I'm honestly shocked it took this long for me to be inspired to write an Avengers oneshot. I've seen the movie an embarrassing three times, and usually when I like a movie that much I'm just overflowing with missing moments I want to write. I guess the movie didn't leave a lot of space for missing moments - it was pretty tightly plotted. Needless to say, I loved it and I'm hooked. I wish I could write a Loki story, but that wasn't what popped in my head. Enjoy some good old-fashioned Tony and Natasha genfic...er, gen-drabble.
He was working, the ubiquitous work on the suit, when she slipped into the lab. He did not notice her until she spoke. "I never got a nickname."
Tony Stark had the grit to stay bent over his work even though Natasha was sure she had surprised him. "Hm?" he grunts.
"Point Break, Reindeer Games, Legolas—"
A grin lit on his face as he glanced up at her. "Oh excellent. I worried no one heard that one."
"Observing is my job," she answered.
"Is that what you do? I've wondered, because it's been ambiguous." Natasha ignored the small jab, weighing the silence until he spoke again. Stark did love to hear himself talk, after all. In the end, he returned to his work and talked to her through a welder's mask. A wise choice considering her occupation. "Plenty of other people didn't get a nickname."
"Loki got a nickname, Mr. Stark."
"He was wearing that helmet…thing." He mimed a pair of horns coming out of his head. "I honestly couldn't stop myself."
Natasha eyed him slowly, pursing her lips just so. The pause was long before she said, "I need to know that we are okay, Mr. Stark, if we should need to work together in the future."
"If we need to work together, we will."
Tony looked up, and she knew that despite the way he rolled his shoulders in a careless expression, he was thinking hard. "We're fine, Romanoff. It's S.H.I.E.L.D. that I don't trust. But you're practically Mrs. S.H.I.E.L.D.; Fury's personal errand girl."
She thought of something that she said recently, and found it even more appropriate now. "Regimes fall every day, Mr. Stark. I work for S.H.I.E.L.D. now, but… I have experience as a freelance agent, should the occasion call for it."
Tony snorted. "You should know that this reeks of S.H.I.E.L.D. getting an agent back in my confidence."
She tilted her head, and in the words of Tony Stark, she couldn't help herself. "What makes you think we don't already?"
"The fact that I stole all your files yesterday."
Natasha laughed. To her credit, it was a short laugh, one that might easily pass as a cough. She resumed, "Here's the truth, Stark. I like to have all my bases covered. In some… delicate cases, it may be prudent for me to turn to someone outside of S.H.I.E.L.D."
"Whatever you say, Anastasia. Go tell Fury I didn't bite."
Her lips quirked at the name, the agreement. Stark had the audacity to flip up the mask and wink at her as she turned to leave.