Hi! Yes I am still alive and I'm so so sorry for not updating sooner, but after the last update I was extremely busy and had no time to write, but now I'm on holiday and I'm determined to get more of this story written. I hope you enjoy this chapter. Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed the last chapter and please let me know what you make of this one.
'Tony, Tony, is that you?' Pepper Stark asked as she answered her phone, which had been vibrating in her back pocket. After the incident where she had not picked up her phone during the Avenger's first battle in New York, Pepper made sure she always had a phone on her, never leaving it anywhere so she never missed one of Tony's calls.
'Are you ok?' the strawberry blonde asked anxiously, wondering why he had called, since he did not normally call when he was on a mission
'Yes I'm fine'
'Tony' Pepper stated, knowing that her husband was hiding something from her
'Well, I might have been caught in a little explosion and I wasn't wearing my suit so I'm now slightly singed, but I'm fine, really Pep, it's nothing to worry about'
'Don't you have your suit with you?'
'Yes, but we were only expecting to meet Natasha, not be caught in an exploding soviet underground lair'
'So you've found Natasha?'
'Yeah, somehow out off the various cafes in Berlin Clint knew exactly the one she would be at'
'So are you now heading home?' Pepper asked, hating being parted from her husband
'I'm really sorry Pep, but there's been a change of plans, we're now heading to Moscow'
'Natasha's got some unfinished business in Moscow and we just can't let her go in there by herself' Tony explained
'It's ok, just don't get into too much trouble and promise me you'll stay safe' Pepper replied with a sigh, she wanted to tell him to come home, but she knew how important the members of the team to him and she knew how precarious it would be getting Natasha into Moscow.
'I promise, I love you'
'Aunty Pepper, is that Uncle Tony?' came a small voice
Pepper looked around to see the brown haired Sofia Romanoff-Barton peeing around the door into her office, clearly having been eavesdropping on the adult's conversation 'Yes Sofia' Pepper replied before handing over her phone to the seven year old's outstretched hand
'Hey Uncle Tony' she said of down the phone 'Daddy there?'
'And Mommy?' Sofia asked, missing her red haired mother
'Yeah we managed to find her'
'Can I speak to them?' Sofia asked
'Of course you can sweetheart' Tony answered before looking down the plane to get one of the two assassin's attention. 'Hey Legolas' he called out loudly 'a little birdy here wants to talk to you' and with that Tony tossed his phone towards Clint.
'Daddy!' Sofia exclaimed upon hearing her father's voice
'Are you coming home soon? I miss you' Sofia stated
'I'm sorry sweetie but I'm going to be on this mission for a couple more days, but I'll try and come home as soon as possible'
'But I though your mission was to find Mommy and Uncle Tony said you had' Sofia stated, confused as to why her Daddy was not coming home
'I wish it was that simple Soneshka, but Mommy, Daddy and the rest of the team need to go to Moscow.
'Moscow, that's in Russia where Mommy's from'
'Yes and your mommy needs to talk to some people there' Clint explained
'Can I speak to her?' Sofia asked
'Yeah, just give me a moment' Clint replied, before putting Tony's mobile down and reaching over to gently wake up his partner, who was silently dozing whilst using his shoulder as a pillow. 'It's Sofia' he stated upon seeing her confused face before handing Natasha the phone. He then stood up and walked towards the front of the plane to find out how find out how close they were to arriving in Moscow
'Mommy! Are you ok, you sound funny?'
'I'm fine moy dorogo, just tired'
Sofia was interrupted from asking her mother another question, by the sound of her older sister entering the room.
'Hey Sofia, who are you talking to? Lena asked
'Mommy' Sofia replied
'Can I speak to her? Aunt Pepper sent me to tell you that it's nearly bedtime'
'Fine' Sofia said and after saying goodbye to Natasha she handed over the phone to her older sister.
'Hi' Lena said hesitantly down the phone, wondering if her Dad had talked to her Mom about the horrible things she had said to him before he left on the mission.
'Lenochka, is that you?'
'Lena, how are you?' Natasha asked anxiously, wondering how her eldest daughter was coping with all the recent discoveries
'I'm fine Mom' Lena replied, not really wanting to talk about it
'Sweetie, it must have been a huge shock for you, I know it was for me' Natasha pressed, knowing her daughter was far from fine'
'I just don't know what to think' Lena admitted quietly, gripping the phone tightly 'but it doesn't really matter because he's dead'
'Elena it does matter, that man was your fath-'
'Mom, can we just wait to have this conversation when you get back?' Lena asked interrupting her mother. 'How are you?' she asked, trying to change the topic
'I'm ok' Natasha replied, dropping the subject 'just a little bit tired from my travels across Europe, but I've managed to get some sleep on the plane'
'Plane – does this mean your coming home?'
'I'm afraid I'm travelling in the opposite direction Lenochka. It seems as if I have some unfinished business in Moscow'
'Moscow!' Lena exclaimed 'Mom, are you ok about going back there?'
'I have to go back there sweetheart, I have to find out who Alexei was warning me about'
'Is there anything I could do?' Lena asked
'Actually, there is something you could do' Natasha replied, thinking about their upcoming mission in Moscow 'can you ask Irina to contact me?'
'Sure' Lena stated, slightly disappointed there was nothing her mother wanted her to do personally 'how come?'
'Well she was the last person to come into contact with the KGB, so it would be nice to get some information out of her' Natasha explained.
'Hey Mom, is Daddy there, can I speak to him?' Lena asked, plucking up the courage to talk to her father and apologise.
'He's currently up the front talking to Steve, but I can get him for you, if you want?
'No it's fine; I'd hate to interrupt his conversation' Lena replied 'can you just tell him that I didn't mean it and I love him?'
'Of course moy dorogo' Natasha replied, wondering what had gone on between her husband and her daughter.
'I love you Mom, just come home safe' Lena said and with one last goodbye to her mother, she ended the call. 'Hey JARVIS can you contact Agent Luzin for me?' she asked the resident A.I as she made her way out of Pepper's office and back towards her own quarters. 'I think she's now out of medical'
'Right away Miss Elena' JARVIS replied as Lena looked in on her younger sister, making sure she was asleep before heading into her room and sitting down on the bed. She just hoped her parents and the rest of the team knew what they were down and they would be able to get out of Russia unscathed.
'So how long until we arrive?' Natasha asked, as she walked down the plane, passing a snoring Bruce Banner before coming to a stop outside the cockpit in which Steve was flying the plane and where Tony and Clint were talking. She handed the phone back to the billionaire before slipping in next to her partner.
'We've got about another hour to go' Steve replied from the pilot's chair. 'Do you know anywhere we can land inconspicuously?' he asked
'There's a little landing strip I know near the outskirts of Moscow' Natasha replied 'but it's notoriously difficult to land in, so give me a shout when we're almost there and I'll take over'
'Sure' Steve said, knowing that it was just best to agree with the Back Widow.
'Hey could I borrow Clint for a sec?' she asked Tony, whilst looking at her partner, trying to convey how urgently she needed to speak to him.
'Yeah sure' Tony replied, wondering why the two assassins needed to talk so urgently
'What is it Tash?' Clint asked, once they had setting in the seats right at the back of the plane, with no chance of being overheard by the rest of the Avengers.
'I've just got off the phone with Lena' the redhead replied
'And what did she say?' Clint pressed, though already anticipating where this conversation was going
'Well to start with, she called you Daddy, which she stopped doing when she started middle school, about the same time I stopped being Mumiya and then she told me to tell you that she didn't mean it and she loved you' Natasha paused trying to gage her partner's reaction. 'Now would you mind telling me what on earth happened between you and my daughter?'
Clint sighed before being to being to explain the things he and Lena had said to each other before he went to find Natasha. 'She had already snuck aboard the quinjet when we went to find Alexei's body and now she was demanding to come on the mission with us' Clint started. 'I told her no, knowing how you would flip if you discovered her with us.
'I would have been angry' Natasha admitted 'it would be too dangerous and she's still a little girl'
'Well that's what I told her' Clint said, before continuing with his story. 'She insisted that she could help, but I told her that she would just be a hindrance. Then she told me that I was not her father and that I couldn't tell her what to do'
'No! What did you do?' Natasha asked, out of all things that could have happened, she had not expected that.
'I told her that it might be the case by it the absence of her mother I was still her legal guardian and therefore responsible for her welfare' Clint replied. 'After that we left on the mission and I haven't talked to her since. I would rather Lena hated me, but be safe, than have her love and putting her in danger'
'You did the right thing Clint' Natasha said, wrapping her arms around her clearly upset partner (though he was outwardly disguising it well) 'and by the sounds of the conversation I've just had with Lena, she's sorry and does love you'
'I know, but it did hurt' Clint whispered
'Never doubt her love Clint' Natasha stated firmly resting her head on her partner's shoulder 'Lena loves you so much'
'Natasha we're almost there!' Steve shouted down the plane, cutting through the tender moment the two assassins where having.
With a final reassuring squeeze of the archer's hand, Natasha stood up, sorted out her cat suit, before heading up the plane, ready to land the plane in the country that was once her home. This mission was going to be interesting.