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#mcu fanfiction
h0unds-of-h3ll · an hour ago
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The devil’s dagger
The one time Loki found someone who was worth loving, and then they got taken from him.
Dark! Loki Laufeyson x reader smut.
Word count: 5,881
Viewers beware you’re in for a scare with the: dark Loki, kidnapping, smut, angst, fluff?, bad writing (I’m sorry I wrote this at 3am), rough smut, dubcon, dom and sub dynamics from you and Loki, hands HaNdS HANDS, groping, heavy touching, manhandling, bite marks, bruises, belt, gagging, deep throating, overstimulation, Stockholm syndrome?, explicit language, explicit content, heavy tones of abuse, mentions of sexual assault, Odin being a dick, choking on fingers, choking, Loki exuding golden retriever behavior, Sylvie being an edgelord, thigh riding, degradation, if I forget anything let me know.
Please feel free to send me a request for a headcanon, ideas, or a specific trope you want me to write. My inbox is always open. It’d be greatly appreciated! This is based on episode 3 so spoilers!
 Have fun and enjoy ;).
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"How stupid can you get?"
Sylvie's tongue thick with venom. They. Well, her and another version of Loki running from the little hut that meteor crashed in. The dust of the purple planet known as Lamentis was being kicked under heavy boots as they ran. They didn't have a destination to where just to safety, and under the circumstances it seemed that was nowhere. Sylvie sped forward about four feet ahead, losing Loki behind her. She really couldn't care what would happen to him, just the tem-pad. She rolled her eyes how in this god-forsaken world did she end up here. This stupid planet with this stupid man and the stupid tem-pad out of juice. She huffed a deep sigh and ran faster.
 It appeared to a bystander as if they were playing a demented game of tag. Whoever could outrun the other to escape death. Her cape. She preferred it to be called a cloak since the cape was childish and reminded her of a magician. Similar to the kind behind her, which added to the very long list of what she hated about him. She twisted her feet to dodge a meteor that landed no more than three inches around her. She stepped on her cloak and fell. The breath that she was huffing stood still in her lungs. Her eyes wide and staring at the purple sky. The wispy dark pink clouds are a close cousin to cotton candy. Her hearing was replaced with booms of the craters that fell into the atmosphere. She was shocked when she laid there presumably for a couple of minutes earth time and didn't get hit. She was discombobulated and forgot what she was doing and why she was fighting. She suddenly out of all the deafening booms heard the sound of boots hitting the sand. Everything came to mind when she saw him come into view and pass her.
"How unfortunate!"
He chuckled almost as loud as the rocks from the falling planet. He continued running, without a second thought of helping her up. She sat up and cursed something unformidable under her breath and took off after him. 
She caught up after him. (She might've thrown some rocks to slow him down.) The town's bare nature of a few buildings, no vegetation, no sign of life. How could anyone stay alive here? The town was vacant, the only thing that was alive was a sign that was in a different language. She ran her fingertips along the side of one of the buildings, the metal rusting off as she did. Pillars that once emitted electricity seemed to be far into the past. The town seemed to be falling apart even when it was alive. 
"It looks like everyone fled."
The man sounded out, she rolled her eyes once more. How dull could he be? It's not like the planet is under life-ending threats. He stood in the middle of a few homes that were banded together. Her eyes sparkling when she found the hut that looked like it would have a charging station.
"Here you blind bat is where we can leave and never come back. Now give me the Tem-pad so I can charge it."
She smiled, her eyes closed and her head tilted back proud of her findings. Her wrapped hand stuck out, her fingers opening and closing like an infant for food. He smiled and shook his head in disbelief, black curls tickling his neck.
"How foolish do you think I am?"
Her eyes opened wide, eyebrows burrowing, this was not in the plan. The document was laminated in her head. In fine print too! This can't be happening. Who was he to refuse her of her rightful possession? She highly doubted that he even knew how to charge it. His even knowing how to use it was out of luck. She blinked a few times, not being able to wrap her head around what was happening. 
"I know as soon as I hand this over you'll jump and leave me to die. Now I don't think that's very polite, don't you?" 
Her hands went to the sides of her waist, her elbows jutted out as she walked down the small ramp. She nudged him in the ribs as she walked past him.
"Don't tell me stupid hypotheticals if you're not going to cooperate."
She seethed, she didn't know where she going but hopefully far away from him. Hopefully, before she commits murder. She could feel his snicker and the smugness of his juxtaposition on his features as she treated in front of him. She reminisced a lost memory of her father forcefully planting the seed of 'always be a leader unless you want to be nothing.' 
It had been approximately twenty minutes of walking in a straight line before they saw civilization again. Well, a small little metal hut in the middle of nowhere far away from the village. Loki rambled keeping himself company, talking about some green thing that slung him on the ground multiple times. She softly smiled at the imagery that she was portraying in her mind of Loki getting demolished. Mountains of dark purple grew in the distance, shadows.
 The hut had a rectangular window on the side of it, no more than two or three people could have occupied it. A woman's eyes peeked up behind it. Measly hair and big eyes are all that Sylvie could make out of the girl. She could've been only in her early twenties from what she could make out. A sheepish thing she thought, perhaps she could corrupt her and use her for her will. Hm, with a shrug of her shoulders her brain went back to more strategic thinking. 
Hopefully, none that had weapons or could decently fight. It had been a long day and all she wanted was to get off this damned planet. Loki on the other hand seemed to be having the time of his life, basking in the enjoyment of torturing Sylvie and annoying her to boredom. He quickly swept any silliness from his jesting before he swiftly walked over to her in long strides as he stood a couple of feet taller. 
"Don't be a barbarian and mess everything up, this might be our last chance for us getting out of here."
She rolled her eyes in a mocking tone. She began to open the door. As soon as she did she got shot with a big blast of energy. Loki laughs making gestures with his hands mimicking her expressions. He barreled over clasping his hands on his ribs, a tight expanse of muscles contracting to exude a burning feeling. Tears began to fill his eyes. 
"I'm sorry I really am it's just I-"
He tried but a new wave of boisterous laughter thundered out. Sylvie looked up and saw his mockery then plummeted her head back in the sand. So much for that idea. 
"Mama please, they might be good!"
Another woman's voice sounded out a grave difference to the old lady who was on Sylvie's hit list. Her voice sounded sweet and soft. One that was made to swoon anyone to hear it. A melody was captured every time she would speak. Sylvie sat up now seeing the sheepish girl in full view. Loki's heartbeat was as fast as a freight train that lost its brakes. She was as beautiful as he saw her delicate hair, ever fluorescent skin, big eyes that stared up at him.
 His laughter dimmed to nothing. His cheeks flushed with a hue of dark pink. His cock stirring in his pants. You still had that effect on him after all these years. He bowed his head, bashfully, he thought he had lost you forever, but here you are wrapped around some lady's arm. What did father do to you when he banished you all those years ago? He grimaced and let out a breath releasing all of his thoughts, he smiled and put a hand out with the intention of one of you to shake. Preferably you. He smiled at a big pearly one. 
"Hello, I am Lo-"
Before he could finish his sentence the old bat blasted him with the foreign gun. For some odd reason, he felt betrayed. He coughed on the sand that filled his lungs from when he fell. He blinked a few times. Sylvie laughed and punched his arm as she got in his face mocking him the way he did her. 
"It's not that fun is it, brainiac?!"
You pleaded for Mother to allow the strangers to come in but she wasn't having a second of it. 
"NO, I've told you three times that they are the devils from down below. They can't be trusted!"
You were on the verge of tears. All you wanted to do was help and Mother was prohibiting such things. You rarely ever saw anyone other than your Mother and your Father who passed mysteriously a couple of months ago. Mother never let you go outside of the metal hut. A few nights you'd sneak out and go outside to feel the purple sand on your feet. You'd bury them leaving tunnels when you'd take them out. It was beautiful; the night sky. It was always littered with stars and planets. Often you wished to escape and flee into the cosmos. 
You were happy here you had everything you could possibly want. A tv, books, a bed. So when these strangers came by you were filled with excitement, Mother told you that the end was near and that the both of you would be in heaven. But you didn't want to go to heaven, you wanted to see the stars up close. Have a lover, like the ones you read in books that would sweep the woman off her feet and live happily ever after. Maybe this man could be that and that made it worse to hear Mother say no. You cried, an ugly one that had snot and everything. Mother got up from her chair and dragged you from the back of your dress.
 You cried harder knowing where you were going. The closet. It was a small confined room in the back of the hut. She would put you there when you were being a bad kid. Mother only took you out when you fell asleep, only if you were passed out. You would try to fake it but then she'd know and leave you in there for even longer. She opened the diminutive door and threw you in. She bent down and grabbed your jar glaring at you dead in the eyes. 
"Another word and you won't ever see the light of day again."
And with that, the door closed and she left. The sound of your heavy breathing is what lulled you to sleep.
"What if we killed her?"
Loki suggested twirling a dagger in his hand. The old bat refused to come out again, all he wanted to do was negotiate a deal for getting you out with a little ultra-violence. It wasn't that bad of a plan. Sylvie groaned; they'd been sitting on the little porch for hours. She was getting fed up, she didn't know why they were even still there and every time she tried to leave Loki just said no. She thought about ripping his heart out and getting the tem-pad and bailing but she favored the cleanliness of her garments. 
"What's the point of even staying here?! They probably don't have anything good to steal!"
She groaned as she crossed her arms over her chest and leaned back against the side of the hut. Loki was lost in thought about you reminiscing about the side of you on Asgard. A simple maiden, very poor. He didn't mind it, he couldn't care about anything just you. He loved you and he wished he would've told you that before Odin sent you away. Deeming you to be below worthy of being with his son. Loki remembered feeding you grapes while your head laid on his lap. You were reading to him some ancient work that you found in the library. He swore on that day to find you, hope whittled to nothing as the years grew on. It only made today more surprising. 
"She was a Midgardian, and my wonderful father sent her here. Which I didn't know of to spite me. Love is like a dagger Sylvie, and I'm always getting stabbed."
She nodded in a somewhat understanding way. Loki couldn't tell if she was just doing it to mess with him or if she honestly understood his troubles. A few more moments passed and the urge to stab himself grew. Shared condolences between the two as they thought of ways to steal you and get off the planet. Sylvie grinned, one that stretched from ear to ear and a dark glint gleamed in her eyes. 
"I have it. A charming proclamation!"
She shook Loki by his shoulders like a madman, but one who had a plan.
They waited until nighttime to perform Sylvie's scheme. Loki didn't know if it would work or not but it was something so he decided why not. He just wanted to have you in more ways than one and it was unbearable. Sylvie snickers, as she watches Loki. His head was in the clouds and she was slightly worried that he would forget the plans, but it wouldn't matter because she would take off and leave him to his doom. 
Sylvie pressed her ear to the metal door listening to any sound that would alert her that the mother was awake. Loki peered through the small window for any sign. All he saw was you. Innocent you. He got that funny feeling again, the one that made the denim slacks grow tight against the growing bulge in them. Sylvie saw him adjust himself and she gagged and started to fake throwing up.
"You know how revolting it is to know you're like a cat in heat around me!"
Loki rolled his eyes and rolled up the sleeves to his forearms, deep veins and tones coming into view. 
"I don't hear anything so it might be time, but I swear to god Loki you better not fu-"
"I get it in and out."
Loki shifts his necks side to side popping the built-up gas. He shakes his hands out, getting all the nerves out. He's got this. It's nothing he's done mischief like this billions of times before. But what if he messes it up now? He's been a bit rusty since the TVA's rules. What if he screws it up entirely and he never gets to see you again. He'd be lost all over again. He might be cold but he still has a heart. He turns from the door to Sylvie.
"I think that I'm having a panic attack."
Sylvie's eyes look like they're going to pop out of her head. She tilts her head and closes her eyes. A hand comes to pinch the bridge of her nose.
"You what?!"
"You think I want this to happe-!"
Sylvie grabbed Loki's shoulders and her fingertips left creases in his jacket. 
"Loki, you are by far one of the dumbest creatures I have ever met!"
He narrowed his eyebrows and crossed his arms.
"That was a bit harsh, why don't you just leave Sylvie you don't have to stay and-"
The metal door opened and the both of them stood like deer in headlights. It was you. Tear-stained cheeks and a bruise on your shoulder. Loki's heart ached. Sylvie dusted off her hands on her drapes and smiled. She stuck her hand out for you to take and when you took it she brought it up to her lips and kissed your knuckles. Loki almost decked Sylvie. 
"Who are you guys?"
A balled fist rubbing at your eye nearly made Loki want to sweep you up and carry you to Asgard. God, you were adorable. Loki missed you with every fiber of his being. If you asked him to give up magic he would just so he could please you. Out of his lovesick mind, he suddenly came back hitting hard. You didn't know who he was; he felt devastatingly ill. He grinned.
"Pardon me, please."
He fled down the stairs and started walking from the hut. This was a horrible idea. Of course, you wouldn't remember him. God, he was so stupid. He needed to leave. He could barely see anything in the dark, he didn't care, he just wanted to leave. 
"Loki, wait!"
Sylvie wailed out running after him. Why did he have to be so gigantic? he was almost halfway across the planet by two seconds. She ran hard, huffing. She was confused as to why he left but she didn't want to question it, today was already such a headache. She coughed for air, what a stupid god, running away from a mortal. The darkness swallowed the both of you as you furthered into it. Loki trudged on until both of you stopped to hear a loud thump. 
Sylvie was slightly fearful of how loud the thump was. What monsters could be lurking. The creators stopped from where they were which made her even more frightened. Were they being followed? Loki turned around and stalked to where he last heard the noise. Green flames emit from his hands for light. Much braver than Sylvie, maybe he couldn't care if he'd be killed. As he walked on he found you, laying with an embarrassed smile staring up at him. He grinned back tauntingly, his charges before completely leaving his mind. He was too utterly in love with you.
"What a little minx."
All of you collectively agreed to stop your journey to rest by the mountains. Loki crafted a fire, the embers eliciting a light for all of you to see. Everyone was enraptured by the beauty of the flames as Loki made them dance and have little fights with them. You laughed quietly at his show, he smiled warmly down at you almost as warm as the fire in front of you. Sylvie sat on the other side not as easily amused. Your head laid on Loki's shoulder, the muscle tensing and relaxing as he played with the magic. 
He loved the way you were enraptured but was still like a child. It was sad that the innocence that you had made him have the need to corrupt you. You watched the rides of his hands, the deep purple-blue veins wrapping around them, the long fingers moving craftily. A weird foreign feeling happened in your stomach. It burned and you rubbed your thighs together in hopes to conceal it but it seemed to worsen. Loki chewed on the inner side of his cheek, there was a hint of seducing laced in his magic that was directed to you. It allowed the intensity of what he felt shared with you. Sylvie sighed and undid her hair. 
"I'm going to sleep, goodnight lovely."
She winked at you, she pointed her sword at Loki and gave him a glare that told him if he tried anything funny he'd be rewarded death. Although little did Sylvie know funny things were the only thing that Loki planned to do. By the squirming that you were doing, it looked like he was doing a pretty damn good job. He bit his cheek harder to contain a smirk. He was going to ruin poor ol' little innocent you. 
"How do you do that?"
He grits his jaw, fuck, your voice was even doing your dirty work. He twirls his index and ring finger ceremonially, you felt yourself drip onto your thighs. He knew what was happening, how drenched you were getting and all he could do was keep his composure because he was far from finished.
"It's called magic my dove, my mother taught me it."
You shivered harder, a forgotten memory bursting inside your head. A garden flowers for miles, a big willow above the two of you shading you and him from the kingdom. You and Loki were dancing emerged as one, his hands wrapped around yours as he spun you around. Asgardian dresses and leather coming together as he pulled you into his chest. The laughter between the two intertwinings together. He leaned to capture your lips although the laughter made it impossible for him to deepen it. You came back from the fantasy confused and scared. Who was he and what was this power? 
The dancing fire stopped and he wrapped his long-brawny arms around you. He shifted you onto his lap no longer to his side. His arms made an escape undesirable as he tucked his head into your neck. Sharp nips to the delicate skin of where your shoulder and neck met made you squirm. You kept withering and jutting out of his grasp, it was a puny attempt, it just drove him to become even more stimulated. 
Especially since you were grinding up against him. He groaned after a particular jut. His hands gripped your waist holding you in place roughly. Sure to leave bruises, you watched his long nimble fingers trace absent-minded drawing into your dress. The scent of how wet you are was overbearing. He had seen how it drenched your dress. He laughed grimly, shaking his head.
"Oh, dear, look at the mess you've made. I've barely even touched you, and you're acting like a dirty little whore."
He bit the outside of your ear and you gasped. Shocked at how vulnerable you were. His degradation you sadly were to admit made the slickness between your thighs worse. He chuckled low and dim. He spread out his long legs, you had a sense of what he was going to ask but he said it in a way that you could've come from just that.
"Be a good whore for me darling and get on my thigh. I want you to see how drenched you are for me."
He turned you around and lifted you from the ground with no trouble at all and sat you down on his thigh. He tensed the muscles in his leg and you mewled from how wide it spread your legs. A dark pool started to form on his brown slacks. He smirked. A shiver ran up your spine and he shook his head. 
"Are you cold my dove?"
You stared down at the dirt, never meeting his eye. He leaned up making your body go up to his thigh and you winced, your panties doing nothing but making the friction on your clit rougher. His left arm tucked you to his chest leaving a trail of your slick on his leg. He tucked his right index finger under your chin and raised your head to look at him. His venom-filled eyes make you shake. God, what is he doing to you? His eyes raked over every feature on your face, every marking or indentation, or scar. His lips mere inches from yours, his breath fanned over your face. Hot, like your throbbing cunt.
"That simply won't do, darling, I asked you a question. Now I know you might be a little dumb because your cock drunk, but that gives no excuse to be shy."
He pecked your nose before resting on his planted hands behind him. You blinked dumbly at him. He was right. You were cock drunk and him calling you out only made you needier.
"Yes."
He smiled and tilted his head. You weren't but it was an easy way for him to take off layers. 
"That wasn't that hard was it?"
You shook your head and he started to take off his TVA jacket that had variant on the back of it and threw it on the back of your shoulders. 
"Now, do as I instructed or my dove I promise you, that you won't like the consequences."
You shook your head understanding, slowly rubbing your hips against his thigh. The dampness made it slightly less harsh as you trailed your folds back and forth on the denim. A particular sharp jolt made you grab onto his shirt for dear life. Your clit was surely bruising and you whimperpered. 
You couldn’t get off by this you needed him, but the bastard wanted to torture you. Your hands that were tight fists on his shirt began to travel downwards to his belt. He slapped away your hands and held your wrists in a bruising manner.
“Ah, ah, ah, no need to rush. Only sluts do that and my dear I fear that you are the sweetest flower I’ve ever had.”
He kisses your wrist quickly. His lips and nipping teeth follow downwards to your shoulder, to your neck. You leaned your head to give him easier access which he smiled at. He licked and bit your neck that reminded you of vampires. After a moment or so he nipped at your jawline and went back to leaning on his hands.
“Up my dear it’s time for your reward since you’ve been such a good stupid girl for me.”
You were slightly confused whether it was an insult or a compliment, or what the reward was. Loki pushed you onto your back slowly, your back on the rocky sand ground, the jacket softening the roughness. Loki looked terrifying, all you could see was bright green eyes that were hidden because of the night. Your cheeks were a dark red, your dress skewed. He lowered himself to the ground positioning himself between your legs. 
“W-what’re you do-”
You stuttered out confused as to why he was doing this. Everything was new and foreign but you liked the excitement of it all. Not knowing what he was planning next. His finger wrapped around your thighs rubbing gentle circles on them. He groaned as he spread them.
“What a shame about my shirt, perhaps my love. Your cum could accompany the dirtiness of it.”
Your back arched. You’d be a fool to not be overtly turned on by his words. His accent became heavy; you never heard of the tongue he held. HIs shoulders rested underneath your knees and his arms and hands were on top of your thighs spreading them open. You tried to close them insecurely. What would he think of you? You didn’t even know what you looked like down there, what if he thought you were ugly. You started to tear up when his face neared your panties. He took a long breath in and his eyes rolled back in his head. 
“My god, princess, I’m scared that if I start that I won’t be able to stop.”
His breath hotly fanned against your pussy and you squirmed trying to get out of his grasp. He rolled his eyes at your fatal attempt to get away. At first it was cute but now it’s becoming annoying. 
“Darling. I swear if you don’t stop moving, I will rid you of your reward and ravage you and won’t stop even if you plead.”
You squirmed again to test him. In a flash of green he lifted you up, to a sitting position and he ridded himself of his tie and wrapped it around your wrists, your skin being pinched and he laughed.
“You think that this is as bad as it gets? My whore you’re about to be ruined.”
He unsheathed his belt from its loops and slung it around the back of your neck. Tears fell from your eyes, ugly sobs falling from your lips and you pleaded for him to stop but he just shook his head. With one hand wrapped tightly around the belt and the other gripping your jaw sternly, his jaw gritted and the feature in his face sharp as ever. His eyes glared into yours and held no remorse, your shoulders going up and down as you sobbed. He struggled to open your mouth from the constraint but in no time he was able to. He smiled.
“How pitiful, my little slut, all tied up and wet.”
He spat into your mouth and stood at his full height towering over you. He tugged open the zipper and fly, his cock red and angry sprang up to hit his abdomen. Bright thick veins trailed to his head and down to his scrotum. He was absolutely huge, and to say you were horrified was an understatement. He looked like more than the average human and that's when you realized he wasn’t. You gulped, your mouth going dry. That monster was supposed to fit in your mouth? No way! And that’s when you began to panic. He laughed big and loud.
“My innocent little flower has never seen a God's cock before has she? Look at what you do to me. I don’t know why you’re crying, this is all your fault.”
You opened your mouth to plead for forgiveness and what a mistake. As soon as he had seen a gateway he shoved all that would fit into the back of your throat. The back of your neck became bruised and torn as he pulled it to match every thrust. The noise of you choking sounded like the Asgardian golden harp. Such elicit beautiful sounds come when you play it. He felt your tongue dart and swipe under his cock, your saliva falling from your mouth coating his thighs. 
“That feels good doesn't it. I, your God using your throat as a cock sleeve? Huh, my filthy little whore.”
He roared and you gagged when he did a new position and darted upward. His head went back and the veins in his neck protruded. His hair surrounded his head like a halo. A fallen angel. His free hand jerking at his cock, the inches you couldn’t fit. You felt disappointed when he didn’t moan just a few grunts every time he’d jackhammer to punch the back of your throat.
 The spell he had put on you before almost made you go star crazy, his climax coming at a fast pace. You yanked at the tie that was around your wrists and you cursed him for being so excellent at knot tying. His thrusts began to get sloppy and he pulled out choking on new found hair you coughed and doubled over. He smiled and let go of the belt he bent down and patted your cheek. 
“You were divine, my good girl. Always so beautiful.”
You wanted to cry, and cum. Loki allowed you to do one of those things in the following. He threw the belt somewhere in the distance. That you were relieved from but there he was above you, he was massive compared to you. You were hidden underneath him. He grabbed the jacket and made it into a makeshift pillow and craned your neck up to place it underneath your neck.
“You didn’t think I was that mean, to let you be ruined and have brain damage after. Well, from the way my cock slammed in the back of your head that might’ve already happened.”
He smiled at his joke but you were too dazed to even think. He unbuttoned his dress shirt and the muscles in his stomach were toned and tense. Loki reached under your dress and pulled off your panties, he tucked them into the pocket of his jeans. You really couldn’t care what he did with them. The coldness made you pussy clamp around nothing. Loki ran his hands up and down your body mapping out the shape, hoping to never lose the feeling of it. He leaned down and nipped at your jaw hickeys formed on your neck as he nipped more on your skin. In all actuality it was just a diversion for him to slowly enter you. You gasped and closed your eyes shut.
“Fuck my love you’re so tight, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to move.”
You breathed shallowly as he kept going, it felt like he’d never fully inside you, his body was pressed fully onto yours and your legs were wrapped around him. His forearms locked on either side of your head. After a few more minutes he stopped and you felt like he was entirely in your stomach. You whimpered and he took no notice. You wondered what was going to happen and then he began to move. Oh. 
“My good little girl, so needy and ready for me. You’re perfect my love, all mine. So pure.”
He started to pick up his speed, and suddenly you could feel all of him. All his ridges, veins, indentions. He closed his eyes and burrowed his head into your neck. It took you by surprise when you heard soft moans come from him. His breath matched yours. Your nails scratched his back as his pace kept picking up. Your moans and whimpers much louder than his but it fueled his desire. His arms went behind your back and lifted you from the ground, he sat you down on his cock and lifted your body up and down. 
He used you to meet his high, up and down as you plummeted his balls hit against your ass. Filthy sounds of rhythm filled the air and he continued his rampage. A sheen of sweat filled you both. Your head fell back and one of his hands fled to the top of your dress and tore your tits out. He massaged one with his free hand as he sucked on the supple flesh of the other. You cried, your wrists sore from the confinement. The other roughly captures your skin. He bit down on your pink nub, his hand falling down to circle around your clit. His lips unlatched your nipple, his salvia making the air ten times as cold. His other hand leaves your waist to shove three fingers in your mouth.
“I don’t want to hear that beast over there complain from how good I’m fucking you.”
Your tongue swirled around his fingers and he shoved them farther in the back of your throat. His tongue between his teeth as he smiled. Knowing the effect he holds on you. 
“Cum.”
Is all he said before your vision went out and your body shook against his. He gripped your hips down onto his cock. His cum spurting into you. The feeling is an odd sensation but one you grew to love. The aftershocks ran through your body and you didn’t know why, but you leaned down to kiss him. His hands went to cradle your cheeks to deepen the kiss, his teeth nipping at your swollen lips. His thumb running across your bruised jaw. He kissed your nose when he backed away, he pushed his forehead against yours. 
“I’ve missed you my love.”
He looked into your eyes to find any trace of remembrance and his heart fell into the pit of his stomach. 
“I missed you too Thor.”
You scrunched up your nose laughing at his expression. He bit your jaw. 
“I hate you.”
“I hate all of you.”
Sylvie shouted as a heap of leather on the ground sounded out. 
Loki’s head went to your shoulder and he groaned.
“Shit.”
16 notes · View notes
writing-wh0re · an hour ago
I can have one where Peter is a fuck boy and unknowingly slept with Y/N (stark) and they meet at the tower on a group meeting day. (and he in front of the avengers pretends to be innocent). Love you
All writing will be #writing-wh0re-requests.
Peter Park x Female Reader - Tony Stark's Daughter.
Words: 3,625 - longest I've ever written.
Warnings: Smut18+, Vaginal intercourse, Male and Female Performing Oral, Praise Kink, Unprotected Sex, Fuckboy Peter Parker, Angst.
A/n: I hope you enjoy this, I took three hours to write and edit this. I got a little carried away with it (I think) and I apologise for it being sooo long.
So far your senior year had been amazing, you were destined to finish top of your class which would make your dad happy and you had also been offered an internship with him, which some of your classmates thought was bullshit but hey, considering you didn’t want to go to some flashy expensive school, you were doing pretty good, even with your dad’s help.
That was until you went out to your first party with your best friend Macie, she thought it was about time you let loose and have fun. You didn’t want to go and had even told your mum and dad who only encouraged you to go out, so that plan backfired. So here you were, standing in Macie’s living room, red solo cup in your hand while dancing with your best friend, happy to have listened to her for once and let loose.
“How do you know this many people?”
Macie shakes her head “I don't know them, they’re Tyler’s friends from his school.” I nod in agreement, looking around the room for Tyler, Macie's boyfriend who is chatting with a guy I’ve never seen before. His brown slightly curly hair, puppy dog eyes and a smile that causes butterflies inside of my stomach. Macie grabs my shoulder, following my line of sight before laughing and shaking her head.
“Peter Parker.”
“Peter Parker” I repeat his name, loving the way it sounds as it falls from my lips. “He’s fucking hot.”
Macie laughs at me before nodding. “Yeah he’s alright, he goes to school with Tyler. He’s a bit of a ladies man but I don’t know too much about him.”
“He’s into science and technology?” I almost feel bad for questioning the boy's intelligence, judging him solely on his handsome appearance.
“Yeah, Tyler, Peter and a guy called Ned won their last science fair two weeks ago.” Macie informs. “Let's go say hi.” Macie grabs my arm pulling me through the body’s of unknown teenagers before we come face to face with Peter and Tyler.
“Hey babe, we were just talking about you.” Tyler pulls Macie into his side, kissing the side of her head.
My eyes fall to Peter, both of us smiling at each other. I feel my skin fall hot slightly as his eyes wander over my body. I mentally thank myself for wearing my red leather shirt and lace crop top.
“I’m Peter.”
“Y/n.” I smile before hearing someone clear their throat. Turning my attention to Macie, a cocky smirk on her face.
“Tyler and I want to play beer pong, want to join?”
“You’d have to be partners though.” Tyler quickly adds, before walking away with Macie to the table to set the game up, not even waiting for a response.
I look to my side slightly silently asking Peter if he’d like to join.
“I need words Y/n.” I take in a sharp breath at what Peter just said to me.
“Uh, would you, um like to be my partner for beer pong?” Peter licks his lips before smirking at me.
“Of course.” His hand falls to the middle of my back as he guides me to the table Tyler and Macie had just set up. Macie raises her eyebrow at me, causing me to blush and shake my head, knowing exactly what she is thinking.
“Okay so standard rules, but we haven’t decided what the winner gets yet.” Tyler states.
I watch Macie stand on her tippy toes whispering something into Tylers ear causing him to chuckle.
“Okay, the winner has to make out with their team member.”
I sigh at my best friend before nodding.
“Fine, okay.”
“Sound a little more excited.” Peter whispers, flicking his eyes from mine to my lips. I roll my eyes, ignoring his comment as Macie flips a coin.
“Heads.” I call quickly, watching Macie reveal the coin, heads being the winner.
Tyler throws Peter the ball, catching it perfectly in one swift motion.
“Fuck.” I whisper to myself, seeing him smirk slightly. He surely didn’t hear me, did he?
I stand beside Peter as he lines up the first shot, landing the ball into the cup causing Tyler to groan.
“Lucky shot.” Macie mumbles before lining up to take her shot, missing the cup as I pout.
“Awh Mace.” Macie narrows her eyes at me before flipping me off.
I grab the ball, lining up the shot, before I can let go of the ball, Peter’s hand falls to my elbow, his other placed in the middle on my back.
“Lower, otherwise you’ll miss and we want to win.” His warm breath fans my neck causing my heartbeat to pick up. I let the ball slip through my fingertips, missing the cup I was originally planning on but landing the ball in the one behind.
“That’s unfair.” Macie complains before drinking from the cup.
The game continues with us losing our lead, until the last cup for both teams. I take a deep breath, knowing it's my go and praying that I won’t miss this shot.
“Breathe, lower your arm, line it up and sink it.” Peter whispers, his lips against my ear, his hands placed on my hips. I follow his instructions, taking a breath, lowering my arm and letting go of the ball. The room feels like it slows down as the ball bounces on the table, landing into the cup.
“Good girl.”
An uncontrollable whimper leaves my lips which causes his grip on my hips to tighten, feeling my arousal pool in my panties.
“Holy shit, you won!” Macie cheers, clapping her hands as Tyler follows suit.
I don’t get a chance to respond to Macie as my body is spun around, my chest bumping into Peter’s. One of his hands cupping my cheek, the other still on my hip, his lips locking onto mine. I feel my body relax against his lips, putting my arms around his neck deepening our kiss.
Peter smiles against my lips, everyone around us whooping and hollering at our interaction. We pull away from each other, before he leans back in, quickly pecking my lips.
*Optional but I listened to this song while writing this next part*
“I love this song, Y/n come dance.” Macie almost squeals, grabbing my arm and pulling me from Peter’s embrace. “Was that as good as it looked?”
“God yes.”
Macie smiles at me before mouthing the words ‘she got that rich girl la vibe.’ gesturing to me as I flip my hair over my shoulder, laughing at my best friend. Macies hands fall to my hips, swaying to the beat with me, I place my arms around her neck singing the words with her.
Macie goes wide eyed slightly before letting go of my hips, I raise my eyebrow about to protest her actions before feeling a familiar grip. I tilt my head back, resting on his shoulder grinding my ass against his crotch, his grip tightening on my hips.
“Behave.”
I roll my eyes, spinning around in his embrace, without a second thought I lean forward, kissing up his neck before softly biting his earlobe.
“Make me.” I dont have a second to think before I’m being pulled behind Peter, a smug smile on my face. He drags me through the crowd, banging on the bathroom door before pulling me through the door with him.
His lips are instantly on mine, my back against the door, his fingertips running up and down my sides. I grab his wandering hand, placing it on my boob causing him to groan softly. I bite his bottom lip, pulling back as our eyes lock together. His lips fall to my neck, kissing and biting the skin.
“You’re fucking gorgeous.”
His compliment causes a shiver to run down my spine, my fingers running through his hair, pulling on his curly locks earning a moan from his lips. The warmth of his body leaves mine, grabbing my hips and picking me up, I softly squeal, shocked how easily he lifted me. Peter places me on the bathroom counter, tugging on top as I pull the flimsy lace fabric from my body, his lips instantly kissing my boobs, swiping his tongue across my nipple.
“Fuck.” I hiss, watching Peter pull my nipple between his teeth. Peter kisses down my body, pulling my skirt up letting it sit around my waist.
“You’re dripping for me.” Peter presses against my clit through the fabric of my g-string. I slowly rock my hips up, attempting to get some friction.
“Needy little girl.”
I whimper at his words, feeling myself become wetter by the second. A gasp falls from my lips as Peter pulls my panties to the side, blowing on my glistening heat.
“Please.” I beg, causing Peter to chuckle. He trails feather light kisses up my thighs before licking a stripe from my core to my clit. On instinct my fingers tangle in his hair, my head falling back against the mirror, mouth agape as moans and gasps fall from my lips like water.
“Yes, fuck.”
Peter slides a finger inside of me, causing my pussy to clench around the contact. His lips cover my clit, sucking on the bundle of nerves earning a hiss from me. Peter adds another finger, pumping in and out of my pussy, my hand slaps across my mouth, muffling my cries of pleasure. Peter looks up at me, using his free hand to pull my elbow.
“Let me hear you.”
I flutter my eyes closed, Peter’s lips on my thigh, sucking and biting the skin, his fingers still buried deep inside of me.
“I’m close.”
The second the words escape me, I regret them. Peter pulls away from me, standing to undress himself. Without a second thought I fall to my knees, looking up at him through my lashes.
“Naughty girl.”
My hands fall to his pants, unbuttoning his jeans before hurriedly unzipping them. I palm his cock through his underwear, a breathless moan escaping from his lips. I tug at the fabric, having his help to pull it off. His dick springs free, my breath hitching at the size of him.
I take him in my hand, pumping up and down slowly, swirling my tongue around the head. Peter bites his lip, his fingers brushing through my hair, his eyes focusing on my every move. I lick from the base to the tip before taking him fully in my mouth, bobbing my head up and down. The sounds Peter makes cause my pussy to ache, his fingers pull on my hair, helping to guide my mouth. I gag around him as he hits the back of my throat, an unholy sound falling from his lips at the contact.
Peter pulls my mouth off him, pulling me up by my arms, placing me on the counter again. I grab his cock, running it up and down my slit, causing Peter to chuckle.
“Someone’s eager.” I simply answer him by positioning his cock at my entrance, hooking my legs around his waist to pull him into me.
I moan at the feeling of him inside of me, his eyes flutter closed at the contact, moaning at the sensation.
“You feel so good.” I smirk at him, watching his eyes flick to where our bodies meet, his thumb brushing against my clit.
I pull Peter closer to me, locking our lips together as he slides in and out of me, deeper with each thrust, causing my body to tingle, the speed of his thumb picking up before slowing right back down.
I pull away from our kiss, trailing kisses down his jaw, running my tongue down his neck, sucking and biting the skin. Peter grips my ass at the contact of my lips, spanking me hard as I rack my nails down his back.
“Just like that Peter.” I whisper in his ear, softly biting his earlobe as he groans.
“Fucking so good.”
I feel the band inside of me tighten, my pussy tightening around his cock.
“Cum for me, come on baby.” My eyes roll back, shocks of electricity flowing through me, holding onto Peter tight. Peter moans against my shoulder, biting the skin before finding his own release.
Before he pulls out, Peter kisses me, holding my face in his hands.
“You’re incredible.” Blush heats up my cheeks as he pulls out of me, hissing at the loss of contact. Peter and I both get dressed quickly, walking back out to the party, moving through the crowd to find Macie and Tyler.
I lock eyes with Macie as her mouth falls open, quickly rushing over to me and pulling me away from Peter.
“You had sex.”
“Shh, don’t tell the whole party.”
Macie rolls her eyes, moving my hair over my shoulder before wincing.
“Have fun explaining that one to your dad.”
I go wide eyed slightly, turning to the hallway mirror and seeing three hickies on my neck.
“Fucking hell.”
Macie chuckles at my expense, pulling me with her to go back to Peter and Tyler. I frown my brows, Tyler now by himself.
“Uh, where did Peter go?” I question as Tyler shrugs. I quickly look around the living room, my eyes landing on Peter watching him slip out the front door without a word.
“Did he just leave?” Macie asks almost dumb founded.
“Guess so.”
“Don’t beat yourself up Y/n, just be lucky you didn’t sleep with Peter, he’s a bit of a fuckboy to be honest.” Tyler chuckles as I feel my body fall cold. Tyler looks between myself and Macie, choking on his drink slightly. “You fucked him.”
“I’m going to head home.” I mumble, Macie quickly pulling me into a hug, walking me to her front door, the same one Peter had just ducked out of.
“You can stay.”
“It’s fine Macie, I want to shower and sleep in my own bed.” Macie smiles weakly at me, pulling me into another embrace. “I’ll text you.”
Macie nods in response as I pull my phone out, calling Happy to pick me up.
--
The next morning I wake up feeling rough, hating that I mixed different alcohol’s and feeling off about having slept with a complete stranger, knowing how unlike me that is.
“Good morning Y/n, your dad would like to see you in the kitchen.” Friday’s voice bounces off my bedroom walls. I groan at the announcement, grabbing a scrunchie to throw my hair up in a messy ponytail. I quickly look over my outfit, sweatpants and a stark industries crop jumper, good enough. I grab a pair of socks before walking out onto the cold tiles.
“Friday summoned me.” I announce walking into the kitchen, seeing my dad and the avengers sitting around the table. “Oh awesome.” I whisper.
“And what time did you get home?”
“Eleven, maybe.”
I open the fridge, grabbing a bottle of water and sitting on the bench, facing everyone.
“How was the party? You’ll have to tell us everything.” Wanda smiles as I nod.
“Y/n Stark, what is that on your neck?” My dad bellows, standing up and tilting my head, looking at the hickies on my neck.
“Nothing.” I push my dad away as everyone at the table snickers.
“You did tell her to go out and party.” Steve states causing my dad to turn and point at the super soldier.
“Stay out of this Rogers.”
“She’s young Tony, let her enjoy her last few weeks of school.” Nat pipes up causing my dad to tut and sit back down.
‘Thank you.’ I mouth to Steve and Nat as they both smile and nod at me.
“So why do you look like you’re having a meeting?”
“We are welcoming a new member to the avengers.” My dad states, sipping his coffee.
“Right, so why did you want me here for that?”
“Because you haven’t met him yet and you’re both going to be interning for me in a few weeks, thought it might be good to be acquainted.” I nod in response to my dad, taking a sip of my water.
“They’re all waiting for you.” I hear Happy’s voice say as he walks into the room, all of the avengers stand and look behind me, I turn and look over my shoulder, feeling my heart beat pick up, my mouth falling dry.
“Peter.” His name falls from my lips in shock.
Peter’s eyes lock onto me as he swallows harshly.
“Peter, buddy, welcome.” My dad greets him like an old friend, his eyes moving from mine to my dads.
I feel a hand grip my forearm, a gasp pulling me out of my thoughts, I quickly pull out of the grip.
“Get out of my head Wanda.”
“He did this.” Wanda whispers gesturing to my neck, Nat and Steve both looking at me. I hold my finger to my lips, pleading with my eyes.
“How much did you see?” Nat whispers to Wanda. I don’t hear Wanda’s response as my dad calls me over to him. I quickly slip off the bench, Nat with a small smirk on her face. I sigh softly knowing they know.
“You called.”
“Peter Parker, this is my daughter Y/N Stark, she will be interning with you and is typically on our communications for missions.” My dad states as Peter puts out his hand for a headshake, I scoff before accepting his gesture.
“So what’s your ability?”
“He’s Spiderman, isn’t it great to finally put a face to the suit.” My mum says, standing next to Happy. Instantly, everything from last night makes sense, the smirk he had when I whispered, the soft touches, leaving the party abruptly. It all makes sense, he knew what he was doing. He could read me like a fucking book.
“Y/n is very fond of you, she studied your web abilities.” My dad states, causing me to run my hand down my face.
“Ah, well, maybe you should show me what you learnt and I could fill in any blanks.” Peter states, causing my dad to hum in approval.
“Why don’t you do that now while I get paperwork ready for you to sign.” My dad smiles. I feel a hand cup my shoulder, looking to the right and seeing Steve.
“Steve Rogers.”
Peter grabs his outstretched hand, wincing slightly at the grip Steve gives. I slightly elbow the super soldier, knowing Wanda told him what she saw.
“Maybe Banner should go with them, do you want a teenage boy to be left alone with your teenage daughter?” Steve asks, my dad sighs before chuckling.
“Clearly she was with a teenage boy last night, I’m sure Peter here is harmless compared to last night's company.”
I hear Nat and Wanda giggle before passing it off as something else.
“Go.” My dad instructs, I sigh, turning away from him and leading the way to the lab.
The walk to the lab is silent, only my dad’s voice bouncing off the walls asking the group why they’re being weird.
I walk over to my desk, grabbing the file on ‘Web Slinger’ and handing it to Peter.
“Take it.”
Peter’s hand brushes against mine before he grabs the file, sitting in the chair beside mine.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
I scoff, shaking my head. “Oh yeah because you gave me time to tell you.”
Peter sighs, putting the file on my desk before pulling my chair closer to him.
“Could have told me beforehand.”
“It didn’t seem to matter, how was I supposed to know who you were?”
Peter stays quiet, his eyes looking everywhere but mine.
“Not like you stayed afterwards for us to actually have a conversation.”
“I had shit to do, people to save.” Peter states, now looking at me dead in the eyes.
“Fine, I get that but couldn’t you give me your number or some way of contacting you?”
Peter once again stays quiet.
“Did you tell them? Because Captain America seems to be protective.”
I scoff, rolling my eyes. “No, I didn’t tell them. Wanda Maximoff read my mind, guess she told him.” Peter sighs before I continue, “Look, we can just forget it, okay? You’re a part of their team now and we’re just going to have to move on.”
Peter’s hand falls to my knee, his thumb rubbing against the fabric of my sweatpants.
“What if we don’t move on? What if we start something?”
“Peter, I don’t want you to feel you have to start something because I’m your boss's daughter, if you want to forget it ever happened we can.”
Peter tuts, moving his hand from my knee to my face.
“I haven’t stopped thinking about you. I meant what I said last night, you’re incredible” My heartbeat picks up, butterflies erupting inside of me causing Peter to smirk. “I have an effect on you.”
“Cocky arent you.”
Peter smirks smugly, before brushing his lips against mine.
“If you don’t want to try this, stop me.” Peter hesitates for a few seconds before I close the gap between us, kissing him. Peter’s hands move under my thighs, picking me up from the chair and placing me on my desk.
“Peter Parker!” Peter jumps away from me at the shouting of my dad’s voice. “You two have some explaining to do.”
Peter scratches the back of his neck, looking at me as I shrug lightly.
“Maximoff told me, I should have listened to Rogers, but don't tell him I said that.” My dad walks over to us, grabbing the chair Peter once sat in. “I’m listening.”
Peter takes a deep breath before explaining it all to my dad, leaving out a few details as I but in to fill any holes.
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give-me-a-moose · 2 hours ago
Text
Eyes On Me
Fandom: The Avengers/MCU
Relationship: Loki/Fem!Reader (Charmspeaker!Reader)
Words: 2,119
Summary: You ask the other Avengers for advice on how to better control your emotions and your powers. That goes about as well as expected. (TW: Panic attacks)
Charmspeaker Collection
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~*~*~*~*~
The first person you went to was Wanda. Since you both had similar powers, you thought she might have some advice to give you. 
“Well, I think I ground myself through the people I care about.” she said after thinking about it, “When I feel like I am about to lose control I remind myself of the people I care about and how what I am doing is affecting them.” 
It made sense when you thought of it. Wanda had lost a lot in her life already, so of course she would be grateful for the people she still had. She would want to keep herself in control so that she would not hurt them. Thinking of them would ground her in a way nothing else could. 
You tried to think about Loki and Thor, and Wanda, and Bruce. Even Tony. But, when you focused on them, all you could feel was guilt. Guilt for the things you had done, and all the things you could still do to them. It did not bring you peace like Wanda said it would. It did not help you feel more in control. If anything, you felt yourself spiraling further down. 
God forbid anything happened to the people you love. Then you would have no reason to not break down. If the only things you could feel were loss and suffering, you would lose it. You could lose control and potentially hurt many people. Maybe it could ground you now, but you knew you could not rely solely on other people for your emotional control. 
You shook your head. Wanda’s methods were not for you.
~*~*~*~*~
Bruce was the next logical choice. While his ability was different from yours, it relied on self-control. If he got angry, he would lose control. He had to work to control his anger, so surely he had a plethora of tips. In all honesty, you probably should have gone to Bruce first. Dear, sweet Bruce. You asked him how he dealt with his emotions.
“I am angry all the time.” he responded, “The ancients believed that sometimes the best cure is a little bit of the poison. Since I’m always a little bit angry, I can better handle situations that make me mad and deal with them in increments. Suppressing the emotion would lead to far worse explosions.” 
God, he made a lot of sense. His method was probably the most logical you had heard so far. But, your power did not come from anger. If anything, it came from your fear. It was a defense, a reflex you leaned on when you were scared. Does that mean you should be afraid all the time? You couldn’t live your life like that. Not again. 
The idea of constantly being afraid of yourself made you feel like you would go insane. Who could live like that?
~*~*~*~*~
Tony was...well Tony was there. You were starting to run out of options, and he was around. You asked him how he dealt with his feelings and maintaining control over them. 
“I don’t.” he answered honestly, “Kid, why do you think I have like a hundred of these suits? I don’t deal with anything in a healthy manner.” 
That didn’t help at all. If anything, know you were even more worried about Tony. You really shouldn’t have expected anything else from him. Also, he should probably sleep more often. 
~*~*~*~*~
You got all this advice from all your friends and none of it seemed to work. Suppress your feelings. Don’t suppress them! Rely on your loved ones! Rely only on yourself. It was exhausting being pulled in so many different directions. You were starting to feel scattered. Oh you did not like that feeling. 
“Darling, did you hear a word I just said?” Loki’s smooth voice broke through your thoughts. He looked at you as he sat cross legged on the floor across from you. Luckily, he did not seem annoyed, only concerned. 
“I’m sorry.” you sighed, burying your face into your hands. Leave it to you to zone out when Loki had offered to show you an Asgardian meditation technique, “I’m really sorry.”
“Don’t apologize. Where did you do just now?” he asked, gently. He was always gentle with you when you got stuck inside your own head. Usually you appreciated it, but right now it was the last thing you wanted. 
You shook your head, “Can we talk about it later? I really want to focus on this right now.” 
“Of course.” Loki smiled at you, “As I was saying…” 
Loki repeated his explanation. It seemed simple enough. It was an ancient technique to ground yourself after a battle or an intense use of powers. It was a way to handle adrenaline rushes and lessen the come down effects. With a few modifications, Loki had developed a preventative method for you. Something to help you calm down when you felt your emotions spiraling out of control. God, he was so sweet and caring. You didn’t deserve him. You quickly tried to shake the thoughts away. This was no time to get distracted. 
You closed your eyes and tried to focus on your heartbeat. However, your thoughts from earlier would not go away. With nothing else to focus on, your thoughts became louder and more insistent. You thought about how much of a failure you were. You thought about what a horrible person you were. You thought about how undeserving you were. You could feel your heart racing. 
“Sweetheart?” you could faintly hear Loki’s voice. It was far away. Distant compared to the loud thudding in your ears.
No one would love you if they knew what you’ve done. You’ve already hurt the person you loved. Sure, he says he forgives you but he knows now. He knows you’re a monster. You’re just a scared little girl. A disgrace. 
It was getting harder to breathe. Were you dying? 
“Y/N!” You felt hands on your arms squeezing you tightly, “Eyes on me!” 
Loki did not have your powers of compulsion, but the commanding tone of his voice was just as effective in that moment. You opened your eyes instantly, immediately looking Loki in the eyes. He rarely ever used that tone of voice with you. Your breathing was ragged. 
“I think you’re having a panic attack.” his eyebrows furrowed as he examined your face. 
You couldn’t help the choked laugh. Of course you would have a panic attack during a mediation session. That seemed so fitting. You even failed at taking a few moments to be calm. 
“Try to breathe for me, my love.” Loki instructed you, breathing deeply himself to demonstrate what he wanted. 
You did your best to mimic him, and after a while you could feel your heart beat slow to a more sustainable beat. You closed your eyes and sighed as you felt yourself return to normal. Or well, close to normal at least. 
“Are you ready to talk about what that was?” he asked, as his hands moved up and down your arms. You knew it was his attempt at calming you, or maybe he was trying to calm himself. It couldn’t have been fun to witness your little freak out. 
You wanted to shut down and clamp your mouth shut. That’s what you would normally do when you felt like this. You could just pull away and excuse yourself. He wouldn’t make you stay and talk if you didn’t want to. He might argue that it would be good for you to talk about it, but he would let you go. But, he would be hurt. The last thing you wanted to do was hurt him. . 
You took a deep breath, so that you could explain what was going on. But once you started talking, you found that you could not stop. You had spent years carefully considering every word that came out of your mouth, as if your words were a rare currency. Now they were spilling out of your mouth like an endless current of water. That was not a feeling you were accustomed to.
“Wanda said I should think about the ones I love, but that just makes me feel more confused, not grounded. Bruce said I should embrace my feelings and make them a part of me, but I don’t want to be scared all the time. And Tony, well Tony was just concerning. Then I started thinking about how worried I am about him and that didn’t help me at all. Then you said I should try and clear my head and that clearly didn’t work.”
Loki listened to you with wide eyes, “My love, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I need some context please.”
You sighed and took a shaky breath in. Word vomit was not helping, as good as it felt to share all your thoughts, “I’ve been asking people how they manage their emotions and none of it was helpful for me.” 
“Ah.” Loki nodded with a small smile, “Asking a team of traumatized superheroes for emotion regulation tips didn’t go so well?” 
“When you say it like that…” you trailed off, feeling foolish. 
He took your hands in his, “May I make a suggestion?”  
“Of course.” you nodded.
“You are going on this journey, because you want to have control over your powers, yes? Well, I think perhaps that is too vague of a goal. Maybe it would help if you had something specific in mind?” he asked, squeezing your hands. 
“Like what?” immediately squeezing his hands back.  
“That’s up to you.” he shrugged, “You’ve shown that you have the ability to shape and grow your powers, but you’ve been worried about what other people want from you. What do you want?”
You paused. No one had ever asked you that before. Your powers were always used in service of other people. What you wanted had almost never been a concern. What did you want? What would you most like to change about your powers? You were growing stronger, but that was what you feared. What would bring you more peace?
“I hate that my powers affect everyone in a certain radius. I would like to be able to target them.” you thought out loud. 
Loki hummed a little as he thought about it, “That could work. Would that make you feel more secure in using your powers?” 
You nodded, “I think so.” 
“You’ve likened your power to electricity before. As in, how it feels when you use it.” Loki mused, “Like lightning?”
You tilted your head at him, “Yes, why?
“Sadly, my magic feels more fluid, so I doubt I will be of much help.” Loki sighed heavily, “As much as I hate to say it, you might want to talk to Thor about that. His ability to harness lightning might mean he will be more helpful than I would be in this case.” 
You squeezed Loki’s hands a little tighter this time, “You have been incredibly helpful already. Just by being here.” 
Loki gave you a small smile and kissed the back of your hand, “I will always be here for you, my love.” 
“I know.” you grinned before crawling into his lap and wrapping your arms around him, “Thank you.” 
“You must stop thanking me.” Loki wrapped his arms around you, hugging you tightly against his chest. You didn’t need to see his face to know that fond smile was on his lips. 
You both sat there, holding each other in silence. You felt a sense of calm you had been deprived of all week long. You could feel yourself relax in Loki’s arms. 
“Are you falling asleep on me already?” He asked incredulously, “It’s barely noon.”
“Panic attacks are hard work.” you nuzzled your face into his neck, “I’m exhausted.”
“Darling, my bed is only a few steps away. Surely you would sleep better there.” he tried to reason with you. 
You shook your head against his neck, “Feel safer here.” 
Loki felt his heart melt at your words. You felt safe with him. Recovering from an anxiety driven spiral, and you felt comforted in his arms. He couldn’t help but smile as he tucked you a little closer to his body. 
“Alright. Ten minutes.” 
“Twenty minutes.” you argued. 
“Fifteen.” he offered. 
“Thirty.” 
“That’s not how negotiations work.” Loki’s hand rested on the back of your head, gently massaging your scalp. You almost purred at the sensation. 
“Forty-five and that’s my final offer.” you mumbled. 
“I can’t reason with you when you get like this.” Loki chuckled, “Sleep, my love.” 
And you did. The last thing you felt as you drifted off were Loki’s lips pressed against your hair.
~*~*~*~*~
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wlwmarvelenthusiast · 2 hours ago
Text
One For Another
Summary: When Tony breaks protocol and contacts you during an undercover operation, you know it must be bad. You return home to find that Natasha, your fiancée of three years, has gone missing.
Pairings: Natasha x Reader
Warnings: language, blood, graphic torture scenes, implications of animal death, dark themes
Word Count: 21,284
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It was a harsh pounding at the door of your small apartment that shook you from a restful sleep. You rubbed your eyes with your left hand, while your right reached out to your night side table. You pulled open the top drawer and closed your hand around the grip of your gun. Retrieving it from within the nightstand, you swung your legs off the side of the bed. Your feet landed inside your sneakers, and you approached the door slowly. You knew better than to look through the peephole. It was practically a target for some of these guys. You opened the door, moving away from the open doorway.
"Rivera, what the fuck?" You grumbled, letting him in. "You couldn't at least give me until the sun came up?"
"The sun is up."
You glanced out the window. It seemed you and Rivera had two very different definitions of the sun being up. There was an orange glow emanating from somewhere below the horizon. You let go of the blinds, letting them swing back into place as you set your gun down on the nightstand. You moved toward the closet, grabbing a black button-up. You took off your pyjama shirt and slid the sleeves of the shirt on, doing up the buttons to your mid-chest as you turned back to Rivera.
"So, why the hell are you waking me up at an hour that any sane person might call ungodly?" You said, sliding off your pyjama shorts and tossing them somewhere on the floor, jumping into a pair of ripped black jeans.
Rivera's eyes didn't even drift. He didn't play like that. "The boss is looking for you."
"Boss couldn't have called me himself?" You scoffed as you tucked your shirt in. "You bend over backwards for that motherfucker, you know that?"
"Watch yourself, Kicks."
Of course, Kicks wasn't your real name. Neither was Dani Lewis Reed, as he thought it was. Kicks was the nickname you'd been given after showing up at a meeting and having your shoes absolutely ruined by the blood that ran down your legs after being shot in the thigh. Dani, however, was the undercover name you'd been assigned after S.H.I.E.L.D. had tossed you into this undercover gig nine months ago. You hated Dani.
"Watch myself?" You rolled your eyes, a confident aura floating around you. "Without me, this entire operation falls apart. What would the boss think of that? Face it, Rivera. I'm not expendable."
Rivera huffed. He glanced over at you. "Let's get a move on."
"Can I go take a damn piss, man? Jeez. Get out of my apartment, I'll meet you in the car."
Rivera only nodded. He exited the apartment, shutting the door behind him. You groaned, brushing your teeth quickly and fixing your hair. You grabbed the gun once more, shoving it into the waistband of your pants. The metal was cool again the small of your back. You clipped a golden chain around your neck and then finally grabbed your leather jacket and exited the apartment as well. Rivera was in his Mercedes in the parking lot, tapping his fingers against the steering wheel impatiently. You jumped in the passenger seat.
"Where are we headed?" You asked, pressing one of your shoes against the dashboard.
"The club."
The Club. Of course you were going to the club. When weren't you going to the club? The club was owned by your boss, a man by the name of Renato Rinaldi. His favourite pastimes were women, whiskey, and weapons trafficking. It was that last thing that you were interested in. He was the biggest in the game. His deals weren't confined to the borders of any country, and he was putting everyone in danger. You were there to find a way to stop that.
To Rinaldi and his crew, you were their United States connection. Deals inside the country were practically impossible without your help. That much was true. Without you, Rinaldi would have had to spend months finding a trustworthy connection within the country that knew enough other connections to help get his weapons through the border, and other back out to him. Then, you were the one who knew the people in the States who could clean the money for him. Without you, there was no business with the States... and they were a big customer for guns.
Still, you hadn't collected enough. You had enough to get Rinaldi, but that wouldn't be the end of the operations. For now, it was your job to figure out what was going where, and to put an end to it. When S.H.I.E.L.D. figured out how to get rid of the threat for good, then you'd be able to take down Rinaldi. You'd only just gained his trust enough to become his U.S. liaison, and it had already been near a year. At this point, you weren't sure just when the hell you were going to get home. You'd practically forgotten where Kicks ended and you started. There was only one piece of yourself that you were absolutely sure of. Her name was Natasha Romanoff.
It was nearly seven years ago, now, that you met her. It was just another S.H.I.E.L.D. mission. You and Clint were sent to locate and take out a target: KGB agent Natalia Romanova. Hits weren't usually the go-to method of apprehension (or in this case, lack of apprehension), but the assassin was dangerous. The director hadn't wanted to unnecessarily risk any of his own agents' lives on bringing her in. That was why they'd ordered the hit as opposed to an apprehension order or even a 'wanted dead or alive'. As it would turn out, you didn't care much about the order.
You weren't entirely sure what it was. Clint wasn't either. Something about Natalia Romanova made you hesitate. It made you both hesitate. You were, after a few days of persuasion, able to convince her to come back. S.H.I.E.L.D. could never resist the addition of a new agent as strong as this one. After extensive questioning and deciding it was legit, Natasha Romanoff, as she called herself, became an official agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in New York. The director had told you he had to impose consequences for disobeying a direct order. It had been a paid two-week suspension. You and Clint had taken a weeklong camping trip.
After that, the director hadn't hesitated to pair you up with the new agent. It was you that had recruited her, after all. Then during assignment after assignment and mission after mission, you'd found you had enjoyed the company of the Russian. After an extended undercover operation, she'd told you about her past. You got closer. Then one day, when she'd been shot during a mission by the infamous Winter Soldier, you'd realized you had feelings for her. You'd confessed that a few weeks later. She'd confessed her own back.
Your first date was a disaster, to put it lightly. The picnic basket you'd packed had tumbled to the ground when you'd been hit by a damn car on the street. You'd given up on that and had stopped at one of New York's famous food trucks before heading to your secret picnicking spot. You'd lay down the blanket, beckoned her to sit beside you, taken one single bite of your food, and then your phones had both started ringing as if the world were going to end. It seemed S.H.I.E.L.D. emergencies were never at a convenient time. You'd both rushed to the site, where you'd gotten stabbed and rushed to the hospital. Natasha had laughed and called you a big baby.
"It's not even life-threatening. Were the theatrics really necessary?" She'd teased.
You'd gotten fixed up and refused to stay the night for observation. Natasha had hesitantly offered you a hand as you both walked toward the exit. You'd threaded your fingers through hers, a small smile crawling across your lips. Courage had been building up in your gut as you walked, and when you opened up the doors and the unsterile, outside air hit your lungs, you used her hand to pull her close so that you could press your lips against hers with as much passion as you could muster.
You didn't need a perfect date. You asked her to be your girlfriend right then and there.
It'd been almost six years since then. It'd been three since she proposed on the night where you'd been a sweating mess with a ring in your left pocket. Needless to say, you'd said yes (and so had she). Despite the six years between the two of you, you'd be surprised if you'd actually been there with her for three. With the amount of undercover time you undertook, it wasn't uncommon for you to be away from her for months at a time. There was always something that needed to be dealt with.
Now was one of those times. Rinaldi was one of those people that needed to be dealt with. That meant you were craving the touch of Natasha's lips against yours and the sound of her voice and the very feeling of her presence. Being apart from her felt how it did every time. Every feeling of comfort had been ripped away from you, and that everlasting feeling of irrational safety you felt at her side was unthinkable. You'd been away from her already for both your birthdays, Christmas, and Valentine's Day. You'd managed to find a safe way to ship her a Christmas gift a month late. You wanted this to be over and to go home to her.
You were finally tugged away from memories of Natasha when the car pulled into the lot at the club. You pulled the visor down to fix your hair in the mirror as Rivera maneuvered the car into the nearest spot. You waited until the car was in park before you stepped out, waiting very impatiently for the man in the driver's seat. He finally opened up his own door and stepped out, locking the car behind him. You gave him an urgent look, which went entirely ignored.
"If you put any more gel in your hair, Leo, you might actually drown in it," you quipped.
Once more, he ignored you.
On either side of the door, there were two big, burly men in all black suits, arms crossed over their chests. The smaller one couldn't have been any less than 6'5" and 250 pounds. Neither of them intimidated you in the least, though. In fact, you'd been the one to find and hire them both. Your last bouncers had mysteriously disappeared after they'd made the mistake of trying to pocket a bit of cash from inside. They knew you well and didn't say a single word as they opened the doors for you. You only winked at them in thanks. Rivera stepped in behind you and the doors shut, leaving you alone with him in the large, empty room.
The club had yet to open, as you much preferred. The club only ever drew in young, horny people. Moving through the club during those times was almost impossible. There were always people all over and it was rare that you could squeeze through without some hormonal young adult trying to grab you or Rivera, who you were often with. Even when you'd walk with your heads down, a girl would latch onto his arm and drunkenly slur something about a dance. He would never give a verbal response, most often just shoving them off lightly.
You reached the back in no time. You adjusted your shirt once more before you unlocked the door with the pin that had been assigned to you. A bunch of the other guys were in there, and you nodded your head in acknowledgment. You locked eyes with Rinaldi, winking at him as his eyes trailed down to the golden pendant that rested against the bare skin on your chest. His gaze snapped back to the papers he was supposed to be looking at with the man that stood beside him.
"You enjoy leading him on, don't you?"
"Me? Leading who on?" You asked with faux innocence, glancing over at Siu as Rivera left your side.
You knew exactly what she was talking about. There was a reason you left your shirt unbuttoned five buttons down. It was likely the reason that you were able to move through the ranks so quickly. Rinaldi had always had an eye for you, and you'd made sure to keep it that way. It wasn't unknown throughout Rinaldi's people the relationship the two of you had. You would flirt and he would chase and he absolutely doted on you, but it never went past that. You wondered if you'd have been back in Nat's arms already if you had let it go further. Would he have given you more information if you just let him have his way with you? You didn't entertain that thought.
"You leading Rinaldi on," Siu huffed. "Kicks, he's going to want more one day."
"I'm spoken for," you chuckled, crossing your arms over your chest. "Rinaldi knows that."
"And knowing that you go at it with a woman? Do you know how much more that tempts him?"
"Gross."
You knew that you had that in your favour as well. Telling these guys as much truth as you could helped you keep up with your own lies. It made less for you to memorize in order to cover for yourself. As such, they knew you had a fiancée, they knew it was long distance, and they knew she was in America for work. They didn't know she was a fed because they didn't know you were a fed. That was the part that you had to lie about.
"Kicks!"
At the call of your name, your attention turned away from Siu and to the voice. Rinaldi was waving you over to the table he sat at. You gave one more cocky grin to Siu before you moved away from her, stepping up to the table. Rinaldi motioned to one of the chairs. You saw down, crossing one leg over the other and leaning forward with interest. He didn't even bother to hide, this time, the way he admired your body before he finally spoke.
"The date for the U.S. deal has been pushed up. Manufacturing and obtaining issues."
You couldn't help your heart dropping at that. You wouldn't be done here as soon as the deal with that one gang was done. You wouldn't be done for a long time. This extension, though, made it that much longer before you were back in the arms of Natasha Romanoff. You were able to hide your disappointment, though. Instead of an upset frown, you let a scowl cross your features. You were upset you couldn't see your fiancée. Kicks was angry that her deal wasn't going as planned.
"What the hell, Renato? This is the second time you've pushed up one of mine. Why don't you pick on Ademar or Gabriel for once?"
"Look. You're our biggest export and we don't have the numbers. Just give me a couple of months. Until then you know where you've got to be."
You were about to retort when your phone buzzed loudly in your pocket. You froze. No one called you on this phone. This was Kicks' phone. The only people that called Kicks were Rinaldi and the rest of his people. His people were here. There was no one that had any reason to call you and yet your phone was ringing. You reached into your pocket and didn't even bother to retrieve your phone before declining the call. You cleared your throat.
"Where I've got to be, is-"
The phone rang again. Again, you declined it without looking. At this point, eyebrows were starting to raise around the table. Kicks wasn't the only one who was angry, now. You wanted whoever was calling you to stop. Your blood was starting to boil. Only S.H.I.E.L.D. had this number and whichever agent thought it was funny to give you a call and potentially blow your cover was going to get an earful when you went home.
"You sure you don't need to get that?"
"I'm sure," you grumbled, declining a third time.
"It might be that sweetheart of yours," teased another man at the table.
When the phone rang a fourth time, you snarled in frustration. You ripped the phone out of your jacket pocket, holding up a finger as you took a few steps away from the table. You knew you'd still have to be careful. You were in a room full of people who thought you were one of them. If this S.H.I.E.L.D. agent blew your cover and you didn't die, you planned on killing them in ways they couldn't have even imagined. You glanced down to see a name you didn't expect flashing on the screen.
Anthony Edwards. Tony Stark.
"Anthony, what have I said about calling me while I'm working?" You hissed through clenched teeth, hoping to get across to be cool.
"It's kind of an emergency, Dani," he tried. "Melissa and Avery had an accident."
Melissa and Avery. That was code. Someone in the Avengers was missing. The Avengers were family. They'd become family when you'd fought off literal aliens in New York. You would do anything for any one of them and the fact that Tony had called you when he knew full well you were deep undercover meant they were desperate. He would surely get an earful from Fury, who refused to let anyone have any sort of contact with you. You were only allowed to talk to Natasha on a second cell phone she'd taken out under the name Natalia Rutherford. But Tony had somehow gained access to your number and called.
You tried not to look too frazzled in front of Rinaldi and the others and simultaneously tried to stop the many worst-case scenarios from getting the better of you. A subtle deep breath helped you with that. Your chest rose and fell at a normal pace and your palms remained dry. The only sign that you were nervous was that you paced back and forth to try and calm your nerves a little, sticking a hand in your pocket so you could clench your fist tight.
"What happened?"
"They crashed Avery's Nissan."
Nissan. N for Natasha. Natasha was missing and the situation was desperate enough for Tony to call your undercover phone. He wouldn't do that for nothing. You tried not to let your imagination run wild. Natasha was strong. She was fine. She had to be. Tony was just calling to let you know. She was your fiancée, after all. You had a right to know something like that. You took a deep breath, maintaining a straight face.
"They gonna be okay?"
"You should get down here."
"Yeah."
You hung up on him. Your stomach was churning uncomfortably. You shoved the phone back into your pocket, striding back to the table where you'd been sitting only a moment earlier. You were getting strange looks from each person sitting there, but you couldn't have cared less at the moment. Natasha Romanoff was missing. She was in danger. It seemed to be all you could think about. You fought hard to stay in character as you opened your mouth to speak.
"I've got some family issues back home I've got to deal with," you stated bluntly. "My deal's been pushed up anyway, huh?"
"It has. Everything alright?"
"Family troubles. My nieces," you shrugged as if it were nothing. "But I've got to get back to the States for a while. Not long."
Rinaldi trusted you just enough. You'd worked hard to earn that. He nodded and you pocketed your phone, catching the keys to Rivera's Mercedes when Rinaldi had the other man toss them to you, promising they'd pick it up at the hangar that evening. Kicks was cool and collected. You winked once more at the men around the table, twirled the keys around your finger, and made from the room, taking a casual pace to the Mercedes.
You hopped in, shut the door, and started the ignition. You even let the car warm up before you pulled out of the lot and out onto the street. You knew full well you were being tailed to the hangar. You breathed steadily, whispering reassurances aloud to yourself, keeping the car at a reasonable speed. It was too long before you were pulling up to the hangar. The grey Alfa Romeo that had been a few cars behind you the last little while made right past the large gates you were driving through.
Rinaldi had a few jets with a few pilots. One of them had been called and met you there. You climbed onto the luxurious jet, sitting in one of the seats and immediately downing a glass of scotch to try and keep your breathing under control and your nerves from spiralling so hard that Rinaldi's pilot noticed your strange behaviour. The plane took off and you sat back with headphones in your ears, eyes shut, and brain racing through the millions of possibilities. Your breathing stayed steady.
It was a while before the jet landed. The pilot waved you off, letting you know that he was only there for a refuel before he had to pick someone up and bring them back to Rinaldi. You knew that would likely be the case anyway. You got a rideshare from the hangar and had them bring you to an old long-term lot. You got your car and drove in the direction opposite the hospital. You knew not all of Rinaldi's men fully trusted you, and the blue sedan three cars back proved just that. You pulled over in a secluded alley.
Behind you, you watched the sedan pull up beside the alley. You groaned aloud, turning off the car, grabbing the gun from the glove compartment, and jumping stepping out. You approached the sedan where it was parked, thoroughly annoyed. You tapped the butt of the gun against the glass, making very clear that you knew they were following you. Defeatedly, the guy in the driver's seat rolled down the window.
"Hi. I assume Renato sent you?" You said, raising one eyebrow. "Actually, I take that back. He trusts me. So, who sent you then? Tullins?"
Tullins was one of your associates within the business. You'd managed to make yourself well liked throughout the ranks, but Tullins had always hated you. He had never trusted you one bit. It wasn't his approval you sought, though. It was Rinaldi's. Tullins was a bit player, and he didn't matter. Still, he made living in peace difficult, with his constant tails and his snarky comments throughout the day. Now, he'd sent these guys with you all the way to America.
"I'll take your silence to be a yes," you said when you were met with blank stares. "Look, I'll give you boys two options. Option one is I pay you more than he is, and you fuck off. Option two, I tell Rinaldi that Tullins is having you follow me, and then you likely get him and shit and yourselves killed. There is only one correct choice here."
They made the right choice. They gave you the number and you doubled it. With nothing more than a nod of acknowledgment, they drove off, leaving you alone in the alley. You sighed in relief, heading back to your car. Deciding not to risk it, though, you tore the plate off, and left the car in the alley. You took the bus the rest of the distance, watching carefully for any more followers you might have gained. You didn't notice any.
Finally, you began to near the compound. You finished off your journey on foot, sure, now, that you weren't being followed. You'd checked your own clothes for any trackers as well. The last thing you needed, on top of your fiancée missing, was blowing your undercover operation as well. You were practically sprinting by the time the building came into your line of sight. You burst in the door and raced up to the war room.
Tony didn't say anything when he saw you. He simply closed the distance to you, bringing you into a tight hug. You were able to hug him back as you glanced at the picture of Natasha on the screen over his shoulder. You felt a hand grip your arm and when you pulled away from Tony, you noticed Clint behind you. Steve, Bruce, and Thor all whispered a quiet hello to you as if a loud sound might break you.
"What do we know?" You demanded.
Steve hesitated, but you gave him a sharp look. "Not much. We've got no ransom demands and no evidence as to who took her. S.H.I.E.L.D., local P.D., and even the F.B.I. have got people looking for her, but we've got nothing."
You didn't care about that. "Where was she taken from? Has the scene been cleaned up?"
Steve glanced over at Tony, then back at you. "Your condo. It's still a crime scene. Nothing has been touched."
You reached into Clint's pocket and took his car keys. You left the room without a word of explanation. You heard Steve bark a few orders, and then Clint and Tony were following you. You still hadn't said a word to either of them by the time you arrived at the elevator, and you were hitting the button to the parking garage. When the doors slid closed, you finally turned your attention to the two Avengers that were following you.
"Nat and I live dangerous lives. We have our own... protocols, for lack of a better word, for what to do under various situations. They're things no one else would think to look for."
"Like?"
"I'll know when I see it."
When the door opened, you were immediately headed to Clint's BMW. You climbed into the driver's seat, turned the car on, and drove away without waiting for it to warm up. Either Clint was as worried as you were, or he sympathized with you, because he made no comment on the potential damage to his precious car. You were thankful for that. Your heart was racing inside your chest. You weren't sure if you'd have been able to take a snide comment.
You peeled onto the street, continuing well above the speed limit toward the condo you shared with the Russian. There were no cops in sight, thankfully, as you held that speed until you had arrived at your destination. You slammed on the brakes in the parking lot, the car nowhere near a proper parking spot. There was no time for that, and leaving it where it was would give you a quicker escape when you were done here. You needed to see what Natasha had tried to tell you. She wouldn't have gone without leaving the clues you had both agreed upon.
Deeming the stairs faster than the elevator, you whirled the door open. You skipped two stairs at a time up to the second floor, where you proceeded to jog down the carpeted halls and to your room. You used the key on Clint's keychain, still having none of your own personal effects on you. The only thing you had was Kicks' cell phone, keys, and gun. None of those things were doing you any good right then.
You noticed her first message right away.
"There," you said, pointing and then moving to it. "The coins."
There was a small pile of coins on the floor, a small white cup, originally a candle holder, on the floor next to it. You knelt down, carefully examining the coins on the floor. Clint and Tony stopped next to you. You didn't even have to glance up at them to be able to tell that they were looking at you like you'd gone insane. Without her, you might, but you hadn't yet. You finally glanced up at them, pointing to the coins again.
"Yeah. There was a fight," Clint said gently. "Figure this must've been knocked off the table."
"Right," you said. "But look."
You pointed. There were two other candle holders as well: a grey one and a black one. Both contained a small handful of silver coins. Beside them was a bowl of other coins. All three of the containers seemed to have gone completely undisturbed during the fight. Only the white one had been overturned, and that was no accident. These coins were code for what had happened. It was something long agreed upon between your fiancée and you.
"Okay, so? They only knocked one over."
You huffed. "The white container means it was an actual kidnapping. It's not for a mission and she hadn't gone underground," you explained. Then you pointed out two copper coins in the pile. "Two pennies means there were two attackers. This 5-ruble coin means... it was one of my ops."
You didn't dare touch the coins on the floor. It was still an active crime scene. But the dread and guilt that filled your heart when you realized this was your fault could have pulled you through the floor. The people who had attacked her and taken her wanted revenge because of you. They were part of one of your operations. You'd probably been undercover and pissed someone off and somehow, they had found you back home and found the people you loved.
"Hey. Hey, this is not your fault," Tony said it as if he'd read your mind. "We're going to find her. You guys are smart, and you gave us these leads."
You tried to assure yourself of that. She'd be okay. Soon enough she'd be home and in your arms. That was the only thought in your head that could calm you. It was the idea that, sooner than later, you'd find Natasha safe and sound and she'd come home in be in your arms. You wouldn't hesitate to abandon your current undercover operation for that. You kept that image in your head, not daring to even imagine the alternative.
The code in the coins was going to help you guys find her. Her message had told you two people from one of your ops had come here and they'd attacked her. If it was your current op, then there were three immediate possibilities you could think of. One was that Rinaldi had figured out who you were, he had found Natasha, and he was punishing you by taking it out on her. That was how these guys worked. Two was that you'd outshone someone in Rinaldi's ranks and your success was pissing them off and they'd dug so deep into Kicks that they'd found you. Tullins would do something like that. The last option was that you'd pissed someone else off. A customer, maybe. Whatever had happened, you were determined to figure it out and get your fiancée back.
"Okay," you breathed out. "I've got some people I need to talk to."
*
"Come on, Siu. You really know nothing?"
"I don't know anything, Kicks. As far as I know, Rinaldi loves you," Siu said through the phone. She paused. "What the hell did you say happened?"
"I've got nothing definitive, but my nieces get in an accident and then, what? Two days later I find out my lady is missing? There's going to be some serious hell to pay when I figure out who did this."
"I don't doubt it. I'll call you if I find anything, yeah?"
"Thanks."
You hung up. Despite what she did for a living and who she worked for, you trusted Siu. She was the only one you fully trusted from your undercover operation. If anyone were up to anything and Siu knew about it, she would have told you the minute you asked. As it had turned out, she didn't know anything. She hadn't cursed you out either, which meant that whoever had managed to find out about your true life had yet to make it known.
Through the glass window at the compound, you shot Tony a thumbs down. He was standing in the next room in front of a screen, he and Jarvis working hard to run facial recognition through every photo that they could get their hands on. If she'd gone under any traffic or security camera or ended up in the background of some teenager's social media post, they would find it. From the looks of it, though, they were having about as much luck as you.
You took a deep breath as you looked down at the phone and dialled once more. Once the phone started ringing in the headset over your ears, you stuck it back into your pocket. You folded your hands behind your back and stared through the window, watching hundreds of pictures being scanned at once in the other room. Your attention was only torn from it when you heard a click, indicating that someone on the other line had picked up.
"Renato," you said, speaking first.
That seemed to get Tony's attention, even through the wall. He moved toward the glass door, opening it so he could hear more of the conversation. You didn't dare put the phone on speaker, though.
"Kicks," he replied. "How's everything?"
"Not great," you told him. "My dog is missing."
Rinaldi did not trust phones in the slightest, and he was probably right not to. Not only was he afraid of people tapping the lines, but he was afraid of someone on the other end of the line being in the presence of people he didn't need to hear. As such, every message spoken through a phone line was coded. A dog was always code for a significant other, whereas a cat would have referred to kids. It wasn't uncommon for families to be targeted.
"When?" He said.
"She got out the back door a few nights ago." She was kidnapped a few nights ago.
"Do you need help finding her?" Do you need me to place a hit on whoever took her?
"I'll handle it," you said simply. "I just needed you to know I'll probably be back later than I said. Do you know when Arlo is going to be in town? I don't want to miss him." When is my deal happening? I'll be there.
"I'll give you a call. Good luck, Kicks."
It wasn't much of a conversation, but you'd spent enough time with him to know when he was telling the truth. If he'd been the one to take Natasha, you'd have heard it in his voice, and he'd never have offered that hit. Knowing that it wasn't him, though, your mind wandered back to Tullins. Siu was smart, and she'd have known if he was up to something. Immediately upon receiving your call, she asked why he'd sent his men to follow you all the way back to the states.
It wasn't Tullins, and, as you'd just confirmed, it wasn't Rinaldi. The only option left that you could think of was that it was a disgruntled customer or one of Rinaldi's enemies. You couldn't stop to wonder if it was a past undercover mission. You had to assume it was current. Too much could take too long and Natasha might not have that kind of time. You had to take this chance. You couldn't risk taking too long.
One more call.
But you were only halfway through dialling Rivera when a blocked number phoned you. Your eyebrows furrowed at the screen. You stared at it for so long, in fact, that the answer button disappeared. You almost panicked. The call very well might have been related to Nat's disappearance, or it might have been one of Rinaldi's men calling you back to let you know that they knew something. Before sheer dread could set in, though, an unknown number had sent you a text.
These coordinates. Tonight, 8 pm. Come alone or she dies.
You knew that wasn't an empty threat. These men didn't make empty threats. They didn't even know the meaning of empty threat. You grabbed a pen and wrote the coordinates on the inside of your forearm and then deleted any trace of the text message. Tony had taught you a bit of nerdy stuff. No one would be able to find the text even if they searched through your phone's deleted history.
It was 6:57.
You looked up the coordinates on your phone. Once you'd found them, you printed a small map, marking the location on it. You cleared your history once again, smashing your phone against the corner of a nearby table and dumping the remnants into the trash. You glanced back and forth in the hall before you exited the room. You need to go, and you needed to go soon. It was a forty-two-minute drive to the location they'd indicated.
It was 7:01.
"Where are you headed?"
You almost jumped at the sound of Steve's voice. You managed to keep your feet rooted to the floor as you took a calming breath, turning slowly to face the super-soldier. His gaze was locked onto the keys that were clutched in your hand. It snapped up to you when you cleared your throat just to catch his attention. You plastered a half-smile on your face, not wanting to seem too happy when your fiancée was still missing.
"I'm just going to get some things from my place," you lied easily.
"Bruce can go with you."
"That's okay," you insisted, almost too quickly. "I'll be back soon."
When you were undercover, you were able to lie your ass off with no issue. When you were with Steve, it seemed that ability took a day off. He eyed you up and down. It was as if he was analyzing every piece of you as you stayed rooted to that spot, lightly kicking your undone shoelace with your opposite foot. Finally, after what could have been seconds or hours, he nodded. You muttered a quick thanks before dashing away.
It was 7:06.
You sped off faster than necessary in your car. What you drove, though, wasn't exactly a low-end car. You worked for Tony Stark. Your income wasn't low. What came with cars like this were built-in GPS and trackers. You weren't bringing it to the designated point. You clambered out of your car ten minutes down the road, patting the hood and promising it you'd be back for it. Instead, you hotwired an old Honda, which looked like it was from the late nineties. You put the car into drive.
It was 7:20.
You pressed down on the gas pedal a little harder. The car sped up a bit, not quite enough to draw attention to yourself. You weren't sure what to do as you drove. The silence was screaming in your ears, but it felt so wrong to turn on the radio. The music was joyful and fun, and you missed the way Natasha would hum quietly as the sounds flowed from the speakers. It made every song a million and a half times better. You settled for opening the windows, the roar of the wind coming through enough to silence the silence.
It was 7:58.
You'd hit a bit of traffic and had almost gotten out of the car to sprint to the location, but you'd made it. You slammed the door behind you, glancing around for onlookers. There was no one. There wasn't even anyone meeting you there. That didn't surprise you. You knew from experience after working with Rinaldi's crew that the primary location was often just the place to give the coordinates of the secondary location. It was a security thing.
Your eyes locked to a small piece of paper that was duct-taped to the wall. You moved toward the rough bricks ahead of you, the tips of your fingers brushing the image before you. It was a Polaroid. It was the photo that Natasha kept on her at all times, tucked into the back of her phone case. It was of you, arms outstretched to the heavens as you stood at the bow of a boat, eyes scrunched shut tight against the sunlight and a smile plastered onto your face. She'd treasured that photo. Red dust clung to the back of the tape when you peeled it off the side of the old apartment building.
The photo was defiled in a way that would have had Natasha curling her fist so tight her knuckles would have paled. Someone had taken a pen and written a new set of coordinates onto the back. The red ink was scrawled overtop of Natasha's pristine handwriting, the black ink indicating the time and place of the photo. A second person's calligraphy, your own, left a small message that was illegible with the dark red marker over it.
I love you, it had said. Even more than I love this boat.
You pocketed the photo. You pulled your hood up and kept your head down, moving out of the small parking lot and onto the street. With your skills, you might have done well as a criminal. The distracted shopper didn't notice when you slipped your hand into his pocket and took his phone. He kept walking. When he was out of sight, you unlocked the phone, using yet another tactic Tony had taught to you.
These coordinates were further this time.
When you hijacked a new car, the radio was already on. You didn't make any effort to turn it off. It was just soft, anyway. It wasn't exactly the type of music you liked, but it was keeping your mind away from dark thoughts. You even let yourself whistle quietly to the tune of a familiar song, even if you weren't enjoying it as much as you usually would have. You couldn't linger on worst-case scenarios for the whole three hours.
The place you arrived at looked like a movie set for a gang hideout. It almost looked like it had been built for the sole purpose of illegal activities- like holding S.H.I.E.L.D. agents’ hostage. It was a little old warehouse that had been built in the middle of nowhere for reasons you couldn't even think of. You stepped out of the car, wearily eyeing the single storey building. In any other case, you wouldn't have gone in without backup. In this case, you wouldn't have gone with it.
You took a cautious step forward, the beating of your heart threatening to drown out the generator that hummed at the side of the building. You gulped as you continued onward, moving into the glowing light above the door. The chipping paint transferred onto your fingers as you pushed it open, but it wasn't your biggest concern at the moment. The door slammed shut behind you and made you stumble forward. Your stumbled faded into a slow walk onward into the dark building.
It was only once you'd walked to the point that the door had disappeared around a corner that you behind to hear sounds. You had to strain to hear the faraway noise but when you did, you recognized it immediately. It was Natasha's voice. You stilled completely, forcing the range of your hearing to increase so you could further distinguish the sounds. It wasn't her voice; it was her cries echoing hauntingly through concrete corridors and then through the cavern in your head.
The pain in the sounds made you want to scream her name as loud as you could and sprint through the building faster than Pietro Maximoff. If you could only call and let her know that you were there for her, and she wasn't alone. That wouldn't do anything for either of you. You'd likely just get one or both of you killed before you'd even laid eyes on her beautiful face just one last time. You couldn't do that. You couldn't lose her. She needed to get out of there alive, at whatever cost.
You were able to keep your head righted on your shoulders just enough that you were able to follow the sounds of soft whimpered and high-pitched cries. Each one felt like a knife being driven through your heart, but you silently begged her not to stop. She was bringing you back to her, even if she didn't know that just yet. She always managed to bring you back to her, even if, most often, it was in less painful ways than this one.
Two hallways and three wrong turns later, there she was. Natasha had always had a hard stare with a strong air of confidence. She'd always been able to give that one look that had been able to make anyone cower on the spot. She was dangerous and she knew it. So, when you entered the room and her head was bowed, eyes locked to the floor, fury immediately bubbled up from your gut and threatened to burst out in every direction. Getting the both of you killed, though, hadn't been what you'd come for.
You raised your hands as attention turned to you. Natasha finally raised her head until her face was visible, illuminated by the dim light. This was what drowning felt like, you were sure. You were choking on your own breath, and the pressure in your chest could have shattered your ribs and ruptured your lungs. She glanced up at you, utter defeat clear on every feature of her beautiful face. Blood spotted the floor beneath her and streaked down her cheeks. Pale skin was stained with spots of dark purple.
You kept your hands high in the air, taking a few steps closer to Natasha and the armed men around her. Her eyes were tear-filled, watching you take a few steps forward. She was reading you. She'd always been able to read you better than you could read yourself. She knew what you were thinking in that moment, and you could tell she was silently begging you not to do it. You didn't often ignore Natasha Romanoff, she was something that was hard to ignore, but today you had to. You wouldn't give in to that pleading gaze that watched your every step.
"Come on. You know it isn't her that you want," you said slowly. "Let her go. Please. Please, let her go."
You didn't often beg. You didn't beg to Natasha herself, let alone to anyone else. Now, though, you found that you would have dropped to your knees on the concrete below you, pressed your palms together, and pleaded without an ounce of shame. You wanted more than anything for them to let her go and to stop hurting her. The blood and bruises that littered her light skin might have been hurting you more than they were hurting her. She looked absolutely defeated and you would have given anything for them to let her go and just stop.
"Please," you tried once more, tears threatening to spill from your eyes. Your voice was so much softer and so much weaker than it had been earlier that day. "You know she had nothing to do with it. It was me. Please."
There was a long moment of silence. The two men were eyeing you as if to make sure you were real, and make sure this was a legitimate offer. It was. It would have been stupid of you to show up like this if it weren’t real. You were alone and unarmed. They seemed to realize this, as they looked around for any signs of backup. When they didn't find any, they glanced at each other once, before the taller one got on a walkie, speaking into it in a language you didn't bother to try and understand.
Finally, the voice on the other end responded. You didn't hear what he said, distracted by the redhead before you. The film of tears that coated them made her green irises sparkle in the light above them, the dim yellow colour radiating off the bulb seeming to shine gold in her eyes. The sight had no right to be so beautiful in such an ugly place, on top of such a heartbreaking emotion. The way she looked at you felt like a stake being driven dead centre through your chest. You only tore your gaze from her when one of the men moved.
He'd gestured with his gun. You didn't know right away what the silent communication meant, but the other moved toward Natasha and untied the ropes that held her arms to the chair. She didn't move right away. It was clear she didn't have the energy to. Then you watched as her hands moved onto her lap, rubbing the raw skin on her wrists slowly. You saw her chest rise and then fall as she finally found the ability to take a deep breath. Then she moved out of the chair.
She'd moved across the room in what felt like the blink of an eye. You stumbled back as her body slammed against yours, forcing the breath out of your chest. You gave your lungs a short moment to recover before you wrapped your arms around her, holding her so close that you had to wonder if she could feel your heart pounding against the inside of your chest. She pressed her lips against your cheek, her hand moving to grip your arm to the point that your fingers might have turned purple.
"What's the plan?" She asked against your shoulder.
"Plan? Tash, Baby, the plan is you go, and they keep me." You took your hands off her waist and put them on her shoulders to push her away, letting your eyes meet hers one last time. "The plan was to save you."
There were so many emotions floating behind her eyes that you could hardly decipher one from another. Her worry was clear; it had been since the moment she'd noticed you walk into the room. Now, though, hot sparks of anger danced in her gaze. It was as if one more word of goodbye from you would be the fuel that lit the flame. You wanted to wash everything away. Usually, you could, but it seemed that right now, your touch was doing nothing to ease the hurricane of emotions that were roaring inside of her.
She didn't deserve this. It had taken Natasha too many years to learn how to love. You'd taken her hands in yours and led her to it with baby steps. It had been a long and hard journey, but in the end, it was absolutely worth it. The way she loved so hard and so passionately had actually taken you by surprise, after having met that emotionless assassin back in Russia. Once you had her love, you swore you would never let it go. You promised her that you would be there for her for every next baby step she had to take. After today, she'd be taking those steps alone.
"The plan is for both of us to get out of here," Natasha said, voice hard as stone.
"The plan is a trade," you told her, shaking your head and brushing your hand against her cheek.
It felt like a bullet through the heart when she raised her own arm to swat your hand away from her. No, a bullet wouldn't have stung as much as that did. The spot where her hand had struck your skin felt like it had been licked by fire, leaving a scalding burn invisible to everyone but you. You had to force tears behind your eyes. She didn't need to know how much it hurt. She didn't need to know the pain she'd just caused you, because she would likely never see you again. That would hurt her enough.
"I love you, Natasha."
"No. Shut up. Don't you dare tell me you love me."
"I love you so much, Natasha Romanoff. You were absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me. You turned my world. Thank you. Thank you for loving me."
"Stop," she demanded again, the tears in her eyes forced back by boiling anger.
"I hope you can forgive me."
Before she could speak, you grabbed her again. She wasn't able to resist when you forced your lips against hers. You felt her hand against your chest, but it didn't feel like it usually did. When you kissed her like this, it was a familiar feeling to have her palm press flat against your sternum as a connection for more touch. This kiss was different. It was a kiss of goodbye, and her touch was different, too. It was an aggressive force to try and get you off her. You were as strong as she was. You didn't move.
You could have melted when she began to respond. Her lips began to move in sync with yours, the feeling of her love radiating off her so comforting in such a harsh moment. Her fingers curled into the front of your shirt, holding onto you for dear life; as if letting you go would mean that was the last time she'd ever see you. Of course, that probably was the case. She didn't know where you were, and once she was gone, these guys would probably bring you straight to their boss.
"I love you," you whispered once more, directly against her lips.
This is how you wanted her. You wanted her to feel your love for the final time. You also wanted her distracted. Your hand slid down her back, fingers tapping gently against her spine as they moved. She didn't acknowledge it when the pressure of your hand disappeared from her body. She didn't know that it was digging deep into your pocket. Without taking your lips off hers, you raised your hand. You let the syringe puncture the soft skin on her neck and then touched your thumb to the plunger, pressing it down.
She flew away from you as if your entire body were composed of red-hot coals. She tugged the syringe from her neck, glancing at it with wide eyes. She let it tumble off the ends of her fingers, the sound of it clattering against the hard concrete beneath you might have been the only thing heard for miles. The sound immediately ingrained itself into your mind, becoming something you knew you would never forget. It might have been for her, but that syringe was a betrayal in its most harsh form.
When you'd left for your undercover mission, you'd been able to tell exactly what Natasha was feeling at any given moment. You could glance into her eyes for a mere second and see everything. You could tell when she was angry or sad or upset, even when no one else could see a flicker of emotion in her. Maybe you'd been away too long, because you couldn't tell which she felt stronger, the agonizing pain you'd caused her, or the white-hot anger that was clearly boiling in her veins.
"What the fuck did you do?" She snarled.
You smiled something so small you wondered if she was able to see it. It wasn't a happy smile. It was a display of the shattering heartbreak that was taking over each of your senses, threatening to crush you under its weight. "I fell in love with you."
The sedative was fast-acting. Her eyes were already beginning to flutter shut. You found yourself becoming obsessed with lasts. You'd tasted her lips for the last time, you'd heard her voice for the last time, and you'd told her you loved her for the last time. This moment had two lasts in it. It was the last time she'd ever see your face staring back at her, and it was the last time you'd ever stare into those deep green irises. You'd always loved her eyes.
You caught her when she fell. She was gone now, though. Her pain, even if only temporarily, was gone too. There was no reason to hesitate. You lowered her body to the ground, cradling her head and gently laying it down. You kissed her forehead one more time, whispering one last confession of your undying love, before you raised yourself back to your feet, once more holding your hands high above your head to satisfy the two men that were aiming automatic weapons at your skull.
"Alright. You take me and I cooperate and tell you whatever you want to know once you give me proof that she's safe."
They didn't give any kind of response to that. If they'd done their research, they'd know that you, as a gunrunner for Rinaldi, wouldn't give them shit in turn for your life. You would, however, give them anything they wanted for Natasha's safety. That was more important than anything else. You had to assume they'd do anything for what you knew. They would go to any lengths for it, even if it meant letting her go. She wouldn't be able to find you anyway, and she meant nothing to them.
One of them moved toward Natasha, heaving her body off the floor and tossing it over his shoulder like she was nothing more than a sack of potatoes. The action made your blood boil, but you didn't even dare to twitch as the second moved toward you, the barrel of the gun coming closer and closer to your face. It had practically touched the skin between your eyes when he stopped moving, pulled a handgun from his belt, and pistol-whipped you across the back of the head.
The world went black, and that was the last time you would ever see Natasha Romanoff.
The amount of light that hit your eyes when you finally opened them must have been bright enough to sear your brain behind them. You moved to raise your hand to shield your eyes. It was only at the motion that you realized how tightly your wrists were zip-tied behind your body. Your arms were on either side of a large metal post that looked like it might have been a support beam for whatever structure you'd been brought to. It foiled your plans of taking it down.
"You're awake. Ready to play?"
If your brain hadn't been throbbing against the inside of your skull, you might have sneered at him. It took all it had in you not to whimper as you struggled to upright yourself, resting your spine against the cool metal you were restrained to. It seemed they'd had a bit of fun whilst you were still unconscious. Your ribs ached and you could feel warm blood smeared against your forehead. Your head felt like it weighed as much as the guilt in your chest. You let it fall back against the post, feeling that rush of pain at the impact.
When you didn't respond, the taller of the two men moved. He was disgustingly close to you, giving you a clear view of his wide smirk and the sadistic glisten in his eye. For a brief moment, you almost regretted agreeing to cooperate. Your head was already pounding. It couldn't have gotten too much worse if you threw your head forward to smash your forehead hard against his. You held back, letting the mere thought of Natasha quell the harsh feelings swimming inside your chest.
"Where is she?" You demanded. You cursed how weak your voice sounded.
"She's safe. Let's talk, Sweetheart."
When falling off Natasha's lips, the nickname was sweeter than a popsicle under the blazing summer sun. It was something that had never failed to make your heart flutter. You clearly remembered the first time she'd called you by a pet name. It had been that one, and you'd had your arms around her waist as the two of you sat on the grass in the park and watched the sunset. She'd told you she loved you, and the name had found place at the end of the three words. You hadn't said anything of it. You'd only kissed into her red hair and said the words back. In reality, your heart had been soaring. When the word was spoken by the man in front of you, the sound wasn't unlike the sound of nails scraping down the surface of a chalkboard. You were sure you actually cringed away from him, but you didn't say anything of it. It didn't matter. Only she did.
"Prove it."
He motioned to the other man in the room. The shorter of the two pulled his phone from his pocket, pressing on it a few times and then turning the screen toward you. It was a video of Natasha being dropped off at the hospital, rushed in on a gurney. With the relief that spread through your very veins at that, you might have even let a few tears spill over. You silently thanked every god that you could think of, including Thor and Loki.
"So, talk."
"A deal's a deal," you admitted.
Of course, you could have always refused. Natasha was safe. Once she was wheeled into that hospital, she had surely been recognized and they would have called S.H.I.E.L.D. and informed the agency of the safe return of the missing Avenger. Security would have been doubled, no, tripled, in there by now. That didn't even include the Avengers that were surely sitting at her bedside already. If you decided to refuse, though, and just keep your mouth shut and give them nothing, you were sure they'd torture you until you could no longer pronounce the syllables of your own name, or even hers.
"You worked for Renato Rinaldi?"
"Yes."
"As an undercover agent?"
"Yes."
"You did runs for him? You supplied to his customers in the United States?"
"Yes."
"And who did you supply to here in America?"
"The most recent one? The deal hasn't gone down yet," you shrugged. "I don't know anything about it. I had a missing fiancée to search for. It takes priority."
Even in your given predicament, you hadn't lost the snarky attitude that you brought with you wherever you went; be it the Avengers compound or an undercover assignment. Here, though, it didn't go without repercussions. With the Avengers it had always earned you an eye roll, and with Rinaldi's crew, it had always elicited drunken laughs. Here, it incited pain. The taller of the two men drew his foot back and sent it flying into your already searing ribcage.
A few moments ago, you'd still been trying to protect your image. You'd rushed to push tears back behind your eyes, kept your voice steady, and removed any hint of pain from your appearance. At the feeling of the ruthless strike against your already abused body, your image was no longer even a factor. You cried out, tears springing to your eyes and your hands straining to grip your ribs and protect yourself from further harm. It only made the plastic ties dig deeper into your wrists and increase the amount of blood that was spilling from them.
"Where is the fucking meeting?" He shouted, raising his gun and jabbing it against the centre of your chest.
"Give me a goddamn cellphone and I can try and find out," you grumbled, biting back the pain as you straightened yourself up as best you could and glared up at him with a stone-cold stare. "But I'm not magically going to pull the deal time out of my ass. I don't fucking know it."
He went to reach into his pocket for his phone, but a symbol on his jacket caught your eye. You could have gaped at the revelation. The noise you made must have been loud enough for him to hear. His head snapped up and his eyes followed your line of sight. He chuckled in a way that sent shivers running down your spine, straightening out his sleeve so that you could clearer see the six-legged skull that was plastered onto it.
"Recognize it, Sweetheart?"
"Deal's off," you said bluntly, your mind made up already. "Torture me all you want. I don't cooperate with HYDRA."
The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. were one thing. HYDRA had been one of your worst enemies for years. They'd been causing trouble for all of you since the forties when they'd captured Steve's best friend and turned him into a mindless killer. They hadn't exactly been peaceful since then. They were dangerous, heartless terrorists that you, your team, and S.H.I.E.L.D. had been trying to eliminate for longer than you could even remember. But they weren't the only ones who refused to work with HYDRA.
It wasn't his golden moral compass that stopped Rinaldi from working with the old Nazi organization. He likely didn't even know the definition of the word 'ethical'. HYDRA had done him dirty, and in a business like Rinaldi's, that was something that was damn near unforgivable. He'd sworn never to do any business for them again. He'd stuck well to that promise. One of his men had once tried to do a deal with HYDRA without Rinaldi's knowledge. The boss had found out, and no one involved in the quiet deal had ever been heard from again.
"Call your boss!" He demanded, shoving the barrel of the gun hard against the skin on your forehead.
"Bite me."
The gun was pulled away. Not a second later, the sound of the weapon firing blasted throughout the room, echoes off the concrete walls no quieter than the initial sound. The noise wasn't what hurt most though. The bullet whizzed by your ear with such precision that a couple of layers of skin were taking off with the metal. The ringing in your ears was so loud it might have caused them to ring even louder. Your eyes squeezed shut tight, and a grunt of pain squeezing out of your stomach and past your lips. You heard the gun cock again, and you opened your eyes to see it pointed right at you. It wasn't going to make you talk.
"Fuck you," you spat.
This time, a knife sliced across your skin. You tried your absolute best not to imagine just how long this was going to go on before death came and welcomed you into the darkness. Yet, no matter how much they tortured and broke you, you found you couldn't wish for it. When death enveloped you, taking the pain from your body, it would put that pain straight into Natasha's heart. You'd take a hundred lifetimes of torture to prevent that.
"Come on. Give us your boss and it'll be a win-win for you, no? We stop playing our little games here and big, bad, Renato Rinaldi is off the streets."
"I'd rather twenty of him than you."
You weren't sure, right away, what the agonizing sensation on the skin at the back of your neck was. You were screaming before you'd even figured it out. It hadn't ceased when you realized someone was holding a blow torch to your skin, melting it away and leaving horrendous marks in its wake. Your breathing was hard and unsteady when he finally pulled the flame away. Throat too raw to even scream, now, you whimpered when he pressed the hot metal at the end of the torch flush against your cheek.
"You ours yet, Sweetie?"
"Don't call me that," you hissed.
The shorter of the two was still behind you. You braced yourself for whatever was to come next. The HYDRA agent in front of you didn't move. Only his eyes shifted as his focus redirected to the agent behind you. You felt a hand come down and touch yours. His fingers slipped around your index and middle finger and then pulled backwards. You felt pain race up your hand and into your wrist and your ears were met with the sound of a sickening series of snaps. The sounds of your screams were louder.
This continued for days. They'd come back to the room, find all sorts of new ways to tear cries from your throat, leave for a couple of hours to do whatever HYDRA did, and then come back to repeat the cycle. You'd expected for the pain to lessen after a few rounds, but if anything, it was increasing. Old wounds were never left to heal before new ones were made on top of them. Burns were placed over open lacerations and knives dragged over bruised skin. It felt never-ending.
You understood the defeat Natasha had suffered, now. Your head was hung just as low as hers had been when you'd found her. Your strength was completely depleted, and more than once you had begged for mercy in a way you never thought you would. You didn't even bother to look up when the door opened. It had been two weeks of endless suffering and seeing the eyes of the men who were causing it wouldn't make a difference.
"Look at me."
You didn't. Your head was heavy, and your neck felt like it might snap at the movement. You only whimpered in response to the unfamiliar voice. A crackling sound drifted into your ears, and you knew what was coming next. Every sound of every pain-inducing instrument was familiar now. The tears started before the device had even met your skin. When it did, they flowed faster. A cry of anguish slipped past your lips and echoed through the room.
"I said look at me, Avenger."
Your neck strained almost to the point of breaking, you could only imagine. When you'd finally managed to raise your gaze just enough to see who was in front of you, you were met with an unfamiliar face. He was smiling widely, your pain clearly bringing him some sort of sick satisfaction. Your head fell back down, too heavy for your neck to support any longer than that. He clicked the baton off, using the end of it to lift your head and bring your gaze back to him.
"I can make you feel better, Darling."
You shook your head no. You weren't going to give them anything. Not even now.
"I don't ask you to speak to me in return. Come."
He used a knife lying on a nearby table to cut the zip ties that had been holding your hands back. They fell to the ground and, without the bonds holding you back, your entire body slumped forward. You attempted to catch yourself on your left arm, but your radius had been shattered a day earlier. There was no hope of it being able to support your weight. You crumpled down to the floor, wanting only for unconsciousness to take you into its safe embrace once more. It didn't.
The new man motioned toward the door. You hadn't even noticed the two other agents standing there awaiting orders. The man in front of you was clearly the boss, as, at his command, the two agents came and hoisted you to your feet. There were no tears left for you to cry, otherwise, you would have. You could only whimper as the lift strained each and every one of the wounds scattered across your entire body. None of them seemed to notice, or more likely they just didn't care.
"Clean her up and then bring her to my lab."
They nodded obediently.
The lackies went their separate way from their boss. They quite literally had to drag you down the halls. Your muscles were torn, bones broken, and skin half melted away. If anyone had wanted to follow you, all they would have had to do was follow the trail of blood behind you, most of it emanating from the gunshot wound through your left knee. Your eyes were shutting, as once again you threatened to leave reality behind and enter a world with less pain and sorrow.
You were about to finally pass out when the two agents tossed you roughly to the ground. Your body weight slammed down onto bones that couldn't handle the impact. You whined as you find just enough energy to curl yourself into a ball, hoping to protect as much of your body as you possibly could, despite knowing it wouldn't matter. You expected something a lot more painful than the water that hit your skin. That too, though, brought a new wave of agony.
The jet wasn't gentle. It felt like maybe they'd hooked their hose up to the nearest fire hydrant. That wouldn't have surprised you. The hard stream of water was pounding against your thoroughly damaged body. Your eyes were wide open at the shock of the cold water, allowing you to see the blood-stained liquid rushing toward the drain in front of you. Your jaw had dropped at some point, but you couldn't complain about the feeling of water hitting your tongue after almost three days.
When the water turned off, you were hoisted back to your feet. Your dripping, ruined clothes were discarded on the ground, and a grey jumpsuit was put on you. They lugged you back down the long hallway, now washed clean of the sweat and dried blood that had caked your entire body. They stopped in front of a door, having to punch in a pin to get through this time. Once they had, the doors opened, and they dragged you through. You were thrown onto a table, just enough of your weight hitting the surface so you wouldn't fall back to the floor.
"Good. Now we can begin."
That was the boss' voice again.
You felt your body get better positioned on the table. Your arms and legs were restrained against the hard surface. You couldn't have moved much if you wanted to. Your body protested against something as small as a shiver. The sleeve on your left arm was pushed up past your elbow, and you felt an IV push into your skin. It was taped in place and then the boss appeared in your vision once more. Already, he was becoming blurry.
"Don't worry, Darling. You'll feel better when you wake."
It had been three months. It was three months since you gave your place with the men that Natasha and the Avengers had never been able to identify. They'd found the place where Natasha had been held. You'd been good at covering your tracks well enough to keep the Avengers from following you in the moment, but not good enough to keep Jarvis from tracking you eventually. When Tony, Thor, and Steve had arrived, though, they hadn't found anything. All that remained to even indicate someone had been there was the pools of blood that belonged to you and Natasha.
They'd returned to where Clint was sat at Natasha's bedside at the hospital, shaking their heads sadly. When two weeks after arriving, Natasha awoke, your name was the first thing to fall from her lips. It had been Clint who had told her that her fiancée hadn't returned with her. Natasha had expected that, but it didn't stop her from absolutely shattering in that moment. If it had been up to her, it would have been her to stay in the captivity, and you would have come home.
She'd had to do report after report to Steve in order to try and figure out what had happened to you. They hadn't said much to her while she'd been hostage there. They'd asked for you by the name of Dani Lewis Reed first, and then they'd asked for you by your name. That was how Natasha had realized that the whole situation had been related to your undercover operation. She'd reached onto the table and tossed the 5₽ coin into the cup, and two pennies as well, before they'd reached for her. She'd made sure to knock it over in the struggle.
It hadn't mattered anyway. They'd held her in that warehouse for a little while before finally getting your name from some gangbanger who'd gone exclusively by the name of Tiger-Tooth. They'd turned their phone to her and sent you a message. Natasha knew how much she meant to you. She knew that no matter how much she prayed you'd stay away, it wouldn't be long before you burst through those doors. And you had.
She could only sigh and wish you'd had a plan better than the one you'd gone with. Anyone who knew you would know that you would never risk Natasha's life, even if that meant risking your own. Bringing the Avengers would have been a bigger risk to her life. Even she knew that. She just wished that you'd realized that, without the Avengers, you may not have risked her life, but you risked her heart. But maybe you had known that, and her life was just too important to you to risk for anything. After all, that was how she felt about you.
Natasha had never been a happy, bubbly person. Not to the Avengers, anyway. With you, she wasn't unlike a cheerful puppy. She was constantly smiling and giggling and laughing. It was strange for the boys to see her that way. She'd always been this hardcore, stoic assassin. With you, she was anything but that. Love had turned her into a new person, and it wasn't in a bad way. You'd opened her heart and brought something into her life that she had deserved for so long. When you'd been taken away, that person had been lost.
She was angry. No, she was furious. Her blood boiled in her veins each second of each day. Sometimes she wasn't even sure who she was angry at. She was furious at those men for taking her and then taking you. She resented the Avengers for letting you slip off on your own and then not being able to find you. It had been a couple of weeks before she could even bring herself to look any one of them in the eyes again. She was even outraged at you. She hated that you'd left her. Then she hated herself for hating you. She hated herself for a lot of things. She should have been able to take the two in the first place. She shouldn't have been so distracted by your kiss and let you trade yourself for her.
She didn't know it was possible to be this angry for this long. She'd healed from her physical wounds and the hospital had released her only two weeks after she'd been admitted. For two weeks after that, she and the Avengers spent day and night trying to find you. Between search and rescue missions, Natasha was stuck in mandated therapy. She hated it. She didn't want to talk about how it felt to lose you when she could instead be out and looking for you. Without it, she wouldn't be able to do that.
After two weeks the number of searches began to steadily decline until, six weeks later, they'd decided to stop them altogether. All that could get you out of wherever you were now, was you. She knew if you could have gotten yourself out, you would have done it by now. You were stuck and she didn't know if you were alive or dead. Honestly, she could only hope it was the latter. She could only hope that you'd given them whatever they were after, and they'd killed you. She knew what it was like to suffer at their hands. She couldn't want that for you, even if it shredded her heart into so many pieces there was no possibility of putting it back together.
Then, a few days ago, Clint had finally approached her about planning a funeral. Her heart didn't want to believe it. It wanted you back even more than it wanted to keep beating. Her head, however, knew better. You'd been gone for months, and you'd been with people who weren't exactly keen on giving you a five star stay at the kidnapper bed and breakfast. The chances were that you were gone for good. Her head and her heart were going to war over that simple suggestion, and the feeling made her curl her fist and drive it right into Clint's gut. He'd forgiven her pretty quickly. She was in pain. He couldn't blame her.
Right now, she was hunched over a desk. Natasha Romanoff had always been cool and composed. There was no evidence of that same Natasha Romanoff now. The dark bags under her eyes so greatly contrasted against her pale skin. Her hair hung knotted down her back, no attempt to get it under control having even been made. She'd lost a few pounds, often forgetting to eat. She'd been wearing your same sweats and hoodie for three days now. No one had yet been able to ease her out of the state she was in. You would have been able to, but it was your fault she was in that state in the first place.
Natasha only looked up when the door opened behind her. She knew who it was already. He was the only one with a key to the condo she'd shared with you, and he had a very specific pattern of knocking so that he wouldn't startle her. He'd made that mistake before, and ended up on the wrong end of a .45. He was also the one who'd been coming in to check on her daily. He was the only reason she ever remembered to eat, drink, or sleep. She twisted her body to glance at him. He offered a small smile, holding out a couple of takeout containers. She stood up from the desk, slowly padding over to the kitchen table and sitting across from him, glancing hesitantly at the food he'd put in front of her.
"Eat, Natasha," he said. The comment was a demand, leaving no room for argument, but his tone was soft.
She obeyed. First, she cracked open the can of pop that he'd set down in front of her, taking a small sip of it. She hadn't realized just how dry her throat had been. She took another, longer drink from the can. She watched as a half-smile formed on Clint's lips when she set the beverage down onto the table. She managed to smile back, using her fork to stab a small bit of food and move it to her lips. She chewed slowly, swallowed, and then got a little more.
"Any good?" He asked.
She nodded. "Thanks, Clint."
"Anything for you. The offer for you to come to stay with me for a bit still stands."
Natasha shook her head, pointing her fork across the room. "I have to take care of him. I know Laura is allergic."
Clint's attention turned briefly to the grey animal across the room. Its dark green eyes looked back at him for a moment, before they cast back down to its foot, which it was licking clean. He turned back to Natasha, then, actually chuckling a little. She'd always hated the cat. It was yours. You'd rescued it off the street when it was hardly the size of a baseball, and the two of you had been secretly keeping it in your 'no pets allowed' condo ever since. Natasha had always hated it, but she could never find the heart to make you get rid of it. Even now, she couldn't bring herself to throw it back to the street. She and the animal had both lost you. She took comfort in it.
"He can stay in the shed."
Natasha laughed just a little bit. "You know, a few months ago I might have taken you up on that. But he and I get along a little now."
As if he knew they were talking about him, the cat looked up at them. His name was Nicholas Joseph Furry. It was for the sole purpose of pissing off your boss. Fury had always been a friend more than he'd been a boss. He'd backed off the moment he'd walked into the condo one day and seen the kitten sitting on the couch. Apparently, he'd once had an altercation with one that he hadn't been able to forget. You teased that it had probably been a cat that scratched his eye out. It was then that Nicky got his name.
"I was looking at caskets," Natasha finally said, turning back to meet Clint's eyes. "Why the hell am I getting a casket? We don't have her body."
"You don't have to. Everything is up to you. We don't even have to do this if you don't want to."
"No, I do. We should all get a chance to..." Natasha trailed off, swallowing some of the emotion that had made an attempt to escape in her voice. "We should honour her. She gave her life for us."
"For you. She loved you, Natasha. She loved you so much."
You had. Natasha knew that. She'd known it before you'd even said it.
It was a Tuesday. She wasn't sure what month it had been, or even what season, but it was a Tuesday. The two of you had been out grocery shopping for the team. After a long mission, Thor had emptied the fridge in a matter of hours. Tony had assured you it wasn't necessary, and he could just order groceries online, but you and Nat had wanted to get out of the compound anyway. So, you'd headed down to the garage and hopped into one of Tony's fancy cars, and headed to the nearest grocery store.
It hadn't been busy. You'd parked the car, heading inside hand-in-hand. You'd commented that you'd never seen a New York grocery store as quiet as this one was. That was true. No one had even approached to ask for a photo with the famous Black Widow (not that you'd ever minded that. It had always made you laugh). You'd been the one pushing the shopping cart, and Natasha had been the one tossing things into it. She'd pretended she wasn't aware of how your eyes were glued to her ass as she reached for a top shelf.
You were near the cereal when it happened.
It was a middle-aged guy, reeking of alcohol, who had immediately caught both your attention. He was stumbling up the aisle you'd been standing in. You'd let go of the cart, moving closer to her. Your hand had gripped one of her hips and you'd moved your body in front of hers. From her position, she'd had a clear view of how heavily your chest was rising and falling. One of her hands had raised to your arm to try and move you aside and assure you that she could defend herself just fine. Her fingertips had been met with tense muscles. The guy passed by you without incident.
Natasha had turned you around. She hadn't been prepared for how stone-cold your gaze was going to be. Her hand had slid up your arm and across your shoulder, feeling muscles loosen just a little bit beneath her touch. Finally, her hand had come to rest on your cheek, thumb brushing over your cheekbone. Your gaze had cast down to her and immediately your gaze had softened. You'd pressed a kiss to her forehead before one of your hands returned to the shopping cart, but the other slid into hers.
Right then, Natasha knew she loved you, and she knew you loved her. She was sure you knew that, too, but neither of you said it aloud just yet.
"I didn't say it back," Natasha said, the words lodging in her throat for a moment.
Clint's eyebrows furrowed a little. "What?"
"When she... when she showed up, back at that warehouse, she told me she loved me. I didn't say it back."
That fact had been haunting her for all those months since she'd seen you last. You had showed up with the intention of giving your life so that she could continue living. You'd given up everything, begging and pleading so that she could live. Then when they'd finally let her go, you had, for the very last time, confessed your love for her. She'd had told you not to say it. She hadn't said it back and she would have given the Earth and the stars to go back to that moment and get on her knees and say those three words like they were the only ones she remembered.
"She knew," Clint assured. "Of course she knew."
"She shouldn't have had to," Natasha insisted, slamming her fork down on the table in her anger. "I should have told her."
"You were hurting."
"She wasn't?" Natasha scoffed. "She gave up her life. The least I could have done was told her how much I fucking loved her, and I didn't even do that."
There was nothing Clint could have said to ease that guilt that was clearly overwhelming the other assassin. She stood up from the table, finding sitting in one spot was just making that devastating emotion stew even stronger in the bottom of her gut. She moved to the window, resting her hands on the windowsill and taking a deep breath to try and soothe everything within herself. She tried to imagine your hands easing the knots out of her shoulders, whispering gentle words into her ears and assuring her that everything was going to be just fine.
That was the kind of person you were. You were selfless, kind, and overall, just good. You were the best person she'd ever met and somehow, you'd fallen in love with her. Your beautiful heart had fallen for one that had for so long been battered and broken. You'd helped her put it back together again. You'd always spent so much time making sure she knew how good she was too, assuring that she, too, was selfless, strong, and good. It had taken her a while to believe it, but when she heard the sincerity in your voice, the words had become her truth.
"Clint," Natasha said suddenly, voice a little weaker than it had been a moment ago. "She was the one who finally convinced me that I'm not the monster I used to be. Her love is what taught me that. I don't know that I'll ever be able to love like that again. I don't know anyone will ever love me the way she did. What if... Now that she's gone, what if I become that monster again?"
"You won't," Clint assured, voice so absolutely sure of the words that it had spoken. "She's gone, but her love is in your heart. Plus, it wasn't her that changed you. You changed you. She just supported you through it."
"I did it for her."
"Then keep doing it for her. For her love. For her memory."
Natasha nodded.
They fell into silence once more. Natasha moved back to the table upon Clint's beckon, and they turned their focus to the dinner that he had brought them. He was right. She would stay that person she'd worked so hard to be for you. Just because you weren't there, didn't mean she would ever have to go back to that assassin she'd been when you'd met her. No, she was an Avenger. She was good. She would continue to be just that. She would live her life in a way that would have made you proud.
After dinner, Clint stuck around to watch a movie. He let Natasha rest against him, desperate for human contact that she'd been lacking for the last few months. He might not have been the person she'd been craving it from, but his arm around her shoulders instilled a different sort of comfort in her. She might have been in agonizing pain, but it made her heart warm to know that Clint was, and always would be, there for her. Even Nicky curled up on the couch with them, pressing his warm body against Natasha's leg.
It wasn't thirty minutes into the movie when Natasha fell asleep on Clint's shoulder. Immediately upon noticing this, Clint let his smile fall. He'd been keeping it up for her. He was strong for her. But he missed you, too, more than he was letting show. You and he had been best friends for a long time. Since before Natasha had even become a part of either of your lives. His heart ached for Natasha, but he was hurting too. He wanted you back. That was something he knew he would never get.
That hurt more than any pain he'd felt before.
They had the funeral. Fittingly, it rained that day.
The funeral was a small gathering. It was nothing fancy. You wouldn't have wanted that. You were never one for theatrics. You liked simplicity. It was a part of you that Natasha had fallen in love with, and so she'd stayed true to it. The gathering was in a small room at the compound. You'd always insisted you'd like to stay close to home when you died, and this place had been a second home to you for a long time.
It was just the Avengers that had attended, along with some of your close friends at S.H.I.E.L.D., and the few other friends and family you had outside of work. Natasha likely couldn't have invited more people than that if she'd wanted to. You were an agent, not an Avenger. It was why you were so good for undercover missions. You didn't get recognized like the rest of them did. So, thankfully for Natasha, no public announcements were necessary. It was just this.
Natasha had decided she wasn't strong enough to get up and speak for you. Besides Clint, none of the Avengers had seen her break down the way she sometimes did now that you were gone. If she got up there and tried to talk about how much she loved you and how much she was going to miss you, she surely would have. She stayed rooted to her seat, listening to Clint say words that described you so beautifully. Then was Fury, then Maria, and then Tony. There was one piece of Red Room training Natasha was thankful for right then. Because of that place, she had the ability to take her emotion and shove it down to a place where she could no longer feel it.
After that, they'd moved to the burial. It wasn't far. It was down by the lake, the place where she and you had often gone when you'd needed a moment of peace and quiet. You would always wrap your arm around her waist, and she'd nuzzle her head against you as your feet dipped into the cool water. You'd once said it was your favourite place in the world. Natasha hadn't taken long to realize that you meant those moments with her, not the physical place. Either way, you would rest here. You would like it.
She'd ended up forgoing to casket. There was nothing in it anyway. Instead, it was a small urn. Anyone who had wanted could put something in it to memorialize you. Fury and Maria had provided your badge, the golden shield sparkling prominently in its final resting place. Tony had provided his AC/DC shirt. You'd had a matching one, with the two of you having gotten it at a concert a few years ago. Clint had left an arrowhead. You'd given it to him after they'd pulled it out of your leg. It was an accident and a completely unavoidable one. Clint had fired during a mission one day and you'd been pushed right into the arrow's path. Then the rest of the Avengers had gone, then a few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and then, finally, Natasha. She had left two things. They were the wedding rings you'd both purchased for when you returned from your most recent undercover. You were supposed to get married, then. Now you never would.
Urn filled and sealed, now, it was lowered into its final resting place in the ground. They buried it by hand, Steve, the super-soldier, volunteered to be the one to use the shovel and heave the dirt into place over the top of the urn. He didn't do it alone, though. Clint, Tony, and even Fury took a turn helping lay you to rest. Natasha was trying so hard not to show a single ounce of emotion in front of her friends and coworkers. Maybe the pouring rain was a blessing. The droplets that fell from the heavens helped mask the tears that were streaming down both of her cheeks.
Natasha was drenched by the time the burial was over. She couldn't tell if the skin on her cheeks was saturated by rain or tears. It didn't matter. She wanted to feel uncomfortable. The feeling of warm, soft things just felt so wrong right now. She didn't want to feel comfortable and safe. She was without you. She wanted to feel discomfort because it meant that she wasn't even beginning to move forward without you by her side. She didn't want to. Clint finally put his hand on her arm and guided her inside.
She didn't quite remember the reception. It had been back inside the compound, and there had been food. Someone had placed a sandwich in front of her, but she was sure she wouldn't have been able to keep it down. People were laughing, telling stories of you doing stupidly brave things that so perfectly captured your memory. You would've blushed upon hearing the stories. You would have shoved them and told them to shut up. You didn't like being praised so highly. You were just doing your job and helping those who needed it.
Eventually, that final gathering ended. Natasha longed so badly to go back to her condo and get away from the hugs and the constant mutterings of how sorry people were. Clint, Tony, and Steve had all tried to convince Natasha to stay compound with them. They didn't want her to be by herself. The Russian had wanted alone time, though. She wasn't going to do anything stupid. She just wanted to lock herself in her bedroom and let the tears spill over. She couldn't do that with the boys around.
She headed back to her condo with Clint. The archer had insisted he at least drop her off. He walked her right to the door, close to her side all the way. She turned around and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, squeezing him tight. When she released him, he bade her one last hesitant goodbye. She watched him walk down the hall and out of sight. She took a deep breath before she shoved the key into the lock, entering the condo. She hung her drenched coat up, slid her muddy shoes off her feet, and moved on.
She moved into the kitchen, reaching into one of the lower cupboards and pulling out Nicky’s food. She scooped some into the metal dish, creating that sound that usually had the cat making a mad dash for the kitchen. He’d once moved so fast that, when he found he couldn’t stop himself on the tile floor, his head had hit the side of the counter with a loud smack. But he didn’t come running. Natasha’s eyebrows furrowed as she stepped out of the kitchen, shaking the dish and calling the cat’s name. She hesitated when she reached the living room.
Something was off.
A single penny was sitting on the end table in front of the three candle holders. One penny meant one intruder. That was a code, though, that only you, Tony, Clint, and she had known. Tony and Clint hadn't been in the condo since she'd last been there, and she was sure it wasn't her that had placed that penny there. She took deep breaths to try and steady her heart. It was slamming so hard against her ribs she was sure they would break at the pressure. She set the cat food down and grabbed a gun instead.
She turned the gun around every corner as she moved through the home. She slowly cleared the condo room by room, nothing but emptiness and shadows in each one. Finally, she was face to face with her bedroom door. A lump was forming in her throat as she stared at the closed passageway. She was paralyzed. The white door seemed to be mocking her, laughing in her face as it stood tall in its frame. She was sure she'd left it open when she'd left home for your funeral that morning. She pushed onward.
If you'd shown up any sooner, you could have attended your own funeral. Upon having heard her enter the room, you turned away from where you stood at the window. You were cleaned up nicely, hair combed back and a white shirt covering your body. Your hands were shoved deep into your pockets, but when you saw her, you opened up your arms as if to invite her into them. The sun cast its rays over your skin, illuminating you in the glowing light of the setting sun.
Maybe she was ill. Your face almost made her sick as well. Clearly, you'd been thoroughly and relentlessly tortured by whoever had gotten you. Burn scars coated both your cheeks and the majority of your neck, and one of your eyes was white, clearly damaged by the knife that had sliced through it and left a long scar that continued above and below it. Your sleeves were rolled up to your elbows, leaving your forearms both exposed. The skin there didn't look any better. The tattoo you'd had on your wrist, the roman numerals of your first date, was melted out of existence. Natasha thought she knew heartbreak when she'd thought about the things they'd done to you. Seeing it for herself made it feel like it had been ripped out of her chest and set alight.
"Did you miss me, my love?" You asked.
Natasha could hardly breathe, let alone think. Her brain wasn't registering the words that you'd spoken to her. Her body moved forward only on instinct, arms wrapping around your waist and her face burying itself into your shoulder. The touch should have been so familiar. For a moment it felt like it was. Then, Natasha realized how you wouldn't hug her back, and how you felt so closed off and so incredibly far away despite being flush against her. She pulled away from you to glance at your face. You smiled at her.
It wasn't you. The smile you gave her wasn't warm and comforting as it usually was. It was cold and haunting and had something dark lurking beneath it. Now that she looked, there was a glint in your eye, as well, that sent shivers racing down her spine. You clearly noticed the action. Your laugh was so unfamiliar. It wasn't that infatuating melody that Natasha had always tried so hard to draw out of you. It was low and it was sadistic and, she'd never admit it, but it scared the shit out of her.
Natasha's brain kicked in enough to realize she'd never put the gun down. She readjusted her grip. There was one thing about you that hadn't changed, though. Your observational skills and perception were impeccable. Immediately you'd noticed the shift in her, and you'd noticed the way she held her gun defensively. You didn't cower away from the weapon, though. A smirk made its way across your lips and instead of moving away from the firearm, you moved closer. Natasha had to force her breathing to stay steady.
"Oh, Sweetheart? Would you really shoot me?" You smiled, the expression making the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. "When I love you so much?"
"I don't know who you are, but you are not the woman I love," Natasha said, voice weak, hands actually beginning to shake.
You only chuckled that same dark way. Your hand reached out, and you put one finger on the underside of the barrel. You raised it until it was aimed at your torso and then took a step forward. The barrel pressed hard against your chest, right over your heart. The cool metal was separated from the life-sustaining organ by mere centimetres of flesh. If it had been able to feel, it would have felt the steady beating coming from within your chest.
"Then shoot me, Honey."
Natasha knew she'd never be able to do that. From the confident tone rolling off the tip of your tongue, it seemed you knew that too. Then there was that laugh again, that was so much more sinister than you could have ever been. Natasha winced at the sound of it. She lowered the gun away from your chest, setting it onto a table in absolute defeat. You up the upper hand, here. Clearly, you weren't you. You were someone else and Natasha was sure you'd kill her without hesitation. You still had your old face, though, and lived in that same body. Natasha couldn't help but wonder if maybe you were still in there. She couldn't shoot you.
"I've got to go, my love," you said, smiling in a way that made her skin crawl. You tangled your fingers in her hair, touching her cheek with your palm. You leaned in close to whisper in her ear. "I'll see you again soon. I promise."
Natasha didn't try and stop you as you kissed her lips. It wasn't you. It didn't even feel like you. Yet, something had her rooted to the spot. It might have been shock or it might have been fear, but whatever it was, it had her muscles tensing and her heart racing a million miles a minute. It was ten minutes after she heard the front door shut that she finally found the ability to move again. She gasped for air like you'd sucked it all out of her. She stumbled toward her bed and sat down on the edge, putting her head into her hands, letting out a muffled sob.
She'd wanted you back more than anything, and it seemed her wish had come true. She'd come home from your funeral wanting to feel your arms around her and your lips on hers and she had. The only problem was that you were no longer you. Somewhere between taking her place back in that warehouse and returning home and finding her again, you had been forced from your own body and someone else had been thrust into the empty shell that remained. You might have been dead after all.
It took a while for her to recover. Natasha didn't move from that spot on the bed until well after the sun had risen. She was practically paralyzed with fear. When 7 o'clock rolled around, with her heart slamming against her ribcage, Natasha finally managed to stand up. She wasn't sure, for a moment, if her legs had the ability to hold her up. When they did, she didn't even bother to change. She grabbed one of your old hoodies, her car keys, and raced out of the condo, trying her very best to ignore the way she felt eyes on her the entire time.
She was going well over the speed limit as she raced toward the compound. If there had been a cop on the road, she surely would have been stopped. She only wanted to get there in hopes that these feelings of fear might ease a little in the safety of the compound. Then again, you'd been a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and you'd been her fiancée. You'd known your way around the compound almost as well as you'd known your way around Natasha. The thought may Natasha gulp.
When she arrived at the compound, she parked as close as she possibly could to the doors. For a long time, she didn’t even dare get out of the car. The fear that you might be lurking around any corner terrified her more than anything. It took long moments of deep breaths and silently working up the courage before she unlocked her doors. She gripped her gun tight in her hand as she stepped out of her car, walking as quickly as she could without sprinting. When she was finally in the building, she dared let out a breath. The feeling of eyes on her back had disappeared now. She tucked her gun back into its holster as she stepped onto the elevator, headed toward where she knew the rest of the Avengers would be. As soon as she'd reached them, Steve's gaze found her and his eyes softened.
"Natasha-"
"She isn't dead," Natasha blurted.
The boys all looked at each other, concern forming in each of their expressions. Clint was the one to step forward. He put an arm on Natasha's shoulder and she couldn't have thrown it off even if she wanted to. Still, this was the safest she'd felt since last night. It was the only time she felt protected and the only time she felt that she was finally far away from you. She would have never in a million years thought that fact might bring her such a heavy sense of relief.
"Nat-"
"No," Natasha said quickly, cutting Steve off. "Listen, she was there when I went back to my condo last night... I think she was there all night."
That was something she'd been trying to ignore all night. She'd sat in the same spot all night because the knowledge that you were there had been sitting with her. You'd pretended to leave. You'd said goodbye, you'd left the room, and opened the front door. The issue was, Natasha was sure she hadn't heard your footsteps exit the condo before the front door had shut. She didn't know exactly where you'd been, but she knew you'd been there, lurking in the shadows of the dark rooms and watching her for hours on end. She had to wonder if you'd been able to hear her shallow breaths or her heart racing in her chest. She could only imagine you with your hands in your pockets, watching you with that dark gaze and that sick grin pulling at your lips.
"She's gone, Natasha," Tony tried this time, snapping her out of her thoughts.
"No, listen. It isn't her. Whoever had her, they did something. It isn't her. She... She's not good. She was... I don't know. She killed Nicky."
"Her cat? What did she say to you?" Bruce asked.
Natasha hesitated. "She... She didn't have to say anything."
She cursed herself. She really didn't have anything. You hadn't even whispered a word of a threat. You'd only told her that you loved her and promised to see her again. That itself wasn't a threat. If anything, those words should have comforted her a little. It was just the tone of voice in which you'd said it, and the way you looked at her, eyes darker than they'd been when she'd known you. She couldn't explain that to the guys. They'd call her crazy. That was what she thought.
"But you're sure? It wasn't her?" Bruce said carefully, touching Nat's arm.
"It wasn't her," Natasha assured.
"You knew her better than anyone else in this world, Natasha," Clint said, his gaze meeting hers. "If you say it wasn't her, then we believe you."
That brought an overwhelming sense of relief to the redhead. She nodded as her defences dropped a little. Some of the tension eased out of her shoulders and she remembered how to breathe steadily. She hadn't realized she'd clenched her hands both into fists until she was uncurling them both, flexing her fingers a little to try and ease some of the soreness back out of them. Her hand moved up to meet Bruce's, which was still resting on her arm as a gesture of comfort.
"Tony, Thor, and I will start a search," Steve said, bringing Natasha's attention to him. "Why don't you guys go get Natasha settled back into her old room?"
They nodded.
For once, Natasha didn't hate being left out of a mission. Finding you again was something she no longer wanted. Overnight you had gone from something she longed so desperately for, to something she feared above anything else. It scared her, too, that she knew she could never shoot you. The body you were in was still the one that had used to touch her so tenderly, and she couldn't help but worry that you were still alive somewhere deep inside. She couldn't risk that.
The two men helped Natasha get her things together. They made the bed that she had hardly used since she'd gotten the condo with you, and made sure she still had enough clothes in the room to at least last her the night. Finally, they'd headed out the door, assuring her that they wouldn't go far. Clint had even offered to stay once again, but Natasha assured him that she was okay, even though she wasn't sure whether or not it was the truth. He left the room to go meet with the rest of the Avengers to discuss their plans.
A hot shower didn't help to wash away any single one of the overwhelming amount of emotion that was washing over her like a series of never-ending tidal waves. It did help to ease her muscles, though, which were already sore after what she imagined was the most intense night of her life. They'd remained tense and unmoving for hours, something that had disagreed with every part of her body. She turned around so that the water hit her aching spine, trying not to remember how much better your hands were at working against her muscles.
She stepped out when she realized that she was as good as she was going to get. She towel-dried her hair and stepped into her clean clothes, forgoing, for the first time since she'd lost you, any of your hoodies. She still loved the memory of you, but the trauma from the night previous was still fresh in her mind. Looking at anything that reminded her of you only reminded her of your promise to see her again. It made her stomach churn.
She had to skip dinner. She was still feeling sick to her stomach. Recently, when she'd felt like this, Nicky had always been there for her. She and the feline had bonded since your loss, and he'd become a comfort to her. He never pushed her away in the way he used to. In fact, when she was upset, he'd sometimes slink up to her and curl up against her side, his warm body against hers something that had let her fall asleep at night. You'd not only destroyed her untainted memories of you, but you'd ripped him away from her too.
Natasha half expected the guys to laugh at her when she insisted she sleep with the lamp on. She didn't want there to be shadows she couldn't see into again. All of them offered to take up the empty spot on the floor, but she'd shaken her head and shooed them out, promising she'd try her very best to get some sleep. It had taken hours upon hours of tossing and turning, but she finally had. Her eyes fluttered shut for the final time, not noticing your figure slipping in the doorway and smiling down and her sleeping form.
When she blinked her eyes open, her head was pounding. She wanted nothing more than to bury her head back into her pillow and curse whatever light that was beating down on her, but she refrained. Then, despite the pounding of her head, her brain kicked in. Her head was buried in her pillow, and it smelled like you. Her bed in the compound didn't smell like that. She didn't share her room in the compound with you. She shared her bed at home with you. Upon realizing that, her heart started hammering.
"I know you're awake. Look at me.”
She didn’t want to. The voice was so uncanny in its most literal of definitions. It sounded so familiar and yet, somehow, so unfamiliar all at once. It made her squeeze her eyes shut even tighter, not wanting to see your face and elicit the exact same feelings that your voice was making her feel. She felt fingertips brush against her forearm, prying her palm open so it could trace the lines in her skin. She couldn’t find it in her to rip her arm away from your touch. She heard you once more demand for her to open her eyes.
She almost whimpered as she did. She raised her head off the pillow to glance up at your face. You chuckled softly, tracing the tip of your knife every so gently across the skin over her cheekbone. The touch was so light, Natasha might have even guessed it was a feather that was travelling over her skin. The glint that sparkled on the surface of the shining metal served as a constant reminder that that was not the case. The only thing touching her was a tool of pain in the hands of someone she didn't know.
"You're so beautiful. You know that?"
A few months ago, the words would have had Natasha melting on the spot.
Her green eyes were locked with yours. Your remaining seeing eye was watching her so closely. You were so infatuated with her, with the idea that you used to love her. You couldn't imagine taking anything so fragile into your arms without squeezing the life out of it, feeling the air leave her lungs and her bones snap beneath your grip. You wanted to break her and to hear cries spilling from her pink lips. You wanted to watch tears stream down her face as she helplessly begged for you to stop. She wouldn't defend herself. Not when you were who you were. That excited you.
"What do you want?" Natasha tried, voice steady and oh, so angry.
"Isn't it obvious, my love? I want you."
"You can't have me. I'm not yours to have."
"Haven't we established that you won’t hurt me?" You chuckled, climbing into the bed with her. Your knees straddled her waist, and you trailed the knife down to her collarbone. You reached into your waistband with your free hand, pulling out Natasha's gun and placing it in her hand. "There you go, Honey."
It would have been so simple. All she would have to do would be to aim the gun and squeeze the trigger and this nightmare would be over. Her hand wrapped around the grip, but she didn't do anything just yet. Your eyes weren't on her hands, anyway. Your gaze was locked to the path the knife was tracing down her sternum. It was sudden that you pressed down with it, drawing blood as you streaked the sharp object across her skin. Natasha cried out, grip tightening on the gun, but finger resting far from the trigger.
"Shh, be good for me," you cooed, licking the blood off her milky skin. "And just maybe I'll go easy on you."
You continued your focus on her torso, leaving small nicks and lightly biting at the skin. Every time you drew blood, you were sure to lap it up gently with your tongue. Natasha was reduced to quiet cries, sobs, and whimpers. Tears were streaming down her cheeks, but she couldn't find it in herself to move. You moved down a little further, dragging the blade across her hip and sucking the blood that trickled across her body. Once again, Natasha whined, begging you to stop.
"Oh, Honey," you chuckled, blood coating your lips. "Don't act all hurt. Isn't this what you used to do, too? Weren't you the monster once?" You touched the bloody knife to her lips. "Monsters don't fade, Natasha."
Bang.
That had been all it took. You could lose yourself, take a knife to her, make her bleed, and bring her to tears. You were able to do it all while Natasha had the gun in her hand, still refusing to turn it to you. There was one thing, though, that Natasha was absolutely sure of. You would never call her a monster. She might have thought she was one, sometimes, but you never would have. It was as if it was your very duty in life to make sure that Natasha loved herself the way you did. When that word spilled from your lips, it was as if it were just proof that you really were gone, and that this new person had shoved you down so far that there was no hope of your return.
You toppled off her, clutching the spot on your chest where the bullet had pierced your flesh. Blood trickled out of the corner of your mouth, dribbling across your chin. For the first time tonight, it was your own blood that was on your skin. Your hand immediately released the blade, snapping down to the wound in your chest. The force of the gunshot had tossed you off her, throwing you to the floor. Natasha wasn’t far behind. Despite whom you’d become in the last few months, there was some irrational part of her that hoped so dearly that the woman she loved still resided in the so familiar vessel that was bleeding onto her carpet.
Natasha sprung from the bed and cradled your head in her hands. Her fingers tangled into your hair as she lifted you off the ground, the familiar feeling that was flowing into her so absolutely heartbreaking as she felt your blood seeping into the fabric of her pants. She glanced down at you, wishing she could have been met with that loving gaze you’d once had, filled with absolute adoration for her. That would have been too good to be true. Despite the life flowing out from your body faster than a rocket, your eyes hadn’t lost that malevolence.
Rage filled her chest. She was kneeling on the ground and holding you close as if you were still the woman she’d fallen in love with the moment you’d refused to put a bullet into her head. When you’d disobeyed your orders and taken her home, assuring her that she could still turn everything around, you had become one of the first people to ever believe that she could be good in the same way as Captain America or Captain Marvel. You’d captured her heart effortlessly.
Natasha didn't even bother to shoot you again. She took the knife that you'd been using and stared down at it, clearly contemplating her next action. She took the very tip of the knife and pressed it against your gut. Suddenly, the tables were turned. Just as you'd done to her the night before, Natasha brushed your hair back behind your ear and then leaned in so close that her lips brushed against your ear when she spoke.
"Then this is for the woman who loved me more than anyone else has before."
She plunged the knife into your gut. You spluttered a little, groaning even more as she gripped the handle and twisted it, making sure to increase the pain. Then she stood, wiped her blood-covered palms of the white duvet, and made to leave the room. You laughed at her retreating figure, still so amused by how easy it had been to rile her up. It was too easy. Love had made her vulnerable and it had been so much fun. She was so easy to break. It was a game for you.
"Can I tell you something, Miss Romanoff?" You said to her turned back.
Natasha froze, but she stopped. Your voice had weakened considerably already. She could hear the thick blood that was beginning to clog your airway. She turned just a little so that she could see the pool of blood that was beginning to grow on the rug beneath you, but she wasn't able to see the eyes that no longer belonged to you. She heard you struggle for breath for a moment before three words were pushed out of your chest and into the air.
"She isn't dead."
Every muscle in her body tensed. She whirled around to face you completely now. Though there was still a trace of that malevolent smile on your lips, she did recognize one thing about you. There was honesty shining in your eyes. It wasn't a goodhearted honesty you'd always had. It was a cruel one, knowing this truth would bring her a pain that nothing else could. Despite your intentions, it was truth that was spilling from your dying lips.
"Your fiancée is stronger than I thought, Miss Romanoff. She's been trying to break through for days." You coughed violently, blood spraying from her lips. "She's still here."
You found enough energy to raise your hand, letting your index finger jab your chest, directly above your heart. That was true. You were still inside. You wanted more than anything to claw your way back to the surface, to kill this thing that had overtaken you. You wanted to scream out loud, but it was stronger. You wanted to look up at Natasha and beg her not to leave you, that you were still there, and you still loved her just as much as you had all these years. You wanted to plead for your life, for her not to let you go. But you were lost, trapped inside a body that no longer belonged just to you.
“You’re lying.”
“What would I get from lying to you, Natasha?” You said, voice getting weaker by the second. “I wouldn’t be around to watch you squirm,” the laugh that pushed from your throat didn’t sound like a laugh through the thick liquid that was clogging your airway. “She’s here, and she doesn’t want to die.”
Seconds later, though, your arm went limp, falling off your torso and into the carpet that was saturated with your own blood. There was a small splash in the puddle, the red droplets bouncing into the air and landing on your skin. Any expression that might have been in your eyes disappeared as the last of the life left your body and your final breath squeezed out of your lungs. Your jaw fell and your one good eye was still locked on her, even in your death. Natasha was paralyzed.
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carrotfantasimp · 2 hours ago
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Check out this beautiful man in my story as Bucky Barnes, Love in the suburbs💜
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How can someone not love him? 🙄😩
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sad-sad-times · 3 hours ago
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Get Some Rest
Go check it out....please...kindly
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bdbb-writes · 3 hours ago
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Loki Laufeyson Masterlist
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works containing smut will be marked with a *
Series;
to be announced
Oneshots;
Do The Fireworks Again Kitty
When the darkness comes (coming soon!)
Drabbles;
to be announced
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bdbb-writes · 3 hours ago
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Do The Fireworks Again Kitty
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Pairing: Loki x female reader
Warnings: mentions of parent death (nothing graphic), anxiety/grief comfort, Loki being an absolute gentleman and sweetheart, friends to lovers, maybe a touch of angst (yelling, light swearing)
Word count: 3.2k (short i know)
A/N: for context this is written with the Loki from Thor 1, he’s so cute that I couldn’t resist, and after the firework trick in ep3 i lost my mind at the concept. This written for a reader who recently lost a parent, i hope it can bring some comfort, i really enjoyed writing it :)
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After your father had passed from a sickness, leaving you an orphan since your mother had passed when you were only a small child, Odin and Frigga had been longtime friends of theirs and took you in to live in the palace with their family. They attempted to keep your parents memory alive for you, dinners were full of their stories and time spent together, but you were persistent in your attempts to forget your parents even existed and the emptiness they left behind.
Today was Mother’s Day and it goes without saying that that was much harder to forget on a holiday that gave a constant reminder to the void you held within yourself for most of your life, you could feel it start to engulf you more and more with every passing moment you stood there by yourself in a hallway of the palace where you were to meet him.
Since living with the family you had grown quite close to the youngest son Loki, he didn’t tiptoe around you as if you were fragile like everyone else did, he treated you like a normal person. Your friendship was built on messing with Thor, the late night talks about Loki’s father or what little details you would reveal of your childhood, and the magic tricks he would show off after Frigga had taught him. You were inseparable, dependent on each other, so without him by your side you were losing your marbles in all honesty.
Sweaty hands did a swooshing motion as to send a constant breeze your way, a desperate attempt to self soothe as you began to feel the golden walls on either side of you start to close in, slightly gasping for air as if it had been knocked out of your lungs. Your mothers voice slowly creeping into your mind, you slid your back down the wall and rested your head on your knees, arms wrapped around yourself trying to rid what little memory you had of this day.
“I want my mommy” you could hear your younger self begging and it made your stomach twist, it sounded just like it had the day she passed. Trying to slow your breathing by counting was useless in this state, your thoughts always going back to the last time you had seen your mothers face, the way she said “i love you honey” to you. You looked up in the midst of your panic only to see that the sun was already starting to set, how long had you been sitting there?
You stared out the giant glass panes at the end of the hall and watched the sun go down, completely zoned out as you let all of the pain swallow you whole, that is until you were met with the sound of a familiar pair of footsteps and pulled from your thoughts. Loki. As he made his way around the corner you locked eyes making you consciously blink for the first time in what was probably hours, you felt tears run down your face and it’s only then that you noticed you’d been crying the whole time, it doesn’t go unnoticed by Loki who immediately makes his way over to comfort his girl.
“Y/n what happened? Why are you crying darling?” He asks only letting the faintest bit of panic seep through his voice, his hands coming up to rest on your cheeks, you immediately leaned into his touch for that comfort you had been craving for hours.
“Loki, what was today?” You asked just barely above a whisper, not even sure he had heard you.
“Mother’s-“ he cut himself as realization hit him like a bullet, he had abandoned his best friend on the one day she truly needed him to be there. The one time he knew that the dam you built to keep your grief in would crumble, and he wasn’t there. His heart ached for you as you sat before him, for the pain he had partially been responsible for.
“I’m so terribly sorry my love, I’m sorry I wasn’t here, I can’t believe it slipped my mind. Can i make it up to you? Can i help in any way?” He asked kissing your forehead and letting it linger, feeling you nod against his lips.
“Can we go to your room, i think I wanna talk about it for once” you let out weakly, lip trembling as more tears threatened to fall from your already swollen eyes and he gave you a small smile before pulling you to your feet and immediately into his arms. His limbs wrapped tightly around you, almost trying to hold your broken heart together. You happily accepted the notion and took this time to inhale his scent completely, only wanting to get lost in it.
“Do you forgive me? You definitely don’t have to, but i would like a bit of a heads up on whether or not i should hide anything you can stab me with” he said with a deep chuckle and you let out small laugh, music to his ears.
“All is forgiven Kitty” you retorted with a sly smile, knowing he was in no place to make a comment about the cutesy nickname you had used, the one he despised more than anything else.
Well, the one he pretended to at least. He would never admit the rush of emotions the nickname that would be otherwise nauseating gave him, but each and every time you said it, those three little forbidden words threatened to fall from his lips.
As he took your hand to lead you to his room he couldn’t help but smile down at you, only to find you already looking at him, causing a blush to spread across both of your cheeks. Shutting the door behind him when you reached his room you both went to sit on his bed, immediately falling into your typical position, him laying against the headboard with you sitting between his legs.
He let you talk to your hearts content, holding your hand and tracing shapes along your shoulder to keep you from getting overwhelmed as you went into detail about the last Mother’s Day you had spent with your mother. You talked a bit about your father, it seeming to phase you less, at least for the moment. When you felt that you had let out all that you could, you released a breath you didn’t realize you were holding in, slumping back against Loki’s shoulder, body relaxing into him.
“Do you feel any better?” He asked kissing your cheek a few times, he wasn’t usually this touchy, not due to a lack of want but a fear of crossing the threshold he had forced himself to follow. You were in a lot of pain, it would be wrong of him to try and nurture a relationship on the corpse of your parents, he wanted you to have taken the time to mourn and come to terms with what was another big loss in your life before he confessed his dirty little secret. Loki had fallen in love with you. He knew it wasn’t right to use your grief as an excuse to touch you the way he always wanted, but he figured if it was also helping you then it couldn’t be that bad.
“Yeah, a bit, i just feel like I’m not drowning in it anymore y’know? Thank you for listening” you said with a small smile, Loki humming in understanding against your neck, sending shivers down your body. To anyone with working eyes the little details of your crush were obvious. You never let anyone other than Loki touch you, you were attached to his hip anytime it was possible, and you basically only spoke to him other than the small words you shared with Thor whenever he tried to extend an olive branch. The whole family had been very kind to you, but the rest of them just didn’t get you the way Loki could, he had never tried to shelter you, he only wanted to be a confidant for you. He had done it successfully as well, the only one to ever know how you truly felt at any given moment, there was deep and unspoken trust between you two who had been strangers only months earlier.
Loki sat the both of you up as he remembered how he planned to make today up to you, “While i was with Frigga she taught me something new, she said you’d like it, give me your hand” excitement clear in his voice. He took your hand and placed his on top, putting his focus into the spell before he opened his eyes to see you enthralled in the magic within his palm where small fireworks were shooting out, leaving a glow of changing colors against your face. Your big wide eyes full of joy for the first time that day,
“Loki! That’s amazing, how did she know i liked fireworks?” You asked as the smile spread across your lips.
“She remembered your mother telling her about how all you were so excited when you found out Midgard had two holiday’s dedicated to them, she spent at least two hours making sure i could do it properly, they never see you smile like you do around me so she wanted to do the best she could to make it happen.” He explained, changing the colors of the little light show to fit his story as he told it.
“That’s very kind of her, I’ll make sure i tell her how much i loved it, because i do love it. Fireworks remind me of simpler times, happier times, how can you be upset in front of such beautiful lights? I feel bad for how much distance i keep from Frigga, she’s one of few people who knew me before my parent’s passing and i know she would never try to replace my mother, but i feel like if i let her in I’m betraying her memory” you shyly admitted, turning around to essentially straddle him, one of his hands immediately landing on your hips. You knew Frigga would never overstep but in some ways you felt that if you accepted the love she was offering then you’d become attached, only to lose her as well.
“I understand that love, and so does she, it’s why she gives you your space” Loki affirmed you, stopping the fireworks only to settle his hand against your cheek, gazing into your eyes, just barely allowing himself to get lost in them before continuing.
“I know you forgive me for today but I don’t quite forgive myself for letting you down” he said, guilt evident even in his soothing voice.
“Loki-”
“No let me finish” he cut you off with a finger against your lips to which you only nodded.
“I don’t forgive myself, you deserved better. So from now on we will make Mother’s Day a fireworks holiday, just you and me after i give Frigga her flowers, and hopefully you’ll let her join us someday” Loki finished with a warm smile, running one of his hands up and down your side. You was beside yourself, happy tears welling in your eyes at the beautiful gesture that you knew he fully meant. Your hands met his face, rubbing your thumb against the apples of his cheeks.
“I love you Loki, thank you so much” you exclaimed as you wrapped your arms around his neck, pulling him into the warmest hug you could give him before pulling away to look into his stunning eyes. He had slightly paled leaving you a bit confused but before you could ask him about it he was leaning in, pressing a soft kiss to your lips, and before you could reciprocate he had already pulled away.
Loki didn’t dare meet your eyes as he scrambled to get from underneath you, sliding you back onto the actual bed before quickly moving across the room to put distance between you, as if he was trying to protect you from him. Loki paced running his hands through his dark head of hair, angry at himself for doing something so stupid. You tried to make your way over to him but he only backed away.
“No, you stay over there. God i’m such a fool, I’m so sorry y/n, I can’t believe i did that” his voice cracking, y/n could see the tears starting to stream down his face.
“Loki it’s okay” you pleaded, trying everything to comfort the extremely distressed man in front of you.
“NO IT ISN’T Y/N!” He yelled, more angry at himself than you.
“An hour ago you were crying about your parents and then i go and try to kiss you?! It was wrong and stupid and it wasn’t how this was supposed to happen.” Loki is beside himself at this point, face in buried in his hands.
“How what was supposed to happen Loki?” you ask with a gulp, utterly confused at your best friends behavior.
“Fuck it, i already ruined everything…” he said shaking his head in disbelief before continuing,
“I love you y/n.” He stated with a wavering voice.
“I love you too Loki, i just told you that” you returned.
“No y/n, I don’t love you that way. I love you in the way that makes me weak in the knees, the way that let’s you consume my thoughts for every moment that i am alive. Every breath i take is so i can spend another moment with you, every new magic trick i learn is in hopes that i can put a smile on those gorgeous lips of yours, because i love you. From the very first time i made you smile i knew it was all i ever wanted to do, make you happy. I pushed all of my feelings for you away because i wanted you to heal, I wanted you to be in a better place because it isn’t fair of me to put that much pressure on you. I wanted the timing to be right so nothing could get in our way and now I’ve completely ruined any possibility of a relationship. I’m sorry for this, for all of it, for forcing my feelings upon you when you were vulnerable. I’m sorry that I’m such a lovesick fool that i would accidentally hurt you. I hope despite my mistakes tonight you take away the fact that i would move mountains, destroy every galaxy, and leave everything I’ve ever known behind, for you.” He stopped only to release shaky breath, he looked sort of frozen to his place in the room, as if he were going to be swallowed whole by the floor if he moved.
“Because y/n, i am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with you.” He finished with a slight sob, it was only then you noticed how he was shaking. You carefully made your way to him, reaching up to touch his trembling figure, making him flinch. It broke your heart to see it, was he afraid that you would try and hurt him? After such sweet words?
“Loki honey… look at me please” you begged him, he shook his head without looking up from his feet, you’d think you had screamed at him with the way he was acting like a scared puppy.
“Kitty, will you please look at me?” The sound of that nickname made his head reluctantly look up, his eyes meeting yours for the first time in what felt like ages, you looked between him and his lips silently begging for him not to pull away as you slowly connected them. The kiss was gentle and affirming, filled with nothing but love. His arms slowly making their way to your waist as if he was afraid you’d break if he moved too suddenly. You lightly eased into the kiss before finally pulling away, Loki looked more shocked than anything as you moved your head to rest on his shoulder.
“I love you too Loki, when i said i loved you earlier i meant it the same way you did, i just never thought you felt the same. I’m so in love with you, i thought you would have figured that out by now with how intelligent you are” you released a small laugh, not understanding how such a brilliant mind could’ve missed something so evident. If it was a snake, it would’ve bit him.
“Obviously I didn’t, I’m intelligent but blind as it seems” a relieved chuckle fell past his lips as he smiled at you, the feeling of you in his arms was an unmatched form of soothing.
“Please don’t feel bad about this or the timing, I’m happy Loki. You make me happy, you’re really the only thing that does. You are the best thing in my life and I couldn’t have asked for anything better, except maybe for you to not have scared the shit out of me like that earlier.” Looking up at him during the last part, bringing a hand up to wipe away tear stains littering his milky skin.
“I’m sorry y/n, i just didn’t want to overstep” he leaned into your hand before putting his own on top of it, making sure it didn’t leave it’s place for the time being.
“Trust me, i am perfectly fine with this, but you owe me for the damn heart attack you just gave me” you pointed out, lightly hitting his chest to scold him, your heart had been in your ass from the minute he first pulled away.
“Oh no, how could i ever repay you for the damage” he retorted with his signature smirk, tucking a strand of hair behind your ear
“Shut up, kiss me, and do the fireworks again kitty, i want them purple this time” removing your hand from his cheek only to play with the collar of his top.
“Whatever you want my love, your wish is my command” and with that he followed your request, pulling you in again and giving you what was your first full kiss together, your hands made their way to rest around his neck. It expressed all the pent up emotion, warmth moving between the messy kiss, both of you far too excited to care.
Without breaking the kiss Loki raised one of his hands, bringing back the small magic in his palms to illuminate the kiss with your favorite shade of violet, two kinds of fireworks exploding in that moment.
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vampireoutofbusiness · 4 hours ago
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My Heart Aches for You
NAVIGATION
Pairing: peter parker x reader
Warnings: none, just angsty as hell
Request: Peter and reader getting into an argument about him being really clingy and he gets insecure because he has separation anxiety
Synopsis: You finally let your thoughts about Peter's attachment issues spill out.
a/n: I wanna cry, thank you.
Want to request something? Click Here
*Do not repost my work anywhere, reblogs are appreciated*
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Ever since you and Peter started dating, you did mostly everything together. Not necessarily because you have to but because he needs you. It’s understandable; he doesn’t have very many people in his life that he’s close with. To be one of the people he trusts means a lot to you.
Although, he’s extremely attached to you. His company is honestly one of the best things you could ask for. He means so well, that boy wears his heart on his sleeve. You’d never do anything to hurt him and make him feel more diminished than he already does.
Just the constant shadow you have no matter what you’re doing is getting on your nerves a little. Again, he tries to give you nothing but love and contentment. That feeling of having him around you every second of when you’re together is a lot.
He’s always touching you somehow and get’s upset if you don’t want him to. Whenever you stayed over at his apartment or he stayed at yours, he followed you into the bathroom and stood right next to you when you got ready for bed.
After dating for several months, it was getting to be a lot for you to handle with all of your own issues and concerns. Yes, he’s extremely considerate and always trying to help you with things. But he’s always trying to help you.
There have been times May calls you late at night, apologizing for waking you, and tells you Peter has been crying for you. Like a baby…
Then you drove there and held him while he fell asleep. And all is well again. But worrying about him 25/8 is exhausting.
“Peter,” you let out a heavy sigh, “I can’t,”
“But May said you can stay over anytime,” he told you quietly.
His arms were wrapped around your neck with his head resting in the crook. You were standing together in front of the couch because that’s as far as you could get before he halted your exit. You’ve spent the whole day at his apartment but he was in no mood to let you leave.
“That doesn’t mean I can’t sleep in my own bed at other times,”
“With me next to you?
“You’re cute, but no,” you pried his arms from your body.
He could easily keep them there but he’s whiney, not controlling.
You cupped his cheeks but he didn’t look happier like he usually did from your touch.
“I have a home too, you know,” you kissed his forehead, “I love you, please don’t make this harder. I’ll see you on Monday at school, alright?”
He slowly nodded, still not accepting that you needed to leave. If you let him, he would glue himself to you. His days and nights were one thousand times better with your presence. You truly saved him.
“Can you grab my phone?” You brushed his cheek and he gave you a small smile.
“I love you,” he shuffled over to the kitchen where he thought you left it as you went to put on your shoes.
He grabbed it and quickly walked over to you so he could tie your shoes for you.
You’ve told him countless times you can do it yourself but he insists.
“Thank you sunshine,” he took your hand to help him up, not that he needed it.
He gave you proud smile, pleased with his work.
“Does this mean you’ll kiss me goodbye?”
“If you give up my phone,” you held out your hand but he shook his head, making no movement.
“Come on,” you bent your fingers back to your palm to gesture for him to hurry up, “Peter,”
At this point in the day, his consistent clinginess was getting irritating.
“Kiss me,”
“Give me my phone,”
“No,” he pouted, backing away when you stepped closer to reach behind his back.
“Fine, no kiss, and I can’t talk to you until Monday without my phone,” you crossed your arms and watched him think about it.
He slowly brought your phone forward and grinned when you placed a deep kiss on his lips that he felt linger. You grabbed your phone and his smile was quick to leave, resulting in you rolling your eyes.
“Please don’t go,”
“You always do this,” you said under your breath, grabbing your coat from the rack.
“W- what?” His lip quivered accompanied by lost puppy fog eyes.
“I- that’s not how I meant it,” you pulled on your coat and zipped it up, “you just are so clingy and I have to leave whether you like it or not,”
His eyes started to water and he felt his cheeks heat up.
“But I don’t like when you’re not with me,” he looked at the floor, defeated.
“I know but it’s getting pretty ridiculous,” you reached for his chin but he jerked back, “Hey, don’t,”
“No, you’re being mean. Just because I l-like being with you means I’m- that I’m annoying?”
He sounded so broken. Your soft boy looked up at you, tears running down his face. That’s why you’re so hesitant to bring anything like this up. One wrong move and he assumes the worst about himself.
“Didn’t say that,” your voice stern but kind.
“You’d implied it,” he sniffled and wiped his nose with his sleeve.
You felt your own tears start to form.
“Peter-,”
“No, you feel this way then g- go home, like you want,” he shrugged, not making a move to open the door for you like usual.
“It’s not my fault you’re needy- always agitated if you can’t see or touch me- it is exhausting!” You raised your voice with your own tears leaving your eyes, hand coming over your mouth when you caught up with what you said.
You just hurt the person you love most in the world.
Peter was just hurt by the person he loves most in the world.
His jaw went slack with more tears rolling down his cheeks. Without a word, he stepped back, his hands shaking, before turning and walking to his room down the hall.
“Peter, please, I-,” your breaking voice stopped when his door slammed shut.
You walked home, cheeks blotchy from crying, making desperate phone calls to Peter Parker.
=====
Taglist: @imawhoreforu @avengersbitch @criminalyetminimal
@quaksonhehe @tayyx @marthakookie @t-bag2 @stefans-wife
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buckleup25k · 5 hours ago
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mullet papa 🍼
(bucky barnes x reader)
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You are trying to get into a new college but unfortunately, you don't have enough money. You find out through a friend that you can get paid around $25,000 to be a surrogate mother. It doesn't seem like such a bad idea. But somehow the sperm vials get switched and there are a lot of people depending on the baby you are carrying.
Chapter 3 - Back to Reality
word count - 428
(2021)
“Y/N. You are not up yet?” MJ hovers over me as I lay in bed. “I thought you were getting changed. We have to leave soon to the doctors.”
“Wait, what?” I look up at her.
“I booked you an appointment with a fertility specialist.”
“What did you do?”
“Ughhhh, Y/N,” She yanks my arm pulling me out of bed.
“We need to see if you’re are able to be a surrogate mother and to do so you need to go to a fertility specialist,”
“Fertility Specialist, rightttt. Imma get changed.”
“Thank youuu,'' MJ says as she closes my door behind her. What the fuck are you supposed to wear to a fertility doctor? A t-shirt and jeans seem too complicated because I would have to get… inspected. A dress should do it. But what dress? A casual one. All right here a black and white striped dress and converse should be a good addition.
---
I walk downstairs to see MJ waiting by the door. She looks up at me in relief.
“Took you a while,” she says with a chuckle in her throat.
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll just get breakfast then we can go.” 
Before I get the chance to walk into the kitchen she grabs my arm.
“No time,” she says. “We can get it on the way.”
---
MJ is in the driver's seat. She just got her licence and has been eager to drive ever since. ‘From the Dining Table,’ is blaring through the speakers so much that I can’t form any coherent thoughts, all of it is just Harry Styles. 
“What are you thinking about?” MJ asks me in a sympathetic tone. I lie.
“Just the appointment...” Definitely not Harry Styles shirtless... MJ turns down the music. Bitch. 
“I don’t know. Everythings just happening so fast, you know?” I sigh. “Anyway, enough about me, how about you?”
“What about me?” MJ looks at me weirdly.
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe, Peter...” I stare at her and she coughs violently.
“Peter. What about Peter?” She says, daze filling her face.
“Give me the details. I’m trying to live vicariously through you.”
 “You do know that it is kind of sad that a self-sufficient adult is living through a 16-year-old.”
“Quit beating around the bush and just tell me.”
“Alright, Fuck it. We went to the drive-ins-” I cut her off.
“The drive-ins huh. Did anything-” I wiggle my eyebrows, “happen...”
“Y/N. What the fuck? It was our first date.”
“Alrighttt...you don’t have to tell me then.” I said with a smirk.
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pinklight · 5 hours ago
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pochoir en couleurs (preview)
pairing: sharon carter x fem!reader
synopsis: sharon hosts an exclusive art auction. you go home with wet thighs and an original from 1934.
warnings*: soft!dom sharon, oral/fingering (r receiving), semi-public sex in a bathroom ooh la la, smut / 18+ / minors dni
* full warnings available upon publishing.
PREVIEW UNDER THE CUT.
“Tell me.”
Her voice is deep, gaze equally dark, and you feel the sharp, tiny pricks of her fingernails threatening to dig into your hips through the thin fabric of your dress. The sensation makes heat start to pool enticingly in your belly.
“I want it,” you gasp, breathless at the sudden change in energy.
She hums in satisfied acknowledgment. It’s hard to hear her over the music blaring from what’s now become the dancefloor, but you really don’t care since she’s tilting her face to kiss you.
You’re about to capture her lips with your own when you’re rudely interrupted by the phone in her blazer pocket vibrating insistently. She sighs, annoyed, and pulls away from you to read something on the screen.
“The restroom in the lounge. Five minutes,” she says, snapping her burner flip phone closed with a sharp click!
“What?”
Her eyes glint with erotic promise. “I’ll give it to you.”
.
.
.
COMING SOON. JUNE 27, 2021 @ 3PM EDT.
thank u for anticipating this fic aah !!
masterlist under construction, but will be linked here when it’s done.
my fic recs: #recs | @lightperuses (fic recs only blog)
see u soon ♡
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theconstantsidekick · 7 hours ago
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The Avengers (ft. Static) Masterlist
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Pairings: Tony Stark x Stark!Reader (siblings), Steve Rogers x Stark!Reader,
Genre: Fluff I guess.
Summary: The events of the Avengers take place but Tony's sister's, y/n (yet to be codenamed—Static) is there to participate in the action.
(These scenes incorporate y/n, codename—Static, into the pre-existing story as a character without making drastic changes to the plot or mythos. All the major plot points from the MCU remain in place with the addition of the reader as Static, who is not only a Stark but also enhanced. Whatever events from the canon aren’t mentioned, take place without much change.)
Warnings: Swearing.
a/n: read Age of Ultron (ft. Static) to get a better backstory. Highly recommended. Makes the jokes funnier.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Other works in order of release—
The Falcon, The Winter Soldier and Static
Age of Ultron (ft. Static) (Static's origin story)
Static: Get, Set, Glitch
Static Verse Headcanons
Iron Man 1 (ft. Static)
Bucky Barnes, the Boyfriend
Static Verse Masterlist (main masterlist)
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lokiedokiee-fanfic · 7 hours ago
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Caught (Loki x reader)(pt.31)
A/N: it appears the writing gods hath blessed me with some long awaited motivation, and  thus i do present to thou: another chapter. yet again based off of the loki to the rescue prompt because we all know what's going to happen next and i didn't give anyone time to send me new prompts woops. pls send ideas for the long anticipated confession and how the heck they're gonna get themselves out of this situation in case the writing gods decide to abandon me again<3
Word count: idk like 1.8k maybe
...
Chapter 31
As it turns out, you definitely do not have a plan. What you do have, however, is a toilet flush, and probable concussion.
James is describing to you what he knows about the layout of the building. Apparently he’s been here for a while. While he speaks, you concentrate on trying to stop the room from spinning lazily around you. Your head is throbbing more and more painfully by the minute.
“You okay?” Maya asks you under her breath while James talks, and you turn to look at her. She’s frowning at the wound in the side of your head.
“I’m fine.” you say quietly. Maya looks unconvinced. You don’t blame her.
The building, according to James, is underground. It’s a large circular structure, which leads him to believe that the electromagnetic device which they’re using to stem your powers will be located right in the centre.
“So, what you’re saying is that we need to get to this central… control room, and whatever it is that’s preventing us from using our powers, and destroy it…?” Margo asks slowly.
“I’m not saying anything. I think that we should stay in our cells, and I think that it’s very suspicious that there aren’t any alarms going o-”
James is cut off by a sudden, loud alarm, which amplifies the pain in your head tenfold.
“That less suspicious for you?” Margo shouts, clapping her hands over her ears. She barely finishes speaking before three guards run into the room.
There is a brief moment where they stop in their tracks, staring at the five of you. Then they move. In the time it takes you to take three steps forward, Maya, Margo and Frankie have run forward, disarmed and knocked out the three guards.
“You should keep it.” you shake your head as Maya offers you one of the guards’ batons with charged tips to you. You’re in no state to fight, but you have a feeling that that’s not going to matter very soon.
“Let’s go, quick!” Frankie says, and you follow her quickly from the room, staggering as you do so.
Concentrate.
“We should take our chances and head for the exit. It’s too dangerous to go further in without the element of surprise!” Maya shouts.
“No! We’ll never make it out. Which way to the control room James?” Margo shouts back. James points, and Margo and Frankie take off in that direction. Maya looks at you in concern. You can only shrug and gesture after them.
You don’t get two corridors away from the cells, James shouting directions from behind you, before five more guards appear. You flex your hands and roll your shoulders as they run towards you. Ignore the pain.
The minute you enter combat with the first guard it’s easier to ignore the pain, adrenaline from your short run and now physical combat flooding your senses instead. You take her down fairly easily, snatching her baton from her as she drops to the ground.
When you turn around, three other guards are on the floor, and Maya is dealing with the fifth. She really is an excellent fighter, and despite the dire situation you can’t help but feel grateful that she’s here.
Frankie and Margo are also helpful additions; they don’t look like overly experienced fighters, but their frustration at being locked in cells for so long seems to be well making up for that. James is useless apart from his direction giving.
As you continue further into the department it occurs to you that you’re only going further into the belly of the beast, where there are bound to be more guards, and you begin to question Margo’s plan.
The alarm suddenly, thankfully, stops. Somehow this makes you more concerned.
“Keep going.” Frankie urges.
“Take a left.” James says, and you do, coming face to face with five more guards running towards you. Adrenaline drives you forwards towards them.
This time it’s less easy; your vision begins to blur again and the floor moves unsteadily beneath your feet. The guard you’re locked in combat with tries to take a swing at your head and you only just dodge it, slamming your baton into his knees as you lurch towards the floor.
As you do there’s a loud cry of pain from behind you, and you spin around to see Margo on the floor. Frankie bellows with rage and throws herself at the guard who knocked her down, while Maya is locked in combat with two guards at once.
You make to step forward to help, but the guard behind you lunges for your feet and sends you crashing face first to the ground.
“Get off!” you shout in annoyance, kicking out. Your foot must connect with something important, because the guard’s hand falls away from your foot. You scramble to your feet, lurching forward towards Maya and throwing yourself at one of the guards trying to disarm her.
Between you, Maya and Frankie you manage to take down the remaining three guards. Frankie immediately goes to Margo and hauls her to her feet.
“You okay?” you ask, and she nods groggily, looking worryingly pale all of a sudden. Before you’ve even had time to take another step forward there are more guards coming around the corner. Frankie sets Margo down again and you re-ready yourself for combat.
Maybe James had been right: you should have just stayed in your cells. You manage to take down the next few guards, but only just. By the time you’re through with them you can hardly see again, and Frankie has sustained what looks horribly like a broken rib or two.
James grabs one of the guards walkie talkie and speaks into it.
“The prisoners have been secured. Call off any remaining guards.”
You decide that you like James a lot. Margo groans.
“Who is this?”
You scrabble for the guard’s uniform, and quickly show James the nametag which reads Johnson.
“Johnson.”
“Copy that. Return them to their cells, apart from the new one. Boss wants her here.”
A rush of fear travels through you.
“Message received.” James says. Maya glares.
“Message received?”
“Excuse me for not knowing prison guard dialect.” James scowls.
“We still need to hurry. That will have bought us some time, but not much.” Frankie says, wincing as she crouches down to help Margo back up.
Maya links her arm through yours to help steady you as you start forward again, and you breathe out something that may or may not have sounded like a thank you. Your ears are ringing, and the right side of your head feels horribly warm and sticky again.
You get two more corridors down before you hear footsteps again.
“Hide.” James hisses, stopping in his tracks.
“Hide where exactly?!” Frankie hisses back.
A singular guard appears, walking quickly and looking most out of place. When he sees the five of you in the middle of the corridor he stops in his tracks, and then his gaze moves to you. The look that crosses his face as he sets eyes on you is almost enough to make you blush, but you’ve never seen this man before in your life.
He rushes towards you, only you, but he doesn’t look like he’s about to attack as the other guards did. He doesn’t even have a weapon. You take an unsteady step back as he approaches you, and then he has you by the arms.
“What happened?”
It’s only now that he’s so close to you that you realise who he is. His voice is so full of concern, but that’s nothing compared to his eyes. His eyes are full of concern too, but they’re also full of something else.
And you’re just staring at him.
“What- what did they do to her?” the guard asks Maya, turning away from you to address her.
“Nothing, apart from that.” Maya says pointing to your head, “I’m sorry, but who are you?”
“I- oh.” the guard says, and drops his illusion.
“Oh thank god.” Maya says, and Loki looks at her in surprise. Then he looks back at you, and he’s still got that expression on his face. But now it’s actually his face, and his eyes.
You want to kiss him so badly.
“That looks painful.” Loki says, his eyes moving to the right side of your head. He has a few fresh looking bruises on his face, and one of his cheeks has a cut across it.
“I’m concussed.” you say loudly through the ringing in your ears, louder than you’d intended. His mouth twitches like he’s holding back a smile.
“Yes, I think you probably are.” he tells you, releasing one of your biceps and moving a hand to your head instead.
You swallow, watching him nervously, and then warmth spreads through the injured side of your head. Good warmth, not the sort of warmth which you’ve associated with fresh bleeding. The pain subsides slowly and your eyelids flutter shut in relief; you find yourself unconsciously leaning into his touch.
“Hey, can you fix her up too?” Frankie’s voice interrupts your moment, and you open your eyes. Loki’s looking at you in that same way again, and you have to make a conscious effort to stay standing up, not because of your injuries.
“Thanks.” you say, but this time it comes out as a whisper. Your head doesn’t hurt as much, but the floor is still moving beneath your feet.
“I don’t have much magic. They’re using something to block your powers, and it’s affecting me as well. I can cast easy illusions and heal small injuries, but not much more at the moment. And that doesn’t look like a small injury.” Loki tells Frankie, pointing at Margo.
“Well let’s keep moving then.” Frankie scowls, starting forward again. Maya leaves you with Loki and assists Frankie with Margo instead.
“How did you get in here? Is there back-up?” you ask Loki, your voice hoarse.
“Not yet. SHIELD wanted to wait and follow protocol after they’d located you; I did not. Neither did Thor and his lackeys. I imagine they’ll be here before SHIELD.” Loki tells you. Embarrassingly, your eyes fill with tears as relief courses through you. Loki pretends not to see.
They know where you are. Help is coming.
“Okay.” you whisper.
“Do you know you’re going the wrong way?” Loki asks suddenly, stopping in his tracks. You almost smile.
“Yes. We’re going to try and destroy whatever it is that’s preventing us from using our powers. We can’t get out otherwise.” you tell him, blinking hard to get rid of the tears. Loki nods.
“Perfect timing for me not being able to teleport, is what you’re saying.” he says, annoyance lacing his voice. You nod, feeling suddenly, horribly sick.
“Are you okay? Did that not help?” Loki asks in concern, gesturing to your head.
“Externally, yes. Internally… I think I’m a bit fried.” you tell him quietly, trying not to open your mouth too wide.
“We’ll destroy this… whatever it is, and then I’ll be able to heal you properly, okay?” he says, taking your arm. You grab hold of him, feeling too horrible to even feel embarrassed.
“Okay.” you whisper again.
...
Readers, my beloved, please do not like this post. Please reblog it. If I could I would send physical money to the angels who reblog my fics. Likes mean absolutely nothing to content creators, in the nicest way possible. Reblogs boost content so much and they are so rare, which sucks. So yeah anyways if you actually enjoy this story please for Pete’s sake reblog this post. Do it for Pete (sorry guys it’s 1am and this has been bugging me a lot lately).
Tag list: @theacadominique @frostedgiant @unearthlydreams @sherlockmarvelharrypotter @hhaydenn @curiousershipper @fredweasleyandlokiaremylife @i-beg-your-pardon-laufeyson (also friendly reminder that if you change your username your @ won’t work on tag lists anymore!)
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falcon-eye · 7 hours ago
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Chapters: 5/? Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV), The Avengers (Marvel Movies), The Avengers (Marvel) - All Media Types Rating: Teen And Up Audiences Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Sam Wilson, James "Bucky" Barnes & Sam Wilson Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Original Male Character(s), Sharon Carter (Marvel), Sarah Wilson (Marvel), Tony Stark Additional Tags: Clone AU, Kid Fic, Kinda, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Past Abuse, Recovery, Canon-Typical Violence, Alternate Universe - Everyone Lives/Nobody Dies, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Other Additional Tags to Be Added Summary:
“They found a cage, Sam,” Sharon says. “Or, cell, rather. Empty, but only just recently. Someone had been keeping someone there.”
Sam blinks. Swallows. Nods. “What do we do?”
“You,” Sharon replies, “do nothing, for now. I’m just giving you a heads-up. Whoever was in that cage may have your location. I don’t know if this was some surviving HYDRA cell or some new attempt at reviving them, but be careful.”
Sharon hangs up and Sam immediately turns to Bucky. “What are you thinking?”
Bucky leans forward, elbows on his knees. “Sounds like they were trying to make another me.”
  Or: Sam and Bucky’s little stunt in Madripoor may have unleashed something that neither one of them is prepared to deal with.
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marvel-sambuckyvibes · 7 hours ago
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One day Sam is out practicing with the shield. It's a bit cloudy out, dark, and rain is anticipated by anyone with a brain. But Sam doesn't care. He actually wants to get a little practice in during a downpour.
Meanwhile, Bucky is napping inside on the couch. A booming thunderclap echos through the sky, and Bucky opens his eyes and flips onto his back.
As he sits up, he sees Sam. It is at the perfect moment, as Sam is throwing the shield and catching it. Bucky's mouth parts a little bit at the tenderness in the moment he witnesses, because Sam just seems so careful but free.
Bucky finds himself jolted out of his trance as the first big drops of water start to find the glass on the window. And even though it is pouring within seconds, Sam continues to practice.
Bucky gets up softly, as if he was trying to not wake an animal, and opens the back door quietly. He steps out from the house into the rain, where he is drenched immediately. But Bucky doesn't care. He watches as Sam launches the shield at one tree to another, catching and rebounding. Bucky feels the odd blast of warmth that he is sure he will never quite get used to.
Barely a minute passes before the shield hits a tree and flies towards Bucky. Sam doesn't anticipate Bucky's presence, and seems to panic before he sees Bucky catch the shield. Sam's face turns from panic to content.
"What are you doing out here?" Sam asks softly as he walks to Bucky's arm through the rain.
"Just watching you," Bucky replies. Bucky hands over the shield, and Sam's forehead touches Bucky's. Bucky smiles.
"As you should," Sam says happily, as he and Bucky share a long, delicate kiss in the rain.
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tinyyoungblood · 7 hours ago
Did you see my Peter Parker request bestie of you coming through peters window and him helping you patch your wounds like you have done for him in the past. He was the only place you could think of with as much pain you were in on little to no time you almost faint when you get through his window. And he might kiss some of your wounds because he’s not really sure what else he can do to make you feel better ? 🥺👉🏻👈🏻🥰🥺🥺🥺🥺
ring pop | peter parker
pairing: peter parker x avenger!reader
warning: angst, mention of blood, fluff
a/n: writing headcanons for so long has literally butchered my ability to string proper sentences together so this is rough lol, but i loved this request! listen to “ring pop” by jax if you want the full fluff experience. enjoy x
─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───
“Before you say anything—” You held up your palms as Peter’s eyes widened in the dark, taking in your battered form from where he lied on his bed. A chill creeped through the opened window, making you shiver and grit your teeth. “I just want to let you know that if I don’t make it tonight, you have full permission to use my eulogy as a posthumous lecture.”
“A posthumous—” Peter cast his notebook to the side and got to his feet. “Y/N, you’re bleeding. What happened?”
“Is May home?” You asked quickly, ignoring his question.
“May?” Peter repeated, staring at you like he had never heard of that woman.
“Your aunt?” Your vision started to get patchy.
“My—” He shook his head. “May isn’t home, it’s just us. But you know that, it’s Wednesday, she always works late on Wednesdays.”
Peter was rambling now, talking to you like you weren’t dripping blood on the pillow on his floor. Or maybe he wasn’t, you couldn’t tell. All you knew was the stabbing pain on your left shoulder, piercing into your arm like lightning.
At once, Peter stopped talking. “You’re not okay,” he pointed out, though he had said it to no one in particular.
“What gave it away?” You retorted half-heartedly. Narrowing his eyes at you, he stepped forward. Before you could protest, Peter was already in front of you, lifting your arms carefully as he raked your body.
You winced as his hand bumped into your waist and he immediately let go, flashing you an apologetic look. His voice was laced with concern. “What happened to you?”
Your neck ached a little from a muscular knot you’d hardly noticed before. It throbbed now with discomfort and strain. You offered him a crooked smile. “I slipped.”
“You did not slip,” Peter scoffed, ever the realist, and took your hand, lacing it with yours while guiding you to sit down on his bed. “You’re one sneeze away from death, Y/N. Tell me what happened.”
Peter kneeled on the carpet floor and retrieved the first aid kit from under his bed. It was covered in glow-in-the-dark cars stickers, which you recognised from a fair that you had once went to together. It was the only thing you had won that night and Peter had smiled so brightly when you gave them to him, but somehow, you still found yourself surprised to see them in his possession.
“I fell off a roof,” you said, tracing the lining of his blanket as Peter popped the lid open. His eyes flicked to yours before he went back to taking out some cotton balls. He stepped into the space framed by your knees and peeled off the remnants of your suit, rolling it to rest at your waist. A deep punctured wound glared at him.
“Did you fall into a thorn bush?” Peter asked drily. “Or was there a spear on the sidewalk that impaled you?”
You winced as he tapped the soaked cotton balls on your skin, the alcohol burning in a way that you weren’t used to. He was gentle and froze whenever you flinched before continuing, but you knew by his flat gaze that he wanted the real answer or nothing. You cleared your throat and fixed your eyes on his dishevelled curls. “Fine,” you murmured. “Someone pushed me off the roof.”
Peter glanced at you. Without saying a word, he pressed the bottle of rubbing alcohol into your hands. You watched as he picked up some gauze and signalled for you to lift your left arm. Cautiously, he draped the clean piece of cloth around your forearm. His knuckles brushed against your skin. You took a breath. “There were four guys trying to break into the flower shop across Delmar’s. One of them got ahold of my sheath and things got ugly. But I swear I’m fine,” you added as Peter worked on your other arm.
He tied the ends into a knot and nodded to the bandage that he had just secured on your left arm. “You’re already bleeding through your bandages. I wouldn’t call that fine.”
You glanced down. A faint red blossom of blood had spread on the bandage. You tugged awkwardly at the strip of gauze. “Subjectively fine,” you amended before looking up, turning your narrowed gaze to his. “This isn’t fair. I don’t see why you’re making a big deal out of this when you slip into my room nearly every night while bleeding to death.”
Peter looked affronted at that. “It’s not the same.”
“How is that not the same?” You asked incredulously.
“Because it’s me,” Peter snapped. “I’m the one bleeding. Not you. That’s what makes this not fine.”
“Oh, please.” Scorn dripped off your lips. “Don’t pull that white knight bullshit on me. I’m perfectly capable of doing this myself.”
You snatched the gauze out of his hands and fiddled with it. The next bandage had to be wrapped under your arm and around your shoulder. You knew how to take care of wounds—the task had become a vital skill in not only your life—but this was more challenging than you would ever admit. You simply couldn’t reach that way. Your limbs were still aching and you felt the beginning of an awful headache coming. Having Peter watch you intensely didn’t help your case either, especially when annoyance and pity flashed in those brown eyes that you normally sought out for comfort. There was no comfort in this.
But you weren’t going to be the one to ask for help, and Peter knew that. He loosened a breath and held out his open palm to you, waiting patiently for you to relent. You stared at his hand for a moment and dropped the gauze roll into it. Silently, Peter worked on your arm, leaning in to loop the bandage behind you. You were both aware of how close he was. His warm breath fanned over the shell of your ear.
Peter wrapped the strip around your arm twice and tied it near the joint. You expected him to step back, facing you with an expression that was most likely regret or spite or both. But he didn’t budge. Both of you had gone utterly still.
Your pulse picked up. You knew that Peter could hear it, probably see it too. You wondered if it matched his own beat. But before you even knew what his intentions were, Peter lowered his head.
His lips hovered just above the warm juncture between your shoulder and the column of your neck—a spot that Peter always seemed to gravitate to. You drew in a sharp breath. The barest movement and his lips brushed your skin. Desire and a sense of familiarity coursed through you.
“I don’t want to fight,” he mumbled. “I just…I don’t know what else to do.” He left a trail of warm, soft kisses down your slender neck. You exhaled slowly and let Peter say what he needed to say without uttering a single word. He pressed a kiss to the end of your jawline and moved smoothly up to your ear. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.
Then he stepped back and looked you in the eyes. “It’s fine,” you said, the beginning of a smile forming on your lips. “Just don’t give me a hard time when it’s uncalled for. You patched up my wounds. That is enough.”
Peter didn’t look convinced. He lifted an eyebrow as you pulled him forward, pushing him into the mattress so you were lying side by side. Comfortable silence fell. Your eyelids felt heavier with each second, memories of vivid city lights blurred inside your head as you slipped in and out of consciousness. You knew you had to change out of your suit, but the softness of his duvet was too alluring. Too peaceful.
You felt warm breath fanning over your arm, followed by the soft press of familiar lips.
“What are you doing?” You asked, opening your eyes and pushing Peter’s face gently away. His curls fell carelessly onto your cheek as he looked up at you with raised brows. You caught a whiff of his shampoo. You loved that smell.
“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m kissing your boo-boos better.” He made to lower his head again, and you laughed.
“Don’t call them boo-boos. I was literally stabbed with a knife.”
He growled against your collarbone. “Don’t remind me.” Again, those lips on your skin.
If you had thought that peace was the cosiness of Peter’s bed, then you stood corrected. You found peace in the careful and tender kisses Peter left on your skin. You found it in the way his thumb rubbed mindless circles into your waist—careful not to touch any bruises. Even the citrus smell of his shampoo, surrounding you like a daydream felt like peace to you.
Everything about Peter Parker brought you peace and comfort.
“I have something for you,” Peter said, grinning excitedly.
“Oh?”
You watched as Peter rose to his feet, almost tripping over the notebook he had tossed to the ground after you had climbed through his window. He stumbled to the desk and shuffled through his papers until he found what he was looking for and let out a pleased hum. He lied back down beside you, propping himself on his elbow before presenting you a small object.
“A ring pop?” You asked, amused. Peace, peace, peace.
Peter shrugged, eyes cast downward. “Yeah, is that okay?” He said. “I know it’s not enough but—”
“It’s perfect,” you cut in, the corners of your mouth began to hurt from how broadly you smiled.
“I…” Peter blinked at you. “You’re sure?”
You nodded and your mouth quirked to the side. “As long as this is not my engagement ring, it’s more than enough.”
Chuckling, Peter slipped the ring pop on your finger and gave the back of your hand a kiss. He then twisted and grabbed the water bottle standing on his night stand. He unscrewed the cap and took off the plastic ring that sat at the neck of the bottle, offering it to you.
“It’s just a promise,” he explained before shooting you a toothy grin. “So we can both be each other’s annoying white knights.”
“I like that,” you responded, mirroring his grin. You slipped the plastic ring on his finger and frowned. It was hardly big enough and sat awkwardly at his knuckle.
“It doesn’t fit,” you said uselessly, and Peter waved you off.
“Don’t worry. We’ll get me a ring pop when your organs work again.” He shot you a wink. “Everyone deserves an edible promise ring, don’t you think?”
You laughed.
Peace, peace, peace.
* * *
stay hydrated pals
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blissfullybarnes · 8 hours ago
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fools rush in // b.b (ch.1)
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Summary: Six years after your breakup your ex invites you to his wedding and you’re forced to confront two truths you’ve been trying to run from; you broke his heart and you’re still deeply in love with him.
Pairing: ex! bucky barnes x fem!reader, modern!au
Requested: no
Warning: mentions of drinking, panic attacks, shock, and angst
Word Count: 11,859
masterlist
You weigh your options as the pounding on your door continues. It’s not too late, which means that the banging probably wouldn’t wake any of your neighbors, but you can’t imagine they’re all too pleased with the disturbance either way.
He’s been going at it for seven minutes. When you didn’t answer the first time, he waited a full minute before knocking again. Since then, he hadn’t let up. It crosses your mind to let him keep knocking. Was the pounding annoying? Sure. Was it getting on your nerves? Absolutely. But you weren’t ready to face what was waiting for you on the other side of your door.
Sam has always been patient, persistent, even, and you know that he has no plans to stop assaulting your door with his fist until you let him in. You know why he’s here, and yet, you can’t bring yourself to open the door.
He knows you’re inside. He saw your car parked outside and the light on as he made his way up to your floor. Part of him knows why you’re avoiding him and honestly, he can’t blame you. If he were in your shoes, he’d probably do the same thing.
The last time he saw you was a couple of months ago. Four, to be exact. You weren’t as close as you used to be, but that’s what happens when friends pick sides. Nothing is ever the same.
He’s one of the few friends you have left, one of the few that even bother making an effort to check up on you after everything that went down. He understands why you did it and maybe that’s why he’s standing outside of your apartment building with a bag of Chinese food from your favorite place and knuckles that have been beaten raw as he tries to coax you outside.
He knows he can’t force you to open the door and he’s reminded as one of your elderly neighbors peeks her head out into the hall to see where all of the ruckus is coming from that he can’t knock forever. With an apologetic smile he silently apologizes to her, giving her a small nod as he removes his fist from your door for just a second. She scowls at him. It shouldn’t have been as big of a blow to his ego as it was, but it’s got him worrying that maybe his charm isn’t what it used to be.
When the knocking stops, you turn to the door. You’ve been sitting on the couch with your back towards it for at least twelve minutes now and the silence wasn’t something you were expecting so soon. Sam never gave up that easily. Curiosity got the best of you as you slowly rose from the couch and tiptoed over to the door.
He steals a glance at his watch. It’s getting late and although he’s never been known to back down from a challenge before, you’re incredibly stubborn. Had he not known you were inside and choosing to avoid him on purpose, he could’ve easily walked away and accepted defeat. Unfortunately, he knew that there were  only a couple of inches of thick wood and drywall that came between the two of you. Afraid of what he might possibly say, he knew you were seeking refuge in.
A deep exhale leaves his lips as he rests his forehead against your door. This wasn’t his fight, it never was, but he saw the way his blue eyes lost a little bit of their shine when he told him you weren’t coming. He saw the way his shoulders slumped forward when he shrugged it off and tried to convince him it wasn’t a big deal, even though he could tell that it was.
You owe him an explanation and you knew that’s what he was there to collect. Two weeks earlier you took the cowards way out and decided to send a letter, explaining why you could no longer attend. Your words seemed genuine when they were written in ink, but they were far from it. If you had to deliver the news face to face, you wouldn’t have been able to. Which was why you opted with the safe option.
You wondered if he knew Sam was there. You wondered if he was aware that his best friend was disturbing everyone on the ninth floor as he searched for answers to the questions he was bound to have. You wondered if he’d asked him to. The latter was probably unlikely, but the thought alone was enough to tug on your heart and make it ache with a pain that had been long forgotten.
With a shaky hand, you reached for the deadbolt, sliding it out of place and unlocking your door. The sooner you got this over with, the quicker he could leave.
He steps back when he hears the door unlock and before he can even mutter out a greeting, you’re answering the question you know he’s there for.
“I already told him I couldn’t come and made sure to send a lovely gift as an apology.” It’s quick and you hope that if you get it all out in one breath that you won’t have to say another word about it ever again.
You don’t mean to be so short with him and you hope that he knows that your tone has nothing to do with him, rather the situation. His face is unreadable, it always has been and even after all of these years you don’t know what to make of his blank expression.
Truthfully, he’s surprised you even opened the door at all. He figured that you’d let him tire himself out before you opened the door. He doesn’t say anything. He didn’t think he’d get this far. Instead, he just stares at you. The silence is unbearable and you wish that the sound of him banging on the door would replace the uncomfortable stillness around you.
When he doesn’t say anything, you take charge.
“Good night.” You try to shut the door on him but he’s too quick. The toe of his worn combat boot wedges it’s way between the door before you can successfully close it and his eyes meet yours.
Your heart is racing and you quickly look at the outdated green carpet in the hallway, taking a particular interest in the stain by Sam’s boot that you’d never noticed before. It was suddenly the most interesting thing in the whole wide world as you kept your focus trained on it. It was your savior from the conversation that was begging to be had.
“Even if I wanted to go, I can’t.” You further justify yourself, your arms crossing over your chest as you slump against the doorframe. “I have to do this thing for work, so that’s that.” It’s a lame excuse, considering that you’re self employed, but you hope that he doesn’t push any further. Some part of you hoped that he understands how hard this is for you, even though you know you don’t deserve his sympathy. “It’s really out of my hands.”
You’re running out of excuses and maybe that was his plan all along. Letting you tire yourself out by justifying your decision was something you hadn’t even considered, but he had. You tend to forget just how well he knew you. Apparently, it was better than you knew yourself sometimes.
The corners of his lips rise ever so slightly, almost like he’s trying his hardest to conceal a  smile. It’s not funny. He’s not laughing at you or anything in particular. It’s just amusing to him that you’re jumping through hoops trying to defend yourself when he hasn’t even said anything yet.
“What?” You ask once you notice the look in his eye.
He shakes his head before he asks, “Are you done?”
If he gave you some time you could probably think of at least a dozen other excuses, but he doesn’t have the time or the patience to wait for that. You let out a small scoff and cross your arms over your chest protectively, like they’ll shield you from anything he’s about to say.
Sam had never been the type to wallow in self pity. He understood why it helped some people, but it was just a temporary fix to their problems. He knew that. If he was unhappy with something, he’d make an effort to change it and turn the tides in his favor rather than mope about everyone and everything that had ever done him wrong. He made sure you’d gotten it all out of your system before he continued.
“Lia really wants you there.”
He nearly missed the way your jaw clenched at the mention of her name, but he noticed. Even if you weren’t aware that you’d done it, even if it was completely unintentional, he took note of the reaction. It wasn’t rooted in jealousy or spite, rather sadness and longing for a time that had passed.
“I’ve never even met her.” Your response is quick and dismissive. You refuse to let yourself believe that what he’s sharing is the truth. How could a woman you’d never even met before want you at her wedding?
Unbeknownst to you, she really did want you there. It wasn’t just Sam putting words in her mouth. Leah wanted you there because she knew how much he wanted you there. Sam knew better than to mention the fact that he wanted you there. He respected you enough not to bring it up, but Leah was fair game and he decided to use her to guilt you into changing your mind. If you wouldn’t do it for him, maybe you’d do it for her.
“Well, she’d really love to meet you.” He tries.
Regardless of whether or not she even wanted to meet you or even wanted you there, your decision was final. There was nothing he could say that would make up change your mind.
“Maybe some other time.” You offer hoping to fill him with optimism for a future visit, but you both know that you don’t mean a word of it.
You’ve said what needed to say. Although he hadn’t had the chance to ask, you gave him your final answer. That was it. The conversation was officially over. So, now that you’d said what you needed to say and he’d gotten his answer, you wondered why he was still standing in your doorway.
It’s only then that you notice he’s holding a plastic bag with the name of your favorite Chinese restaurant on the front in blue lettering and a brown, unmarked bag.
You suddenly feel bad for letting him knock for as long as he did. Had you known that his hands were full, you probably would have made an effort to shoo him off sooner.
“Can I come in?” He asks, giving you the option to turn him away if you really didn’t want him there. Sam had never forced himself into your life. When you asked for space, he gave it to you. He didn’t demand answers the way your other friends had.
With a nod, you open the door further allowing him to enter and he offers you a thankful smile once he steps inside your apartment. As you shut the door behind him, he takes off his shoes and you reach your hand out to help him with the bags in his hands so that he can shrug off his jacket.
Despite the heat in your building being turned on and working for once, he shivers once he removes the light jacket he brought with him for the journey. It’d been getting cooler at night and he didn’t want to be caught without something to keep him warm. If he happened to catch a cold the week of their wedding, he knew he’d never hear the end of it. He couldn’t take that chance.
Once he’s draped his coat over one of the barstools near the kitchen, something he’s watched you do countless times before during previous visits, he makes his way into the kitchen and reaches for the bag from your favorite Chinese restaurant that you placed on the counter.
When you see him pull out a container with the number eight on it, your stomach grumbles audibly. You hope he doesn’t hear it but the way he smiles ever so slightly is a dead giveaway that he had. When you first saw the bag in his hands you wondered if he’d just come from the restaurant and happened to stop by, but then you watched as he pulled out three containers; one with the number eight, your favorite, one with the number thirteen, his favorite, and a container of fried rice to share. Just like old times. The only things missing are numbers two, three, seventeen and him.
“Do you still keep your bowls in this cabinet?” His hand hovered over the handle to the cabinet above his head. He’s not going to open it until you give him permission to do so.
“Yes.” You tell him and he reaches inside, taking out two bowls and placing them on the counter next to the food. He moves around your kitchen like no time has passed at all. Everything’s just how it was the last time he visited and you’re surprised he remembers where everything is, considering just how long it’s been.
“Utensils?” He has trouble locating the one thing you moved. The drawer you used to keep your utensils in was better suited for some of your spices, which was why you swapped them.
It dawns on you then that you haven’t moved since Sam has stepped inside. He’s made himself comfortable in your own home and you feel like a stranger.
“I’ll grab them.” You offer, stepping in to help him serve the food he was kind enough to bring for the both of you.
The two of you work side by side in silence. There’s a tension in the air, one that you both can feel but neither one of you will acknowledge.
When the food is served you make your way over to the couch and take a seat. Sam follows, opting for his spot in the middle of the sofa, even though the far end is open. It was where he used to sit when all of you would gather to hang out. It’s his favorite spot.
For a while, the silence is filled with with you chewing pieces of teriyaki chicken and him, sweet and sour pork. Eating passes the time, but it fuels your anticipation for what comes next. It’s uncomfortable and it shouldn’t be. Not when he’s one of your closest friends.
He’s the first one to speak and when he does, you’re relieved.
“I know this is hard for you.” He reasons with you and the sentiment makes your chest tighten. He’d always been observant. More so than practically anyone else you’d ever met. He made sure to acknowledge and be mindful of your feelings, always. Maybe that’s why he didn’t hold what you did against you like some of your other friends had.
“I mean, I can’t imagine it’s easy.” He’d never been in your shoes. Unfortunately for him, he was stuck in the middle and saw both sides for what they were. You smiled at that. Although, it’s not one that’s pleasant. It’s forced to stop your lip from trembling.
He was right. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy then and it’s certainly not any easier almost six years later. If anything, it’s harder. You thought that you were making the right choice when you made it, but time was the greatest teacher and so far you’d learned that you harbored a regret deep inside of you every day that you never knew was possible.
Sam senses your hesitation to believe that he fully understands the position you’re in. Having never been in it himself, he can’t relate to what you’re feeling. He wonders if there something he could say to lessen the blow of it all. Even if there was, he was certain that his words, no matter how well prepared or thought out, couldn’t mend the wounds from your fallout or fix the damage that’d been done.
The only thing he could offer you was sympathy, something you’d never known how to accept. Especially when you were the one who had gotten yourself into this mess.
“For what it’s worth, he’s happy.” It’s been six years since everything happened and you haven’t heard from him since. You broke him. He was never whole to begin with, but what you did to him absolutely shattered him.
“I think he’s finally healed.” Sam offers and he doesn’t miss the way your lower lip begins to tremble. He doesn’t say it to remind you of the pain you’ve caused him unintentionally. He says it to show you how far he’s come. A lot has changed in six years and he’s not the same man he was when you saw him last. He’s made a lot of progress and as his friend, Sam’s incredibly proud of that.
“He wants you there.” His voice is gentle, sincere as he places his hand on top of your knee and gives it a soft squeeze.
It’s meant to be a comforting gesture, but it’s what finally brings tears to your eyes. He keeps telling you that he wants you there and each time he does it makes you feel like the wind has been knocked out of you.
The first time you had any sort of contact with him had been seven months ago, the day you received your invitation in the mail. It was on thick, white card-stock with navy and gold lettering and it took you two weeks to finally open it.
Your fingers kept tracing over his name on the front. Not a day had passed where you hadn’t thought about him and when you saw the envelope addressed to you from him, your entire world stopped.
He’d been the one to write your name on the front and address it to you. You’d notice his handwriting anywhere. It’d been years since you saw it, but as soon as you did, you broke down. You wondered if he had the same reaction when he was signing the envelope. You wondered if when he touched pen to paper if every single memory of the two of you replayed right before his eyes and reminded him of who you used to be.
A few sips from the half opened bottle of vodka in your freezer gave you the courage you needed to carefully break the seal on the back of the envelope and retrieve what was inside. Your heart was racing. You weren’t sure what you were expecting, but when you finally pulled out a wedding invitation, your heart completely stopped.
There was nothing attached except the invitation and an rsvp card. No letter. No personalization. Nothing. It was addressed to you, but it had to be a mistake. There was no way your ex-boyfriend could possibly want you to attend his wedding.
A few more sips of vodka emptied the bottle and you checked yes without thinking about the consequences you’d face and now, you were panicking, forced to deal with the choices you’d made.
You’ve lost your appetite. The food that you’d been eating to satiate your hunger suddenly tastes bitter and you set your bowl down on the coffee table. The smell of it is making your stomach churn.
Sam follows suit. He’s still hungry, but he can see that you’re hurting. He scoots a little closer to you and hands you a napkin. You immediately bring it to the corner of your eye, hoping to dry away the tears that are falling down your cheeks, but there’s too many of them.
“Am I a horrible person for being afraid to go?” Your voice trembles as you propose the question. You’re truly torn.
“I want to be there for him, I do, I just don’t know if I’m ready.” You can’t remember the last time you’ve been this vulnerable. You’re saying things out loud you’ve only ever thought to yourself. Truthfully, you’d never be ready. A part of Sam knows that too. He can sense it.
“That’s selfish, isn’t it?” He doesn’t get the chance to tell you it’s not because you’re rubbing your eyes with the back of your hand and letting out a pitiful chuckle. “It’s his special day and I’m making it all about myself.”
“Hey-“ Sam wraps an arm around your shoulder and before he can pull you closer, you’re already leaning into the embrace. “You’re not selfish. You’re human.” He reminds you. “You’re feelings are equally as valid and important as anyone else’s.”
You wonder how he’s stayed neutral in all of this. There are days you can’t even stand yourself for what you did, but Sam has never said one bad thing about you. He’s never told you that you were horrible or that he hates you and maybe that’s because part of him understands why you did what you did.
“What would I even say?” You shake your head at the thought. There’s so much you’d want to say, so much you have to get off of your chest, but the thought of actually seeing him again, takes the last bit of air left right out of your lungs. It’s so hard to breath at the thought of a potential conversation that you’re seeing stars.
“You can start with congratulations.” He suggests lightly with a smile that’s meant to make you do the same, but it doesn’t elicit the response he was hoping for.
You’re happy for him. Of course, you’re happy for him. But it’s not that simple.
“Is he really happy?” You ask and his smile grows.
“The happiest I’ve seen him in a very long time.” His answer should’ve brought you peace, but it feels like a punch in the gut. “Come here-“ He urges you as you rubs his fingers through your hair and you rest your head on his shoulder. “No one would hold it against you if you sat this one out.” He tells you. “He’d understand.”
That’s the worst part of it all. You know he’d be content either way. Regardless of whether or not you chose to attend his wedding, you knew that his life would go on. If anything, he’d be upset when he scanned the venue and didn’t see you there, but he’d forget about it as soon as he saw his beautiful bride walking down the aisle. Your attendance really made no difference.
“Look-“ With a small sigh, Sam licks his lips. “If you’re up for it, I promise you that I’ll be by your side the entire time.” He offers and it’s enough to stop the tears from sliding down your cheeks and onto the growing puddle on his shoulder. “If at any time you feel uncomfortable or like it’s too much for you to handle, we’ll leave and never speak a word about it ever again.” It’s a sincere gesture and you know he’s good for his word.
“They want you there, Y/N.” He pauses for a minute, like he’s contemplating saying something else before he finally adds, “Both of them do.”
There’s a heaviness in his chest as he watches you digest his words. He knows they’re a lot to take in and it looks like you’re suffocating under the weight of them.
“It’s too late to book a flight or a room, I’m sure they’re all booked.” You’re not making excuses this time. The defense in your tone is replaced by something that mimics regret. It’s almost like you regret telling them that you’d be unable to attend.
Truthfully, you’re not sure what you want anymore. It’s all too much at once. If you stayed home, you knew you’d regret it, but if you chose to attend, you’d watch your ex boyfriend walk right into the arms of another woman. Either way, you lose, but if you chose to attend, at least Sam would be by your side and likely offer you a shoulder to cry on once everything was said and done.
Sam knows that it’s a tough decision. He knows it’s a tough decision and he knew that you wouldn’t be able to decide unless you had someone there to help you weigh all of your options. He stepped up, not because he wanted to force you to do something that would make you uncomfortable, but because he knew that if you didn’t, you might spend the rest of your life wishing that you had.
What was there six years ago is still there now. He can see it. He can see it in the way that you’ve left the shared apartment untouched. It’s still the same as it was all those years ago. Some of the furniture is gone. Different pillows decorate the couch. There are different photos in the frames, but everything else, the paint, the dead plant in the corner of the room that you keep convincing yourself is going to come back to life if you water it just enough, and the space itself are still the same.
He sees it in the subtle ways your features twitch at the mention of his name. It’s so hard for you to fight back tears and he can tell that you’re trying your hardest not to lose the internal battle with yourself. Sometimes you crack. Sometimes you can’t help but let your tears free in hopes that it would take all of you pain away. But it never does. Sam doesn’t say anything, he only nods when you justify your sadness. He knows why it’s hard for you and he knows why you did what you did.
You’re still in love with him.
You’ve never said it, but you don’t have to. He knows. He’s always known, which is why he doesn’t hold what you did over your head. It’s why he checked up on you for weeks following your breakup when everyone else shut you out. It’s why he stood by your side when your other friends blamed you. It’s why he’s here, trying to convince you to reconsider.
Sam didn’t take the detour that night in hopes of setting some elaborate scheme into motion that would get the two of you back together. Bucky isn’t the same man he used to be and you’re not the same woman you were six years ago. You’ve both changed so in your time apart and grown in ways that wouldn’t have been possible if you were still together. You’re both happy, at least, you’re trying to be, but Sam can tell that you’re hanging onto something, whether you’ll ever admit it or not.
He wanted to give you one last chance of closure, a chance to move on. It took a long time for Bucky to find himself again after your split and Sam was by his side through every up and down, helping him through it. For six years Sam’s been watching you try to move on.
Every date that you go one ends the same. None of the men that you spend the night with have what you’re looking for. Maybe it’s because you’re not looking for one thing in particular. You’re looking for someone, a bundle of qualities that you fell in love with not too long ago that you hope to find in someone else. Unfortunately, all you’ve learnt is that the qualities you loved were uniquely his own.
The twitch of his nose when he spends hours concentrating on something or the airiness of his laugh. The way his smile lit up a room and his desire to always be the best version of himself that he could be. They were what made Bucky, Bucky. They were what made you fall in love with him.
As appealing as avoiding the wedding altogether sounded, you know it wouldn’t do you any good. You’d spend the rest of your life wishing that you could’ve seen the look on his face as his bride made her way down the aisle. You would’ve regretted not making amends with him and being there for his special day.
If you chose the path of avoidance, you saw a long, winding road of sorrow and regret in your future.
“Good thing I bought an extra ticket a few weeks back when I bought mine and booked an extra room too, huh?” With a small smirk, he watches your eyes widen as you sit up.
“Sam-“
“Whatever you’re going to say to try to get yourself out of this won’t work, Y/N.” He assures you. “I thought of everything.”
For a split second, you consider it. You actually consider going and seeing him again and for the first time, the thought isn’t as scary as it once was knowing that you’d have a true, genuine, friend by your side.
Sam watches as your furrowed brow softens. He can tell you’re contemplating his offer and just when he thinks you’re about to give in, your frown deepens.
It’s silly, really. Of all of the reasons to back out of going, the one that you thought of in that moment is absolutely ridiculous.
“I don’t have a dress.” You let out softly and without missing a beat, he takes the opportunity to dash to the kitchen and grab the unmarked brown bag that you’d placed there earlier that night upon his arrival.
He holds it out in front of you, allowing you to take a peek inside at your own discretion. He can barely contain his smile. He didn’t think he’d make it this far.
You slowly unfold the bag and steal a glimpse inside. You’re met with all kinds of different colors and fabrics folded carefully so that they didn’t wrinkle or crease.
“I asked Sarah if she had anything you could barrow and she picked a few dresses she thought you might like.” Sam admits as you reach inside and brush your fingertips across the light purple, silk dress you remember seeing her wear to Sam’s graduation a few years ago.
They’re beautiful.
“You really thought of everything, didn’t you?” You nudge his shoulder gently.
“I was prepared to drag you to this wedding if I had to.” He lets out a breathy chuckle, but he means every word. You have no idea the lengths he was willing to go to to make sure that you were there for Bucky’s special day.
The sound of his laughter brings a smile to your lips and you gently pull your bottom lip between your teeth before your grin has the chance to spread any farther.
With a shaky breath, you ask, “You’ll be by my side through the whole thing, right?”
“Every step of the way.” He confirms with a firm nod.
You’re afraid, but his confidence is enough to persuade you to change your mind and give in.
“Ok.” You finally tell him and his eyes widen.
“Ok?” He has to be absolutely sure that he heard you right before he gets his hopes up.
“Ok.”
“Ok! That’s what I’m talking about!” He exclaims happily, clapping his hands together to celebrate his victory before pulling you in for a much needed hug.
His arms bring you a comfort that eases most of your worries. You feel safe, wrapped in the embrace and in that moment, you feel untouchable.
“How much do I owe you for the-“ You start, but he’s quick to cut you off.
“No.” He shakes his head, untangling his arms from around you as he looks into your eyes before firmly telling you, “You’re not paying me back.”
“Come on, Sam.” He didn’t have to buy an extra ticket or room, but he did. You didn’t know how much money he’d spent accommodating your indecisiveness, but you were prepared to pay back every cent that he’d gone out of his way to spend on and for you.
“I mean it, Y/N.” His voice is stern as he assures you, “You being there is enough.”
Instead of fighting him, you press your lips into a thin line. You were already mentally worn and didn’t have it in you to pick another fight. You’d slip a check in his pocket when he wasn’t looking or find some way to transfer the money into his account.
“Our flight leaves at seven forty five, so I’ll be back around five thirty, ok?” He asks, bringing his bowl to the kitchen and you offer him a nod as he begins to rinse out the dish and place it in the dishwasher.
“Ok.” You confirm, placing your own bowl in the sink as he slips his jacket back on. He’s got an early day tomorrow morning. You both do. The thudding in your chest is thunderous at the mere thought and it just about stops when you realize just what you agreed to.
Come this time tomorrow, you’d be in the same room with him again, something that hadn’t happened in years. Not since he left you, and the home you shared together, behind.
Sam watches you visibly pale at the thought. He can see the gears turning behind your eyes and he knows there’s only a handful of possible thoughts that could warrant that reaction. You’ve tensed besides him and he wishes there’s something he could do or say to assure you that everything would be alright, but truthfully, he knows that there isn’t. He can’t calm you, even though he’s been trying his hardest to since he got there. He pulls his lips between his teeth as he accepts defeat.
He may have gotten you to change your mind about attending the wedding, which was a huge win, but it came with the loss of assurance. No matter what he did or what he said he couldn’t convince you that everything was going to be alright and maybe it’s because it’s not his place to.
In the six years since your split, Bucky has never asked Sam about you. He never asks how you’ve been or what you’re up to. He’s never dared to ask if you’re seeing someone or if you’ve moved on yet because he can’t face the answers. He’s never asked about you, not once, but that doesn’t mean that not knowing what you’re up to, how you are or even who you are, isn’t killing him.
The slump of his shoulders, the pout on his lips as he held your apology between his fingertips and slid it across the table for Sam to see, silently showing him that you were unable to attend led Sam to draw his own conclusions based on his reaction to your potential absence.
Bucky had always been good at hiding his feelings, but not when it came to you. When it came to you, he wore his heart on his sleeve. He always had.
Whatever the two of you had together, whatever love you once shared, was a thing of the past. It was long gone, but not long forgotten. Sam knows that and part of him thinks that the two of you know it too.
You both needed closure. No matter how painful it was.
With a gentle squeeze of your shoulder, you force a smile. He knows it’s for show and he wishes that you’d stop trying to be strong for him, especially since he’s one of the only people who wouldn’t chastise you for your vulnerability, but he mimicked the gesture.
The same sad smile is on his lips as he instructs you, “Get some rest.”
You nod as he ties the laces of his boots together and when he rises to his feet again, you pull him in for another hug. The grip around his waist is tighter than before as you press your head against his chest. His arms are wrapped around you, protectively, as a reminder that he’s not going to let anything happen to you as he presses his lips to your forehead.
“Thank you.” You mumble into his chest. As far as he’s concerned, you have nothing to thank him for. His reply is silent as he pulls away from the embrace, knowing that if he didn’t, you never would. He offers you a smile before his hand is on the door handle.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.” He means it as a statement of confirmation, but it sounds more like a question, like he’s making sure you’re fully on board one last time before he steps into the hallways and bids you farewell.
You don’t sleep at all that night. Truthfully, you don’t even try. You know it’s pointless. You know that if you try to close your eyes, all you’ll see are his, staring back at you with that same sad look in his eyes the day that everything changed.
You were the one that turned bright, vibrant blues full of warmth and happiness into lifeless, dull greys with a single reply. Two letters completely changed your life.
Every happy memory, every night the two of you slow danced to music that wasn’t meant for such a delicacy, every moment spent between thin, cotton sheets with limbs tangled and hearts racing, every smile, laugh and rush of adrenaline that came with being in love is forgotten when you remember the pain on his face and the ache in your heart as you rejected his proposal.
You didn’t want to say no. There was nothing you wanted more than a life with him, but the circumstances and the timing just weren’t right.
The two of you were so young when it happened, just teenagers trying to make ends meet. Despite everything you didn’t have, you had each other, but it wasn’t enough.
Your rejection wasn’t a result of your feelings for him. In fact, you loved him so much, maybe even too much, that you couldn’t bring yourself to comply with his request. The love you had for him was never in question. At least, you hoped it wasn’t.
There were still parts of you that loved a version of him. Despite the years that had passed, your heart still belonged to him, or at least the man he used to be. The man you’d see tomorrow was a complete stranger and the thought of seeing those eyes again, not the ones that you’d caused so much pain to, but the ones that were full of life and awe and wonder again, made you feel sick to your stomach because that man wasn’t a stranger at all. Those eyes belonged to the man that you loved a long time ago, the man that you still love, the man that isn’t yours to love any longer.
Sam arrives bright and early the next morning with a cup of coffee for you, but it goes cold waiting for you to take a sip. You already have the jitters and coffee surely wouldn’t help. Although, you appreciated the gesture.
He helps you wheel the suitcase you packed the night before out to the car and before you have a second to object, you’re buckled in the passenger’s seat making your way to the airport.
The drive is silent, minus the chatter from the early morning talk show that Sam has playing in the background. The hosts are laughing, cracking jokes and taking jabs at random celebrities and each other and laughter rings out in the car, but the atmosphere is somber.
Sam doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t try to make small talk or ask if you’re alright because he’s been watching your leg bounce for the past fifteen minutes. He already knows the answer. The reason he doesn’t say anything is because he’s not sure what to say. He can’t find the words to prepare you for the weekend you’re about to have or even what you’re about to walk into when the two of you arrive at the airport.
You’re already so nervous that he can’t bring himself to tell you what’s been gnawing at him since he left your apartment last night. You’ll find out soon enough.
Sweaty palms clasp one another as you interlock your fingers together. The sun has just barely started to rise and there’s a dark orange glow in the sky. It’s beautiful. Before you have the chance to admire it, Sam’s pulling into the airport and your pulse quickens.
The silence continues as Sam parks the car and helps you unload your bags from the trunk. It isn’t until the two of you are inside the airport, surrounded by travelers and tourists, that he finally says something to you.
“We’re heading down to gate B24.” When you don’t reply, he turns back to check that you’re still following him and when he meets your eyes, you offer him a nod of acknowledgment.
After you’re past security, he walks a little closer to you. Quite literally by your side. Before, he walked in front of you like he was leading the way, but now, now he was nearly shoulder to shoulder with you as you weave your way around the hundreds of other people trying to make their ways to their respective gates and terminals.
He’s stealing nervous glances out of the corner of his eye, watching as you gnaw on your lower lip as you approach your gate. You’re visibly nervous and he hopes that his nerves aren’t as obvious as yours are. As soon as he spots a mess of dark blonde hair and broad shoulders, he swallows thickly. He’s waiting for you to notice, waiting for you to spot him in the crowd and it isn’t until the two of you are standing almost three feet in front of them that you realize who is waiting for you at the gate.
“Oh my god!” Peggy’s the first to notice you, rising to her feet and rushing towards you without a second thought. A few passengers stare as the reunion takes place. They roll their eyes and grumble out annoyed huffs as she wraps her arms around you, blocking the aisle.
You stiffen as soon as she pulls you in for a hug. Their heads turn to see where Peggy ran off to and as soon as their eyes meet yours, they have a similar reaction.
Steve’s jaw clenches and Natasha frowns. The only one who seems even remotely happy to see you there is Steve’s wife, who still hasn’t released you from her embrace.
When she finally does, she offers you a warm smile. All she’s ever shown you was kindness. When you were kids, and even now as adults, she only ever saw the good in people. Peggy has a way about her that made people feel at ease whenever she was around. It was one of the small traits you’d forgotten about but are quickly reminded of while you’re wrapped in her arms.
Peggy doesn’t hold the same grudge against you like your other friends do. She understands better than anyone, having been in the same situation herself, why you decided to end things the way you did. The two of you have never spoken about it, but you don’t have to for her to know that the only reason you ended your relationship wasn’t because you didn’t love him, but because you loved him too much.
Steve knew that Sam had been trying to figure out a way into coercing you into changing your mind, but he didn’t think he’d actually succeed in doing so. The last time he saw you was close to four years ago at his wedding. Bucky was in Iraq then. Having just shipped out a few months prior, he was unable to attend the event. Which made convincing you to attend that much easier.
You looked awful. Steve remembers watching one of Peggy’s cousins gather enough courage to ask you to dance, only for you to turn him down and dance with Sam instead. It’d been two years since your breakup and you still weren’t ready to move on. No matter how many opportunities presented themselves, you’d never be ready to date or even love anyone else for that matter, ever again.
Steve noticed how you only smiled when someone was watching you. He noted how you pretended to be having a good time whenever Sam or Peggy were around. It was only when you were alone and thought no one was watching that you stopped putting on a performance.
Pretending to be fine and actually being fine were two different things and even when you thought that no one had noticed, Steve did.
It’s in the way your lower lip trembled when someone from high school mentioned his name or asked if the two of you were still together. It’s the tears in your eyes you try to blink away when you notice he’s watching you listen to the band play a song that reminded you of him. It’s a million little things that everyone else was oblivious to, but not Steve.
He wonders why you did it. He wonders why you put yourself through so much pain. If you really loved him, and he knew you did, then why did you end things the way that you did? Peggy tried to explain it to him, but he doesn’t understand it. Love isn’t supposed to hurt.
You stand before him now with that same sad look in your eyes. Longing. Regret. Sorrow. It’s so much more than the base level of sadness. It always has been.
A part of him understands, at least, he thinks he does. He can’t imagine how he’d be holding up if he was watching the person he swore he was going to spend the rest of his life with walk down the aisle towards someone else. The thought alone causes a tightness in his chest that must only be a fraction of the pain you had to have been feeling.
He loved Peggy. He loved her with all of his heart. She was his soulmate, but what Peggy and Steve had was nothing like what you and Bucky had together. Not even close.
“Hi.” You’re not sure if his greeting is going to be as warm as his counterpart’s and you almost reach your hand out to initiate a handshake. It’s formal. Much too formal for all of the years of friendship shared between the two of you, but he may as well be a stranger to you with all of the time that’s passed between you.
Although you hadn’t broken his heart, you were the one responsible for breaking his best friend’s and you knew that committing a crime like that wouldn’t go unpunished or unforgiven. Not even after six years.
“Hey, Y/N.” He wraps his arms around you. Although, his hold isn’t as tight as it used to be.  He releases you quickly. “It’s good to see you.”
“You too.” You’re not just saying it to say it. You mean every word.
It’s been so long since you’ve seen your friends. It’s been even longer since you hadn’t felt like an outsider amongst them. There’s nothing you wouldn’t give to have one more day with them without all the tension that seemed to suffocate you whenever you were all in the same room together these days.
Natasha still hasn’t said anything. When you and Bucky went your separate ways, she made it clear hat she wanted nothing to do with you anymore. You hurt someone she cared about deeply and that didn’t sit right with her. Regardless of whether or not she had all of the information, she knew enough to pick a side and declare you the bad guy.
You can’t blame her. Some days, you do feel like the bad guy.
“I’m going to go grab some water, does anyone want anything?” Sam asks, offering to make the much dreaded trip to convenience booth so that no one else has to.
“No, thank you.” Peggy shakes her head as she offers her gratitude.
“I’m good.” Natasha tells him and it’s the first time she’s spoken since your arrival.
“Y/N?”
“No, thank you.” You politely decline his offer since you’re still not sure you can stomach anything. Not even water.
“I’ll come with you.” Steve claps a hand on Sam’s shoulder, with a force that neither one of the quite expected as Steve’s palm collided with the leather of Sam’s jacket.
Once they start off down towards the entrance of the terminal, your heart begins to race. You’d been alone with both Peggy and Natasha at least a hundred times. When you were younger, the three of you had sleepovers every other weekend and talked until the sun came up. A lot had changed since then.
“I’m going to run to the restroom before we start boarding.” Peggy announces and you’re forced to swallow the lump in your throat at the thought of being left alone with Natasha, who  isn’t as forgiving as Peggy and Sam are. “I’ll be right back.”
You wonder if the people that spare a glance your way in passing could notice the obvious tension that’s settled between you and Natasha as soon as Peggy ventures off.
The thought crossed your mind to tell her you’re sorry. What for, you’re not even sure, but maybe that way some of the tension would dissolve around you. She’s the first to speak and when she does, you feel like the wind was knocked right out of your lungs.
“I thought you weren’t coming?” Her words sting. They’re meant to. They’re carefully thought out and meant to cause as much harm as possible.
“I had a work thing, but I was able to get out of it last minute.” Your voice is meek when you finally find it. Having been so caught up in the lie you’d told both Sam, and now Natasha, you failed to remember that she knew where you worked and what you did for a living. Your cheeks burn under her gaze and she lets out a sarcastic scoff.
“Lucky you.” She rolls her eyes.
“Yeah.”
The flight isn’t as long as it feels. Somehow, you manage to fall asleep during the flight. Coming down from a panic spike usually did that for you.
When the plane finally lands a few hours later, the five of you make your way to the hotel. You’re thankful that Sam rented a separate car. He apologizes to you profusely during the short ride, explaining that he wasn’t sure how you’d react to seeing your old group of friends again. You can’t blame him. It was awkward, to say the least, but you’re not upset with him or the fact that he completely blindsided you. You know why he did it.
Your room isn’t anything special. There’s a queen sized bed, a large television hung on the wall and a mini fridge in the closet. From the window, you have a wonderful view of the parking lot. Sam’s right next door to yours and Peggy and Steve are down the hall. Natasha’s on a completely different floor.
A few hours pass and you spend most of them looking out at the beautiful concrete pit from your window. Cars pass. Guests arrive. Guests depart. It’s entertaining. At the very least, it’s a distraction. It beats pacing, which you only stopped doing about an hour prior.
When it comes time to get ready for the night, you make your way over to your suitcase and pull out the bag Sam brought you the night before. You haven’t looked at it since.
With a small sigh, you open the bag and take a good look at the dresses inside. There’s five, maybe six, that Sarah lent you. At first glance, you notice the red beaded one and pull it out, only to find that it’s a lot shorter than what would be acceptable for a rehearsal dinner.
Next, a green one. It’s sleeveless with small spaghetti straps and a bustier. The length is perfect, but you’d rather save that one for the ceremony tomorrow.
You finally settle on a grayish blue one. It has long sleeves and a square neckline. It falls down to your ankles with a long slit down the side. It’s beautiful. Laying it out on the bed, you take a shower and decide to get ready for the evening. You simply can’t avoid it anymore.
Forty minutes later, Sam is at your door. This time, you answer on the first knock. Once you let him inside, he shuts the door behind you.
“Can you help me with the zipper?” You ask him, holding your hair to one side so that he could find the zipper on the back.
He nods quickly, taking a step forward and helping you zip the dress up. When you step away from him, you offer him a shy smile.
“You look beautiful.” He compliments you. He can’t remember ever seeing Sarah wear the dress you have on right now.
“Thank you.” His words, although friendly, send heat straight to your cheeks. Maybe it’s just the nerves.
Extending his arm to you, you wrap an arm around his and with a shaky breath, you begin your departure to the ballroom.
A chill spreads throughout your body as you step over the threshold into the elegant ballroom on the main floor, making your blood run cold.
It’s beautiful.
The soft glow of the dimly lit chandelier above reflects off of the beige walls. Floor to ceiling windows line the two farthest walls and they’re all opened, allowing guests to step out into the garden that’s equally as enchanting as the ballroom.
It’s something straight out of a fairytale.
“Where is everyone?” You turn to Sam.
For as big and grand as the ballroom is, there’s maybe fifty people, tops. You steal a glance at Sam’s watch, wondering if maybe the two of you had just shown up early, only to find that you’re right on time.
“This is it.” He replies and your brow furrows.
“What do you mean?”
“He-“ He catches himself before he has the chance to misspeak and quickly corrects himself. “They, wanted a small ceremony. Friends and family only.”
“I shouldn’t be here.” Your voice trembles as you shake your head. “I don’t belong to either of those categories.” The confession holds a weight that neither one of you have the strength to lift. You said it so effortlessly, like the realization hadn’t caused you an immense amount of pain. The words were too heavy and held a truth far too honest for your liking. You couldn’t take them back even if you wanted to.
He doesn’t say anything. Instead, he reaches for your hand, taking it in his own as he laces his fingers with yours. He made a promise to you that he’d be by your side every step of the way and he never broke a promise. If you needed someone to ground you when your insecurities and nerves got the best of you, he’d be that person. Always.
The gesture is enough to steady your breaths. They’re no longer leaving your lips through sharp, shaky gasps, rather, deep, long, inhales and exhales and for just a moment, everything around you is calm. A moment of stillness washes over you like a wave, covering you in nothing but being and it’s nice to not be worrying about everything that could potentially happen for once.
It’s short lived, however, when a familiar pair of eyes spot you from across the way. The glare floods your cheeks with warmth and you feel small under her stare ss she narrows her eyes.
She’s familiar, but you can’t recall why. Dark, thinning hair is tucked into a bedazzled clip that catches the minimal light from above and reflects sparkling shadows across the wall when she moves. Dark red lipstick and even darker purple eyeshadow enhance her lips and eyes, a combination that would better fit for something more grim like a funeral, than a wedding. It’s a stark contrast to the almost fluorescent pink dress she had on.
Her eyes only leave yours to steal a glimpse of your hand, which is still intertwined with Sam’s. You don’t even notice until she snarls and you quickly untangle your fingers from his, catching his attention.
It dawns on you suddenly where you know her from. The woman across the way is one of Bucky’s aunts. You’d only met her a handful of times, but every time that you had, she’d been nothing but nasty towards you. Even then, she was never your biggest fan. Imagine how she felt now that you’d broken her nephew’s heart.
“I’m going to be sick.” You tell Sam, your stomach churning as you watch her lean in and whisper something to the woman standing next to her, one of Bucky’s cousins.
Another set of eyes is on you and your entire body feels like it’s on fire, an unwelcome disparity to the cold numbness you felt only minutes before.
As soon as he notices what’s happening, Sam steps in front of you. He blocks their line of sight, putting some distance between the two of you so that you could focus on him and not them.
He reaches out for your hands, taking your sweaty palms into his as he tries to distract you from their lingering stare. He worked so hard to get you here and he could see the fear and panic written all over your face. You were anything but calm, which is what he needed you to be. The two of you had made so much progress, taken so many little steps to get to this moment. He hadn’t come this far and gone through the great lengths he’d gone through to convince you to come just to let Bucky’s aunt Ethel throw a wrench in his plans.
You’re shaking. Even though you can’t see them anymore, thanks to the wall of muscle separating you, you know that they’re still looking. Just the thought of their eyes on you and what they could be whispering about you makes you dizzy.
Sam acts quickly, placing his hands on your shoulders as he guides you outside. You’re compliant, but he knows it just shock. He’s thankful that he’s able to remove you from the situation and out into the garden before your fight or flight kicks in.  Had he not been able to get you to safety, away from their states and whispers, he’s positive you might’ve ran.
Your completely pale. Any and all color that dusted your cheeks before is completely gone now. You’re in shock and rightfully so.
What were you expecting? Did you really think that this weekend would go off without a hitch? People were bound to stare and talk, but you hadn’t prepared for that. All you’d been thinking about was seeing him again and now, you weren’t even sure it was something you could handle doing. Had you really been foolish enough to believe that there was a chance of salvation between the two of you? Did you think it would be easy to mend all of the damage you’d caused with an overdue apology?
“I need you to breathe, Y/N.” Sam interrupts your thoughts before they could spiral into something more self deprecating than they already were. “I’m right here.” He reminds you of the promise he made you and waits for you to acknowledge him.
When you don’t, he places a hand on your lower back and rubs small, gentle circles over the fabric of your dress as he pulls you into his chest. You’re trying so hard not to cry, but your throat feels like it’s closing. It’s so hard to breath, but you’re trying, you’re really trying to.
“In and out, Y/N, come on.” He urges you. “I know you can do it.” The praise does little to calm your nerves and he notices when your whole body starts to tremble in his hold.
“Think of something else, anything else.” He’s trying his hardest to soothe you and he hopes that you can’t hear the slight waver in his voice as he tightens his hold on you, in hopes of halting your shaking.
As soon as he makes the suggestion you’re transported back to somewhere you haven’t been in a very, very long time.
They sky is littered with pinks and purples, more vibrant than you’ve ever seen before. Laughter rings out around you and there’s not a single frown in sight for as far as the naked eye can see. It’s warm, but not hot enough for it to be uncomfortable, and there’s a slight chill in the air.
The lights around each attraction flicker to life as they take over the fleeting sun’s job of illuminating the grounds as it lowers itself beneath the horizon and the moon takes its place in the sky.
It smells like powdered sugar and barbecue. You walked passed the food vendors a while ago, but the smell lingers in the air. Popcorn. The smell of freshly popped popcorn reminds you that you haven’t eaten since lunch and it makes your stomach grumble.
Next to you, he wears a wide smile. His hand holds yours as you weave yourself through the crowd. He’s happy and you are too.
You’re able to recall every single detail about the moment like it happened yesterday and not nearly ten years ago. It shouldn’t be as clear as it is. It should’ve faded. It should be forgotten, but somehow, it’s as clear as the day it happened.
Maybe part of you knew you’d need it someday. Maybe you subconsciously paid extra close attention to the way he smiled so wide it was the first time you noticed the wrinkles by his eyes or the feeling of his lips, sticky and sweet from the cotton candy he just shared with his friends as they captured your own in a tender kiss because you knew you’d forget the feeling if you didn’t commit it to memory.
You’ve stoped shaking. You’re no longer cowering under the stare of his relatives but someplace much, much happier. Sam notices and loosens his grip around you. Before he can ask if you’re alright, you propose a question of your own.
“Do you remember the summer of our freshmen year when we took the train up to Coney Island and spent the day at Luna Park?”
Sam and Steve walk ahead of you. They’re laughing with one another about something you hadn’t quite heard. They’re there. So are Peggy, Natasha, Sarah and Bucky’s little sister, Rebecca.
Everyone’s smiling and laughing. They’re happy. It’s a moment you never want to forget, and maybe that’s why you haven’t. It was the moment you realized that that was what you wanted your future to look like. Especially when Bucky wrapped his arm around your shoulder and pulled you closer into his side to shield you from the small gust of wind passing through.
You can feel him looking at you before you meet his stare and you’re not sure how it’s possible, but when his eyes meet yours, his smile stretches even wider. The way he looks at you is so full of love and adoration and you savor every moment under his loving gaze.
“Of course, I do.” His brow furrows, still not following where your head is. At the very least you’ve stopped shaking, but now, you’re somewhere else completely. You’re caught up in a daydream, he thinks, before he realizes it’s a memory.
“Becca wasn’t tall enough to ride the cyclone, so we all took our socks off and stuffed them into her shoes so that she could ride with us and then she made us ride it seven times.” You smile as you recall the way your cheeks hurt from smiling so much and the ache in your throat after it became raw from screaming.
Every twist and turn of the cyclone pushed you closer into Bucky’s side. Your heart was beating so fast, even after your seventh time on the roller coaster. You knew where every twist, turn and drop was and yet, your adrenaline spiked every time the coaster took off.
The ride only lasted about three minutes, but the thrill it gave you, the adrenaline high that made you feel on top of the world lasted for hours. You felt absolutely infinite.
“That was a good day.” Sam can’t help his own smile as he remembers the day similarly. It’s one of the many fond memories he has with all of his friends before everything changed.
He remembers how Steve went out of his way to impress Peggy and how he tried to win her the giant stuffed bear she’d been eyeing, but failed miserably. Steve had to have wasted close to thirty dollars trying to impress her. Sam only spent seven. The look on his friend’s face when the booth attendant handed Peggy the bear that was almost as tall as her was priceless. Sam remembered how it felt to be victorious.
He remembered how you and Bucky couldn’t keep your hands off of each other. Back then, you never could. You were always stealing kisses when you thought no one was looking and he always had an arm around you, protectively. Sam’s sure that’s what you’re remembering. The moments that the two of you were young and in love and untouchable from the rest of the world.
“Yeah, it was.” You agree somberly. The gentle breeze that dances through the garden brings you back to the present. The moment you were lost in is gone, but not forgotten.
Sam’s lips part to ask if you’re alright, but before any sound can leave his mouth, another voice rings out around you, causing both of your heads to turn towards the source of the interruption.
“There you guys are!” Peggy places her hands on her hips as she makes her way over to the secluded spot Sam had managed to tuck you away into with the hope of finding solace. “We’ve been looking all over for you two!” Her dress is a a dark shade of red. It’s sleeveless and she has a black, mesh cardigan on over it that’s more for style than warmth, based on the goosebumps on her skin. She folds her arms across her chest as she shivers and Steve removes his blazer, placing it on his wife’s shoulders.
She would’ve thanked him, had she not noticed how the look in your eyes. It resembled fear, panic even, and as soon as she noticed how tense you were, the smile fell from her face.
“Are you alright?” She places a hand on your shoulder, gently prying you away from Sam and into the comfort of her own arms. “What happened?”
When you don’t say anything she removes Steve’s blazer and places it around your own shoulders. At the very least, she’s attempting to keep you warm. What she failed to consider was that your entire body felt like it was on fire.
Sam watches as Peggy tries to console you. Her presence makes you tense and he can see that you’re shaking again. All of the progress he’d made by helping to ground you is gone.
He’s not the only one that notices. Steve watches your hands tremble as you shake your head yes and no to questions his wife is asking you. You can’t even bring yourself to speak.
“Are you sure about this?” He leans in towards Sam and proposes the question only loud enough for the two of them to hear.
“Not anymore.” He admits defeatedly. As much as it damages his ego and pride to admit, he fears that this is too much, too soon. A part of him feels like he forced you into this, even though you seemed on board. Deep down, he knew you only agreed to come to appease him.
He feels guilty.
Guilty that you’re clearly in shock because he begged you to come to a wedding you were adamant about avoiding. Guilty because he couldn’t just respect your wishes and leave you be.
He knows he should take you home. It’s where you wanted to be, anyway. He shouldn’t have made you come here. It isn’t fair to you.
“Guys-“ With wide eyes Natasha tugs on the sleeve of Steve’s shirt in an attempt to get his attention, but it’s too late. She tried to warn them, but missed the fleeting window of opportunity to help you escape unscathed.
“Peggy! Steve!”
Her voice is full of joy as she spots the familiar faces in the garden. It’s only been a couple of months since she’s seen them last. They even spoke on the phone the other night for a couple of hours. But seeing them in person again, knowing that they’re there for her big day, makes her chest swell with excitement.
Peggy’s lips press into a small line. You barely have time to register what’s happening in your shocked state before Steve places a hand on your shoulder, bringing you back to reality.
His grip is soft and his touch lingers, unlike your hug in the airport. There’s a deeper meaning to the gentle squeeze he gives you. You realize then that he’s trying to ground you.
Not a second later she’s standing in front of you. Strawberry blonde hair frames a full face as she smiles widely. Next to her, her fiancé wears a similar smile, until his eyes land on you.
As soon as he sees you, time stops.
He freezes, the smile on his face nowhere to be found as he stares at you wide eyed. It’s like he’s thirteen years old again and seeing you for the first time in the back of the class.
He can’t believe you’re here. He must be dreaming. That’s the only logical explanation. He’s thought about it enough times, dreaming about it enough nights. It’s only right that it became a reality.
His mouth is dry. There’s so many things he wants to say, but he can’t. The words escape him.
No one speaks. Your friends watch as you fight back tears. It’s taking everything in you not to break down and the only thing helping you keep it together is the gentle brush of Steve’s thumb on your shoulder.
You’ve never known a tension like this. You’ve never known a divide this suffocating.
Besides him, her smile never falters. She notices the way he’s squeezing her hand a little tighter and the way he’s tensed upon seeing you. She doesn’t know what to make of it, but doesn’t let it affect her smile.
Taking a step forward, she extends her hand to you, being the first to break the ice as she announces, “Hi, I’m Lia.”
Tagging some angels I adore: @blissfulparker @celestialbarnes @buckyblues​ @darlingsteve​ @buckycuddlebuddy​ @bucksfucks​ @babycap​ @wkemeup​ @agentofbarnes​ @buckyspurpose​
Series taglist: @jeremyrennerfanxxxx123​ @the-ayo-lit @chokemewanda​ @blvckbl00d​ @iheartsebandchris​
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rosetterer · 8 hours ago
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Hi!
So.... I've been gone for a while. Now, it's not because anything bad happened, quite the opposite actually but we'll get to that in a moment.
I have a couple of fics that haven't been finished and there's nothing more that I hate than unfinished fics and yet, I can't promise I will ever finish them. I really want to though so I will try. I promise.
The reason why I haven't been updating is that when I started writing fanfiction, I was in a really bad place in my life and it was a way for me to distract myself from anything bad that was going on and right now, I'm in a really good place. I'm really HAPPY. Have been for long while now! I don't need to distract myself from bad things anymore so I've been struggling with bringing myself to write anything at all. This is obviously a good thing because real life should always come before fiction.
I don't know what will happen next but I will update you when I do.
-Rose
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