'What's that?' Lena asked curiously in Russian as she held on tightly to Clint's hand, pointing to a bronze statue of a small girl, surrounded by toadstools and various animals.
'That's Alice in Wonderland' Clint replied as he and the six year old red haired girl strolled around Central Park. Natasha was in a meeting with Fury, to discuss her next mission and even after two months of living in Stark tower, Lena was still wary of the rest of the Avengers (well any one in their right mind would be wary of Tony Stark) which had meant that Clint was the one only one who could look after the small Russian. He had taken Elena out of the tower, because, like her mother, he could see the warning signs and knew that she was going stir crazy being cooped up in Tony's glass monstrosity.
'Who is she?' she asked
'A character from a book' Clint replied
'A story book'
'Yes, like the ones your mother has been reading to you' he said, referring to all the bed time stories Natasha had been telling Lena, first in Russian and then in English, to help her daughter improve her understanding of the language
'What's it about?' Lena asked
'Well it's about a girl, who falls down a rabbit hole and has all sorts of adventures' Clint explained, struggling to remember the story. He had never read it, but the girl in the room next to him in the orphanage he lived in when he was younger, before he ran away to join the circus, had. It was her favourite story but it him it sounded quite boring and he preferred comics.
'Will you read it to me?' Lena asked, looking up at him, her blue eyes opening hopefully
'If you want me to Lenochka' Clint replied as they continued to walk around the reservoir in the middle of the park. 'Race you to that tree' he announced, knowing how much the young girl loved to run around in the open air, something she had not been able to do, stuck in the confines of the Black Widow compound.
'You're on' Lena stated, or at least that's what Clint made out from the gabbled Russian, which hastily came out of Lena's mouth as she ran out, across the park, towards the large oak tree in the distance.
Clint walked lazily after Elena, allowing Natasha's daughter time to win the race. The summer was coming to an end. The leaves in all the trees were turning from bright lush greens, to glowing, golden yellows, oranges and reds, just like the colour of Natasha's hair, the colour of Elena's hair.
Where was she?
As he reached the designated oak tree, he looked around for Elena, who he expected to be there with a big, triumphant smile on her face, waiting for him. However he could not see her.
He looked left and right.
He looked behind the tree.
'Lena' he called out worriedly, but there was no reply
Clint swore under his breath. He had been so stupid letting her run off like that, when she was still getting used to life in the USA and having freedom. Now she was lost in a strange park, surrounded by people who spoke a language she did not entirely understand. Well, that was one Clint's more positive thoughts. As his eyes scanned the area, more negative thoughts filled his mind. Instead of Lena just being lost in the enormous park, she could have been kidnapped. Clint knew that he and his partner had lots of enemies, who would gladly kidnap the Black Widows daughter, if they knew of her existence – perhaps they already did.
Either way, unless he found Elena, safe and unharmed, Natasha was going to kill him in the most imaginative, painful way possible, for losing her daughter.
'Elena' he called out again, running around more frantically, trying to catch a glimpse of red, hoping that she would just pop out from behind one of the nearby trees. Alas, there was still no sign of the six year old.
'Are you ok?' a woman asked coming up to Clint, who was now pacing up and down, debating whether or not to S.H.I.E.L.D, so they could send a team down, to scour to park for Elena, or the rest of the Avengers.
'I've lost my-' Clint hesitated, trying to find the right words to describe his relationship with Elena. She was his partner's daughter, but Natasha was more than just his partner to him. He had a better relationship with Elena than any other of her Avenger 'uncles' or Aunt Pepper. He had been the one to save her. He was the one who looked after her when Natasha was away. He was the one who made her laugh and he was the one whom she curled up next to, in his and Natasha's bed, after having a nightmare. He cared a lot about her, more than he would ever care to admit. Elena had brought him and Nat closer, they almost felt like a family. '-daughter' he said finally, realising what Elena was to him. She was his daughter, he loved her like a daughter, she was Natasha's daughter and he loved Natasha. It did not matter to him that he was not actually Elena's real father, he was as good as.
'What does she look like?' the lady asked, breaking Clint out of his small epiphany.
'Small, red curly hair, blue eyes, some freckles' Clint quickly listed, his eyes continuing to dart around the park.
'Like that?' the Lady remarked, pointing towards a small red haired girl who was standing next to a balloon vender nearby, staring up at his multicoloured balloons in wonder.
'Yes thank you' Clint replied, before running in the direction if the balloon seller, cursing himself that he, one of the best snipers in the business, had not been able to, in his panic, spot the six year old girl who was not too far away. 'Lena' he called out again, this time catching her attention. Elena snapped out of her daze and whirled around to see Clint running towards her. 'I told you to run to the tree' he told her, scooping her up in his arms 'I thought I had lost you'
'I'm sorry, Daddy' she replied, causing Clint to momentarily freeze 'I just got distracted by the balloons' Elena continued, not realising what word had slipped out of her mouth and she buried her head into Clint's shoulder 'and then I looked around and couldn't see you sostayed put like you and Mummy told me to, until you came for me.'
'You did the right thing Lena, just try not to get distracted next time' Clint said as he gently lowered Lena to the ground.
'Would the little lady like a balloon?' the balloon seller asked, walking towards them.
Clint noticed Lena's eyes light up at the prospect of having one of the colourful balloons, and he remembered what had happened at the welcome home party Stark had thrown when they had moved into the tower from the S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier. Lena had spent most of the night fascinated by the balloons Pepper had decorated their specially designed apartment with. Natasha had explained to the rest of the bemused team, as Lena had chased the inflated round brightly coloured plastic objects, that Lena had never seen balloons before, which was why she was so curious about them.
'Yes' Clint answered and soon he and Lena were walking hand in hand back towards Stark tower, with the small Russian clutching a bright red balloon, both with big grins on their faces.
Hello and welcome to the first of my Sofia one-shots. I hope you liked it and there are plently more to come but feel free to send me your suggestions - I would love to hear them!
I was absolutely ashonished by the response I got for the first chapter of the main sequel to Lena - Natashen'ka and hopefully the next chapter of that story will be up soon.
Just a quick question - would you rather these one-shots were in chronological order, or would you mind reading them just as inspiration takes me?