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A Little Room to Sway

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Wanda wears perfume.

And while that’s not something so very strange or unexpected from her, it’s unusual in the world of superheroes and spies. Perfumes make you identifiable, memorable. They alert others to your presence before anything else. Natasha hasn’t worn a perfume in her entire life. Sure, there are scents she likes, ones she smells indulgently when she’s in department stores or helping the helpless (Steve) pick out clothes somewhere, but she never tries them on. Never even dabs a little on her wrist.

She’s always on the clock, whether she likes it or not.

It’s a late Wednesday morning after a workout when Natasha catches the scent of her perfume on the air. She stops in the empty, pleasantly lit hallway, a towel slung around her shoulders, and stares off down the hall, toward where she knows Wanda’s room is. The perfume is earthy; a little salty like the ocean and sensual, like warm skin. Natasha puts one foot in the front of the other none-too decisively, doing it again and again until she’s all the way down the hall and standing in front of a door that is pulled nearly closed with just a sliver of the inside of the room visible.

Natasha sees Wanda happen by that opening, a flash of pale skin and long dark hair. She takes a step back, her heart racing. Nevermind. She doesn’t even know why she’s here. It doesn’t really--

The door opens and Wanda is there, her eyes bright and clear, hair down around her shoulders, a black tanktop fitting her snugly, just the way Natasha likes them on women. She lifts her eyes back up to Wanda’s face to find her smiling; small and secret, like she can see Natasha’s thoughts.

Natasha blinks a few times, recovering, closing her mind up tight. Wanda probably can read her thoughts.

“Hello, Natasha,” Wanda says in that low, staccatoed voice of hers. A smile pulls across her mouth that is bare of lipstick--a rarity--and Natasha can’t help but give her a reluctant one of her own.

“Ah, sorry, I was just,” Natasha trails off, reaching up to tug the towel from around her shoulders just to have something to do. “Just wanted to see if you’d had breakfast?”

“I have. I am an early riser. Watched the sun rise and all that.” Wanda’s smile grows as she lifts her hands to gather the long fall of her hair, combing it back with nimble, careful fingers into a ponytail, all the movement making the smell of her perfume and her deodorant come rushing up, flooding Natasha’s senses, making her mouth water. She takes a deep breath and forces herself to calm down, forces her heartbeat to slow. Surely Wanda can sense those kinds of things, too.

“Okay,” she manages, taking a step back, looking down the hall and praying for someone talkative and distracting like Sam to round the corner. No such luck. “Alright, I guess I’ll--”

“I had Lucky Charms for the first time today,” Wanda tells her out of absolutely nowhere, her voice almost distant, thoughtful. Natasha glances back at her, lifting an eyebrow and one corner of her mouth.

“Oh, yeah? What’d you think?”

Wanda meets her eyes again, green on green, and her smile is so pretty it’s almost blinding. She lets her hair go, lets it fall in a cascade of thick red-brown all around her. Natasha’s heart skips despite her best efforts.

“It was delicious. I had two bowls. James said he’s going to the store today to buy different kinds. I think he’s experimenting on me.”

Natasha’s eyes widen at the word “experimenting,” surprised that Wanda said it so easily, as a joke. It makes her relax a little, breath leaving her in a soft rush as she lowers her eyes, smirking down at her running shoes in an annoying, odd flash of shyness.

“I bet there’s a lot of things you haven’t tried,” she offers, twisting the towel loose and lazy around her hand. “Especially weird, American things.”

“That’s probably true for you as well?”

Natasha can’t help but look back up again, finding her eyes and letting Wanda search hers, trying desperately to hide any stray thoughts from her but she doesn’t really know how her powers work. Can she just read her mind? Are all of her thoughts bare to Wanda no matter how hard she tries to hide them? She shifts from one foot to the other, hating how vulnerable she is with this girl, that there’s absolutely nothing she can do to change that because she’s already been undone by Wanda. Bested by her. And right now, it’s either try to understand her or hate her.

“Yeah, I guess it is,” she finally says, slinging the towel over her shoulder and crossing her arms under her breasts, knowing her discomfort is too easy to read right now, but she can’t help it. She almost walks away, heads to her own room and leaves the conversation just like that; awkward and unfinished, but there’s something in Wanda’s eyes, some stray glint of hope, some earnest happiness because Natasha is here, is talking to her, something, that keeps Natasha where she is.

“I have an idea,” she says out of nowhere, giving Wanda a mischievous smile that makes Wanda seem immediately interested.

“What?”

“Let’s make a list. Nothing big, not to start out. Just… maybe five things each. Of things we’ve never done but wanted to.”

There’s a beat of quiet, of Wanda blinking those big eyes at her.

“...And then what?”

“And then.” Natasha grins, grabbing the ends of the towel and tugging on them as she walks backwards down the hall as gracefully as she can. “We do them.”

Wanda watches her as she walks away, their eyes connected the whole time, matching smiles on their faces. Wanda looks excited, pleased to be given a task, maybe.

“Deal?” Natasha prompts, lifting her voice so it’s heard from down the hall. Wanda nods, her hair falling in soft, pretty slides over her bare shoulders. Natasha will keep the image with her the whole day.

“Yes!”

And that grin. She’ll keep that with her, too.

 

It’s around the same time the next morning when Natasha stops in front of Wanda’s door again. It’s closed this time and so she knocks, tries to slow her breathing down from the way it’s rushing after her morning run. Sweat drips down her neck and pools in her clavicle before sliding down into her sports bra, and she frowns when there’s nothing on the other side of Wanda’s door but silence.

“She is in the common room,” comes Jarvis’ voice behind Natasha, and she turns around in surprise to find Vision there, gentle and calm and watching her with artificial blue eyes that don’t miss a single thing. She tries to smile.

“Uh, thanks.”

Vision nods in reply, a graceful movement before continuing down the hall. Natasha watches him go almost thoughtfully, wondering what his living space looks like, if he has a bed. If he sleeps or relaxes. It’s been three months, and she’s yet to talk to him really. Steve had suggested that she interact with all of them one-on-one, as a person and not a trainer or a superior.

She wishes she could say that’s why she’s seeking out Wanda.

It’s pouring rain outside the floor-to-ceiling windows in the common room where Wanda is curled up in one of the cushy chairs, her hair falling down around her face as she scribbles in a notebook. Natasha stops in the doorway as silent as she’s been trained to be and watches her; her small hand stacked with rings and chipped nail polish moving in decisive scratches over the paper, her eyes narrowed and intent on the emerging words, her feet bare and soft-looking, something so vulnerable and human that it makes Natasha ache. She’s never barefoot herself unless she’s training on the mats or in the shower. She’s never had time for being so exposed, never allowed herself the option.

“Good morning,” comes Wanda’s soft voice, just barely heard over the rain. Natasha refocuses her gaze and finds Wanda’s eyes, giving her a smile she just can’t help as she makes her way into the room. There are rugs over the purpleheart wood floor, a fireplace that isn’t going at the moment, a massive television set into the wall, and plenty of couches and chairs to sit on. Natasha doesn’t spend much time in here, prefers to relax in solitude in her own space, but with Wanda tucked into that soft chair with a spring thunderstorm coming in from across the field outside, she can definitely see the appeal now.

“Morning,” she replies easily, pulling a folded-up piece of paper out of her bra as she sits down on a couch nearby, perching on the edge and giving Wanda a smile. “Kinda crappy weather, huh?”

Wanda hums thoughtfully, turning her eyes on the window behind Natasha and staring in quiet for a long moment. “I don’t know. It’s kind of beautiful, really. I saw the rain approaching for miles before it got here. The storm will arrive within the hour, I think.”

“Maybe Thor’s arguing with his dad,” Natasha jokes, her smile growing when Wanda laughs, ducking her head to do so.

“Maybe,” Wanda says, softer, almost shy. She looks back at Natasha, her face opening so sweetly when she sees the paper. “Is that..?”

“My list? Yep.” She makes a show of unfolding it and straightening it out before she nods over at Wanda’s notebook. “Is yours done yet?”

“Ah. Yes.” Wanda shoves her hair away from her face with a push of her hand only for it to spill back down in effortless tumbles. She makes a frustrated sound that Natasha jumps on, the thrill of what she’s about to say tingling across her skin.

“I can braid it, if you want? It’ll keep it tamed for awhile anyway. And you can read me your list while I do.” She sits back on the couch and grabs a pillow to toss on the floor in front of her, putting her own list aside for the moment. Wanda hesitates, that little-girl shyness creeping back onto her face for a split second before she nods.

She uncurls herself from the chair and tucks her notebook against her chest, wearing low-slung jeans and another tanktop, a garnet-colored one this time, her arms bare and pale and dotted with beauty marks. She sinks down to her knees in front of Natasha, facing her for a beat before she turns around and sits on the offered pillow, presenting the fall of her hair for Natasha’s waiting hands.

Natasha takes a deep breath and licks her lips.

“I don’t have a brush,” she says apologetically.

Wanda shrugs with one shoulder, leaning back against the couch while Natasha tugs her legs up to fold them on the cushions.

“It’s alright. You can just use your fingers.”

Oh I can, can I?”

Natasha gathers the thick fall of Wanda’s hair in one hand, giving it a gentle tug so Wanda tips her head back enough for her other hand to sink into her hair right at her hairline and slide back gently, brushing out any snags or tangles.

“Oh,” Wanda sighs, her dark eyelashes falling as her eyes close. Natasha bites her bottom lip and lets her nails drag over Wanda’s scalp while she brushes, keeping the movements rhythmic and gentle. She runs her fingers through her hair for several long, quiet minutes while the thunderstorm finally finds them outside, thunder rumbling overhead as Wanda’s waves turn to dark silk in her hands.

“Your list,” she murmurs as she gathers strands up for a French braid, a smile tugging at one side of her mouth.

“Yes.” Wanda clears her throat gently, tugging her knees up toward her chest and turning back a few pages in her notebook. She holds it close, cradling it so that Natasha can’t see anything written in it. She starts the braid, keeping it loose, letting tendrils fall out where they want. “My list is a little… silly, maybe. Small things.”

“My list is small things, too. Not, you know, learning to speak Mandarin or something.”

Wanda tips her head back and looks up at Natasha through her lashes, a grin spreading over her mouth.

“You probably already know Mandarin.”

Natasha smirks down at her, giving her hair a playful tug.

“Shut up.”

“Number one,” Wanda laughs, eyes on her notebook again. “Swimming in a pool.”

Natasha stops, her eyes huge.

“Wait. Are you seriously telling me you’ve never swam in a pool?”

“And where would I have done such a thing?!” Wanda tries to turn around and look at her but Natasha holds fast to her hair, giving her a little warning pull before she continues her braid.

“Um, here? We have an Olympic-sized pool outside. It’s even got a big fake waterfall and a lagoon or whatever Tony called it.”

“No, it’s. I just want to buy a suit and go swimming. It is on my list.” She sounds decisive and a little embarrassed, and Natasha has to catch herself from saying something else teasing. Wanda’s infinitely more sensitive than anyone else in the house, and it’s not Natasha’s instinct to be gentle with anyone.

“That’s a good one,” she finally says, stroking at the hair just behind Wanda’s ears before gathering it into the braid. She loves the shiver it draws from her, the goosebumps that appear on her shoulders. “What’s next?”

“Number two: eat pie.”

“You’ve never…” She stops, adjusts. “What kind of pie?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe apple. Or blackberry.”

“Cherry?” It’s her favorite, and she maybe wants it to be Wanda’s first pie experience for that reason.

“Hmm. Maybe.”

“What if I make it for you?”

Wanda manages to turn a little then, and Natasha goes with her, stretching her arms a little so she doesn’t drop the braid. Their eyes meet. Wanda looks pleased.

“You would make me pie?”

Natasha shrugs, her turn to be a little embarrassed. “Sure. What, you surprised that I know how?”

“I didn’t know spies knew how to make pie.”

“Hey, the word pie is in the word spies.”

Wanda snorts, giving Natasha a wry smile before she turns back around, letting Natasha resume her work.

“Dork.”

“Where did you learn that word, Sokovian? C’mon, number three,” Natasha prompts with a bark of laughter.

“Ride a horse.” This one is said more softly than the other two had been, and it makes Natasha melt a little, maybe. Her fingers gentle in Wanda’s hair, middle and ring fingers stroking at the baby-soft nape of her neck.

“Have you ever been around a horse?”

“Not… really. I mean. A few times, but never for long. And I’ve never ridden one. I just think maybe I would like to.”

“I think you’ll like it. A lot.” She feels an overwhelming need to hug Wanda, to wrap around her and shield her from the world; this girl who can level cities with a thought, who can alter reality with a lift of her lovely hand. It’s a terrifying feeling. It’s ridiculous.

It doesn’t seem to be going away.

“Number four: get a tattoo.”

“No, shit,” Natasha breathes, almost dropping her hair to grab her own list next to her on the couch. “That’s on mine, too.”

Wanda squirms but doesn’t turn around, and Natasha can tell without seeing that she’s grinning.

“We can go together!”

“Totally.” She gets to the very bottom of the braid, working quickly now as she nears the end of Wanda’s long hair. “Okay, and the last one?”

“Drive a car.” This one’s said with a nod, with confidence. Natasha tugs the hair tie from her own hair, letting it fall down around her shoulders and using it to finish off Wanda’s braid.

“Oh, I’m so game for teaching you to drive. We can both terrify Steve. It’ll be awesome.”

“Can I drive your car?”

Natasha hesitates just long enough for Wanda to turn around and give her what can only be called puppy eyes, complete with a slight pout of her bottom lip. Natasha holds up her poker face even as her fingers twitch to reach out and touch her cute fucking face.

“...We’ll see.”

Wanda sighs but she’s smiling as she reaches up to touch her hair, fingers sliding down the braid until she stops at the bottom, at the black elastic there binding it off. She turns to face Natasha but keeps her eyes down, her cheeks faintly pink. Natasha watches her, studies her face, not even realizing that she’s smiling herself.

“What?”

“It’s just…” Wanda’s running her fingers over and over the small curl of unbraided hair at the end, eyes lowered to watch it. “No one has braided my hair since my mother was alive. It just felt nice.”

“I grew up with girls,” Natasha offers in the most oversimplified statement of her entire life, “learning to braid was practically required. I’m always here for it.”

“Wanda?”

They both turn to the open doorway to see Steve standing there in sweatpants and a t-shirt, his face open and kind, like it is most all the time. Wanda jumps to her feet, her smile big and blinding.

“Hey, Cap.”

“You ready for your workout?” Steve’s got his hands on his hips and his eyebrows raised, but Natasha turns to watch Wanda gather up her notebook and tug down on her tank.

“I will go change clothes quickly.” She glances down at Natasha, smile falling soft again. “Thank you. For… everything.”

“Wanna get started tomorrow?” Natasha raises an eyebrow at her in a challenge. “I’ll find a riding stable nearby.”

Wanda chews on her bottom lip, hands clutching at her notebook. She looks so happy she could dance. Natasha makes it her silent mission to make her this happy at least once a day from here on out.

“That sounds perfect.”

“Great.”

Wanda walks quickly out of the room, past Steve who reaches out to give her shoulder a squeeze. Natasha stays where she is while the lightning flashes bright outside, thunder nearly deafening for several seconds before falling away again.

“She seems to like you,” Steve says finally, something knowing in his tone. Natasha only smiles to herself, not looking over or responding, but Steve laughs anyway. He walks away and Natasha sighs, extracting herself from the couch only to sink into the chair Wanda had left, that is still warm from her body and smells faintly like her perfume. She curls up there and lets her eyes rest on the big windows, watching the thunderstorm play out through the thick glass.

Maybe it is kind of beautiful.

 

The horse farm is a little over an hour away, and they take Natasha’s motorcycle there. It’s still cloudy but the rain is gone, and the mid-morning air is cool by the time they get there and park the bike. Wanda is wearing tall, worn, black leather Docs that come up just under her knee with tight black leggings and a long grey sweater, her hair in a messy bun. She’s not wearing a stitch of makeup, and she looked so beautiful when she opened her bedroom door earlier that morning that Natasha hadn’t completely forgotten what she was going to say. (Which was ‘good morning,’ by the way.)

Nat decided on her biker boots and dark skinny jeans and an old sweatshirt she wears when she wants to feel comfortable. They take their time walking up the path to the barn where there are already a few people out and about, and Natasha waits Wanda out, can tell she has something she wants to say and she’s just working out how she wants to say it.

“What if I am bad at this?” is what Wanda finally says, her hands tucked up into her sleeves, fingers plucking and tugging at them fitfully. “What if the horse hates me?”

Natasha smiles to herself, her own hands going to her pockets, eyes straight ahead.

“Why would the horse hate you?”

“I don’t know. What if it senses that I am…” She glances around, drops her voice to a whisper. “Different?”

“But… don’t your powers make you extremely intuitive and let you feel what other people are feeling?”

“Well. Yeah.” Wanda licks her lips, and Natasha glances over to watch her do it. “But what if it doesn’t work with animals? What if--”

“Good morning!” A man walks up wearing worn jeans and an old cowboy hat, his grin stretching across his face as he offers Natasha his hand. “You must be Natasha and Wanda.”

Natasha gives Wanda an encouraging smile before stepping forward, playing the part of a normal person as she shakes the guy’s hand.

 

Turns out Wanda had no reason to worry.

She walks straight to a pretty blonde Quarter Horse mare the moment they enter the stables, her eyes soft and amazed. The horse stands very still, ears tipped forward right at Wanda, head out to greet her the second she’s close enough.

“Let her smell your hand first,” Natasha instructs her softly, coming to a stop behind her as Wanda does just that. The horse takes a long sniff at Wanda’s hand before nuzzling at it, and Wanda audibly sighs, a contented, bone-deep sound, as she starts to run her hands along the horse’s muzzle.

“Spirit likes ya, huh? That’s always a good sign. She only likes gentle people.” The man, Henry, comes to a stop a few feet away with a smile on his face.

“She’s beautiful,” Wanda breathes, her eyes still on Spirit, like she can see right down into the horse’s soul. “Can…” She turns to the man, making eye contact with him for the first time. “Can I ride her?”

His smile only grows. “Well, I don’t see why not, hon. I’ll help get you saddled up while your friend finds a horse for herself, how does that sound?”

Natasha nods, feeling a little unsure herself now that Wanda isn’t nervous. She walks slowly through the stable, glancing back and forth at the horses before she sees a dapple grey horse with dark hair and long, dark lashes. She comes to a stop in front of it, standing still for just a few seconds before putting her hand out, letting the horse smell her. It exhales loudly and steps forward, sticking his nose into her palm which makes her laugh, her nose wrinkling.

“What’s your name?” she whispers, digging her nails in good and deep to scratch the way Henry had told them earlier, so the horse can feel it.

“Well, look at that!” Henry is walking toward her, and she looks over with her eyebrows raised. Wanda is up on Spirit behind him, a girl at her side, helping her take hold of the reins. “That’s Feather.”

“Hi, Feather.” Natasha turns back to the horse and smiles when Henry approaches.

“She’n’ Spirit are from the same farm. Farmer died, and the kids didn’t know how to take care of horses. They were tied on a five foot length of rope next to each other, hadn’t eaten in nearly two weeks. Both of ‘em were practically on death’s door when they came here. Had a hard time trustin’ people for awhile. But they’re two of the best I’ve got now. Both good girls.”

Henry’s eyes are kind when he reaches out to give Feather an affectionate scratch.

Natasha looks back at Feather with a newfound respect, her smile softening into something more thoughtful.

“I’m glad they made it through.”

“Funny that you and your girlfriend picked these two. Kismet, huh?” Henry opens the door to Feather’s stable and steps inside, and Natasha looks back over just in time to see Wanda throw her head back and laugh, bright and lovely, as the girl helping her says something while she helps Wanda’s foot into the stirrup. It pulls at Natasha’s heart, making her chest tighten. She doesn’t bother correcting Henry about the girlfriend thing.

“Yeah. Kismet.”

 

They ride around in a ring for awhile with Henry just to get used to it before he sets them loose on an easy trail that runs alongside a creek into the woods. It’s a chilly morning even still, and there’s a low mist along the trail as they ride next to each other in relative quiet, just looking around at the bright green of the trees and the newly blooming flowers.

“Thank you,” Wanda says out of nowhere, their horses falling into close step with each other so that Natasha’s knee is practically brushing Wanda’s. “For doing this with me.”

“Are you enjoying yourself?” It’s a redundant question that the light in Wanda’s eyes answers without words, but she loves watching her light up anyway, watching the grin that stretches across her face, loves that one little snaggletooth that catches on her bottom lip, loves the way her eyes glimmer in the morning sunlight.

“It’s amazing. I feel so high up and so connected at the same time, you know? Like… like Spirit is more connected to the earth than I am. And so I’m more connected because I’m on her.”

Natasha smiles, hands tightening on the reins. She ducks her face to hide it. Wanda laughs and shakes her head, long tendrils falling around her face as she does.

“Sorry. Pietro always calls me a hippie when I say things like that.”

They both catch the mistake in the sentence, the present tense, at the same time, and Wanda draws a quick, sharp breath but doesn’t correct herself. Natasha looks over at her and pushes through the painful moment, not letting Wanda fall into a sadness spiral. Not now.

“I dunno, I think it’s kind of amazing. I never really… do stuff like this. I run on treadmills, use the air conditioner in the car, don’t really get the whole camping thing. This is good for me, too. Pulls me out of my comfort zone.”

“And are you having fun, Natasha?”

Their eyes meet and hold, and Natasha gives her a wink that is probably too flirty but she can’t help it.

“Are you kidding? There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.”

“What about… spending the day in a spa getting massages and facials?”

“Hmm,” Natasha hums, pretending to really consider it. “Depends. Is it a really hot girl that’s got her hands on me?”

She sees the color bloom on Wanda’s cheeks, and she considers it a personal victory.

“No. It’s a guy. Big guy, big muscles, lots of chest hair.”

Natasha makes a show of wrinkling her nose.

“No thanks, then. I’ll take my chances with the horse.”

Wanda’s laugh echos all around them as they round a corner and happen upon an open field that stretches out for a long way before trees start up again. Spirit stirs under Wanda, feet dancing in anticipation, and Natasha smiles.

“Let’s let ‘em stretch their legs. What do you say?”

Wanda nods, her smile so bright Natasha can feel it in her bones.

There’s maybe a second between that smile and when Spirit bursts forward, Wanda leaning down close as they gallop toward the clearing. Natasha tucks down to speak quietly against Feather’s ear, feeling the soft fur tickle against her lips.

“Let’s go chase our girls, you want to?”

She squeezes her legs just a little and Feather takes off after Spirit, the air rushing damp and cold past them, freezing against Natasha’s skin but she can’t close her eyes, can’t take them off of Wanda ahead of her, Wanda who looks like she’s flying, whose hair has come down out of the bun and is whipping long and free like a banner behind her, who looks like she has been riding that horse since before she could walk.

And maybe it’s that moment when Natasha realizes that she could very, very easily fall in love with this girl.

Wanda and Spirit come to a stop well before the field disappears and the woods start up again, and Wanda is climbing down by the time Natasha gets there. She’s red-cheeked and out of breath, her mouth a sweet, deep pink and her eyes are sparkling as she smiles up at Natasha.

“Let’s tie them next to the stream and let them drink and rest. We can lie in this grass for awhile, maybe?” She looks so shy about it that Natasha can’t argue, so she climbs down carefully from Feather and they tie them to a low branch on a tree, letting them graze and drink from the cold water. They wander out into the sunshine themselves, and Wanda collapses in the tall grass, practically disappearing until Natasha crouches down beside her.

“Lie with me,” Wanda tells her, tilting her head back to smile at Natasha who is looking at the damp ground uncertainly, who is thinking about throwing muddy clothes in Tony’s expensive washing machine back home but in the end she does what Wanda so sweetly asked, moving to stretch out alongside her, their heads so close they’re touching as they close their eyes to the bright sun.

“That reminded me of Pietro. Moving so fast and feeling safe, without fear.” Wanda doesn’t sound sad, just wistful, and Natasha has to fight not to open her eyes, to look over at her. Her hand twitches on her stomach to reach out for Wanda’s.

“I think Spirit would like Pietro,” Natasha chooses to say, even though it’s not the most honest thing she could’ve said. Wanda laughs, wriggling next to Natasha, moving closer so that they’re pressed together, arm to arm, hip nearly touching hip.

“No, Pietro would drive Spirit crazy. He would think that riding a horse is too slow, no matter how fast the horse. He hated riding in cars for the same reason.”

“We can come do this whenever you want. You just say the word, and I’ll bring you.” It’s not about Pietro, but she hopes that Wanda understands the connection. She feels small, cool fingers slide against her own on her stomach, and she lifts her hand to let their fingers lace together, palm nestling against palm.

Wanda’s fingers start to move, slow and deliberate, the gentle, maddeningly powerful tips of them tracing over the scars on Natasha’s knuckles, over the callouses on her palm and inside of her fingers, over the short length of her nails. Natasha feels learned, explored, understood. She wonders what else she’s showing Wanda by letting her do this, what things from Natasha’s past Wanda is seeing with this simple motion. Natasha takes a deep breath, exhales slowly, and lets Wanda see whatever she wants.

They fall quiet and still and let the morning pass slowly; the sound of the stream and the rustle of the grass in the wind and the soft breaths of their horses the only noise for miles and miles.

 

The walk back to the motorcycle is quiet in an almost bashful way for both of them, and Wanda is twisting her sleeves again beside her.

“I realized something last night when I was trying to sleep.”

Natasha nearly stops walking but she catches herself just in time, looks over at Wanda with as casual an expression as she can find.

“What’s that?”

“You never read me your list.”

“Oh.” Natasha laughs on a relieved exhale before she digs around in her back pocket, fingers catching on the worn piece of paper and tugging it out to pass over to Wanda. Wanda unfolds it while Natasha gets her keys out and straddles the bike. Natasha keeps her head down, trying to look busy while Wanda reads over the list.

“Number one: get a tattoo.” Wanda grins and Natasha has to look over and catch that look on her face. Pretty thing. “Number two: play with a cat.” Her face softens into something entirely too adoring and affectionate, and Natasha looks away, her jaw tensing as she fights the flush of heat that wants to splash over her cheeks.

“That is so cute,” Wanda says finally, and she’s not teasing, not making fun of Natasha at all. It seems so earnest that Natasha smiles a little, lifting a shoulder to shrug.

“Just never really got the chance, I guess. Want to see if they’re as amazing as the internet says.”

Wanda watches her from under long lashes, her smile something sweet and secret. She glances back down at the paper after a long moment. “Number three: share a milkshake with two straws. Nat!”

Natasha nearly groans and she can’t help but blush this time, but she hides it by gathering her hair up into an impatient ponytail that she ties off with the elastic around her wrist.

“It just seems fun!”

“You’re a romantic. I love it.” Wanda lifts up onto the tips of her toes in a quick little bounce, her grin seeming like a permanent thing. “Number four: climb a tree. Good one. I am good at this. I will show you. And number five: go--”

Wanda’s cheeks flush hot, her glance up at Natasha demure. Natasha raises an eyebrow and smirks, daring her to say it.

“Go skinny-dipping,” Wanda finishes softly, folding the paper up as she clears her throat. “That is… that is naked swimming, yes?”

“Yep.” Natasha starts up the bike with a roar of the engine, her eyes never leaving Wanda’s face. Wanda tucks the list into her palm and chews on her bottom lip, eyes down, face unreadable.

“Maybe we can… can we go do the milkshake?”

Natasha blinks. “Right now? Smelling like horse?”

Wanda seems to find her courage and gives her a grin that is borderline flirtatious.

“Right now. Let’s go find some place.”

She climbs on the back of the bike and presses up behind Natasha, her breasts full and warm nestled against Natasha’s back. Her arms slide around her narrow waist and hug loosely at it, her breath very near Natasha’s ear and sweet-smelling like vanilla, soft like a whisper. Natasha’s insides clench up, her cunt giving a single throb that leaves her wet where she rocks against the seat of the bike.

“Hold on,” she says back to Wanda, her voice low. Wanda’s hands spread out on her stomach as she starts off down the drive that takes them back to the highway. Natasha feels like she could take on the whole fucking world with Wanda this close.

 

They find a diner somewhere halfway between the stables and home, some little place built in the fifties and tucked into a tiny, quaint town with two stoplights and a town square.

The Everly Brothers are playing when they walk in, the bell tinkling overhead to announce them. There are a few people eating, the lunch rush having passed probably an hour or so before. They slide into a booth across from each other and Natasha realizes that she’s restless with excitement, more from the thought of sharing a milkshake with Wanda than anything.

They order food (a loaded grilled cheese for Wanda and a chicken salad sandwich for Natasha, a plate of fries to split between them), and Natasha looks over the milkshake choices while the waitress, Cheryl, stands patiently next to her, pen poised.

“I’m not…” She looks up at Wanda for help. “Do you have a preference?”

Wanda shrugs, looking serene and happy, her smile gentle. “Whatever you want.”

“Just, um. Strawberry. A strawberry shake. With two straws.” She closes the menu decisively and hands it over to Cheryl, pleased with her decision. “Oh! And two cherries on top. Please.”

Cheryl winks at her after she scratches it into her notepad.

“You got it, sugar.”

She walks away and Natasha smiles at Wanda, feeling for all the world like a kid who’s being taken out for a special treat.

“She is the second person today who thinks we are dating.” Wanda’s face is open and she’s smiling, so Natasha doesn’t immediately start trying to apologize.

“Does that bother you?”

“Not at all.” Wanda shrugs and leans back in the booth, her legs tucked up under her in some complicated way that makes her look young and beautiful, graceful like a dancer. “I have never dated anyone, boy or girl. I don’t really know what that’s like. Is it like this?”

Natasha tenses very slightly. “Like what? Milkshakes and riding horses?”

“Hm. I suppose.” Wanda is watching her, studying her face, reminding Natasha that she can’t hide much of anything. She tucks the lie away that had been waiting on the tip of her tongue.

“I don’t really know, I guess. I’m not really the dating type, either.”

“You have never had a boyfriend?”

A rush of unwelcome memories come pushing up from her past, most of them ending in blood and silence. She digs her nails into her own palm under the table to stop it, blinking rapidly as they dissipate and she comes back to the present to find Wanda watching her, eyebrows drawn in concern.

“Let’s just say no,” Natasha finally replies as evenly as she can, clearing her throat as Cheryl brings Natasha’s water and Wanda’s Dr. Pepper. They both unwrap their straws and plunk them into their drinks, the silence between them uncomfortable for the first time in a long time.

“Is sex good?”

It’s a radically unexpected question coming from this seemingly modest girl, but it’s surprising enough that it pulls Natasha completely out of her own head and makes her grin around her straw. She takes a long drink and enjoys watching Wanda squirm in the quiet after her question.

“It can be,” she says honestly, licking her lips as she sets her glass down. “It can be amazing.”

Wanda stays quiet, turning the words over in her mind, nimble fingers smoothing out her straw wrapper.

“But it can be bad?”

“Oh, so bad,” Natasha laughs, shaking her head at the thought of all the men she’s fucked for information, for missions, for safety. “Most of it is mediocre, if you wanna know the truth.”

“Mediocre. This means…”

“Average. Not worth it. Your hand is probably better.” Her smirk is devious as Wanda’s cheeks turn a pretty rose color.

“I don’t know if I will ever find out,” Wanda sighs, her shoulders drawing in, the straw wrapper in a tight wad between her fingers now. “It is hard to trust enough to be so vulnerable.”

Natasha spares her the it can just be sex, doesn’t have to have emotions speech because she figures with Wanda, everything is about emotions. It’s an utterly foreign thought to Natasha, one she feels so ill-equipped to talk about that she actually sighs with relief when Cheryl comes back with a tray loaded down with plates and a tall, frosty glass full of strawberry milkshake.

Cheryl sets the glass down last, putting it right between them, the two straws wide and red, the cherries nestled into the whipped cream on top. Natasha shifts in the seat to tuck her leg beneath her, moving closer to the shake in anticipation.

“Enjoy, girls.” Cheryl beams at them before bustling away, and Natasha and Wanda’s eyes meet, their grins matching.

“You want to drink out of it at the same time?” Wanda is leaning forward just as much as Natasha is, their elbows on the table, the food forgotten and steaming hot beside them.

“Yeah, ‘course, that’s what makes it romantic, after all. Like Lady and the Tramp and their spaghetti noodle.”

Wanda blinks, her face completely blank. Natasha’s eyes widen in surprise, and she shakes her head, decision already made.

“Okay, wow. Well, I know what we’re watching tonight. C’mon, let’s do this, babe.”

“Babe,” Wanda echoes softly to herself as she leans even closer, looking for all the world like she’s coming in for a kiss. Natasha follows suit and they wrap their lips around the straws at the same time, their cheeks hollowing out to drink down the thick, freezing cold ice cream. It spills across Natasha’s tongue in a burst of fresh strawberries and cream, and she sighs blissfully as she swallows it down. Their faces are nearly touching, noses ghosting each other, matching green eyes holding while they drink.

If this is what dating is like, Natasha thinks maybe she could get on board.

They pull back at the same time; Wanda reaching for her napkin and Natasha licking her lips, settling back against the seat again, her eyes not leaving Wanda.

“That is delicious. Everything is so sweet in America. I love sweet things.” Wanda reaches in for one of the cherries but pulls back at the last second, her eyes widening. “Oh, um. May I have one of these?”

Natasha lifts her head to gesture for her to go ahead, a smile tugging at her mouth.

“Take both of them.”

Wanda plucks one of them out, pink ice cream dripping from the bottom. She pauses.

“Are you sure?”

“Definitely,” Natasha reassures her, grabbing a fry off the plate and biting into it. “My treat’ll get to be watching you eat them.”

Wanda grins and shakes her head, blushing once more but she opens her lovely mouth and wraps her lips around the cherry, licking the cream off before she bites into it. Natasha eats another couple of fries with relish, her every muscle tuned in to watching Wanda.

“Good?” She licks her lips after Wanda eats the second cherry.

So good.” Wanda takes a sip of her drink before pulling her grilled cheese in front of her. Natasha makes a mental note to get a jar of maraschino cherries the next time she goes to the store.

 

It’s nearly 4am when Natasha hears the soft knock on her door. She freezes, staring up at the ceiling in the dark, her body still trembling from her third orgasm of the night, fingers slick and wet. She takes a deep breath and forces herself to calm down, reminds herself that this is a secure building.

She clears her throat, hoping most of the sex-husk is gone from it.

“Yeah?”

“It’s me.” A soft, unsure voice barely makes it through the wood, and Natasha relaxes immediately. She wipes her fingers off on her sleep shorts, pushing herself to sit up a little.

“C’mon in.”

The door opens, letting in a sliver of blue light from the hallway, and Wanda’s silhouette appears in it. Her hair is sleep-tousled and spilling over her shoulders, her body slim and delicate in what appears to be a long, jersey nightgown.

“Everything okay?” Natasha sits up immediately, ready to reach for the gun under her pillow, to go out and fight whatever is bothering Wanda (kidding herself, of course, over the tiny detail that Wanda couldn’t handle anything on her own). Wanda closes the door behind her and makes her way over to Natasha, her eyes nearly glowing in the barest hint of moonlight through the curtains, making her look otherworldly, like a haunting. Natasha wants to run her hands up the sides of Wanda’s thighs, to gather that dress up and pull it off and see how she tastes at this time of night when she can’t find sleep, when she’s restless and needy and so achingly soft.

“H-Had another nightmare.” Her voice sounds thick, like she’s been crying, and she’s trembling a little when she sits down next to Natasha on the mattress. Natasha can feel her warm body just inches away, can see the slick glimmer of tear tracks on her round cheeks. She waits though, giving her time to say what she needs to say. “I just… the other day, when you were petting my hair. It felt so good. I felt so… safe. Like when I was a girl?”

Natasha nods, her throat tight with sympathy, hand lifting up to rest on Wanda’s bare arm.

“Lie down,” she says softly, guiding Wanda down onto her stomach on the bed. Wanda wraps her arms around one of Natasha’s pillows, half-tucking her face into the plush of it. Natasha stretches out beside her again, head propped up on her hand as the other comes down to rest on Wanda’s back between the straps of her gown. She can feel the delicate notches of her spine, can feel the steady thrum of her heartbeat through her ribcage. Wanda is tense still, body lifting in silent shudders that tell Natasha that she’s still crying.

Natasha uses her nails to glide over Wanda’s skin, moving in sweeping, gentle drags all across her back, over bare skin and the slinky, buttersoft jersey, over the thin straps and up to the nape of her neck.

“Relax, malyshka,” she breathes as she sinks her fingers into the thick wilds of Wanda’s hair, stroking through and untangling it as gently as she can. Wanda smells clean, like nice shampoo and a flowery lotion, and Natasha moves down to rest against the pillow beside Wanda’s, breathing her in as she pets her hair in slow, deliberate motions. It’s one of the things she loves best about women: their smell. And Wanda smells better than anyone Natasha’s ever been this close to.

She starts to hum, some song she remembers vaguely from childhood, a Russian song about something sad, she’s sure, but the melody is soft and lulling, and her voice is low, if a little scratchy. She closes her own eyes as Wanda starts to ease into the mattress beside her, calming finally, her breath evening out and deepening as she falls asleep. Natasha can’t help that she keeps her hand on her, a constant, steady presence all night, that she keeps a silent vigil over Wanda until the sun rises; the rest of the house awakening around them, but Wanda sleeps on.

 

Natasha leaves Wanda to sleep in her bed and she gets up to shower and pad into the quiet kitchen, grateful for the silence as she starts to make the crust for Wanda’s pie. Laura Barton had showed her how to make pie one 4th of July, had shown her just how to knead the dough and to get it the perfect thickness, and Natasha memorized every step and made some of her own pies in the following years, whenever she had the time and resources and people she wanted to impress.

And maybe she wants to impress Wanda.

She wraps the dough up and sticks it in the fridge before returning to the counter and all the ingredients out, giving them a quick glance over and coming to a decision: she’s going to make blinis this morning.

Sam comes into the kitchen when she’s pouring the batter into a frying pan, making it paper thin and even throughout with deft turns of her wrist, her eyes focused. Blinis she used to make back home in Russia, back when…

She blinks out of the thought, her mouth tensing. She grabs up the spatula and starts to count to ninety.

“Somethin’ smells good!”

Natasha smiles down at her blini-in-progress, the tension sliding out of her shoulders.

“Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen,” she says out loud, glancing over out of the corner of her eye when Sam comes to a stop beside her and squints down at her skillet.

“Those are some sad lookin’ pancakes, Nat.”

“Not pancakes. Blinis. Twenty-two, twenty-three…”

Sam leans down to peer closer at the pan, sniffing at it a couple of times before standing up.

“Smells like a pancake to me.”

“Blinis are Russian pancakes.” She can keep count in her head while talking no matter how annoyed she pretends to be at interrupting conversation, but there are fewer things more fun than antagonizing Sam Wilson.

“Russian, huh? That why they look all puny and pitiful?”

She turns to look at him in a flash, her eyes wide, spatula held like a weapon.

“Do you think I look puny and pitiful and that I couldn’t kick your ass before I count to ninety, Wilson?”

“Alright, alright, point taken,” Sam laughs, taking a couple of steps back with his hands raised. Natasha smirks at him, lowering her gaze once again. “You need any help with your skinny pancakes?”

“Why don’t you cut up some strawberries? They’re in the fridge,” She motions back behind her, and Sam obeys, falling in at her side washing and dicing up strawberries into perfect, juicy chunks and tossing them into a bowl while Natasha piles a hefty stack of blinis onto a plate.

“Good morning.”

It’s Wanda’s voice coming from the doorway before the soft sound of naked feet pad across the tile floor, and Natasha’s heart does a stupid leap in her chest. She glances back at Wanda and catches her eyes immediately, giving her a gentle smile. She’s still in that clingy black gown that hugs the curves of her hips and her heavy, round breasts, and she’s warm and fresh from Natasha’s bed.

“It’s almost afternoon, Sleeping Beauty!” Sam shakes a strawberry at her before popping it into his mouth, and Wanda’s face lapses into alarm as she looks around for a clock.

“It is not! Is it really?” Wanda gathers her hair up worriedly, twisting it into a loose bun that just tumbles out again. Natasha inwardly groans and turns back around to her task, trying not to think about all that bare skin so nearby.

“Ignore him. He’s just upset because he got threatened by a girl before he’s had breakfast. Are you hungry?” Natasha flips the last blini onto the stack and turns the stove off, taking the bowl of strawberries that Sam just finished cutting up and adding a little sugar to them, stirring it all up until they’re coated and ready to go.

Wanda nods with a sleepy smile and settles in at the breakfast table off to the side in the kitchen, her eyes widening when Natasha sets the plates down.

“Are those blinis?”

Natasha raises her eyebrows at Sam, giving him a triumphant smirk as he sits down at the table across from Wanda, armed with maple syrup.

“Damn Soviet childhoods. Why am I outnumbered in here?” He grabs two blinis from the plate and smothers them in syrup, and Natasha just grins at Wanda, giving her a wink. She passes Wanda the bowl of strawberries and watches the hungry look that takes over Wanda’s face as she loads her plate up.

Maybe Natasha can get used to cooking.

 

Dinner is some new weird kind of pizza with hotdogs in the crust that everyone but Sam seems unsure about, but every single slice (and hotdog) is gone within an hour.

“Ughhh,” Steve groans from the couch, his hand on his stomach, eyes falling closed with seeming pain. “Too much. Shouldn’t’a had that last slice.”

Natasha pulls the pie out of the oven where it’s been cooling since before they ordered the pizza, and she sets it on the counter and starts to carefully cut it up into slices.

“Who wants pie?” she calls out toward the main room. There’s a scuffle of feet and Steve, Sam, and Rhodey are all in the doorway with little-kid eyes. Steve’s face falls into wholesome sweetness, and he walks over to Natasha first, hand still on his stomach.

“Nat, that smells amazing. Is it cherry?”

“Mm-hmm. Go grab the ice cream out of the freezer.” She bumps him with her hip and turns to glance back at the other guys only to find Wanda standing off to the side, peeking into the kitchen, her hand on the doorframe. Natasha smiles at her.

“C’mere.”

Rhodey and Sam take twin steps forward, and Natasha lifts her knife at them menacingly.

“Wanda first,” she informs them, a single eyebrow raised. They groan and shuffle over to the table, sinking down at it with matching pouts on their faces.

“Is this because she showers regularly?” Sam glares at Wanda.

“Listen, I didn’t mean to fart on you. Really, Nat,” Rhodey says with sincerity and a straight face.

“I think it’s because she’s prettier than both of you.” Steve pulls a stack of plates from the cabinet and sets them on the counter next to the ice cream before going to sit at the table like the obedient puppy he can be when there’s dessert involved.

“Hey!” Sam protests. “She ain’t prettier than me?” He bats his eyelashes at Steve. “Right?”

Wanda shoves her hands into the pockets of the thin hoodie she’s wearing and smiles at Natasha as she makes her way into the kitchen, not stopping until she’s nearly pressed into her side.

“You made pie,” she says, her voice soft, leaning down to inhale deeply. Natasha grabs up the pie server and goes for the biggest piece, carefully sliding it onto one of the plates and scooping out two helpings of vanilla ice cream.

“Cherry,” she replies, turning to Wanda and handing her the plate after she puts a fork on it. “Homemade. Sugar on top. Everything’s organic, local cherries, all that.”

Wanda holds the plate in both hands, and Natasha realizes then that the other three guys are watching them, that Vision is in the doorway with a very human smile on his face. Her heart speeds up but she refuses to look at any of them, refuses to look at anybody but Wanda. Not when she’s got such an affection expression that’s aimed right at Natasha.

Natasha sucks in a quick breath when Wanda leans forward and presses her warm lips to her cheek, keeping them there for a few seconds before pulling back, holding Natasha’s gaze again.

“Thank you.”

Rhodey and Sam erupt in catcalls and cheers, and Wanda grins down at her pie before turning and walking over to them, sitting down next to Steve where it’s relatively safe.

“Now that your girlfriend got the best piece, can we have some?” Rhodey waggles his eyebrows as he stands up, and Natasha goes from starry eyes to business in a second.

“Who says any of it is for you guys? Maybe it’s all for her.”

“Nat,” Steve whines, not getting up from the table until Natasha tells him to, but he’s definitely pouting over there. Natasha sighs.

“Come on, you big babies.” She ducks out of their way as the three of them descend on the poor pie, and she sits down next to Wanda where Steve had been sitting, watching her cut off the tip of the pie with her fork. “Get a little ice cream with it. Trust me.”

Wanda does what she’s told and she hesitates for just a second before sliding the loaded fork into her mouth, her eyes widening impossibly at Natasha as she pulls it out.

“Wow,” she mumbles, her eyes fluttering closed as she chews and swallows. She opens them again and just stares at Natasha, her fork already digging in for more. “You made this? All of it?”

“Yeah.” Natasha grins as she sits back in her chair, arms folded, eyes on Wanda, relishing every bite she takes. “You like it?”

“You have to make a pie every week. Different kinds. I must try all of them.” Her mouth is full but she’s talking, her lips red from the cherries, little bits of sugar and crust clinging to them before she licks them clean.

“You might have to give me more than a kiss for a pie every week.”

“Well, shit. Now I know what I’m thinkin’ about tonight.” Sam sits down next to Natasha and digs in immediately. Natasha rolls her eyes but glances back over at Wanda, noting the color on her cheeks as she cuts into her pie.

“Tell me, what does pie taste like?” Vision sits down next to Wanda and looks around at all of them eating, and Rhodey takes a deep breath like he’s going to monologue.

“Imagine the best sex you’ve ever had--”

“Rhodey, I really don’t think that’s--” Steve starts.

“It’s better than sex,” Sam interrupts. “Well, most sex. It’s more buttery. Lasts longer.”

“Not if you’re doing it right.” Natasha grins when Rhodey and Steve start to pick on Sam. Wanda keeps her head down and keeps eating, but she’s smiling.

 

Natasha opens her door the next morning, barely awake and her eyes mostly closed, so she slips on the piece of paper waiting in front of her door before she even notices it. She grunts and leans down to pick it up, squinting at it with bleary eyes as she reads it.

Come meet me outside when you finish with your run this morning. Wear something comfortable!

-W

P.S. I am having pie for breakfast :)

Natasha reads the note twice before leaning into her room and dropping it onto her nightstand. Wanda’s fucking adorable even on paper.

She hurries through her run and the shower afterwards, changing into yoga pants and a Slayer t-shirt and stepping out into the expansive backyard of the complex, her eyes darting around for--

“Natasha!” Wanda is several yards away under a tree, a book clasped in one hand, her smile visible even from here. Natasha crosses the grass, the sun warm in her slightly damp hair and on her skin. Wanda is wearing a pair of cut-off shorts that show off her soft but toned thighs and a t-shirt that’s tied halfway up her stomach, baring a pale slice of skin. Her feet are bare, and she’s grinning.

“You could’ve just texted me,” Natasha says as a greeting, her smile genuine and helpless in the face of Wanda’s apparent joy. Wanda just shrugs, squinting into the sun at her.

“I am old-fashioned. Take off your shoes.”

Natasha raises her eyebrows.

“Why?”

“I am going to show you how to climb a tree!”

“And I can’t wear shoes?” She crouches despite her words, fingers working at the laces.

“It will be good for you. Feel the grass and the wood under your feet--”

“Get a splinter,” Natasha continues for her as she tugs her shoes and socks off. She wiggles her toes as they sink into the immaculately cut grass, the sun warming those, too.

“Says the woman who can remove a bullet from her own body and stitch herself up with no medicine.” Wanda grabs Natasha’s shoes and socks and moves them over to the side with her book. Natasha snorts.

“Touché.”

“Alright, let’s go. You watch me first and then follow me up, yes?” Wanda looks like a big sister right now; hands on her hips and her face stern, expecting Natasha to listen and agree. She nods at Wanda, keeping her smile tucked into the corner of her mouth.

“Yes ma’am,” she murmurs.

“Okay.” Wanda turns to the tree and Natasha watches her, eyes coming to rest on her ass in those tiny shorts. “First, you find the places to put your feet. There are, um. Little places to put your feet. Holes. Like these.”

Wanda runs her hand over the trunk, over a notch on the tree about waist-high. “And you grip with your thighs. Use your legs, yes?”

She lifts her leg and slides her foot into the notch, the muscles in her legs tensing as she hoists herself up, her other foot finding a gnarl in the tree as she grabs onto the base of the lowest branch above her head.

“Lift yourself up,” she grits out, breathless, her voice strained. Natasha couldn’t stop staring at her ass even if the whole of Asgard dropped out of the sky right this second. “You see?”

“Oh, yeah. I see.”

Wanda grunts as she hefts herself up onto the branch, one that is huge and wide and she grins down at Natasha, her face flushed with exertion.

“See? Easy!”

“Uh-huh. You have splinter-resistant feet.” Natasha steps up to the tree and peers uncertainly up at it, taking a deep breath before she slips her foot where Wanda’s had been, mirroring her path exactly and holding on tight as she climbs up to the branch where Wanda is. Wanda’s hand clasps around her elbow, gripping tight to help her up, and Natasha is panting by the time she’s safe on the branch with Wanda, looking down at the ground several feet below them.

“You did it!”

“Hey, I’m not done. I wanna see how high I can get.” Natasha looks up at all the other branches above them, hesitating only a second before she continues her climb, finding it much easier now that the branches are closer together. She climbs nearly to the top, sweat pouring down her once-clean face, but she can stand up pretty easily and peer out of the leafy branches by holding onto the one in front of her.

“Oh, wow.”

The woods go on in rolls and rolls of varying shades of green below, and the sky is an unreal blue overhead, the sun beating down on the top of her head and her shoulders, scaring up more freckles than she cares to think about right now. She feels like she imagines Sam feels when he’s flying with his wings, feels not-herself and powerful, like she can see everything and like she’s hidden from it all, all at once.

It’s so much better than all of the other things she’s climbed over the years: buildings, poles, fences, piles of bodies. It’s real and solid and utterly without danger, no chance of it here on this gorgeous spring day with Wanda waiting patiently for her just a few branches below.

She stays where she is for another ten or fifteen minutes, taking her time getting back down the tree to the branch where Wanda is waiting, straddling the branch with her feet dangling, her smile small, indulgent.

“What do you think?”

“It’s gorgeous up here,” Natasha tells her, the muscles in her thighs tight after her run and all the climbing. She settles back against the trunk of the tree, one knee bent, the other leg hanging off, toes pointed gracefully down.

Wanda grins at her, moving toward her carefully and resting her head against Natasha’s thigh, stretching her lovely body out along the length of the branch. Natasha can’t help but sink her hand into Wanda’s hair, petting her in that way that makes Wanda sigh and relax and soften against her.

“This was your plan all along, wasn’t it? You just wanted me to play with your hair.”

Wanda laughs, her eyes falling closed, hands resting on her bare stomach. Natasha watches her, eyes soft, trying her damnedest not to think about how close Wanda’s face is to the hunger between her legs.

“You figured me out.” Wanda sounds sleepy, like maybe she hadn’t rested the night before, like maybe she could sleep right here, perched precariously above the ground. Just because Natasha is here, touching her.

“I’m trying to,” Natasha says softly, thumb tracing the shell of Wanda’s ear. A breeze rushes through the trees, making the branch sway gently, sending cool air all across their sweaty skin. Natasha closes her own eyes, holding in a sigh and the thought that she could be happy hiding with Wanda anywhere for a long, long time.

 

“Which one?” Wanda wiggles her fingers into one of the little spaces in the cage, and laughs when two kittens tumble over each other as they play with absolutely no regard for either Wanda or Natasha.

They’re at the animal shelter just a few miles from home, and Wanda had insisted on coming the day after Natasha and Steve had gotten back home after a cold lead about Bucky. Steve had been withdrawn the whole way back, had hardly spoken to her and had gone straight to his bedroom once they’d gotten home.

If she’s being honest, she’s grateful to be out with Wanda, to see her smile and feel her quiet energy and to let herself forget about unsolved mysteries, at least for a little while.

“Hmm,” she muses, stepping away from the kittens and stopping in front of a cage holding a single cat. The cat has long black and white fur and green eyes that watch her from where it’s tucked into the corner of the cage. It looks tired and wary of company, and Natasha thinks maybe she understands that feeling all too well.

“This one,” she says finally, putting her fingers in through the bars on the cage and moving them to try and entice the cat to get up. Wanda joins her in front of the cage and breathes out a quiet laugh.

“What if this is not a friendly cat?”

Natasha shrugs, removing her hand and tucking both of them into the pockets of her jeans.

“I’m not exactly a friendly person.”

“I would argue with that until my last breath.” Wanda’s voice is very near her ear, her breath soft. She gives Natasha’s bicep a gentle squeeze before disappearing presumably off to find someone to let them play with the cat. Natasha takes a deep breath and closes her eyes for a few seconds. She’d only been gone for five days, and somehow in that time she’d forgotten exactly what Wanda does to her.

A volunteer arrives with Wanda and together they make their way to a fenced off little area with a bowl of water and some paper towels in it. Wanda joins Natasha on the floor, and the volunteer puts the cat down in the space between them, gives them a patient smile, and walks away.

The cat blinks sleepily up at Natasha and opens its mouth to yawn before curling up right where it is and closing its eyes. Natasha smirks, hands in her own lap despite her need to sink her fingers into the cat’s soft fur.

“Oh, please, don’t let us disturb your beauty sleep.”

“The woman said that his name is Mr. Darcy. That he’s really nice but older and so he just kind of sleeps a lot. She said he’s a tuxedo kitty.” Wanda reaches out and runs a hand down Mr. Darcy’s back, and Natasha frowns, annoyed with herself over how jealous she suddenly is of a cat.

“He just seemed really sweet.” She bites into her bottom lip, fingers moving a little on her thigh before she reaches out herself, letting her fingers sink into thick, soft fur, her short nails dragging gently over the cat’s skin beneath as she pets him from his head down almost to his tail. He starts to purr immediately, and Natasha can’t help the smile that takes over her mouth, the triumph she feels because Mr. Darcy seems to like her.

“I should have known you were a cat person,” Wanda says as she scritches under Mr. Darcy’s chin, curling down so she can make soft clicking noises at him. Natasha massages at the cat’s neck, smiling even more but she keeps her eyes down.

“I’m a me person,” she corrects as she gives a good scratch to either side of Mr. Darcy’s mouth. The cat finally wakes up and blinks up at her, waiting a couple of seconds where it seems to be considering a decision before it climbs right up into Natasha’s lap with absolutely no ceremony, curling up there and falling back to sleep.

Natasha snorts and Wanda full-on laughs, wiggling closer until her knees are pressed against Natasha’s, her hand moving out to pet Mr. Darcy, the whole thing so intimate and familiar that Natasha can’t help the warmth that spreads over her.

“You know, there are so many pussy jokes I could be making right now. You should be grateful that I have so much restraint.”

“Oh, yes, thank you. I would hate for my impression of you to be ruined.” Wanda bites into her bottom lip and looks up at Natasha through her lashes, like maybe she’s fucking begging to be kissed, and no one could do it right but Natasha.

“We should adopt him,” Wanda says suddenly out of absolutely nowhere, her eyes wide. Natasha blinks a few times, trying to shift from kiss her kiss her kiss her to full-on lesbian union complete with cat adoption.

“Huh?”

“Tiffany said that he will be killed in three days if he is not adopted. We cannot let that happen, Natasha. Look at his face.” Wanda reaches for Mr. Darcy, holding him up so that Natasha can see him. He blinks at her sleepily, managing yet another yawn even as he’s been held up for inspection. Natasha is helplessly charmed.

“But… we can’t have a cat at the Avengers Headquarters. Steve would kill me. He would never--”

“Call him!”

“Uh, no.”

“Just call him!”

“He’s really not in a good place right now--”

Wanda puts Mr. Darcy back in Natasha’s lap and pulls her phone out of her own pocket. She taps on a few buttons before putting the phone to her ear.

“Steve? It is Wanda. Yes, I was wondering something.” She pauses, lifting her eyes to Natasha and giving her a wink. “Natasha and I are here at the shelter for animals, and there’s this cat who is just so, so sweet, and--”

She pauses abruptly, probably because Steve interrupted her, and Natasha draws a deep breath that she lets out in a sigh. No way. There’s no way--

“Yes, but I know you like cats. You have told me this. Do you remember the story you told me about the cat you and Bucky used to have? And you would feed it tuna? And it had green eyes? This cat here--his name is Mr. Darcy--he has green eyes, too. And he loves to cuddle. He is asleep on Natasha right now.”

She’s quiet again, one hand on the phone and the other one absently petting Mr. Darcy until she suddenly sits up, a grin taking over her entire face.

“Thank you, Steve! I-- yes. Yes, we will take him to the vet, of course. ...I promise! Alright, alright, we will see you soon. Bye!”

Wanda hangs up the phone and hops a little in place, her jewelry jingling.

“He said yes!”

Natasha quirks an eyebrow at her, smirking at how well she handled Steve.

“I figured. You know, my list said pet a cat, not adopt a cat.”

“You will love it! I’ll be right back. I will get Tiffany to draw up papers.” She gives Mr. Darcy a kiss on the head and hops over the little fence and practically runs toward the front of the building. Natasha sighs and shakes her head, reaching into her own pocket to text Tony and order him to donate to the shelter.

That night, Natasha finds herself with Wanda asleep at her side, her cheek on Natasha’s shoulder. Mr. Darcy is curled up on her stomach, a furry little furnace, and the kitty combined with Wanda’s warm weight ensures that Natasha will stay in bed until morning.

It’s the most needed she’s felt in a very long time.

 

They fall into a rhythm of normalcy without lists to make them interact, time spent making lunch in the kitchen or training in the gym or five-mile morning runs or playing with Mr. Darcy in the main room, Steve looking on with the saddest, most far-off expression on his face but not participating. Some days Wanda doesn’t want to speak but she wants Natasha near, and Natasha has learned how to read her: the change in her posture, the turn of her mouth, the inability to make eye contact. On those days, those evenings, Natasha will just settle in beside Wanda wherever she is, tucking in nearby with her own book or her iPad or her headphones in, Mr. Darcy on her lap more often than not, and they stay there just like that. Existing near each other. It’s a strange kind of constance, a comfort that Natasha had never expected from any other person. One that she’s come to almost depend on with Wanda. It feels so good that it takes actual effort not to fight it, not to fear the vulnerability that inevitably comes along with it.

Two weeks after Mr. Darcy joins the Avengers family, Natasha finds Wanda in the library in the compound, her back to the window where rain falls softly outside, forehead resting against a bookshelf. She is holding nothing, reading nothing, not moving. Natasha watches her for a long moment, thinking that maybe she’d fallen asleep meditating or something. She’s almost startled when she sees tears fall from Wanda’s closed eyes and land in quiet splashes on her bare feet. She opens her mouth to say something, but Wanda beats her to it.

“Do you believe in soulmates?”

Natasha blinks a few times, fighting her immediate answer and reminding herself who she’s talking to, why Wanda could be asking such a question. She sinks down on the Persian rug near Wanda and leans back against a bookcase, legs drawing up so she can drape her arms around them. She stares at the ceiling, at the comforting skylights above where the rain is sliding down in hypnotizing patterns. She wonders where Mr. Darcy is, if he’s napping with Steve again.

“I don’t know,” she finally offers, her voice scratchy. She realizes this is the first time she’s spoken to anyone today. “I’m not sure if I believe in souls, so the possibility of soulmates is… a little beyond me.”

“Souls are real,” Wanda says softly but with absolute conviction, leaving no room for debate and so Natasha just accepts it, just lowers her eyes to Wanda’s curled body and listens. “Souls are energy. We all have different energy. Like… like colors. And no soul is the same color. No energy is exactly alike. Except in very, very rare cases.”

Natasha’s fingers curl, nails digging into her own palm.

“Like soulmates?”

Wanda nods, the first movement Natasha has seen from her, but she doesn’t sit up. “Twin souls, is a more correct way of saying this. A shared soul. Like a shared energy, a shared color.”

“Twin souls,” Natasha repeats, eyes falling down the graceful curl of Wanda’s neck down the length of her long spine. She’s like a sculpture sitting there, one carved out to perfectly depict loss and despair. “Were… did you and Pietro share a color?”

Only one of Wanda’s shoulders lift in a shrug, the movement so young, so vulnerable that it makes Natasha ache.

“Some days I think so. It is much easier for me to sense the energies of others, the colors. Myself, not so much. And so I will never be sure.”

“I think you know,” Natasha says quietly, moving closer to Wanda, leaning against the same bookcase that Wanda is facing, near enough to touch but she’s not. She can feel the warmth radiating off of Wanda’s body, can feel something so close to what Wanda is talking about, the energy thing, but it’s beyond Natasha’s comprehension, just barely out of reach. Like Wanda herself, really. “I think you do know.”

“And what if I do?” Wanda lifts up finally, slouching as she turns her head and opens her eyes, the green in them a living color, painfully bright with tears and surrounded by wet, inky lashes. Natasha wonders how long she’s been crying. “What am I do to with that? With the knowledge that half of my soul is dead?”

“What if it’s not like that?” She searches Wanda’s eyes and feels brave in her words, in her feelings. It’s rare for her to feel brave in either of those things; her confidence lies in actions, in silence, in order. Words and feelings are complicated, messy. She craves the messiness of Wanda. “What if you just… absorbed his energy after he died? What if he’s still with you?”

“Do you really believe that?” It sounds cynical, borderline snarky, but there’s a plea on Wanda’s face for Natasha to answer, to be honest. Natasha keeps their eyes locked and her own face open for Wanda to read. It’s terrifying.

“I believe that there’s no way I’m only talking to half a soul right now. There’s no way you’re only half of anything.” Fear jolts through her, and it feels a lot like free falling. Like electrocution. Like kissing with feeling. “When I look at you, I see everything.”

Wanda smiles, a tiny quirk of her beautiful mouth. The cynicism melts into curiosity.

“Everything? What do you mean, everything?”

“I just.” Natasha pauses, licks her lips. Her heart is racing. “I have a hard time believing in something unless I can see it. Even if it’s a bifrost that brings a hammer god to a desert. My mind is too practical to just believe in something. I blame it on being Russian, I guess.”

Wanda grins.

“I understand this.”

“Well.” Natasha takes a deep breath, glancing away from Wanda’s all-seeing eyes to the rain outside. It’s easier to talk now. “Well, since I’ve met you… I mean, just looking at you, you’re a normal girl. A stunning, beautiful girl, but a girl.” She glances over to find Wanda’s eyes sparkling, her mouth pulled into a demure smile. She looks away again.

“But there’s all this going on inside of you. All of this unknowable power inside you, in your hands. In your mind. And it’s… there, whether I see it or not. It’s there right now, even though you’re wearing a New York Yankees t-shirt and no shoes.”

“I found it in my laundry,” Wanda mumbles, glancing down at the shirt.

“What I mean is,” Natasha forces herself to say, “when I look at you, I have to believe in everything. Or… the possibility of everything. Because you contain it all in you. And that’s… that’s true magic.”

Wanda reaches out then, her hand finding Natasha’s on her thigh, fingers sliding over her knuckles and finally lacing between her own. She turns her palm over so they can line up, Wanda’s thumb stroking over the back of Natasha’s hand. She can feel the gratitude in the touch, and it cements everything she just said to Wanda. She feels calmer.

“Anyway,” Natasha says quietly after a long moment of just touches between them, of the sound of rain overhead and all around and Wanda’s soft, even breaths, “I just came to tell you that I’m leaving on a mission in the morning with Sam. Mr. Darcy will be in your hands until further notice.”

She keeps her voice light, runs her short nails over the soft insides of Wanda’s unfathomably powerful fingers, but Wanda’s face is cloudy, her eyes downcast, mouth soft with a frown.

“You are leaving again?”

“Only for a few days,” she replies, but as soon as she says it, she knows she may be lying. It’s part of going on missions, especially ones like the search for Bucky: it may take three days, it may take a month. Lately, it’s just depended on how quickly their trail goes cold.

Wanda’s expression doesn’t change, and she doesn’t look up, just withdraws in every way but where their hands are touching, her narrow shoulders lifting in a young-looking shrug.

“If you must go, you must go.” Her fingernail polish is a red so dark it looks black, like dried blood, and it’s chipped off almost completely. She gives Natasha’s hand a squeeze before she releases it. “Thank you for telling me.”

“Sure.” She knows she sounds awkward because she feels awkward, and her pause is one of quiet floundering for what else to say, with wondering what else Wanda may want her to say. Women are so much more complex than men, beautifully so. It’s why Natasha gets in so deep with them, when she lets herself. But it definitely doesn’t mean she understands women very well at all.

She stands up as gracefully as she can manage, looking down at the top of Wanda’s dark head for a few beats before she leaves the room, not daring to look back at the prone form of the that girl who will occupy every single spare thought Natasha will have while she’s gone.

 

She’s only just drifted off to sleep when she hears the slow, careful turn of her doorknob. Her eyes flash open in the dark, her breath held as she listens to the door open inch by inch. Her hand under the pillow tightens in its grip on her gun, and it’s only the faintest breath of Wanda’s perfume that makes her relax, finger sliding from the trigger. She turns over in bed and reaches out to flick on the lamp, lighting the room up in pale gold, and there she is.

“Sorry,” Wanda whispers, truly looking apologetic. She’s wearing one of those jersey nightgowns again, the fabric brushing the floor where she stands and hiding her toes, clinging to the generous curve of her hips and the swells of her breasts before it dips down between them in a low V. The straps on the gown are thin, and the fabric tonight is red; red as blood, red as Natasha’s favorite lipstick, red as the thick pulse of want between her legs as she gazes up at this girl. Wanda rubs her bare arms, head lowered uncertainly, her hair sliding in those sweet waves around her face and tickling at her elbows.

“C’mere,” Natasha murmurs, keeping her eyes on her and watching Wanda’s progress to the bed after she closes the door back. She turns the light off again when Wanda crawls up the mattress and settles under the covers beside her, tucking into her normal spot nearest to the wall. They shift and tuck together: Wanda facing the wall, caught between it and Natasha where she feels safest, and Natasha nearly pressed against her back, getting as close as she dares to allow herself.

Wanda sighs after a long moment, seeming to relax all over, all at once, the warm plush of her ass nestling back into the front of Natasha’s cunt. She stays very still, letting Wanda do whatever she needs to do to go to sleep, her eyes still open, staring at the faint dark outline of the back of Wanda’s head, wondering if she understands what she’s doing to Natasha. If she could fathom how close she is to--

“Natasha?” Her name always sounds so lovely, so pure coming from Wanda’s mouth.

“Mm?”

“Do you miss me? When you go away?”

Natasha doesn’t sigh. She draws a deep, slow breath and lets her eyes fall closed, lets the smell of Wanda’s perfume fill her nostrils as she considers her options. She lives very carefully in half-truths, and it’s her instinct to give Wanda one right now.

“I always miss home when I’m gone. I’m too spoiled now, I think.”

“Yes, but, I mean,” Wanda pauses, seeming to get caught up on some words, to struggle with them. Natasha keeps her hands to herself, her eyes closed, and listens. “Do you miss me? Me in particular?”

Natasha shifts minutely closer, her nose tucking into Wanda’s hair, her breasts pressing into her back through her thin white men’s tank, the buttons on her boxer shorts catching on the soft jersey of Wanda’s nightgown.

“What should I miss about you?” Her voice is dark and low, coming out in a warm huff of breath into Wanda’s hair. They’re so close now that Natasha can feel the shiver in Wanda’s body from start to finish. “Tell me.”

“How I keep your bed warm,” Wanda starts, a smile in her voice. Natasha smirks. “How I know all the strange foods you like from home. How Mr. Darcy meows when I sing the teapot song. My smile--”

“You do have a very sweet smile,” Natasha interjects.

“Will you not miss me, Nat?” She sounds almost sad, but there’s hope there, too, like she knows just exactly how far gone Natasha is for her. Natasha finally lets out the sigh she’s been holding in, her hand moving from her own hip to Wanda’s, her fingers tucking in to the meat of it, forefinger pressing beneath the jut of her hipbone through the slinky fabric.

“I’ll miss you,” she whispers into Wanda’s ear, her other hand coming from above to tug Wanda’s hair back, baring her neck so that Natasha can slide her lips along all that soft, pale skin, not letting them close in a kiss, just ghosting. Silk against silk. “Believe me, I’ll miss you.”

Wanda’s hand closes over her own where it rests on her hip, and she tugs Natasha’s hand up over her own belly, letting it press there before she releases it again. She arches into Natasha’s fingers, her stomach firm with just the softest give there under her palm. Natasha tucks her nose behind Wanda’s ear, breathing in the growing scent of arousal over her skin mixed with the salt and earth of Wanda’s perfume, the combination nearly making Natasha dizzy with her hunger.

“Show me how much.” Wanda sounds breathless, her skin hot to the touch now. “Touch me how much you’ll miss me.”

“I’m not good at being gentle,” Natasha warns her quietly, her hand trembling on Wanda’s stomach, desperate to slide lower, to get between those soft thighs and inside of this girl.

“Gentle is not what I need.” She presses back fully against Natasha, all but grinding her ass on her, her nipples pressing hard into Wanda’s back. Natasha bites back a growl as she slides her hand lower, gathering up what seems like miles of thin jersey to get to bare skin. She yanks it up impatiently over her thighs and Wanda shifts and lifts to help her, and when Natasha finally gets a hand between her legs, she realizes that she’s not wearing any underwear.

“Oh, baby,” Natasha husks, her fingers more knowing and hungrier than any man’s on Wanda’s body, sliding down the smooth front of her cunt, over the soft, trim nest of hair there. “Do you always sleep like this? Panties off?”

Wanda can only nod, words tangled in her throat it seems, her left arm lifted so she can push her hand into Natasha’s hair as best as she can, fingers sinking in to pet her, to stroke across her scalp behind her. Natasha moans, long and low and dirty, sliding her hand down between the giving flesh of those heavenly thighs that she wants wrapped around her head, and God, the heat of her. The unbelievable burn of her pussy, the damp fire that seems to pulse when Natasha finally sinks her fingers in, her little clit getting caught between her middle and forefinger, and she sobs when Natasha starts to rub her deep and unforgiving, bypassing any semblance of foreplay.

The words that leave Wanda’s mouth are not English, are a clipped, rhythmic tumble of Sokovian that sometimes sounds so much like Russian, and Natasha’s other hand works its way under Wanda’s body to come up the front of it and squeeze rough at her breasts, to yank on the front of that flimsy gown and bare them for her desperate hands. She grips them together as best as she can but they’re so full, too big to do it, baby-soft flesh spilling between her fingers where she clutches and kneads, nipples poking out between them. She squeezes them hard, pinching those shiver-hard nipples between her fingers and making Wanda cry out.

Natasha slams her hips against Wanda’s ass, shaking the whole bed with the force of it as she kisses along Wanda’s sweaty, exposed neck, whispering filth in a growl against her ear.

“Wish I had a dick right now so I could yank this gown up and fuck you from behind. Bet you like it like that, don’t you? Fucked like a dog, like a hole? Hmm?”

Wanda is shaking all over now, her lovely body writhing and tense, and she lifts her leg and reaches down to hug her thigh against her body, her cunt exposed and wide open now, the musky smell of it reaching Natasha’s nose and making her fucking crazy.

She starts to thrust against her hard, three of her fingers sinking into Wanda’s tight cunt that is dripping wet with slick, that clutches up around her as she pounds into her, thumb working furiously over her slippery, swollen clit.

When Wanda comes, Natasha feels it like a jolt of electricity, like Wanda’s powers come to life and shimmer over both of them. It makes her come too, untouched, lightning shivering all over her pussy. Come floods her hand, and she works Wanda through it, rubbing out the clench inside of her cunt, massaging out the tension in her until Wanda melts back into her.

Natasha runs her wet hand up Wanda’s body, up over her trembling stomach and then both of her hands are gripping those big tits, rubbing and plucking at her nipples while Wanda trembles hard, whimpering with every pull and twist.

She kisses at her neck even still, licking away the sweat and blowing cool air over her burning skin.

“I’ll miss you,” she whispers while she kisses at her earlobe. “And I’ll work hard so I can get back home to you as fast as I can.”

Wanda is still panting, absolutely spent, her body so soft and pliant in her arms. Natasha fixes her gown, tugging the cups back over her breasts and the skirt of it down her legs. She replaces the covers over both of them but does not take her hands from Wanda’s body, just keeps stroking over her skin, kissing at her neck and her shoulder until Wanda’s breath evens out and deepens, and she finally falls asleep.

Natasha doesn’t fall asleep until she’s reasonably sure she’s touched every inch of Wanda’s body, mapped it out on her fingertips, just in case she doesn’t get to do it again.

 

She leaves before dawn the next morning, and she doesn’t bother showering. She meets Sam outside the compound, and he turns to look at her with a smirk like he’d heard them, or like he smells Wanda on her, maybe. She tries her best not to smile and just walks past him to get to the car.

“I’m driving.”

 

They’re gone for nearly two weeks, and Natasha has been shot in the thigh and has a slight limp by the time they make it home. The wound is stitched up and on the way to being healed, but it still stings, still hurts just enough so that she can’t forget she has it.

At least it hadn’t been Bucky who shot her this time.

Sam goes upstairs to shower, and Natasha wanders around the compound until she hears the breathless sounds of Steve laughing and Wanda talking in exclamation points from the training room. She smiles tiredly and makes her way to the room, leaning against the doorway just in time to see Wanda throw Steve to the mats, and the grin on Steve’s face tells Natasha that he absolutely let it happen.

“Better!” He grins up at Wanda who is sweaty but smiling, and he takes her hand and lets her help him up.

“Did you find his ticklish spot?” Natasha nudges away from the doorway and step into the room, her shoes squeaking on the mats. Wanda and Steve both turn to face her, Steve’s face darkening when he sees the state she’s in, her limp, her lack of Bucky. She can feel Wanda’s eyes on her, and she can’t deny the nervous energy she has thrumming under her skin at the emotion she can feel radiating off of her.

“Natasha--” Wanda starts, making her way over to her and resting a hand on her arm, but Natasha still hasn’t broken eye contact with Steve. Steve’s shoulders droop in expected defeat, his eyes so blue and so painfully sad that it takes the rest of Natasha’s energy to hold his gaze.

“Are you okay?” He looks like he might cry. Natasha gives him a smile that feels more like a grimace, her shoulder lifting in a shrug.

“I’ll live. Sam’s upstairs. He’ll give you the rundown.” She hesitates before reaching out to rest her hand on Steve’s bicep. “I’m sorry, Steve.”

“Hey, no. Thanks for everything.” Steve gives her his winningest smile and a Captain America nod before he’s gone, heading for the hallway and probably the stairs. Natasha steels herself and looks over at Wanda for the first time in nearly thirteen days, and the worry she finds there absolutely stops her in her tracks.

“You are hurt.” It’s not a question, and the tears in Wanda’s eyes answer for her. Natasha sighs but she smiles at her tiredly, trying not to lean too much into the hand that Wanda is running up her arm and cupping her cheek with.

“I’ll be fine. It happened a week ago. Just has to finish healing. Guess I won’t be climbing any trees soon.” She reaches up to cover Wanda’s hand on her cheek with her own, letting herself fall into those eyes that haven’t left her since she came into the room.

“I’m glad you’re home,” Wanda says softly.

Natasha wants to tell her that Wanda is what makes it home, that she’s thought about her the whole time, in every dark, hidden place she’s had to crouch, on every sleepless night. She wants to so badly, but she simply smiles, leaning forward and pressing a kiss to Wanda’s forehead, right between her eyes.

“I’m going to go shower and unwind. I’m about to pass out. Tomorrow at noon, we have an appointment to get tattooed, okay? We’re doing this.” Natasha raises an eyebrow at her, smirking when Wanda’s eyes widen impossibly.

“O-Okay. Yes, yes that is on our list.” Wanda’s hands fall away from her, and Natasha takes a step back toward the door.

“And you’re driving.”

Wanda just stares at her, her pretty mouth open. Natasha grins.

“Nat, wait.” Wanda crosses the mats to get to her, reaching down for both of her hands with her own. Natasha can feel a low thrum of energy against her palms, and she looks up at Wanda in alarm.

“What’re you--”

“Shh. You’re hurt. I want to help.” Wanda closes her eyes, her grip on Natasha’s hands firm. Natasha watches her as that strange feeling courses through her, so similar to what she felt that night in her bed, her fingers locked inside of Wanda, the sensation that forced an orgasm out of Natasha effortlessly. It travels this time to her thigh where she’d been shot, and it surrounds it with tingling warmth. The pain subsides almost immediately, so much that Natasha can barely stay on her feet in the face of so much relief. She gives a soft breath of laughter, and Wanda opens her eyes, their green eyes locking. Wanda smiles at her.

“How did you do that?”

“Get some rest.” Wanda kisses the side of her mouth, and Natasha shivers when even that tingles. “You can text me on my phone later if you want food. Rhodey and I are making dinner. I am showing him how to make pelmeni. He has never heard of them!”

Natasha grins, still holding onto Wanda’s hands, and they’re standing so close their breasts are pressed gently together.

“Call them pierogi. He’ll know that word.”

They search each other’s eyes for another long moment in which Natasha swears that Wanda can read her mind, that she’s extracting all the tenderness and affection Natasha is silently feeling for her because everything seems to soften between them. Seems to be understood.

“Goodnight,” Wanda whispers.

Natasha’s face is warm, and she lowers her gaze as she nods, glancing back up into her eyes one more time before she walks away. There’s hardly any pain in her body at all, the aches and pain gone, leaving her loose and sleepy and content. She doesn’t know how much of it is magic or if it’s just simply from being near Wanda again.

But maybe that’s the same thing.

 

The Hand of Fate is in Ithaca, and the weather is warm and bright when they climb off of Natasha’s bike and walk in. They each pull a piece of paper out of the right back pocket of their jeans, handing them over to the artist, an Italian New Yorker who calls himself Lefty, and watching him disappear into the back of the shop to sketch their tattoos up.

Natasha settles in next to Wanda on the bench in the lobby, and they’re quiet as they look around the shop, studying all the flash art and the stickers from tattoo shops all over the world.

“What does your say?” Natasha watches Wanda, silently in love with the childlike wonder she has when she looks at the world, that she’s somehow held onto in spite of everything. Wanda turns that little girl smile on Natasha, the light from the warm sun outside glinting through them.

“You will see.”

 

Wanda is wearing a tanktop, and so when she stretches out in the chair with her arms lifted, she’s ready for the needle immediately. Natasha sinks down in a chair near her, far enough away from Lefty who is perched just above Wanda’s head so that she’s not in his way but close enough to touch. And so she reaches out, curling her forefinger and running it over the soft inside of Wanda’s arm, drawing up goosebumps in her wake and making Wanda shiver.

“What are you doing?” Her voice is low to match how heavy her lashes are when she smirks up at Natasha. She sits back, her posture carefully perfect, face falling into a slow smile as she searches Wanda’s eyes.

“Saying goodbye to that skin.” She pulls her phone out and takes a picture of Wanda long and lovely in the chair, catching the mystery of her smile and the color of lust in her eyes while she looks straight into the lens, such a good girl for Natasha.

Lefty shaves the already smooth skin just above Wanda’s armpit on her inner bicep and carefully places the stencil transfer after he dampens her skin, peeling it away slowly to reveal the words of Wanda’s future tattoo for Natasha to see for the first time:

it was my destiny to love and say goodbye

She stares at the words for a long, quiet moment, letting them break her heart the way they should, and there’s reverence in her expression when she meets Wanda’s eyes again. She’s amazed at the tears blurring in them, and she can’t help but move closer, her knees practically pressed to the curve of Wanda’s hip.

“Beautiful girl,” she whispers, giving her a gentle smile just as Lefty flicks on the tattoo gun, the hum of the machine taking over the silence. Natasha rests her hand on Wanda’s stomach where a slip of skin is just barely showing between her shirt and the low sling of her jeans, and her thumb strokes over the heaven-softness of it while Wanda tenses at the sudden and invasive pain of needles in her skin.

Natasha watches as Wanda closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, both of them ignoring the tear that slips from the corner of Wanda’s eye and slides fast and forgotten down her face and into the thick fall of her hair.

It’s over in less than half an hour, the words forever and reddened black on the impossible paleness of Wanda’s skin, and Natasha feels inexplicably emotional at the sight of them. Lefty stays quiet, letting them have the strange, almost ritualistic intimacy of this just for themselves as he rubs ointment in and lets Wanda get up to look at the tattoo in the mirror.

Natasha helps her up and walks with her to the mirror, standing close behind her while Wanda lifts her arm and stares at the words permanently etched into her skin. She drags her nose along the curve of Wanda’s ear, pressing a secret kiss to the sensitive skin behind it and speaking to her from there, low and just for Wanda.

“Do you like it?”

Wanda nods, her eyes bright with tears again but she doesn’t let them fall, just meets Natasha’s eyes in the mirror and gives her a shaky smile. Natasha reaches up to give her hip a gentle squeeze, lowering her mouth to kiss at the column of her neck before stepping back, letting Wanda return to the chair to have her arm dressed and wrapped.

She’s next, and she climbs into the chair and turns to stretch out on her side, pulling her nearly transparent white t-shirt up to reveal her bare flank, her vulnerable ribs. Her heart races at being so exposed even though she’s safe, she’s here in this everyday place and not at risk of fighting anyone or being hurt, and she has to focus on breathing not to show any of her trepidation.

“Mm,” Wanda hums, almost sounding innocent, but Natasha looks up to see the smile on her face, the way her eyes are trailing up Natasha’s body as she sinks down into the chair beside her. Wanda’s small, magic hand drifts up and tugs on Natasha’s t-shirt, pulling it up just enough to see the beginning of her bra, the full, lacy black cup exposed for anyone to see. Natasha refuses to blush, just smirks and keeps her eyes on Wanda while Lefty preps her.

“You might wanna take that shirt off completely, if you feel comfortable,” Lefty suggests in his thick Brooklyn accent that reminds Natasha of Steve when he gets tired or silly. “Otherwise, it might accidentally get stained with ink.”

“Sure,” Natasha mumbles, trying not to move too much while he dampens her skin for the stencil but she tugs the shirt off over her head, handing it off to Wanda who drapes it across her lap, her eyes wide and animated now as she stares at the full, soft swells of Natasha’s breasts over the top of her bra. Natasha closes her eyes, licks her lips, and stretches her body out, elongating it and showing off her curves and letting her breasts push up tight together, making her already ample cleavage even more obvious.

She’s not used to showing off like this, not for the simple pleasure of being seen and appreciated, not for reasons that weren’t just for work, for survival. Wanda’s hand comes to rest on Natasha’s bare hip, the heel of it pressed against her stomach, and a delicious pulse of pleasure that has to be from Wanda slides all through her, almost making her moan but she catches it in time.

Words come unbidden to her mind, unmistakable and amazingly in Wanda’s careful, lilting voice: I don’t think you truly understand how beautiful you are.

The tattoo gun starts up, and there’s a breath of a second before the pain starts on her somehow still delicate skin, and it washes over her completely, so acute that it feels like pleasure, those two, tricky things that have become nearly indistinguishable in her complicated life. She takes a deep breath and exhales slowly, giving over to it, focusing on nothing but the searing burn of the gun and the constant, familiar fire in the shape of Wanda’s hand on her body, the words slowly being scratched into her skin drifting through her mind like a dream: Ври, да помни.

Lie, but remember.

 

Natasha uses the two weeks it takes their tattoos to completely heal to teach Wanda how to drive, and she’s even stopped gripping the door and squeezing her eyes closed every time Wanda merges into traffic.

On the fourteenth day, nearly to the hour, Wanda walks into the common room where Natasha is bent over a floor plan for a building that used to be a Hydra base in Burgas with Sam and Steve, a small black shopping bag in one hand and Natasha’s keys dangling from the other.

They all three look up, and Natasha, the unfailing spy, catches the knowing look Sam and Steve exchange before they look back down and resume talking in low voices. Wanda has a mischievous look in her eye, and her feet are fidgeting together in an excitement that is somehow both adorable and sexy.

“Hey, cutie,” Natasha ventures, ignoring the way Steve beams down at the blueprint. “Whatcha got there?”

“It has been two weeks,” Wanda needlessly reminds her. “Our tattoos are healed, and we can swim now!”

It had been Wanda’s reminder and vigilance that kept them from scratching the final item from both of their lists the very day they’d gotten tattooed. She’d read up extensively on tattoo healing, and she had been very adamant about keeping their tattoos out of the pool. Natasha can’t help but smile, dropping her pen and turning to face her, letting her eyes run indulgently over Wanda’s body in her sweater and leggings. They hadn’t done anything since that one, delicious night over a month ago, nothing but stolen kisses on bare skin and intense snuggling at all hours of the day and night that have left Natasha nearly violent with lust. She loves it. She fucking hates it.

“Swimming wasn’t on my list,” she reminds Wanda, her voice playful and as suggestive as she’ll allow in front of the two goons to her left. She can feel them listening.

“Well yes, but,” Wanda says softly, her eyes lowering, bottom lip caught between her teeth. Her cheeks are pink when she meets Natasha’s eyes again, and neither of them have to say what they’re thinking. She lifts the little bag in her hand. “I got a bathing suit! My very first one. Do you want to swim with me tonight?”

“Like I could say no to that face.” She grins at Wanda’s sudden bashfulness, having to force herself to stay seated, to not get up and shove a hand down Wanda’s slinky little leggings and fuck her against the wall. She’s nearly reached her patience limit. Something has to give. “Just tell me when.”

“Midnight.” Wanda’s eyes burn on Natasha’s like a promise. Natasha nods, not even blinking as she stares right back at her, and they’re so intensely quiet for so long that Sam clears his throat in the silence, reminding them that they’re not alone.

“I’ll be there.” Their loaded gaze doesn’t break for another long moment, but Wanda finally nods, her face flushed. She leaves the room, and Natasha takes a deep breath before turning back to work, refusing to look over at either of them.

“Attention: loud, superheroic lesbian sex occurring in the pool at 0000 hours. It is advised to wear earplugs to sleep--”

Natasha punches Sam hard in the arm, and his yelp and whine to Steve only a little satisfying. Her phone buzzes on the table. A text from Wanda lights up the screen.

i got a red bikini. i can’t wait for you to see it x

“Get it, Naaat,” Steve singsongs, nudging her with his elbow, and Natasha only keeps her claws in because it’s Steve and she knows he’s somehow being earnest, even in his teasing. She schools her face into business and clears her throat, picking up her pen again.

“So, there’s probably a hidden entrance somewhere around here, like that base in Belgrade…”

 

The cicadas are quiet but present on the warm spring night as Natasha closes the door behind her silently at exactly midnight. She’s wearing a black silk robe that slinks over her naked skin beneath, and she makes her way across the patio to the low-lit pool that Tony had built in. It looks like a lagoon in some hidden, tropical place, complete with sultry, viney plants and a waterfall that spills quietly into the warm pool in the furthest corner.

Wanda is there, her hair darker than the night and spilling down her back where she stands like a goddess beside the water, her face tipped up to take in the light from the nearly full moon and the endless amount of stars overhead. Natasha stops across the water from her, watching her for a stolen, indulgent moment, wondering how it is she, a helplessly mortal, earthbound creature with her feet planted firm and desperate on the ground, came to fall in love with such a magical girl.

She walks around the pool and steps up behind Wanda, pressing warm there against her body, letting her breasts sink into her narrow back, the curve of Wanda’s ass fitting right in beneath her belly. She doesn’t know when Wanda became aware of her presence, only knows that there’s a slip of silk and a tiny scrap of a bikini separating their physical bodies and absolutely nothing separating their ghosts.

Her arms come up to wrap around Wanda, resting on the smooth curves of her hips, her hands splaying on her soft, trembling stomach. The bikini is so tiny it barely exists at all, the bottoms two tiny crocheted triangles held together by strings and a prayer, covering her cunt and the plush of her ass. Natasha rubs at her stomach, dragging her trimmed nails along such achingly exposed skin, the tiny moon of it so sweet under her hands. Wanda shivers, her head still tipped back but her eyes are closed now.

“Let me see,” Natasha whispers.

They separate so that Wanda can turn to face her, watching carefully while Natasha takes in the sight of her. The top is surprisingly modest but can do nothing to hide the fact that Wanda has massive, delicious tits that are all but spilling over the top that is tied around her neck, and the crocheted fabric is a true scarlet, a shock of color against Wanda’s pale skin made ghostly by the moonlight. Her waist is tiny, her hips wide and made for a bruising grip, and she only gives Natasha a single second more to look before she’s jumping into the water, water splashing all over the grass and Natasha’s bare feet.

Natasha bursts out laughing.

Wanda emerges from the water giggling and gasping, pushing the hair back from her face to reveal a grin that brightens the night, and she turns it right on Natasha, her eyes wide with joy.

“It is so warm! I was afraid of it being cold, but it feels like the ocean.” Her arms move across the surface to keep her afloat, her legs kicking beneath the water that is lit up and vivid turquoise in the dark, revealing Wanda beautifully for Natasha’s greedy eyes.

“You look like a mermaid,” Natasha tells her, her gaze softening as Wanda moves to stretch out on her back, her hair impossibly long and moving in dreamlike tendrils as she floats, staring up at the crystal clear night sky. Wanda smiles at the words but doesn’t reply, and Natasha lowers to sit at the side of the pool, letting her feet sink into the warm saltwater, her tired muscles relaxing gratefully.

Wanda wades over to her after a few moments of drifting around, her wet hands coming to rest on Natasha’s bare knees.

“Join me,” Wanda says, the words low with promise and shimmering like magic, like the stars that glint on the water’s surface. Natasha’s tongue slides out to drag over her bottom lip before she bites down on it. She reaches down and tugs the tie loose that was holding her robe closed, and the silk falls away from her body immediately, spilling down from her shoulders and pooling behind her on the grass. She leans back, her breasts heavy and sliding apart as she does, her eyes trained on Wanda who is staring up at her like she’s an answered prayer.

“Natasha.” A whisper, a rosary, and those small, magic hands move higher on Natasha’s naked thighs. She spreads her legs, lifting her hips to move closer to the edge of the pool. Wanda is pressed to the side of it, prying Natasha’s legs wider, her face so close to Natasha’s pussy that she can feel the quick rushes of her damp breath.

She reaches out to rest a hand on Wanda’s wet head, and she guides her just a little bit closer while goosebumps break out on her legs. Wanda closes her eyes and presses a kiss to the inside of Natasha’s thigh, her lips not leaving her skin, only dragging to the next place where she kisses again, soft, sweet presses over and over that have Natasha’s heart racing, have her all but clutching Wanda’s head, her throat closed up tight on any sounds she could make, trying so hard not to lose control.

Wanda’s tongue moves in first, licking into her cunt like it’s ice cream, and Natasha’s head falls back on her neck, feet pressed to the edge of the pool as she spreads her legs as wide as she can, her knees up near her face. She doesn’t breathe as Wanda laps at her, the tip of her tongue working into already damp folds, running above and below her inner lips and ghosting like a tease below her clit.

“Good girl,” Natasha whispers hotly, both hands on Wanda’s head now, drawing her in close. “That’s my good girl.”

Wanda stays above water with her grip on Natasha’s thighs, and she uses it to pull Natasha closer, getting her to practically sit on her pretty face so that she can bury it into her cunt, that dirty-sweet tongue of hers slipping right inside of her and thrusting determinedly.

Natasha moans finally, her legs dropping down of their own accord and draping over Wanda’s shoulders as she starts to ride her tongue, Wanda’s cute little nose lodged right under her clit, providing the perfect surface to rub against, to get it to swell up fat and throbbing.

“Goddamn, that’s good. Mmm, Wanda, you’re… fuck.” She hates that she’s babbling, that she’s talking at all, but her hips are working in tight twitches, heat starting to build deep in her guts, at the base of her spine. One of Wanda’s hands has moved up her body and grabbed onto one of her tits, gripping rough and delighted as a teenage boy, deft little fingers twisting hard at her nipple, tugging on it and making Natasha cry out, loud and choking and shocked.

It’s right that second when Wanda tips her head up and latches onto her clit, sucking it into her mouth and working it like a cock, bobbing on it in tiny movements and drawing on it fiercely hard, and Natasha puts all of her weight down on it, baring down desperately as her orgasm burns through her, her cunt throbbing hard just once before she sobs, flooding Wanda’s face with slick as she shakes apart on her mouth.

“Don’t stop,” she orders under her breath, fingers digging into the base of Wanda’s skull as she stares down at her now, their eyes burning with brutal intensity as she fucks Wanda’s mouth with her clit. “Suck on it hard. Suck it.”

Wanda obeys because she’s good, such a good girl, both hands on Natasha’s tits, holding onto them like anchors as she renews her suction on Natasha’s clit, her chin rubbing against the surface of her cunt, the rounded point of her chin pressing in just barely while Natasha fucks her face. Her clit feels massive now, throbbing painfully in Wanda’s mouth, building an even deeper orgasm that seems to start in Natasha’s feet and work its way up like fire, and when she comes this time she collapses back against the ground, arching up off of it and digging her heels into Wanda’s back as she rubs off desperately against her face, the sounds of Wanda giving her head getting wetter as Natasha gushes out even more come.

That beautiful tongue gentles almost instinctively, merely massaging at Natasha’s clit while she comes down, dragging down and through the thick honey that Natasha keeps pulsing out. She lies back and stares at the stars, her heart pulsing between her legs and in her ears and in the jumping trap of her chest while Wanda drinks her down, licks her clean, working serene and diligent until Natasha is nearly catatonic, boneless, legs draped over Wanda’s narrow shoulders, arms limp at her sides.

She exhales in a sigh, one of her feet pointing with a dancer’s grace and dragging sweetly over Wanda’s shoulderblade.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” she says finally.

Wanda pushes away from the wall of the pool and brings Natasha with her, dragging her into the water. Natasha goes without a fight, lowering her legs from Wanda’s shoulders and submerging into the warm cradle of the water, letting it wash her clean. She dips down below the surface for a minute, getting her head wet and giving her a brief second alone to savor all of this before she comes back up.

She swims toward Wanda, reaching out for her and wrapping her arms around her soft body under the water as she slams their mouths together, kissing her for the first time. Wanda whimpers, her arms coming up to wrap around Natasha’s neck, mouth parting to let her inside.

“My girl,” Natasha murmurs against her breathless mouth, her hands sliding down and into the back of her tiny bikini, gripping hard at her asscheeks, pulling them apart so hard she spreads her pussy lips at the same time. “My sweet little magic girl.”

“Fuck me,” Wanda breathes, nipping at Natasha’s bottom lip. “Fuck me, Nat.”

Natasha’s hands dig in greedily, thumb massaging over Wanda’s tight asshole, her fingers pushing deeper between her legs until she finds her cunt that is already soaking wet with slick, the texture so different from the water that Natasha groans. She pushes her pinky and ring fingers from both hands inside of her, the middle finger of her right hand joining in sliding in to the knuckle.

Wanda writhes against her, legs still kicking to stay afloat and so Natasha swims them back toward the shallow end of the pool, over toward the slope that eases down into the water. She presses her back against it, one her knees lodged between Wanda’s legs to keep them from floating away.

She stares down at Wanda spread out there for her, all that dark hair floating around them, brushing Natasha’s arms as she reaches up and behind Wanda to untie the bows holding her top on. She tugs it away and lets it float away, leaving Wanda’s breasts bare and buoyant, her nipples pebbled up and shiver-hard above the surface of the water.

Natasha sighs to herself, overwhelmed for a moment with the simple beauty of her, with the way she’s soft and exposed and staring up at Natasha likes she trusts her completely, like she knows every dark corner of Natasha’s soul and thinks she’s beautiful anyway. She presses her body against Wanda’s, between those legs that spread so easily for her, and she kisses her again, and it tastes so sweet, like words, like a secret only for their mouths.

She tugs the bows of Wanda’s bikini bottom, pulling the scrap of fabric from between her legs and finally they’re naked against each other, soft pillows of their breasts pressed hard together, the shallow curves of their tummies, warm thighs dragging as Natasha claims her mouth. She slides a hand down and grips one of Wanda’s legs, holding it up so she can straddle the other one, pulling the one in her hand around her waist. She pushes in hard and slots their bodies together, the soft folds of their cunts locking together.

Wanda gasps, her eyes wide as she stares at Natasha, like maybe she hadn’t thought about this before, that it was even possible. Natasha smirks at her, spreading her own legs so she can dig her knees into the slope they’re pressed against, getting as much leverage as she can so she can dig her pussy deep against Wanda’s, the hard little nubs of their clits rubbing so good, making both of them moan, shivering hard against each other.

“Like this?” Natasha kisses down Wanda’s jaw to her throat, her hands gathering those beautiful tits up so she can get her mouth on them, sucking on one hard nipple at a time while she starts to grind against her. Wanda nods desperately fast, her eyes shut tight, eyebrows drawn up together like she’s concentrating. Her pretty mouth is parted, and she’s panting up into the warm night air, the waterfall beside them hopefully masking most of the sounds of their fucking from the rest of the house.

Wanda’s hands slide down to grab Natasha’s ass, hauling her in even deeper between her legs. They push and rub against each other, chasing that perfect angle that finally comes when Natasha reaches down to grab Wanda’s leg beneath her knee, pulling it up just a little higher and fuck, there it is.

She lifts her head from her worship of Wanda’s breasts and looks up, their eyes meeting in ravenous wonder. Natasha doesn’t move her hips, doesn’t dare to lose the angle but she bears down on her girl, dropping her entire weight before she starts to fuck her hungrily, grinding against her and getting the perfect friction for both of them.

“Yes,” Wanda sobs, her grip on Natasha’s ass never loosening, her beautiful body tensed and arched like the curve of the moon, head thrown back hard. Natasha fucks her so hard that water is sloshing around them, splashing so loud that it’s almost deafening, and she doesn’t realize that the growl she’s hearing is coming from her own throat until she pauses to lean in, to sink her teeth into Wanda’s neck and mark her savagely before she whispers, her voice low like a warning.

“I’m gonna take you shopping tomorrow. Gonna make you pick out the biggest dick you think you can handle and I’m going to strap it on and fuck you with it. Gonna ruin this pretty pussy and fuck you until you can’t walk.”

Wanda comes all over her, their cunts locked together so tight that Natasha can feel her pulse and throb like a heart as her climax tears through her. She’s sobbing into Natasha’s ear, and Natasha finally lets go and follows her down, her third orgasm of the night shivering out from between her legs and soaking into Wanda’s body. They wrap around each other, bodies clutched so tight that it hurts to breathe, but they just keep rocking, keep digging out little shivers of aftershocks, mouths kissing at bare, sweaty skin, their hearts pounding together between their pressed chests.

Natasha lifts Wanda’s body that is heavy with contentment, pushing both of her legs up and kissing at her pussy, licking it clean and drinking down the sweet and salt slick from both of their bodies. She tucks three fingers into her and rubs at her g-spot until she fucks another orgasm out of her, not stopping until Wanda begs her to, her soft thighs shivering on either side of Natasha’s strong hand.

They float back out into the water, still wrapped around each other, and Wanda laughs against Natasha’s mouth as overwhelmed tears slide down her round, flushed cheeks. Natasha kisses her softly, letting the gentle saltwater wash them clean while she gathers the heavy strands of Wanda’s wet hair together, everything between them falling quiet. They tuck their faces into each other’s necks, the night continuing on all around them, the moon slipping quiet across the sky.

 

Dawn breaks while they’re curled together in Natasha’s bed, pale pinks and yellows spilling across the white bedsheets. Wanda is asleep, her face tucked against Natasha’s warm breasts, Natasha’s fingers brushing carefully through Wanda’s hair, working out the tangles from the drying strands. She stares across the room with sleepy eyes, watching the sun rise across the field and over the trees, the entire world quiet for them, merciful for now, letting them feel safe enough to just exist together, to let their hearts show long enough to find each other, to stitch up tight and irreversibly together.

Natasha is peaceful in it, each breath she takes full and deep. Maybe they’ve both earned this, a love like this. Maybe she does deserve to be this happy.