Natasha wandered around the soul world, bored out of her mind. After all, there wasn't much to do there. There was no technology, and no outside threats, just a never ending orange landscape. There were three other people there, including Loki, Vision, and Gamora. She'd gotten to know all of them very well during her time here. Natasha wasn't sure how long she'd been there. There was no concept of time in the soul world, no day and night. She spent most of her days (nights?) there sparring with Gamora, telling stories with Vision, and thwarting Loki's attempts at pranking her.
She often thought about her teammates. No, not just her teammates, her family. She wondered if they'd managed to beat Thanos. God, she hoped so. She thought about Clint, and the dead look in his eyes without his family. Becoming a man full of vengeance and rage, born out of trauma and grief. She thought about all of them, hoping that they'd be able to carry on and finish what they'd started without her. She missed them all dearly, but that was a small price to pay to bring them all back. As much as it pained her to admit, she even missed Tony with all of his snark and wit, not that she'd ever admit that to anyone.
"Miss me Agent Romanoff?" A familiar voice asked sarcastically.
"You've got to be shitting me," Natasha muttered. "Seriously Stark? After my brave and honorable sacrifice you just had to go and outdo me by getting yourself killed as well? God, no one else was supposed to die. Also, it sucks that I'll have to share the memorials and shrines of myself with you." Natasha took a breath and looked Tony in the eye, "It's good to see you Tony," she said sincerely. Natasha closed the distance between them and walked over to where Tony was standing and embraced him. Even on the soul world, he smelled like a mixture of Axe Body Spray, sweat, and motor oil.
"Yeah, well, I was never one to let someone else take the spotlight. I am after all, Tony Stark: genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, extraordinaire," Tony cheekily responded after accepting the embrace.
Natasha and Tony spent some time catching up, with Tony filling her in on what had happened on Earth since her death. Natasha couldn't help the tears that built up in her eyes as she listened to Tony. He told her about reuniting with his kid, only to die right in front of him. She was relieved that they'd won, but couldn't help the overwhelming feeling of regret. If only we could go back one last time, have a second chance to fix things.
"So...where exactly are we? No offense Widow, I'm glad you're here and all, but this place doesn't exactly scream 'heaven' to me," Tony said as his eyes wandered and took in the endless orange landscape.
"From what I've gathered, we're in the soul world. Loki told me that the stones are sentient, and hold onto the souls of those it feels a strong connection to. It's a way of preserving our...souls? I guess."
"Wait...Reindeer Games? He's here? What the fuck? Now I definitely know that this shithole isn't heaven."
"Oh yeah, I may have forgotten some details about this place. Vision and Gamora are here too."
"Quill's girlfriend and my robot child? Is that it? And if they're here, then where the hell are they?" Tony asked, once again glancing around as if expecting them all to appear in midair.
"You know? That's actually a good question. I usually don't go this long without seeing at least one of them. I swear Loki can't go five minutes without trying to sneak up on me...he fails every time," Natasha smirked.
"You actually hang out with that maniac? Do you not remember the time he invaded New York with a shitton of aliens under Thanos's orders?" Tony asked incredulously.
"He's actually not as batshit crazy as we made him out to be. Apparently the whole alien invasions thing back in 2012 wasn't him at all, it was Thanos. He was being mind controlled the same way Clint was, only, by Thanos. He's still a bit sadistic and annoying though, but I can handle that."
Tony went silent for a minute while he processed the information. Reindeer Games isn't a complete psychopath? What the fuck? Maybe I should've had a drink with him after all. Nah, he's a bit too flashy and irritating to be friends with me.
Suddenly, the ground beneath them began to shake and the orange dust blew around them as wind picked up. "Uh...Nat? Does this happen often?"
Natasha maintained a poker face to hide her fear. "No this hasn't happened before. I wonder if it has something to do with why we haven't seen Vision, Gamora, or Loki for a while."
Suddenly, Tony disappeared into a cloud of orange dust. "STARK!" Natasha screamed. "TONY COME BACK HERE YOU ASSHOLE! YOU CAN'T JUST SHOW UP HERE AND LEAVE ME LIKE THAT!" Natasha cried in desperation. What the hell was happening? Wasn't dying once enough? Was this the universe's way of getting back at her for all the horrible things she'd done as an assassin?
Before Natasha knew it, she felt herself being lifted into a pile of orange dust. I guess I'm going to hell for real this time.