"Hey, Nat, what's up?" Natasha turned to her best friend.
"Nothing" She turned back to the road, rubbing her rough, callused hands over her pale arms, stopping every few seconds to pick at the slight imperfections left there by recent battles. The winced, as she picked open a small scab.
"Come on, I know you better than that."
"Nothing, Clint." She said firmly, her vibrant green eyes fixed on the large tower rising in front of them. The Stark symbol seemed brighter than usual, and as the pair of assassins drew closer they realized it was because Tony had strung Christmas lights through the white ones, gleaming, and lighting up the New York street ten stories below. Clint dialed Tony's number.
"The tower really is Christmas with more you." He said. Natasha heard forced laughter through the phone.
"How did you know about that conversation? Does S.H.I.E.L.D automatically receive all conversations through intercom? Dang, they need to butt out some times." She heard Tony's voice.
"Duh you idiot, of course they do." Natasha grabbed the phone from Clint.
"Hey!" Clint made a swipe for the phone. Natasha batted his hand away.
"We're outside, let us in." She demanded. They were greeted by a smiling Pepper, who opened the door to Stark Tower, and lead them in.
"Hey Pepper." Clint said. Pepper nodded, smiling. Natasha knew that look from the many times she'd received it.
"Pepper, you're hiding something." Natasha insisted, flashing one of her signature small smirks. Pepper took the two agents into the overly large living room. Inside sat the rest of the Avengers smiling at them from the red couch. Steve waved, and held up a bowl of doritos.
"Give, you cannibal." Clint's face broke into a smile, and he walked over, and reached into the bowl. He came away with a handful. Natasha rolled her eyes. Steve just looked confused.
"Losers." Tony nodded his head at them, his ever present sarcastic smile in place. Natasha noticed the usual air of arrogance that radiated from Tony had grown even stronger than the last time she'd seen him, a feat she deemed impossible. Thor sat next to Tony, his dirty blonde hair spilling over his caped shoulders, still as muscled as ever.
"Ah, hello, Widow of Blackness. And Eye of Hawk, it is a pleasure to see you again." Natasha's eyes then fell on the person sitting next to Thor, his thin, black glasses perched on his nose, black curly hair a mess, his lab coat over his shoulders. Her face fell into a straight emotionless scowl, one of her best signature looks. It was the man that had just disappeared after the battle with Ultron, leaving her, and the rest of the Avengers clueless as to his location. His little escapade broke her, and after it had been confirmed he was nowhere to be found by S.H.I.E.L.D she wished with all her soul that she had never let her walls down with him. It was Bruce.
"Natasha, it's n-nice to see you again." He stammered, his eyes falling into his lap. Natasha honestly didn't know whether to take his outstretched hand, or to punch him in the nose. Without a word, or so much as a change in her facial expression, she walked over to him, suddenly noticing details about him that had changed from the last time she'd seen him. His skin was tanner, and rougher, more sun beat, and his lab coat had been ironed, something that pretty much never happened. Three pens peaked out of the pocket on his chest. She really didn't care about any of these facts, as she raised her hand. She removed his wire glasses, and snapped them with a crack that sounded through the now very quiet room. Then she did something that she had been wanting to do since she laid eyes on him. Natasha pulled her fist back, and punched him in the nose as hard as she could. She heard another crack, louder than that created by the glasses, and blood spurted from both nostrils, staining the carpet crimson. Bruce gasped in pain, his hand flew to his face.
"Natasha!" She heard the Avengers scream from the couch. Steve's bowl of doritos slipped from his hand, the contents spilling all over the floor. She didn't care. Natasha placed the now smashed glasses into Bruce's open hand, and retreated to her room, slamming the door behind her with a loud crack, the door frame split slightly.
Now fully alone, she sank to the foot of the king sized bed, and let her head, heavy from all she had to process fall into her knees. Then she did something that she had only done about three times in her life. She started to cry.