Precious Memory

BY : marvelmaster616
Category: Marvel Verse Comics > Black Widow
Dragon prints: 1164
Disclaimer: I don’t own Black Widow or the Avengers. I am making no money off of this. They are the property of Marvel and Disney. Please don’t sue.

Precious Memories

AN: The following is a simple one-shot that takes place after the events of Black Widow Volume 1: The Ties That Bind. Specifically, it takes place at the end of Black Widow #5 when she visits the house where she, James, and Stevie lived.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Black Widow or the Avengers. I am making no money off of this. They are the property of Marvel and Disney. Please don’t sue.

‘These mean inner thoughts or psychic communication.’

Warning: This story contains depiction of sex. If you are not at all comfortable with that, I don’t recommend reading this. But if you do, I welcome feedback and comments. Please post them or send them to me directly via email. Either way is fine. Enjoy!

Sausalito, California – The Former Home of Natalie and James

‘Moment to moment is pure Hell. My veins on fire. My bones made of nothing but sorrow. My mind dull as a river stone. My heart an empty husk, pumping away pointlessly.’

Those thoughts did not to justice to how Natasha felt at that moment. Walking through the now empty house that she once shared with James and Stevie – her loving fiancé and their beautiful son – it felt like being stabbed in the heart by an adamantium knife.

She was the Black Widow. She survived the Red Room. She had endured torture at the hands of the most sadistic monsters to ever walk the Earth. That all paled in comparison to this.

“James…Stevie,” Natasha said under her breath.

Just saying their names was agonizing, but she refused to hide from that pain. No matter how much it hurt, Natasha clung to their memory. She could never see or embrace them again, but that just made those memories more precious.

As she ascended the stairs, vivid memories played out in her mind. She could vividly recount James chasing after Stevie, having escaped his crib again and descended the stairs. She could even hear Stevie’s adorable laughter, amused at the reaction he got from his dad every time he bested their efforts to contain him.

“Ooh boy! Nat, he got out and unlocked the gate!” James would say, half-impressed and half-overwhelmed. “Guess we’ll need padlocks after all.”

“Seriously? I thought I put one on the crib!” she would reply.

“You did. It wasn’t big enough,” he said when he picked Stevie up, much to the little boy’s chagrin.

Fresh tears formed in her eyes. Natasha thought she’d run out, having shed so many already. She just let them flow, staining her face as she passed by a now-discarded baby gate. Stevie’s knack for escaping anything that wasn’t bolted shut had once been a source of stress for her and James. Now, she was almost proud. She’d somehow passed on her ability to escape and outwit her captors. He was her own little super spy, full of adorable curiosity and adventurous spirit.

When Natasha passed by his empty room, she tried to stop herself from looking. She could resist torture, pain, and deprivation with ease, but she couldn’t resist this. Even the briefest glance revealed the colorful décor of a one-year-old’s bedroom. Everything from his favorite toys to his vacant crib remained untouched. It was more than enough to trigger more painful memories.

“Goodnight, my precious little escape artist,” Natasha said to him three nights ago, kissing him goodnight after tucking him in. “I love you with all my heart. You’ll never escape that.”

She’d said those words in jest. Now, they hit so hard. They were a harsh reminder that she would never hold him in her arms, tuck him in, and kiss him goodnight. It tore another hole in her already wounded heart. She had to look away to stop herself from collapsing completely.

Through the heartache, Natasha pressed forward. Every step seemed to trigger a fresh memory of James and Stevie. Some were entirely manufactured. The memories of the life she’d lived before San Francisco were all fiction. Her life as an aspiring architect, how she met James, and her pregnancy with Stevie were all chapters in that fiction. However, the moments that played out within this house were very real.

Her and James chasing Stevie through the halls was real. Her and James building lives together, planning their wedding, and being a family all unfolded before her eyes. The foundation might have been a lie, but what Natasha built upon it was real and true.

She was happy.

She felt loved.

She had everything she’d ever wanted and then some.

Then, the enemies of the Black Widow ripped it away from her. The Red Room had trained her to endure many horrors. No training could’ve prepared her for that.

“Damn you, Viper. Damn you, Weeping Lion. Damn you all!” Natasha said under her breath.

It was so cruel, even by Hydra standards. They gave her this beautiful life. They somehow found a man who possessed every trait from every man she’d ever loved. From him, they made them a child that she loved completely with all her heart.

Natasha didn’t know she could ever give such love to anyone, let alone feel it in return. She doubted her captors even knew. They probably thought it was just a byproduct of mental conditioning. They were dead wrong. Some of them died by her hands not knowing how wrong they were. They were the lucky ones. She had no intention of granting mercy to those who took this from her. However, even that effort felt hallow.

“You hurt me,” Natasha said, hugging her shoulder and trembling with each breath. “And no matter what I do…no matter how much I channel my anguish…I can never make you hurt as much. You’ll never come close to knowing this pain.”

Her hatred for her enemies had never been more intense. However, the hate still paled in comparison to her sorrow. There would be plenty of time for vengeance and loose ends. For now, she focused on the memories she’d forged with James and Steve.

As the tears flowed freely down her face, Natasha arrived at the master bedroom. The door was still open. The room was still damaged from the battle that ensued. It was here where her beautiful life began to end. She could pinpoint the exact spot next to the bed where she woke up in James’ arms. At that moment, she remembered everything. Shortly after, she realized how much she was about to lose. She just had no idea how much it would hurt.

‘They are everything. I can’t lose them.’

Those were Natasha first thoughts when she saw them with her restored memory. Ultimately, she betrayed those thoughts.

She knew they couldn’t be part of her life. Even if she saved them from the wrath of Black Widow’s enemies, they would never be safe. She couldn’t live with that, despite James saying he could. Despite the lies and deception, he still loved her. He never stopped loving her, even after the truth came out. She almost wished he hadn’t. That just made her love him even more.

“Even though this is a nightmare…I’m glad I got to see you like this, Nat. You’re incredible. We were lucky to have you for even a moment.”

Natasha closed her eyes and fumed with sorrow, hugging her shoulders harder as the strain became too great. She had to look away from that fateful spot where her perfect life began to unravel.

For a moment, she just stood in the doorway, the memory of James’ loving words and Stevie’s adorable laughter still echoing in her mind. Now struggling to support herself through the sorrow, she made her way to the bed. She then sat down and let herself fall back onto it, the soft sheets soaking up her tears.

She was tempted to just lay there and break down. For once, Natasha Romanov wanted nothing more than to shed the title of Black Widow. For a brief moment, she was just a broken woman who had lost something precious. The life, the love, and the family she once embraced was nothing more than a collection of memories. She could never get it back. She could only cling to those memories, even though it tore at her heart.

“Why am I doing this to myself? What is the point?” Natasha wondered aloud. “They’re gone. It’s all gone. I’ll never know happiness like that again.”

It was sheer torture. For once, she did it to herself. She came here willingly, having convinced herself she needed closure. Natasha now questioned her motivations, as well as her sanity. If coming back only reminded her of everything she’d lost, then what good would that do? It could only ever add to her pain.

Then, as she wept into the sheets, Natasha inhaled a familiar scent. The bed still had traces James’ overpriced aftershave. For some reason, he insisted on applying too much of it, even before bed. Natasha used to berate him for that, but that never stopped him.

“I just like nurturing my manly musk. Are you going to pretend you don’t like it?” he once told her.

“Well, I am a good liar,” she’d quipped in return.

“Not to me, you aren’t,” he retorted. “You can’t lie to someone you love and I can prove it.”

“You don’t have to.”

“Can I still try?”

“Like I could stop you.”

That exchange ended with him chasing her under the covers, wrapping her in his arms, and smothering her with kisses. She loved every minute of it. They laughed joyously until they fell asleep.

That memory helped ease the crippling sorrow. Natasha opened her eyes, which were still flooded with tears. Through her sobs, she clung harder to the sheets. More of that distinct scent came through. It made it feel like James was still in the room with her. It promised to break her heart all over again.

However, as she inhaled his scent, another memory played out in her mind. This one brought with it a new wave of powerful feelings that emerged in this very room.

One Week Earlier

The rays of the morning sun crept in through the windows. A restless Natalie Grey stirred from her slumber. Having spent much of the previous night keeping up with her adventurous one-year-old son, she planned on sleeping in. That never seemed to work out, but for the best possible reasons.

One of those reasons had his arms wrapped around her, spooning her from behind with his chin nuzzled against her shoulder. That was telling because Nat remembered going to bed alone last night, knowing her fiancé, James, was working late. That wasn’t unusual and she expected him to be tired. He even pretended to still be asleep. He just did a laughably poor job of it.

“Good morning,” Nat greeted. “You seem comfortable.”

“Sorry. Did I wake you?” James replied groggily.

“I’m a light sleeper and an early riser,” she quipped, “but that’s not a bad thing…especially when you fall asleep alone and wake up in your fiancé’s arms.”

Within his powerful arms, she turned around to rouse him with a soft kiss. That got James to stop pretending. He was definitely awake and more restless than usual. The way he held her so close, their shared warmth supplemented by the morning sun, conveyed the extent of his love. It was a great way to start the morning.

It also helped that James preferred minimal sleeping attire. He wore only a pair of pajama pants and boxers, giving her full access to the toned, warm flesh of his upper body. Having come to appreciate it every morning since they moved in together, she savored every touch.

“Yeah, now I’m comfortable,” James teased.

“Glad I could help,” she quipped. “Could’ve used your help with Stevie last night. He escaped his play pen again. Then, he thought it would be fun to play hide and seek.”

“You have my sympathies,” he said. “He’s way too good at that for a one-year-old. How long did it take you to find him this time?”

“I’d rather not say,” Nat said sheepishly. “I swear we’re raising a super spy or a circus act.”

“At the rate he’s going, he could be both…by pre-school.”

That’s a scary thought.”

“Scary and adorable,” James quipped.

“That too.”

She laughed and kissed him again. This time, it was more playful. Natalie pawed his chest and entangled her legs with his. He returned the favor by caressing the side of her face, a gesture that got her heart racing as only he could. Despite the early hour, James found a way to rouse her passions.

Due to the tender kissing and touching, he roused other parts of her body as well. The taste of his lips, the warmth of his touch, and the love he conveyed also awoke her loins. Natalie could feel it manifesting between her legs, her inner thighs becoming hot and not because of the morning sun. She could also feel a growing hardness in James’ pants. He might not have been an early riser, but some parts of his body definitely were.

“I can’t make up for getting home late last night,” James said, now leaning his forehead against hers, “but if you give me a chance this morning…”

He let his words trail off. He steadily trailed his hand down her waist and hips. Then, with the utmost tact and care, he reached up her nighty. As if drawn to the growing heat building between her inner thighs, he slipped his fingers into her panties. Once he made contact with the tender flesh within, it was official. There would be no sleeping in for either of them this morning.

“Mmm…you just love making it up to me, don’t you?” Nat purred.

“I do,” James said with an unapologetic grin.

“That makes it hard to be mad at you…or sleep in on a Saturday morning.”

“I know,” he said, his grin widening.

“Then, you also know you’re gonna get that chance. Just be damn sure you do something with it.”

“I always do!”

James never needed additional motivation, especially when it came to making love. Nat still loved giving it to him anyway. It brought out the best in him. It also reminded her why she was so madly in love with him.

He went to work being that man, kissing her again and rolling on top of her. With the full weight of his shirtless body pressed down on her, her heart raced faster to match her growing desires. James further fueled that desire, kissing with plenty of affectionate while putting those skilled hands of his to greater use.

He started by grasping the hem of her dark gray nighty and pushing it up, revealing breasts to him in the early morning sun. Having not bothered with a bra, James eagerly grasped them with both hands, caressing and fondling them in just the way she liked.

“Ooh!” Natalie moaned in delight. “That’s one way to wake your fiancé this early.”

“And it’s one of my favorite,” James quipped.

With more energy and growing desire, he skillfully kneaded her fleshy mounds, evoking more moans from his lover. He also trailed his lips down her neck, making his way over her cleavage and teasing all those places he knew drove her wild.

Sharp shivers followed. Natalie, cooing softly under his touch, slipped the rest of her nighty off over her head. She then laid back, closed her eyes, and took in the hot feelings that followed. James lingered on her breasts for a while, building up both desire and anticipation. He was such a detail-oriented man, leaving nothing to chance when it came to pleasing the woman he loved.

Once he gave her breasts their proper affection, James began working his way down her body. He trailed his lips between her breasts, down her torso, and towards her lower body. Halfway down, Natalie was already longing for his intimate touch. She eagerly lifted her hips so she could remove her panties.

“Off! Get them off!” Nat said eagerly.

James gladly assisted, sliding them down her legs before tossing them aside. Now fully nude, her bare skin exposed by the morning sun, he took a moment to admire such a sight. Even in his focused state, and despite the many times he’d seen her naked, he still looked at her with such loving awe.

“Nat…so beautiful,” James said in an impassioned daze.

It was enough to make any woman love him with all her heart and bear his child, but her fiancé wasn’t going to stop there.

Still intently focused on making her feel loved, James skillfully grasped her thighs and pushed her legs part. He then guided his lips up her legs and towards her waiting womanhood. By the time he arrived, she was already wet with arousal. Intoxicated by desire and lust, he eagerly tasted her tender flesh. Using both his tongue and his detailed knowledge of her female anatomy, he gave her the kind of oral sex that only a man so madly in love could give.

“Ohhh James!” Nat moaned. “You’re so good to me!”

Her face now beaming with glee, she grasped the pillows and writhed under the feelings he evoked within her. She spread her legs wider and bent her knees at just the right angle, affording James plenty of room. He made good use of it, being even more thorough than usual in stimulating her womanly depths.

He was gentle at first, but quickly intensified his efforts. He parted her folds with his fingers. He then used his tongue to taste her inner folds, lapping up her feminine juices and hitting all those sensitive spots he knew so well. He also gave her swollen clit plenty of attention, using his thumb to supplement every sensation. It got her body tensing and trembling under the feeling.

“Mmm…delicious,” James said, his voice muffled by her heat.

Natalie gripped her pillows tighter, her toes already curling under the steady onslaught of sensations. Her chorus of moans and gasps only encouraged James even more. He just loved making her squeal with delight. It demonstrated his dedication to her. It also helped him match hid desires with hers.

James made no secret of his fondness for going down on his lovers. He made it very clear when they became intimate. Eating a woman out got him excited and aroused. Natalie must have been the luckiest woman on the planet, falling for a man who loved pleasing his lovers so thoroughly. She made it her mission to ensure he felt just as fortunate.

“James…I’m ready,” Nat told him through labored gasps.

He got the message and responded in kind. After giving her outer folds one last supple lick, he rose up and shed his pajama pants, boxers and all. He was already very aroused, his manhood standing fully erect. Giving her oral sex, in conjunction with a little morning wood, left James ready, willing, and eager for her sex.

He was already panting heavily as he laid on top of her. His naked body now pressed down against hers, masculine sinews entwined with her feminine curves. Following both instincts and passion, he aligned his manhood with her womanhood. She could already feel the hard tip pressing against her moist slit. In that critical moment, James locked eyes with hers.

“Take me,” she said.

“I’m already yours, Nat,” he replied.

As her heart fluttered from such tender words, James initiated their morning lovemaking.

He firmly grasped her thighs, buried his face in her neck, and drove his hips forward, guiding his flesh into hers. Their union was so smooth, his penis entering her vagina with seamless ease. It was like their bodies complemented one another perfectly, two incomplete souls becoming whole in a blissful moment of intimacy.

“Ooh yes!” Natalie cried out.

More joyous moans followed alongside a steady succession of hot sensations. Just as he’d done earlier with oral sex, James started things slowly and carefully. He let their bodies adjust to one another before letting basic instinct take over. Guided by such shared desire, he began moving his hips and established a good sexual rhythm. Then, he steadily escalated the pace.

“Yes! Oh yes! James! Ooh James!” Nat cried out.

Her naked body rocked and writhed. Their bed rocked with them, as well. She could hear James labored grunts as he worked his hips, using his legs as leverage with every lateral motion. With each thrust of his pelvis, his member probed her innermost depths, stimulating areas not easily stimulated without a dedicated lover. James just happened to be such a lover.

He knew how to make love to her.

He knew she liked things intimate and romantic, at least in the beginning.

He also knew she liked a little extra energy in her lovemaking once things got going.

“Just like that! Ooh just like that! Ooh I love it!” Natalie cooed.

“Mmm…I love you love it,” James quipped before capturing her lips again.

She laughed gleefully and kissed him back. Having found a nice, steady rhythm for their lovemaking, things became more playful between them.

Natalie raked her nails up his back, but stopped just below his neck to tickle that little area around his shoulder. That always got James more animated. She also nibbled on his lower lip, showing she could be a little naughty and still be his sweet, loving fiancé. That always got him going.

Not to be outdone, he broke out some of his own favorite tricks. He reached around and squeezed her butt, something that always got Nat squealing with delight. He also leaned in at times and grunted loudly in her ear, as if to bombard her senses with raw masculinity. It was basic, but it worked beautifully.

It worked so well that Natalie could already feeling her orgasm approaching. In anticipation, she hooked her legs around his waist, locking him into her fleshy grasp. She grasped his shoulders, digging her nails into his skin. She was bound to leave marks. James didn’t care. If anything, they motivated him even more.

“I’m close, James! I’m so…so close!” Natalie panted, her breaths sharpening at the approaching ecstasy.

He answered with a determined grunt, thrusting harder and making use of his bodily leverage. When it came to pleasing the woman he loved, James left nothing to chance. Natalie could feel his loving gaze on her, watching as her expression tensed to the oncoming feeling. She sensed the joy and affection as he carried her past that magical threshold.

“Oohhh James!” she cried out.

Natalie curled her toes and dug the balls of her feet into his lower back. The rest of her body arched and writhed as the feeling washed over her like a warm wave of liquid pleasure. Inner muscles contracted, her lower body ablaze with ecstasy. Their love, their passion, and all the joy it brought them became real and tangible. It was the essence of the bond they shared and the live they forged.

While she trembled under the wonderous feeling, James steadied his movements and leaned into kiss her. He also whispered lovingly into her ear, as he often did in such moments of passion.

“I love you, Natalie,” he told her.

Those simple worlds supplemented the powerful feeling. James had already done plenty to demonstrate his love for her, but he just had to be an overachiever. It was just one of the many reasons she fell for him and he kept giving her more.

As Natalie bathed in the loving ecstasy, her naked fiancé still on top, kissing her softly, she was tempted to just soak it in. Not many women were lucky enough to start their morning with some good, quality lovemaking. She happened to be one of them. Never one to push her luck, though, she followed a different kind of temptation. While James was still kissing her, she whispered a response into his ear.

“I love you too, James,” she told him, “and since you’re so good to me, let me be even better to you.”

He barely had time to register her words. Still gripping his shoulders, and her legs still secure around his waist, Nat captured his lips with hers. Then, with strength that defied her stature, she turned him over so that she was now on top.

James offered no protest, following her impassioned whims every step of the way. He shifted his hands to her hips, watching as Natalie straddled his waist in just the right way to maximize leverage. When their lips parted and she rose up, it also gave him a full-frontal view of her naked body in the early morning sun. She knew how much he loved that.

Now upright and in a perfect position to take the reigns of their lovemaking, Natalie grasped his waist. James just kept looking up at her with a beaming grin. He learned early in their relationship that when a naked woman wanted to demonstrate her love for him, he should stay out of her way.

“Lay back and enjoy it, my darling,” Nat said in a playful, seductive tone.

“I’m all yours, Nat,” James replied.

With a confident grin and a determined glint in her eyes, Natalie began moving her hips to resume the rhythm of their lovemaking. He was still inside her depths, his manly flesh throbbing with arousal and aching for a release. Her womanhood was still reeling from her release, but Nat found the energy to give her lover the attentive passion he deserved.

“Nat! Oh God, Nat!” James gasped as she worked her sensual magic.

It was music to her ears, the man she loved awash in such joy. She used those reactions as a guide, riding his manhood and intensifying the pace along the way. With perfect intimacy, her moist folds slithered along the length of his shaft. Every motion surrounded him with her warmth, flooding him with hot sensations.

Those feelings quickly escalated. She could see it written in his expression, the growing ecstasy within. He was already close. She was just guiding him through the final lap. As they he neared that peak, he trailed his hands up her naked body. Along the way, Natalie took his hands in hers, interlocked their fingers, and squeezed them firmly as she gyrated her hips with the utmost skill.

The end result arrived in a culmination of mutual passion. James, now holding her hands tightly, planted his feet firmly on the bed and began supplementing her movements with upward thrusts of his own. As their naked bodies moved together in a harmony of sensual exertion, he held on for the final push.

“Ohhh God! I’m coming, Nat! I’m…coming!” he gasped.

“James…I want this,” Natalie panted, “for you…for us.”

It finally happened after one last string of intimate motions. James climaxed in her intimate grasp, closing his eyes and holding their hands together for the rush that followed. Natalie felt it inside her, his manhood throbbing within her folds as he released a stream of his seminal fluids into her depths. That special warmth of their juices mixing inside her further added to their intimacy. Once again, their love had become real in this special act of passion.

Natalie lingered with him in that mid-coital position, holding onto him as much as he held onto her. She watched as his face become awash with ecstasy while the rest of his body trembled and contorted to the rush that came with it. Even in the daze of such pleasure, his loving gaze never waned. He still found the strength to rise and embrace her in another affectionate kiss.

It was a perfect way to cap off their morning lovemaking. Together, they held one another, sitting upright in the center of their bed with the morning sunlight beaming in through the windows. Still short of breath, and covered in light sweat, Natalie rose off his member, but remained in his lap. She kissed him again as they lingered in their naked entwinement, his arms wrapped comfortably around hers.

“What a way to start the morning,” James said with a content sigh.

“Beats the hell out of overpriced lattes,” Natalie quipped, smiling to herself as she rested her head on his shoulder.

“I know I promised to save some for the honeymoon, Nat,” he said. “At the rate we’re going, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep that promise.”

“I already had your child. I already agreed to marry you. Trust me, James. You’ve kept enough promises…more than enough to warrant plenty of morning sex.”

“Mmm…I hope you include that in our wedding vows.”

“I’ll try to work it. I’ll even try to be tactful…to a point.”

“I’m sure the priest will appreciate that,” James joked.

“Besides, I think even the priest will understand. When you love someone with all your heart…when you want nothing more than to raise a family, build a happy life, and cherish every moment with them…you embrace it.

“Embrace it,” he said while holding her closer, “for better or for worse…in sickness and in health…till death do we part.”

Natalie’s grin widened as she listened to her fiancé’s heartbeat, his loving arms so affectionately draped around her. She dared to imagine him saying those words on their wedding day. She didn’t know if she could make it through without crying. She couldn’t care less if she did.

She was marrying the man she loved.

She and James had a beautiful life and a beautiful child.

She was happy, plain and simple. She intended to cherish it to the utmost.

Between the morning sun and the loving arms of her naked fiancé, Nat was tempted to seduce James into more morning sex. Before she could make the effort, though, they heard a light knock on their bedroom door.

“Mama! Dada! Duckies!” chirped the energetic voice of one-year-old.

And he got out again,” James sighed, shaking his head and laughing.

“I swear I locked the door,” Nat said, sighing as well.

“I believe you. Guess he learned to pick locks.”

That’s a scary thought,” she said, “but one we’ll have to figure out after breakfast.”

Nat gave her future husband a peck on the cheek before slipping out of his arms, retrieving her bath robe, and opening the door to greet her eager child. While Stevie cooed joyfully as she picked him up, James found his pants and put them on. He embraced them both and gave his son a kiss on the head.

“Here. I’ll start breakfast while you wash up,” James said as he took Stevie in his arms. “Maybe he’ll stay in his chair this time.”

“He won’t,” Nat laughed, “but I know you’ll make the effort. That’s just one of the many reasons I love you.”

“And I intend to keep giving you more.”

Present Time

A cold silence fell over the bedroom. In the same bed where she and James made love that fateful morning, Natasha remained curled up in a fetal position. She kept inhaling what remained of their shared scent, the memories of their shared passion becoming more vivid. Even in memory, it was so beautiful. Knowing she would never feel that again with him hurt in ways that defied description.

At the same time, it evoked another feeling within her. This time, however, it wasn’t entirely fueled by sorrow. Through soft sobs and harsh tears, Natasha Romanov pulled herself up. Still sitting in the bed in the darkened room, she glanced towards the part of the bed where she snuggled next to James on cold nights.

In that moment, a new resolve emerged within her.

“This will not break me,” Natasha said. “I owe it to you, James…you and Stevie.”

She fought off more sobs before wiping the tears from her eyes. A new determination came over her. The resolve of the infamous Black Widow shone through once more, but for a very different purpose.

Natasha got off the bed and walked over to the dresser. Atop it was a picture of her, James, and Stevie. Whereas most of the others throughout the house had been fabricated by her captors, she knew this one was real. It was taken less than a month ago and showed the three of them standing at an observation deck overlooking the Golden Gate bridge.

They were all smiling. They were a happy family, looking to build happy lives together. Natasha knew she could not be part of their lives anymore, but she also knew James and Stevie were still out there. They could still have that life. It was up to her to make sure the world remained intact.

With this knowledge, Natasha smiled and removed the picture from the frame. She then held it up, feeling a new strength come over her. As Black Widow and an Avenger, she had plenty of motivation to save the world. Now, she had more drive than ever.

“We built happy lives. We made beautiful love and had a beautiful child. I promise I’ll make the world better for you and Stevie,” Natasha said to the picture. “You always made a big deal about keeping your promises, James. Rest assured, I intend to keep mine.”

The End

AN: Thanks for reading. And a big shout-out to writer, Kelly Thompson, for crafting such an amazing story for Black Widow.

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