He's not alone.

She's in his apartment. Again.

It wasn't something that he normally would have noticed if she hadn't of been leaning up against the door of his bedroom when he got out of the shower, bathed in the yellow-orange light of his bathroom. With her thumbs hooked in her beltloops, legs crossed at the ankle and glock strapped oh-so-casually around her thigh, she looks calm. Too calm. He tries not to think to hard on how she got into his apartment or when she did it. He doesn't want to know. When it comes to her, he's best left in the dark on some things. One thing he can't ignore, the fact that she's fully clothed in his bedroom and he only has a towel wrapped around his waist.

That towel suddenly feels very small.

Somehow, she's managed to gain the upper-hand in a situation where he has home field advantage. He was Captain freaking America, super-soldier and unofficial leader of the dream team of superheroes. So, how in the hell had she gained the upper-hand?

"Agent Romanoff," He greets her casually, making his way to his closet.

It's not the first time she's broken into his apartment. Given, the last few times, she had been subtle. He hadn't realized anyone was breaking in until the S.H.I.E.L.D files on his coffee table kept getting shuffled and notes, scribbled in messy but distinctively loopy cursive, kept appearing in the margins of papers. She was the only female on the team aside from Agent Hill and while Maria Hill was attractive, she was far too busy trying to take Director Fury down a notch or two to really care enough to break into his apartment. It hadn't taken him long to figure out it was Natasha Romanoff.

"Captain,"

"If you're going to break into my apartment, at least call me Steve." He pokes his head out from his closet. "If you're comfortable enough to break into my apartment and wait in my bedroom, you might as well get comfortable with my name."

"I'm not really comfortable w-with.." Her protest breaks off into non-sensical stutters when he emerges from his closet in a pair of black basketball shorts and not much else.

Natasha Romanoff prides herself on never really losing her cool but then Steve Rogers joined the team. All of the other Avengers she could handle. Tony Stark was sarcastic and arrogant which made it easy for her to bring the billionaire down a peg or two. Bruce Banner, when he wasn't a ginormous green rage monster, was easy to get along with. She would often find herself smiling at his jokes, despite the facade she tried to keep up. Clint Barton was a close friend, nothing more. Her relationship with him was platonic and she thought of him like her brother.

Steve Rogers, however, well he threw her off of her game.

He was sharp. The serum hadn't just brought him to the peak of physical perfection, mentally, he was sharper than most. Aside from Clint, Steve Rogers was one of the sharpest people she had ever met. He had been an excellent strategist in the fight against Loki, strategizing and positioning the team to perfection, while under extreme pressure. He was brilliant. Not to mention, his physical condition. That was just...damn!

"So this is the fourth time this week, you've broken into my apartment," Steve grins, advancing toward her in what could only be described as a predatory manner. A tiger eager to pounce on his prey. "Do you have a reason or do you just like my home?"

This was unfair. Really, really unfair. Here he was, god-like in stature and appearance with those shorts, riding low on his hips and slipping against his damp skin. Either his apartment was warm or her body temperature was rising. She was sure there was a reason for her to be here, she just couldn't really think of it at the moment. Actually, she couldn't really think at all, at the moment. It wasn't like her to be so off of her game but here she was, hoping he wouldn't notice the sharp rise in her body temperature - although, if the heat she could feel burning her cheeks was any indication, he probably already knew.

"Director Fury likes for me to check on all of you occasionally," She shrugs, lifting her face up in defiance of what her body was doing - she didn't care if she spontaneously combusted, she wasn't giving him the upper-hand in this.

His eyebrow nearly disappears into his wet blonde hair and his arms cross over his chest, biceps bulging deliciously; "Four times in one week? There are other Avengers you know and aren't you one of us?"

"Banner does his own thing. Stark has Miss Potts. Thor is in Asgard dealing with Loki." Natasha explains patiently, breathing a quiet sigh of relief when she managed to get it all out. "And me and Barton are technically agents of Shield."

"So you check on me four times in one week?" His lips quirk in amusement although his eyebrow is still raised in clear skepticism; "You break into my apartment, make notes in my files for me to find and you leave without me knowing. Agent Romanoff, I may be out of touch when it comes to the happenings of this century but one thing hasn't changed between World War two and now...the definition of stalking."

Stalking?

Was he kidding?

She wasn't stalking him. She was simply checking in on him to make sure he was adjusting easily. She knew that 'falling asleep' in the 1940's and waking up in a whole new century had been a bit of a culture shock for him. Who could blame her if she wanted to make sure he was adjusting? It was a matter of making sure his mental health showed no signs of decline. At least, that was the justification she was giving. She knew that, that serum had permanent effects. There was no chance his mental health would decline from a little bit of culture shock.

"I'm not stalking you, Rogers." Natasha glowers darkly, trying her best to ignore the delicious curved bulges and sharp lines of his statuesque physique. "I'm checking in. You suffered quite the culture shock."

"Not much has changed, Natasha." Steve uses her name and it slips out of his mouth in a rasp, reminiscent of heated honey; hot and sticky and oh-so-sweet. "It was a bit of a culture shock but I'm adjusting well enough."

"Well enough?"

"Well having a beautiful woman stalk me is different." Steve chuckles, hands dropping to his hips. His fingers curl around the sharp protrusion of his hip bone and his shorts slip a bit further down. "Women in the forties, they didn't stalk men."

"Things are different now." The realization that what she said didn't exactly deny the fact that she was stalking him comes a split second too late. His shoulders shake with silent laughter and she wants to cross her arms and pout but she is Natasha Romanoff. She is a trained spy. She does not pout. Not even a little bit. "I meant - "

"Tasha," He calms his laughter, his voice light and gentle. "I'm teasing. Relax. I know you aren't stalking."

She's tempted to ask him why he kept going on about it when she finds herself being pressed against the door, a warm hand on her leg, moving slightly so as to unbuckle the holster for her gun. He doesn't ask her permission. He's not trying to be a gentleman; noble and moral and with her best intentions at heart. He's essentially playing to the tune of, he's a man, she's a woman and despite his moral compass always pointing true north, he's attracted to her and he wasn't going to deny it. He holds the holster up by a thick strap and smirks; "As attractive as it is to see a woman proudly display the gun she is carrying, I'd like to see you without it for a change."

"Attractive, huh?" Natasha can't help but match his smirk. She's got him now. At least that's what she thinks. He finds her attractive. That's got to be leverage in some way.

"I may be a gentleman most of the time, Tasha, but I am still a man." Steve reminds her quietly; his thick voice slipping around her, enveloping her in a sheath of silky smoothness and rich warmth. He checks the safety on her glock and drops it in the corner without a second though. When he stands to his full height, previously hunched over to remove her gun, he towers above her; taut flesh and tight muscle illuminated by the dull orange glow of the bathroom light he forgot to turn off. He presses her into the door, hand sliding against the rough denim of her jeans and settling heavily on her hip, while the other finds a place on his bedroom door near her head.

Trapped.

She is a freaking Russian spy and yet, she has still managed to get herself trapped. Not that she was complaining because if she had to be trapped, she'd rather it be by Steve Rogers than some moron who didn't know that she knew of about twenty different ways she could kill them with her bare hands. At least Steve Rogers knew her particular skill-set and could probably avoid it if he wanted too. She wonders where he's going with all of this, though. It's not like him to be this predatory, especially with a woman.

"Rogers, where - "

"I like you, Natasha." He cuts her off, still keeping her trapped against the door. "I haven't liked a woman since Peggy Carter but I like you. I know Agent Barton and Director Fury are going to have something to say about this and they can say all they want too but I like you, Natasha and I don't mean just as a friend."

"I like you too." Natasha smiles, almost shyly. Damn him and that smooth as silk voice. Between the voice and the body, she's melting faster than a Hershey bar in the sun. "And not just as friend."

"Good, because otherwise what I'm about to do would be really awkward." Steve just smirks down at her, his blue eyes dark and stormy, smoldering in the comfortable darkness of his bedroom.

She knows and she isn't going to complain either. She tries to hold back that little sigh of pleasure and contentment when he teases a soft kiss before he presses harder, obviously liking the taste of her as much as she enjoyed the brief taste of him. His lips are like velvet, pushing and rubbing against hers. Oh. He has experience. Not that she's surprised, she just didn't think he'd be willing to show it. She matches him, pulling when he pushes and pushing when he wants to pull; when he wants to dominate. She's not going to let him dominate, something he catches quick but she's underestimated his strategizing. He's been planning this for a long time because the minute his teeth sink into her bottom lip, she's as good as gone. If she could force her green eyes open, she's quite certain they'd be as wide as saucers - not that she cares at the moment because well, Steve Rogers is kissing her and she really sees no reason to worry about what her eyes are doing.

Her hands find his shoulders, stabilizing her balance as she tilts forward on her tip-toes, allowing him to straighten a little bit so he isn't so hunched over. She feels the warmth of his hands on her biceps, shoulders, neck, back, tracing spirals and circles down her spine and dipping into the small of her back. His hands conform to her hips, curling and gripping in the most delicious manner. His grip is strong and firm but his hold doesn't last long, the pull of having his arms around her body is too strong. His arms wrap around her strong but soft body, fitting around her like perfection. He tucks her body against his, the heat of his chest seeping through her shirt.

Sweet. Lord.

He is perfection personified. She always knew his red, white and blue uniform was hiding something - hell, that he himself was hiding something - but she never would have guessed it would be something so perfect. Not to mention, his mouth. Oh, that mouth. She wonders, sometimes, what it'd be like to kiss him and now she knows and she may never want to stop. Oh hell no. Nick Fury and Clint Barton better not say a damn thing.

She'd kick both of their asses.

And Steve Rogers would help her.


This is for my new friend, ym4yum1, who I've been chatting with over private message. She kind of introduced me to the idea of Steve/Natasha because she liked my previous story about them, Admiration. She asked me to write a romance story about them and, lady, I have to tell you, you might be reading a few more of these. I kind of fell in love with this pairing as I wrote this. Okay, I unabashedly fell in love with this couple. I love this couple, now, as much as I do Tony and Pepper and Loki and Darcy. So, I hope you enjoyed this.

On another note, if they seem a little out of character, I'm sorry. I'm still a bit out of my comfort zone with them but I knew for this story, their personas had to go. I wanted to strip them back to the basic sense of she's a woman, he's a man and regardless of whose moral compass is where, there's still attraction. I had to exploit that and this kind of explores the idea that, that presents. That Steve and Natasha could be attracted to one another. I wanted to bring out the man and the woman, not Captain America and Black Widow. It had to be basic. It had to strip them of their personas without stripping them of their identities.

Love,

RobertDowneyJrLove

P.S. If you've seen the alternate opening for the Avengers then you'll understand what I meant about Maria Hill and Nick Fury, if not look up the alternate opening on YouTube.