,” you sigh at the memory—at the naivety you wonder if you’ve outgrown. “It wasn’t much better there,” you continue. “We volunteered, yes, but so did others; we saw them come in, men and women alike, some volunteers like us, some taken, some already unique in their abilities, some powerful, some frail. We heard their screams like warning bells but we always heard their silence more. The things they did to us, those were things most people don’t survive. They were things many people didn’t survive, but we did. Somehow, we did.”
“And that’s a good thing,” Natasha says. “You’re here now, using what they did to you to help people. That’s good.”
“But that’s the thing,” you counter. “I’m here. Me!” You hate that your mind is supposedly this brilliant force of nature and yet you can’t even control your own emotions—you can’t stop the tears from welling at the corner of yours eyes. “Pietro,” you sigh; you thought at some point the pain would dull but it hasn’t—you don’t think it ever will. “Pietro was the survivor of us two. He was so strong and resilient—always bouncing back from whatever knocked him down. I wouldn’t have been able to survive without him and now I’m here and he’s not and that hardly seems fair, does it? And now I can’t help but wonder if it’s my fault.”
“It isn’t,” Natasha insists; there’s this fierce loyalty she has about her—you’ve seen it between her and Steve (and her and Clint and her and Fury when either stop by) and now that it’s directed at you, you’re almost positive you don’t deserve it. In fact, you’re sure you don’t deserve any of this tentative affection brewing between you and her. You don’t deserve the softness she sometimes surprises you with—all chaste kisses and whispered chronicles of her past as she allows you close enough to feel her neural oscillations spike and lull beneath your fingertips tangling in her hair. You don’t deserve the intensity of her either—her firm faith in all that you are and her unspoken promise of protection should you need her. You don’t deserve her or this or any of it really—not with what you’re capable of.
“But what if it is my fault, Natasha?” you ask, softened by the unbridled emotion but pleading—pleading for her to understand why you can’t have this (her) even though you want it so badly. “What if this is it? What if my being lucky enough to keep surviving these things means dooming everyone I love to suffer?” You’re trying to be reasonable but your chest feels so heavy; you can’t remember the last time you’ve felt this raw. “Natasha, I’ve lost so much; I can’t have you and lose you. I—”
Natasha doesn’t let you finish; she places her hands over yours, squeezing lightly.
“Maybe it is part of your abilities,” she shrugs, somehow unconcerned by the notion that you could cause her harm. You’re not sure why she’s so calm about it. You’re pretty sure no one is supposed to be so calm about something like that.“Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s something else entirely,” she sighs. “I don’t know. I don’t have those kind of answers, but what I do know is that you are here right now. So am I. And I don’t know if any of us will be here tomorrow so it’ll take a hell of a lot more than ‘maybe’ to get me spooked. You don’t scare me, Wanda,” she says, firm in her conviction; you can’t help but smile at her resolve. There’s just something about this woman that puts you at ease in a way you haven’t felt in years.
“Besides,” Natasha laughs, shuffling the deck of cards again. “I’ve been known to be pretty lucky myself.”
You certainly hope that’s true.
You don’t like parties. You never have and even now, even with how much your life has changed, that hasn’t changed. You don’t really like the dissonance of it all, so you tend to stick to the corners, somewhere quiet where you can just observe.
Tonight, that corner happens to be near the kitchen nook.
You had busied yourself by watching Natasha at first; you never grow tired of watching Natasha—she’s still as fascinating as the day you first saw her—but true to her training, she had disappeared into the crowd the moment you took your eyes off of her .
Now, you’re just scanning the crowd, seeing what trouble your fellow teammates are getting into.
It’s Clint who finds you first—he’s become a good friend lately, by necessity really, since whenever he stops by, you seem to be attached to his best friend. He pulls up a chair, pushing a ruby red cocktail towards you.
“Courtesy of the bartender,” he says, nodding towards the bar. You glance over and find Natasha behind the bar in deep conversation with Agent Hill. When she looks up at you, she winks, breaking into a smile that’s part mischievous, part happy enough to light up her eyes — it’s a smile that seems to be directed at you, and only you, more and more lately.
You smile back at her, accepting the drink Clint gives to you. When you look at him, he’s shaking his head, eyebrows teasingly arched as he leans back in his chair.
“What?” You ask.
“I’m still trying to figure out how that happened,” he laughs, motioning towards Natasha. “I don’t know how you managed it.”
Honestly, you’re not even sure yourself.
Wonderful, tempestuous, Natasha—how does one even begin to attract the attention of an enigma like Natasha let alone keep it?
There’s only one real explanation you can come up with.
“I guess I got lucky,” you say, shrugging.
You really are super lucky.