Natasha sat on a bench on Jefferson Drive in view of the Washington Monument, lost in her thoughts and barely aware of the soft early morning breeze teasing the ends of her long red hair. She was barely aware of much these days, in the world without purpose. Her whole life had been in service of the country, of stopping the bad guys even if they believed she was the bad guy.
And now what was she? She was no longer much good as a spy, all her covers gone but what would she be now? A secretary to Stark?
Yeah right. She thought to herself. I've got more pride and more skills than that. Skills that mainly involve killing, espionage and interrogation and do not belong on a resume. Maybe I should consider it but to be at the whims of such a man, ugh!
The thought of being at the mercy to any man, that was not of her choosing, and not part of a ploy or subversive interrogation was a thought that filled her with dread. But what else was there to do? She needed a job, not for the money as she had enough money to get by for awhile and owned her own apartment. She needed something to keep herself busy, to give herself purpose.
I feel so lost and out of touch with the world, like I no longer belong. I used to know my way around and now everything has changed. I'm not sure how to go forward. I guess this is how Rogers felt when he woke up.
Natasha smiled slightly at the thought of having something in common with a technically 96 year old man who was also technically 27. It also cause her mind to wonder to him.
It has been 2 months since I last saw him. I wonder what he has been up to? I know he has been searching for leads with Wilson. It would be nice to see them again, to have some friends in town, to have someone to talk to.
No sooner thought of then her wish was granted. She saw a blonde runner in the distance moving at very fast pace. Natasha smiled to herself and slowly stretched before wandering off to the edge of the reflecting pool. It was where Rogers habitually started and ended his laps.
The sun was starting to come up warm and strong by the time she reached the end of her route and glancing at her watch she estimated she had another 10 minutes until he made his way back to her. Despite the cool professionalism and teasing she always did at his expense she knew he would be glad to see her. He didn't have many friends or acquaintances, much like herself, and she was glad to count herself amongst his.
Natasha glanced at her watch again and was happy to know many cafes would be open so she and the Captain could have a nice catch up over breakfast. She would be glad for some company to break her solitude and also needed a bit of caffeine to kick start her day. Her eyes swept the area, trying to catch a glimpse of him. At long last he rounded the corner and started his run down the straight towards her.
Natasha could see him squint into the morning sun and smile when he recognized her. The sun glinted off his golden blonde hair and the early morning sky brought out the blue in his eyes. He was the typical all American Boy, clean-cut, wholesome and sweet standing for truth, justice and the American Way. It seemed kind of cheesy and old fashioned, but then again he was technically old fashioned.
"Morning Romanoff. I didn't expect to see you out here this morning." Steve greeted
"Well I didn't expect to see you, Rogers. I didn't know you were back in town." She replied.
"Got back yesterday afternoon. Sam needed to sort something out and the leads dried up so ... here I am." He explained, wiping some of the sweat off him with the towel that was around his neck.
"Well why don't we catch up over breakfast? I can fill you in on what the rest of team has been up to lately and I could use some company." She suggested.
"Sure. Lead the way."
A short time later the two of them where seated in a bustling little cafe, coffee and plates brimming full of delicious food in front of them. The two chatted easily, Natasha catching him up on the goings on of their acquaintances. How Stark and Banner where working together in New York, Thor was currently in Asgard and how Barton was off to locations unknown as Steve describing the locations of his travels and recounting some of his and Wilson's escapades
"it sounds like you've had some adventures. Meet anyone interesting?" Natasha queried.
"Not this again, Romanoff." He sighed.
"Not what?" she asked innocently.
"This. Trying to set me up and find me dates. I told you before that I'm too busy." He replied tersely.
"Maybe before, but you are back in town now. No job, no mission and no excuse. So why not?" She corrected.
"Because I'm not interested."
"So you and Wilson?" She whispered, amazed.
"What?" Steve asked, confused.
"Well you two seem very close and I'm happy for yo.." Natasha started before Steve cut her off.
"What? NO! You think that Sam and I?" He exclaimed, shocked.
"Well if not Sam then is there some other..." She started.
"Romanoff I'm not into men. I like women" Steve declared with authority.
"Well then what is it? You're not into men, you have the time and inclination so what is it?" Natasha pressed.
"You aren't going to let this go, are you?" Steve frowned.
"No. I'm a top spy and interrogator for a reason and I will find out, Rogers." She teased.
"Fine. But you can't tell anyone." He relented at last.
He gestured for her to lean in so he could whisper he answer to her. She leaned close to him, her long red hair brushing against his arm briefly before she pushed it behind her ear.
"I'm still single because..." He paused and blushed slightly red, noticing that her eyes where glued to his face. "Because I'm a virgin."
Natasha was speechless. She pulled back from Steve and let her eyes wander over his face and body. He was tall, toned with a chiseled jaw and amazing blue eyes. He was attractive, very attractive in the whole sexy boy next door kind of way and she was just wasn't comprehending what he said.
"Are you serious? How? Why?" Natasha blurted out.
"I shouldn't have told you." Steve hissed and rose to stand.
"Wait." Natasha called and reached out, her hand grabbing around his wrist. "Please don't leave. I'm sorry, I'm just... shocked."
Steve sat back down, Natasha's hand still on his arm. His eyes where fiery, as his anger at exposing such a vulnerable part of himself simmered below the surface. He looked at Natasha's face and saw the softening of her features, there was no malice or humor in them, only genuine concern. This effectively stopped Steve's anger.
"Can we talk about this later?" He pleaded.
Natasha for once was not teasing or overly cool towards him and simply nodded. They finished their breakfast quickly after that and headed back to Natasha's car. Once they were seated she turned her eyes to him.
"I'm sorry, I just can't believe that a guy that looks like you would have never..." Natasha trailed off.
"Well believe it." He answered with a bite of impatience and anger in his voice. Catching the look on her face he softened his tone and explained.
"Did you go and see the Captain America exhibition? I didn't always look like this. I was short, skinny and I looked like a 14 year old until the treatment. Afterwards it was all the war effort and there was no time for romance. And now women are much more interested in the physical side of things and I'm..."
"Just at a loss." Natasha finished. "But there wasn't anyone? Anyone at all?"
"There was this one girl and we kissed but then ..." Steve divulged.
"Right. And so now..."
"Now I'm here in world that I'm not a part of with no idea with what to do. I'm an old fashioned kind of man, Romanoff. I believe in love and waiting until I'm married before I make love to a woman. I don't fit in." Steve confided.
"Well do you want to try to adjust to this world? A bit of good old fashioned courtship mixed with modern ... benefits?" Natasha suggested.
"Benefits?" Steve questioned.
"Well... someone teaching you about modern dating and modern intimacy." She advised.
"Like who? Stark? Sam? I don't exactly want to tell them about it. It was hard enough to admit it to you."
"Well then how about me?" Natasha mused.
"Well I've got time and who else would know better what a modern woman wants than a modern woman?" Natasha justified.
"What is in it for you? I know you, Romanoff. You don't do things without a ulterior motive." Steve questioned.
"I'm sick of sitting around trying to figure out what to do with myself. Besides, it will be fun."
"Just think of all the new ways I get to tease you." Natasha joked. Seeing the look on Steve's face she smiled mischievously. "I didn't say it would be fun for you."
Steve rolled his eyes slightly as they pulled up in front of his apartment block. He cast a glance over at her and shook his head.
"I know I'm going to regret this but ok. We'll give it a try. You get to teach me about modern women. God help me." Steve vowed.
"Thor is back in Asgard, Rogers. Besides I thought this was just between us?" Natasha taunted.
"Romanoff." Steve warned, opening the car door.
"I'm just teasing, Rogers. Your first lesson starts tonight. And call me Natasha."