Of Stolen Clothes and Chamomile Tea
Natasha rolled over in her bed, groaning as she swallowed and felt a sore throat. Her head throbbed and her vision blurred when she sat up. What is going on? The Black Widow doesn't get sick! A sneeze proved that fact to be false. Sunlight flowed cheerfully through the sheer curtain over the window. Natasha glared at it, groaned and flopped back on her pillow, pulling a blanket over her head.
"Has anyone seen Nat?" Bruce asked, coming into the kitchen, still clad in his pajamas.
"No, maybe she's in the gym?" Steve asked from his position at the table, where he was eating a bowl of cereal and reading the newspaper.
"Nope, I was just down there!" Clint came up the stairs, plopping down on the table.
"Hey, get your sweaty butt off the table," Tony complained, swatting at Clint with his spoon. "Maybe she's still asleep?"
"Ouch," Clint snapped, rubbing the back of his hand. "That's not likely. She's usually up with the sun. I'll go check on her." Clint hopped off the table and headed down the hall. "Tasha?" Clint tapped on her closed bedroom door. A groan came from behind it and a rustling of blankets. The door opened and a bedraggled Natasha answered the door.
"What," she asked drably, her voice sounding nasally and plugged.
"Um, are you okay?" Clint asked carefully, shifting his weight.
"No," she replied flatly. "I think I caught the cold Pepper had last week.
"Yeah, you don't sound so good." I don't suppose you want to come out with the others? I'll make you some breakfast," Clint offered.
Natasha shrugged, wrapped herself in a blanket, and came out of her room. Clint offered her his arm and she leaned heavily on him as they walked down the hall.
"Are those my pants?" Clint asked, just now noticing the rumpled attire of his friend. A large zip-up hoodie, a t-shirt that was so big it showed her sports bra strap on one shoulder, a pair of too big sweatpants pulled tight at her waist, and a pair of soft cotton socks that were also too big. Her hair was pulled up in a tangled, messy bun. Clint was fairly sure most of her outfit was stolen.
"Shut up, Barton, or you'll be sorry," Nat threatened.
"Okay, I was just asking!" Clint objected, looking offended. "Pretty darn sure those are my pants though." The arrow design on the left pant leg totally gave it away.
Nat silenced him with a glare.
"I found her, everybody!" Clint said as the two entered the common area.
"Good morning, sleepyhead," Tony remarked. "Are you wearing my hoodie?"
Nat shrugged, even though she knew it was, in fact, his.
"And is that my shirt?" Steve asked.
"I don't know," Nat replied. It was, however.
"Woah, Red, you sound terrible," Tony said, getting up and tossing his dishes in the sink. Steve cringed. Tony was the reason the Avengers had plastic dishes instead of something more breakable.
"Yeah, I'm aware," Nat said, flopping down on the couch, drawing her legs up under her.
"Do you want breakfast?" Clint asked, tucking a blanket around his friend.
Nat may have smiled a little, Clint wasn't sure.
"I don't know," she said with a shrug.
"Well that's not helpful. I'll make you one of those power smoothies you like so much." Clint walked into the kitchen and started pulling stuff out of the fridge. Natasha sneezed and wiped her nose on her sleeve.
"Hey, watch it! That's my hoodie you're wiping snot on!" Tony snapped, thrusting a box of tissues at the sniffling woman.
"Shut up, Stark, or you'll find a bullet right in the center of that stupid glowing circle in your chest," Nat said in a low voice, her gaze deadly. She was not going to put up with Stark today.
"Woah, Natasha," Bruce cut in, pushing Tony away from the sick assassin.
"What?" she snapped, wiping her nose on the hoodie sleeve again.
"That's not nice," Bruce said. "And are you wearing my socks?"
"Maybe," Natasha snarked, pulling the blanket over her toes.
"Hey! Stop antagonizing the woman. She's sick, and ya'll should have some sympathy. And, here we go, here's one power smoothie," Clint called, coming from the kitchen with a tall glass of green stuff. Natasha took it and took a sip. Clint wrinkled his nose. "That's just gross."
"How do you know? Have you ever tried it?" Nat snarked, pulling her blanket close around her shoulders.
"Nope." Clint shook his head. Nat rolled her eyes.
"Okay, everybody, leave the princess alone. I've got a call to make." Tony trotted from the room, phone in hand. 20 minutes later, enter Pepper Potts, dressed in her usual business attire.
"Hey, Pep! Thanks for coming in! And also, I just need you to hang out with N-Ro over there, so um, you didn't have to wear that."
"Why didn't you tell me that over the phone?" Pepper said with a frown. "I so wouldn't have worn this stupid outfit. I'll be right back, Nat," Pepper said with a wave to the sick assassin.
"No problem, Pepper," Natasha replied, thankful there was another woman in the tower for once. A few minutes later, Pepper came back, hair up in a messy bun, dressed in yoga pants and a loose fitting "Black Sabbath" shirt that looked suspiciously like Tony's. She flopped on the couch beside Nat. Nat passed her a blanket.
"What is it with women and stealing clothes?" Tony muttered as he headed up to his lab.
"So, I think I caught your cold," Natasha stated, blowing her nose in a tissue.
"Sorry." Pepper grimaced. She was on the tail end of her cold.
"It's not your fault," Natasha replied, then turned her head and sneezed. She groaned.
"Hey, wanna watch a movie?" Pepper suggested. "Might help take our minds off all this." Pepper gestured to the both of them.
"Sure." Nat pushed herself up so she was sitting more than laying. "Jarvis, turn the tv on please and pull up Netflix. And dim the lights."
"Of course." The tv flicked on as the room grew dark. Nat glanced at Pepper. "Normally I'm not so lazy, but, you know."
Pepper nodded in agreement.
"So, what are we thinking? Action and Adventure? Rom-com?" Nat asked, pulling a blanket over her lap. Pepper smirked.
"Hold on, and I'll show you."
"Which account would you like to use?" Jarvis asked. "We have Science Bros, Legolas, Red, Capsicle, and Point Break," Jarvis stated, telling the names of the accounts.
"Looks like Tony's been messing with the Netflix accounts again," Nat muttered. "Jay, return the account names to the names we had them before, please, when you get a chance."
"Of course, Miss Romanoff."
"Jay, log into my account please," Pepper said.
"You have an account?" Nat asked.
"Oh yes I do."
"Right away, Miss Potts."
"It's my "Out-Sick" account. It's got all the best movies you could ever dream of on it."
"Pepper, you're amazing," Natasha said as she glanced through the movies on Pepper's saved list. "Ooh, what about Newsies? I haven't seen that one in a while."
"Sounds good to me. Broadway or Christian Bale?" Pepper asked.
"Christian Bale, definitely. Better story line and songs," Natasha replied.
"I've always liked that one better too," Pepper replied, starting the movie. In 1899...
About halfway through the movie, the girls didn't even notice when Clint walked in.
"Hey, girls," he said, arms laden with a tray of treats. "I've got chamomile tea and popcorn."
Nat glanced up. "Hi Clint." She took a mug and a bowl gratefully. "Thanks."
Pepper smiled gratefully, taking the offered snacks. Setting the bowl in her lap, she sipped the tea.
"Wow, Clint, did you make this?"
"Yeah, I did. Why?"
"It's really good."
"Hey, thanks, Pepper."
Nat took a sip and was pleasantly surprised.
"You're welcome. Enjoy your movie." And with that, Clint was gone as fast as he had appeared.
By the time the movie was over, the girls had fallen asleep, what remained of the popcorn all but forgotten.
The team walked in a little later, talking about upgrades to the ear-comms when they were stopped in their tracks. Clint shushed them all when they saw the sleeping girls.
"I'll take Pepper to bed," Tony said, walking to his girlfriend and lifting her into his arms from her nest of blankets. She didn't stir, just snuggled into Tony's chest.
Clint did the same with Natasha, taking a few of the blankets with him to her room. He tucked her in, made sure she had water and ibuprofen if she needed it, then turned out the light and let her sleep.
As I'm writing this, I have a cold and am snuggled in a nest of blankets watching a movie and may or may not be wearing a stolen jacket. Lol. But soon, I have to go to work (Ugh!), so wish me luck!
Thanks for reading!