Natasha walked in on Agent Hill giving Steve a massive kiss on the lips and her heart shattered. She and Steve were slowly building a kinship, one that had been brewing for months. She had her heart set on asking him out that day, but now it seemed out of the question. She walked out with Steve hurrying after her.

"Natasha. This isn't-"

"Steve, I know what this is. You don't have to explain to me anything. But thank you for leading me on and becoming the biggest asshole I know. Stay the hell away from me, I never want to see you ever again." and with that, she left. Maria entered soon after.

"Is she gone?" she asked. Steve sadly nodded.

"You did tell her the room was bugged and we had to cover, right?"

"I, I didn't get the chance." he said, and he too left.

She deleted him from her contacts and blocked any e-mail coming from him. He beat himself up hard over her. Literally. He took on extremely high amounts of missions and would return beaten and battered. He found a loophole in his alcohol depravity with Thor's Asgardian mead and began drinking heavy amounts of it. She refused to even look at him. That was what stung the most.

He was returning to his parked motorcycle, very upset and very angry at himself. As he backed up, he accidentally hit the back of another man's car. The man got up in his face.

"Hey asshole, you hit my car! I am going to-"

CRACK. Steve punched him in the face and sent him falling to the ground unconscious.

"Fuck off." Steve said, revving up and driving away.

Three weeks later, Natasha was in a bar with some friends, idly drinking and seeking out potential hookups. She was having a good time until Steve walked in, except, he didn't seem like Steve. He had a beard and was wearing aviator glasses. The Steve she knew would be awkward when walking into an unfamiliar place. This one seemed like he owned the place. He sat down and began glancing around the bar. His eyes fell on Natasha, and he just glared. He shook his head and she saw him mutter something. She got up and went to him.

"You seemed like you wanted something. I told you I don't want to see you anymore."

"Do I give a shit? Free fuckin' country, isn't it?" he said, sticking a cigarette into his mouth. She was shocked. She was swearing. He was smoking. Something's happened to him.

"Didn't know you smoked."

"Started about a week ago."

She rolled her eyes. It must be because of what she said to him.

"It's not going to fix things feeling sorry for yourself."

"Feeling sorry for myself? Ha. Over you? Trust me, if I was told I never had to look at your face for the rest of my life, it wouldn't be soon enough. So don't flatter yourself."

Natasha was taken aback. Who was this man? "That's an awful thing to say." she said, genuinely hurt. "Why are you being like this? This isn't you!"

Steve huffed. "My vibe got killed. Gonna leave you alone now. And FYI, we didn't kiss to make a fool of you. The room was bugged and we had to think fast as to why we were there. Think what you want of me, but I wasn't the kind of guy to hurt the people I loved then. If you think that about me, then i would take great pleasure in never seeing at you again." he said before he left.

Natasha was frozen in spot. They were only posing. She was such an idiot. Now look what happened. The Stevey she loved and cared for was gone, and in his place this vile, cruel Steve. He really took losing her hard. And she was taking the verbal assault he unloaded very hard as well, as she started to cry.

She calmed herself and returned to her apartment. She was going to get changed into her pyjamas, but she immediately changed into her catsuit and went to Steve's apartment. Time to get him back.

She pushed open his apartment door and peered in. It was a bomb hell. Empty, rotting take-out boxes with leftover rice or pizza crust were strewn all over the place. Dirty clothes also decorated the floor. She examined some more and found a laid down picture. She picked it up and saw it was one of her that he took. She picked up a glass and sniffed it. Mead. But when she looked down the hall, she gasped and dropped the glass. A noose was hung in the hall.

"Who's there?" she heard him call. He came into view and his eyes looked red. A mixture of sad and angry.

"What the hell are you here?" he asked. She marched over to him.

"Steve, I have to apologize to you. I made a big misunderstanding."

"Little late, don't you think? You told me to stay away. It's pretty hard when you keep following me around like a stalker."

"Steve, I know I hurt you, but this isn't the way to treat people. Where is nice Steve? The one I love?"

"Maybe he's gone. Too much of a pussy. Got a girl to really fuck his mind up."

"Steve, stop! Stop! You shouldn't be like this, this isn't Steve Rogers. You were so neat and tidy, now you're living in a mess. You were kind, now you're swearing and smoking. You have a noose hanging in your hallway! Why on Earth do you have a noose hanging in your hallway?"

"I hung it when the cutting didn't work."

Her face sunk and tears threatened to fall. "You, you've already tried to kill yourself?"

He didn't answer. She slapped him hard before tightly wrapping herself around him.

"What the hell-?"

"I'm not letting go. Not until my Steve comes back.

"Let go of me."


"Let go of me right now."

"No. Steve, I will not let go. I am sorry, Steve. I truly am. I should have trusted you to know you wouldn't do that. I'm so sorry. Please, Steve. Come back to me."

Steve's knees wobbled and he fell, sobbing. Natasha was hugging him, lightly kissing his cheek repeatedly.

"It's ok, Steve. It's ok."

"I was so horrible. You should hate me."

"You got low. People do that."

"But the things I said, Nat. The things I did. Especially to you. I was so bitter. To me, if someone told me I wouldn't ever get to see your face again, I wouldn't be able to function. I wouldn't want to live. I am sorry, Nat. I'm so sorry."

She slid herself into his arms and hugged him. "Promise me. That guy will never come back."

"I promise. He's gone for good." he replied, lightly squeezing her in a hug. They stayed like this until morning, when they fell asleep. Steve woke up first.

"Morning, sunshine." he whispered quietly. She smiled. She smiled and kissed him gently on the lips.

"Oh god, I forgot you still had this bush." she said, indicating his beard. He laughed.

"I'll go shave." he said, getting up. He went over to the bathroom and looked back to her.

"Hey, Nat?"


"Thank you...for saving me from myself." he said, and went in. Natasha smiled and followed him in.

After he shaved it off, she rubbed the stubble. "Clean shaven. That's better."

"It is."

"Now I can give you another of these." she said, kissing him again.