Red Room Christmas

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My BuckyNat Secret Santa gift for feralsoviets. Prompt: "Something Red Room-era. Angst if possible. Or not. It's up to you."

It's a two part thing and also includes a fanart I will post in the next chapter. But I already have a few work in progress pics uploaded. Check my profile for the links to my tumblr, fb, twitter or insta.

Enjoy and please review ^^

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Chapter 1: Kindness

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The Soldier had noticed how structured, how bleak, the little Widow's daily schedule was. Deep in his heart he had known about more there was to life, to celebrate. For fun, not for training. They might have scrubbed his brain clean and raw but those lost pieces of his mind always left a void, an emptiness only waiting to be filled. It took him quite a while to find out, a few missions in more populated towns. There was excitement and fun and reason.

And this was what he wanted to give to Natalia, his little Widow, his perfect student, his… No, not yet. She was just 17, although she knew about… that too… Very early on the trainees were shaped into deadly seductresses. And while many of the girls felt disgust and anger while they used their craft on targets, Natalia had turned her hatred into a weapon, honed by the most piercing glances she could throw a man, bringing him to her knees when she gave him her full attention. It's not like she actually felt anything. Feelings and emotions were erased, yet… She wielded her tools well and knew when and where to use them. Jesus, that woman could flirt.

Most instructors in the Red Room thought only little of the girls and used them as such. Damn, the Winter Soldier had a warmer heart than these bastards. Natalia had managed to awake a side of him deeply covered underneath the programming and every minute he spent with her was like a cherished dream. She could make him whole again. And what they could become… together… But no, it was too dangerous. If anyone ever knew about the feelings he had for his trainee they would punish her, even kill her for being compromised, and send him back to HYDRA after a very thorough wiping because his use didn't outweigh the consequences any longer.

James gritted his teeth. Consequences be damned. He had managed to create something for her, something special. A boyish need to get her approval for this flamed before he could drown it. These were emotions unfitting for an asset who was only used to kill, but he was more now. Natalia had shown him that.

The soon-to-be Black Widow tried to ease her mind. After long hours of laying awake she had decided to pick the chains binding her to the bed and break into the room where their dance instructor taught them ballet. It was one of the rare places she was able to relax, to be herself.

The Soldier watched how she moved to the rhythm of an inaudible music and got entranced by it. He moved a bit closer to the door to watch her in the last most passionate movements of the dance. Could she see him from here? Her eyes weren't closed as they usually were when she was lost in her dance. Was she…?

Natalia finished the last step with a deep bow before looking into the mirror, and straightly at him. "Soldier…" She murmured. Not sure if he was here to check on her, to report her, or…

"Natalia…" He brought out yet couldn't form a coherent sentence while his mind was still moving along the seductive paths she had danced for him.

She mustered him and finally came to a conclusion. No danger. Pushing a lost strand back into place she took a deep breath and decided to move towards him. "What are you doing here?"

Her eyes captured him and he felt how dry his throat was, how difficult it was to swallow. He stuttered incoherently before finally regaining his conscience. "I… have a surprise for you."

She arched an eyebrow, curious, but also playing him. "A good or bad surprise?"

In defense he raised his hands and put on a desperate look without being able to control it. "A good one. I hope. I made it…" He gulped. "...for you."

Natalia smiled at that. She had never harbored any vile intentions for him. The Soldier had taught her how to fight, as was his job, and he had done well. But he never used her the way the other trainers did. He had almost shown… mercy. But only towards her. For the last few months he had become an object to study. He was interesting, kind, even though he smashed her into the mat more than once. But he tried everything to make her stronger so she could survive in this harsh environment. He had earned a bit of trust. "Will we break any rules for it?"

James didn't know how to breathe anymore. "Ah, maybe…"

Natalia threw him her most adorable smile, trying to show her true feelings for a moment. She was delighted. And it was exciting to see his transformation. This man… was wonderful. Everyone only thought of him as a mindless weapon but she had coaxed more façets out of him, the true self beneath the ice of the Winter Soldier. "All the better. I am bored anyway. So… what do you have in mind?"

Her openness confused him for a second before he motioned towards a window. "The courtyard is unguarded while the shifts are changing."

"A little trip?" She chuckled and changed her ballerina shoes for boots in a fluid motion before moving towards the optional exit.

A second before she could open the window he was behind her, his arm outstretched, holding his jacket. "I don't want you to be cold on the way."

"Such a gentleman." She grinned and slipped it on, knowing that if she forced him into a conflict now she wouldn't be able to see his surprise.

James licked his lips as she secured the leather jacket around herself. It was like a stain on the perfect image her ballet dress had created. But not for him. Well, it was practical after all. The facility only had a minimum supply of heat. Hardening the students and all… But his mind could only focus on the facts that his scent now surrounded her, marking her. He helped her with the last button before giving her a hand in getting onto the windowsill. "We've got three minutes to leave the compound."

Natalia gave him a genuine smile. "More than enough."

And with that they left, running into the cold Siberian wilderness.

Natalia had been quite self-assured for a while but after half an hour of walking she had started to bite her lip. Okay, this was a trap, and she had plunged right into it.

"Only a few more meters." The Soldier assured her once they had reached a clearing. He hoped the back-up generator was still on to provide power for the lights and heating.

"What I am going to find?" She asked cautiously.

"A very old tradition called… Christmas." He whispered as she slowed in her steps, watching the miracle unfold before her.

"What?" She looked at the tree in front of her being lit up by a patch-work of wax candles and electric lights of various kinds.

"Merry Christmas." The Soldier whispered behind her as he stepped closer. It was so much more visible now how small she actually was. Natalia barely reached his chin as he moved even closer, feeling the red locks brushing his upper body.

"This is…" She looked at the scene in front of her. Beautiful. "Amazing."

"I thought you might like an excursion into folklore traditions." He tried to hide his true reasons.

Natalia walked in between the lights surrounding her and turned around to look at him. "Soldier…"

He knew he had caught her in his very own web, trapping the spider. Yet not for dark intentions, that he had to keep in mind. This was for her joy. And the way he watched her eyes open in awe was… wonderful. The look she gave him, so happy, without burden, enjoying his gift… "A very old tradition called Christmas. It's been commercialized in the past years but the main point is to give a present to someone. And this is my gift… to you…"

Natalia still observed all the little wonders he had arranged around them. It seemed like he had used whatever he could find. The colours never matched, neither the design but there was love in the detail. "Thank you… I…" don't know how to even respond.

"Come on. You must be freezing. I have prepared a little hideout. It's not much but enough to warm you up."

She had expected an undertone in the voice. Yet his intentions appeared honest without any bad taste to them. So she allowed him to lead her to a shed where they could watch the beautiful scenery.

He made both of them comfortable on some blankets pleasantly heated by an oven. "We've got until Christmas morning when we have to be back."

"Until sunrise…" Natalia whispered as she settled beside him. After all their hours in the training room she was certain that any violent move he could make she would be able to counteract, to block. So she let him. And after a few minutes of silence Natalia realized that he had no intention of doing so. It made her heart stutter. "Why?"

"Haven't you figured that out by now?" He said with a cocky smile which might have been the wrong way of putting it.

"Soldat…" She recoiled, not sure anymore if this was friendly territory.

He instantly withdrew. "Sorry. I didn't mean to. Sometimes I just feel like… another part of me wants to come out, to entice, to play." He reached for her hand and gently kissed her knuckles. "No bad intentions."

"Really?" Natalia whispered as she came closer. If he had been a target she would already have wrapped him around her fingers, but the Soldier was different. She didn't want to use him. "Well, you charmer…" Natalia leaned in closer with her hand reached for his bare flesh arm. "So this is your present then?"

His breath hitched for a moment before he reached into his pocket. "Not, not really. I…" He opened a little box with a necklace in it. The hourglass was telltale. "I small token, a lucky charm…" He mumbled, totally unsure.

Well, she hadn't expected anything physical. It was too dangerous. But to hell with all the fear… She would keep it hidden from wary eyes. The necklace was simple, but expertly crafted. He must has stolen it from somewhere. A fitting token for the Black Widow to be.

When she just stared at it he became uncertain again. Damn, was this too much? Was she expecting that he wanted to be… paid for it with physical intimacies? That was not the plan. He had just wanted to…

"Thank you…" She stroked away her long red hair for him to put it on.

He smiled gently as he fastened the necklace, leaning in close enough to smell her scent. He couldn't resist. This woman had him in her trap…

"But I've got nothing for you?" She studied his eyes again trying to read him. Something uncommon yet not unexpected happened. He shied away. He didn't want her to repay him. This was just… for her. And somehow it broke her more than any hard training could ever have. Tears started to blur her vision as she watched how the lights of the Christmas tree sparkled. This was for her out of pure kindness.

"You don't have to give me anything. I'm so glad you like my gift. That is enough."

"No." She whispered. "No." Natalia said once more, now sternly. "Do you know…" She interrupted her sentence for something else. "Do you feel anything for me? Is that why…"

He couldn't help himself. His lips caught hers in a searing kiss. "I adore you." He breathed against her cheek before withdrawing.

Natalia couldn't think for a moment when he sealed their connection. This was so… different… and nice. Like a warm cushion she could sink into, like a comforting blanket she could wrap herself into. "My Soldier…" Possessiveness.

"James." He answered in instinct without thinking.

"Is that your real name? James?" She had stopped stroking his body.

Since when had she started caressing him like this? He couldn't remember, only heard the echo of his own name on her lips. "I… think…" It had come to him so naturally. It had to be true.

"Well, James. After all these wonderful gifts I have given you I think it is only fair if you get one, too." She deftly reached for his pants.

"No!" He hadn't meant to shout. Once he realized how much he had startled her James got more gentle. "Not like that. If you really want this to happen… and I am not forcing you, not expecting anything - although be certain I would be very happy - " There's that cocky, boyish grin again. "... I did this for you. Without asking for anything in return. But…" His fingers caressed her thigh. "... I could add a few things to my gift I hope you enjoy."

Enjoy? Enjoyment was a condition the Black Widows had to be able to create so the target would submit. But the Soldier's - no, James' - words were not spoken with dark intentions. He wanted to give instead of take.

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I hope you enjoyed part 1. The next one will be a bit darker… because we all know how all this went in the comics. And of course the smut. Hehe XD

Don't forget to review.