Hey guys! I'm back with part four of my Falling in Love series! This one took a bit of a sad turn, but I promise the next installment will be much happier. I hope y'all enjoy it!
Disclaimer: I do not own Marvel.
Natasha sat on the plush couch outside of the main lab, fidgeting with her wedding ring. As much as she tried, she just could not force her body to be still. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she had broken out into a cool sweat. A part of her was ashamed of herself. She was the Black Widow. She did not feel weaknesses like anxiety or desperation. A larger part of her was scared. The results of this test would be it. There were no more chances after this.
She and Steve had been married for almost a year now and in that time, Steve had assured her that he wasn't upset that Natasha could not give him children. But Nat knew that he longed for a family. She could see it in his eyes every time they visited the Barton's or Sam had his nieces over. While Natasha knew Steve loved her and would never leave her, she knew just as much that he wanted kids. Kids that Natasha could not provide.
In desperation, Natasha went to Bruce and Dr. Cho for help. They had run tests, done MRI's, and even tried to see if Dr. Cho's cradle would work. Over a month of research and testing all lead to this moment. Natasha sat waiting for either a miracle or for the facts to be confirmed.
Nat was absent-mindly playing with Steve's dog tags around her neck when the door to the lab opened and Bruce came out. Nat stood and crossed her arms over her chest, protecting her heart from whatever was to come.
Bruce shook his head and pulled off his glasses. "I'm sorry, Nat. There's just too much damage. While it could be possible for you to conceive, you wouldn't be able to carry the fetus to term."
A tear trailed down her face. Wiping it away, Natasha nodded. "Thanks, Bruce. I knew it was a long shot anyway."
"There are other options." Bruce offered gently. "You and Steve could adopt or get a surrogate."
Natasha nodded absently. Yes, those were options, but they felt like giving up. It felt like letting the Red Room win.
"Why don't you go home and talk to Steve about it." Bruce said, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. "I know this is hard right now, but it's gonna be ok."
Natasha sat on the couch feeling numb. After leaving the lab, she went back to her and Steve's apartment in the Tower. Steve wasn't home yet and that suited Nat just fine. Shed grabbed a blanket and curled up on the couch to wait for him. She'd been there for about an hour, tears silently streaming down her face, when the lock on the front door clicked.
Nat didn't bother to move or hide her tears. Steve knew how to read her so well that there was no point in trying to hide.
"Hey, I'm home!" Steve called as he toed off his shoes and hung his jacket on the hook. "I was thinking we could go out later. Maybe catch a movie." He called as he went into the kitchen to grab a drink. "I'm not sure if there's anything good out yet, but it might be fun to- Nat, what's wrong?" Steve asked as he entered the living room and saw his wife on the couch.
Nat blinked up at her husband's earnest, concerned face. She opened her mouth, but no sound came out. How was she supposed to tell him?
"Hey, sweetheart. Whatever it is, its gonna be okay." Steve shushed, lowering himself on to the couch. He reached out to gather Natasha into his arms and she went willingly. At a loss for anything else to do, Steve tucked Nat's head under his chin and stroked her red hair while she cried into his neck.
The couple stayed like that for what felt like an eternity. Natasha working through the years' worth of pain she had never previously wanted to acknowledge and Steve offering words of love and comfort. It physically hurt him to see his wife so distressed, but Steve didn't know what else to do.
After an eternity, Steve finally asked, "do you want to talk about it?"
"Not really, but you deserve to know." Nat answered, pulling away to look him in the eyes. "I went to see Bruce today."
Steve nodded, wiping away a stray tear. "I know. You said you were going to test something."
"Remember when we first started dating and I told you about what the Red Room did to me?"
"Oh, Nat." Steve sighed, tightening his hold on her. "Is this about not being able to have kids?"
Nat shuddered. "I just thought that maybe we could figure something out and I could give you the family you've always wanted."
"Natasha," Steve tilted her chin up so he could meet her eyes. "I told you then and I'm telling you now; I love you. I don't care that you can't give me children. You're my family and that's all I need. Okay?"
In lieu of response, Natasha tucked herself back into her husband's arms.
"It's gonna be alright, sweetheart. I promise." Steve assured, squeezing her to his chest. Eventually, they cried themselves to sleep, wrapped up in each other's arms.
The next day, the couple was determined to carry on as normal. Steve got up early and went on his morning jog with Bucky and Sam while Nat went to eat breakfast with Pepper, Jane, and Darcy.
It was a tad awkward for everyone, as they all could tell something was wrong, but no one wanted to say anything. Well, no one but Darcy.
"Hey, Nat, can I talk to you?" Darcy asked, following Natasha into the elevator.
"Yeah, Darce. I've got a meeting in an hour though." Nat replied, checking her watch. "What's up?"
"Well." Darcy fidgeted. "You know how I'm the lab assistant and sometimes, I end up knowing things I probably shouldn't?"
Natasha eyed her friend suspiciously. "What do you know?" The elevator door opened to the hallway on Nat's floor and the two stepped out.
Darcy looked down, playing with her hands as Nat unlocked her apartment door. "I saw some of Bruce's notes and I know about your, uh, problem."
"If you're here to apologize or pity me, please don't." Natasha rounded the corner to her bedroom.
Darcy followed. "It's not that. Look," Darcy took her friend's hand. "I thought about it last night and I want to help you."
"From what I saw, I think it would be possible for you and Steve to artificially conceive and I could carry your baby to term for you."
Natasha gaped. "Have you spoken to Bucky about this? Is he gonna be fine with you carrying someone else's baby?"
Darcy shook her head. "I haven't told him. I wanted to talk to you about it first. But if its for you and Steve, I'm sure he won't have a problem with it."
Nat hugged her friend. "Thank you, Darcy."
Darcy squeezed back. "Take some time to talk to Steve and think about it. I won't be hurt if you decide not to."
When Natasha came home from her meeting at S.H.I.E.L.D. a few hours later, she found two suitcases waiting for her.
"Steve?" She called, setting her bag down. "Are we going somewhere?"
"As a matter of fact, we are." Steve answered, coming to greet her. "I figured it's been awhile since we visited the cabin, so I pulled some strings and got us some time off."
"You didn't have to do that, Rogers." Nat said, smiling despite her protests.
"Maybe I wanted to, Romanoff." Steve wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "So, whaddya say? Wanna get outta here for a bit?"
Natasha leaned up to kiss his cheek. "Let's go."
The Cabin in the Woods, as Tony loved to call it, was located at an undisclosed site in the Rocky Mountains and its nearest neighbor was over five miles away. It was the perfect place for the Rogers' to go be alone. While it was on the smaller side, it had all the essentials, allowing the couple to retreat from the world for days on end.
When Steve and Nat got there, all the leaves were beginning to turn brown and the sun was beginning to set. After getting their luggage inside, Steve wrapped an arm around his wife. "Why don't you go get settled and I'll see what I can whip up for dinner?"
Natasha agreed and went about putting their clothes away. Soon, the smell of food cooking hit her nose and she wandered out into the kitchen. She found Steve at the stove, wearing the frilly pink apron Sam had gotten them as a gag gift, dancing along to whatever music was playing in his head.
Nat found herself truly smiling for the first time in days as she leaned against the door frame. Seeing her husband so happy and carefree put her at ease. They would make it through this.
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