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How Natasha Romanov learned about love

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Natasha Romanov is a robot. She doesn’t have emotions, doesn’t love and doesn’t care about anyone. That is the impression most people have of her. Those are the people who wince when she comes their way.

But untrue to her reputation Natasha does have emotions; many of them actually. She feels anger, self-hatred, shame for her previous actions and fear to become Natalia again. Despite those negative emotions she actually learned to feel a few good once too. For example she feels love towards Clint and his family. Not in a romantic way of course, but in a way you would love your brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. It was a nice feeling and she started to accept it, to actually enjoy it.

There was a new feeling she had. It felt positive, but she didn’t know what to make of it, so it scared her. Even more so she was scared about who she felt that way for. Every time she stood behind her or was even so much as in the same room she felt a flutter in her chest and her mind blanked out for a moment. Not for a long moment of course, she is the Black Widow after all. But it scared her none the less. She had to do something about it.

At first she thought about talking to Laura about it. But then she figured Clint would know within a few hours and wouldn’t stop teasing her about it until forever. So she decided against it and instead called someone else.

She was sitting in her room in the Stark Tower, on her very comfortable bed when she opened Skype on her Laptop. Well it wasn’t actually Skype. It was a program Tony designed for SHIELD. It was way safer then Skype and you could encrypt the line so the call was untraceable. She hesitated for a moment before she clicked on the familiar contact and called her. Only seconds later the screen showed the one person she could always talk to. She smiled “Hey”

The woman on the other end smiled as well “Natasha, what a surprise, how are you?”

 



McKinley High School, Lima, Ohio

Rachel was walking down the hall to the choir room where her last class for today would be: Glee Club. It was her favourite class. Mostly because she already knew pretty much everything she was supposed to learn in the other classes, but also because she really enjoyed singing.

While she was walking towards said class her phone began to ring. She frowned. No one ever called her; especially during school time. She looked at the display and a wide smile spread across her face. She pressed the accept button and a beautiful redhead appeared on her screen.

“Hey” the redhead said as a greeting

Rachel smiled (if possible) even wider “Natasha, what a surprise, how are you?”

Natasha sighted heavily. Something she only did to raise Rachel’s interest in the coming topic, but she wouldn’t have it. She shook her head but kept on smiling

“What is it Nat? And stop it with the fake sight; you know you have my attention”

Natasha chuckled “I have a problem…” she said slowly

Rachel raised a brow “What kind of problem? Are we talking a ‘I killed someone I shouldn’t have’-problem or a ‘Fury fired my ass’-problem? Or is it a ‘Clint is so annoying’-problem?”

Natasha shook her head “None of them. This is about…feelings”

“Oh” Rachel expressed before she continued softly “Do you have problems with flashbacks and nightmares?”

Natasha shook her head fiercely “No, this is…I don’t know. Whenever she is around I get this flutter in my chest. I don’t know what that is…it scares me.”

Rachel nodded but didn’t say anything. She waited for Natasha to continue and she did

“It’s like my mind goes totally blank when she’s close and I let my guard down near her…What is that?” she seemed really desperate

There was a smile tucking in the corners of Rachel’s mouth as she glanced at Natasha on her phone

Natasha frowned “What is so funny?”

Rachel let out a laugh before she answered “You are in love”

“WHAT?!” Natasha screeched

Rachel chuckled “You have a crush on this mystery woman, Natalia, you are in love with her…Oh, I’m so happy for you”

“But…How…I…What…I don’t understand, how did this happen?” Natasha stuttered, clearly at a loss

“Oh it’s quite simple actually. There is no explanation for it. It is something that just happens and you can do nothing about out. Now you can ether try to ignore it, or you can find out if she feels the same for you. If she does you can ask her out. And maybe it will work out for the two of you. I really hope it does, my love”

Natasha nodded slowly “Maybe I’ll do that…But she is my boss…” she argued

Rachel raised her eyebrows “Your boss? Isn’t Fury your boss? I’m pretty sure he is a man”

This time it was Natasha who laughed “He is, but his second in command is a woman.”

“Maria Hill? You have a crush on Maria freakin Hill?” Rachel asked in disbelieve

Natasha nodded and chewed her lower lip “How could I ask her out? She is my boss and I’ll never be good enough for her…”

“Natasha, listen to me. Your past is bad, yes. But you left Natalia behind. You are a new person, a good person. You are smart, athletic, good looking and nice if you want to be. If she doesn’t like you the way you like her, then I’m pretty sure it’s for other reasons than your past. Just give it a shot.”

*School bell rings*

“I got to go now, class is about to start, but promise me you won’t try to burry those feelings. Try to live them, ok?”

Natasha nodded “Yes, ok. I’ll try to ask her out”

Rachel smiled “Good, call or text me when you have updates on that. Love you”

Natasha smiled as well “I love you too, ma. See you”

With that Natasha hung up


Stark Tower

Natasha closed her laptop and left her room and went upstairs to the common kitchen.

She stood in front of the fridge when someone said “Agent Romanov” behind her.

Natasha whirled around and saw Maria Hill standing in the doorway of the kitchen.

“Commander” she greeted and then turned back to the fridge. She noticed that Hill hadn’t moved and the flutter in her breast increased. ‘You’re in love’ Rachel's words crossed her mind. ‘Just give it a shot’ she heard her say. She slowly nodded to herself ‘I’ll do that. I’ll give it a shot’ she thought.

She slowly turned around. She wanted to ask Maria out. Straight to the point, that would be the best way to do it. But when she looked at Maria her mind went blank, she couldn’t form a proper sentence. She stood there for a few seconds before she shook her head and headed towards the door. “Excuse me Commander, I got things to do”

Agent Hill nodded and let her pass. Natasha went straight to Tony’s lab. Once she got there she asked Jarvis to turn down the music a bit and Tony looked up

“Romanov, how can I help you?” he said sarcastically

“I need a car or motorcycle or something like that, that can bring me to Ohio the fastest way possible.” She stated calmly

Tony frowned “What do you want in Ohio?”

“None of your business! So can I have a car?”

Tony nodded slowly “Yeah, sure just take one out of the garage; maybe not my super expensive sports cars. But otherwise feel free to choose.”

Natasha nodded “Thanks Tony”

“No problem” With that Natasha left his lab and went to her room to get some clothes.

Fifteen minutes later you could see a red Porsche leave the garage.

Chapter Text

McKinley High School, Lima, Ohio

Rachel left school with most of the Glee Club kids. When they reached the parking lot they could see a big crowd around a red sports car. The boys immediately walked towards it while Rachel just wondered witch spoiled kid got a new car before she shook her head and headed to the school bus. Before she could reach it though she heard someone call “Don’t you want a ride in this nice sports car, which I totally didn’t take from Tony after he asked me not to take one of his super expensive sports cars?” in Russian

Rachel stopped in her tracks which caused Santana to run into her.

“Watch it Berry” she said annoyed but Rachel didn’t listen. She turned to the crowd and saw a smiling Natasha leaning against the hood. Rachel smiled and headed to Natasha who met her half way

“You shouldn’t steel from your colleagues, Natasha” she yelled in Russian but Natasha just laughed “I asked him if I could borrow a car from him. He said yes. So technically I just didn’t listen to the added part of his agreement.” The redhead smirked as she embraced Rachel in a bone crushing hug.

“What are you doing here?” she asked the redhead

Natasha shrugged “I wanted to ask her out, like you said I should, but when I saw her my mind went blank and I couldn’t say anything…this is so frustrating…How did you do it with my father?”

Rachel raised a brow and looked around them. They had the attention of a lot of people so she shook her head “Not here Nat. Why don’t you drive me home, explain the situation to me and I give the advice I have, ok?”

Natasha let out a frustrated huff but nodded. They climbed into the car and left the school grounds towards Rachel’s house.


at SHIELD HQ

Maria Hill was sitting at her desk over an opened file, while on her left side a big pile of files laid, just waiting to be worked through. But she couldn’t concentrate. She kept reading the same line over and over again until she gave up. She took her phone and called Melinda May who worked in administrations these days.

“May” the woman said, answering her phone

“Melinda, this is Maria. Do you have a minute?”

“If this is another one of Fury’s attempts to get me back into field work, then no, I don’t have a minute” she snapped

Maria shook her head “No, I need your help, personally. Has nothing to do with Fury or your job”

Melinda stayed silent for a few seconds before she replied “I’ll be at your office in ten”

Maria smiled “Thanks May, see you”

Ten minutes later Maria heard a knock at her door so she called “Come in” and May opened the door. She went straight for the couch and sat down.

“So what can I do for you Maria?” she asked

Maria stood up from her desk chair and sat down next to Melinda on the couch before she answered

“I have a problem” she stated

May raised a brow “What kind of problem are we talking about?”

Maria sighted “It’s a feelings problem. I don’t do feelings May, I don’t know how…”

Melinda relaxed a little and a little smile creeped into her face “Are we talking romantic feelings by any chance?”

Maria nodded “What am I supposed to do?” she whined

May scoffed “Did you just whine?”

Maria nodded with a sheepish look. Boy if the other agents could see her now, her reputation would have gone to hell. But this was her best friend, she could talk to her.

“Okay” May started “It would help if I knew who we’re talking about, but you don’t have to tell me; either way you have to decide whether you want to act on it or not. How long have you felt drawn to her?”

Maria frowned “Why do you think it’s a she?”

May chuckled “Maria I’ve known you for almost a decade. You are as gay as it gets…”

Maria nodded “Right…Well I kinda felt drawn to her since I met her, but it really intensified the past few months”

“How long do you know her?”

Maria shrugged “About five or six years”

“Do you want to tell me who she is?...You know I don’t judge, right?”

Maria inhaled deeply before she slowly exhaled and then answered “It’s Natasha”

Melinda’s eyes widened “Natasha Romanov?”

Maria nodded slowly and glared at her “You said you wouldn’t judge, so don’t”

Melinda held up her hands defensively “I’m not judging, she is hot! I’m just a little surprised” and amused she added in her thoughts

“Are you surprised that I’m into someone who is unreachable for me, or that it’s someone who would break every fraternisation rule if I’d be with her?”

May frowned “Why do you think she is unreachable for you?” she asked while completely ignoring the second point. Though it was amusing that Maria was thinking about the damn rules in such a moment, it wouldn’t really help her friend to make fun of her right now.

Maria just huffed “She is freakin Natasha Romanov I’d never have a shot with her”

May ran a hand down Maria’s arm to comfort her “Maria, you are awesome. You are smart, good looking, strong minded and sometimes, if you want to be even funny. And those are just a few of your traits. She is already your friend you’ll just have to give it a shot.”

Maria sighted “How can I ask her out when she is avoiding me?”

“Is she?”

Maria nodded “Yeah, for about a week or so. Whenever I’m in the same room as she is she does her best to leave as soon as she can. Just yesterday when I was at the Stark tower I ran into her in the kitchen. At first she seemed like she didn’t even notice me – but let’s be real, this is Natasha we are talking about, she probably just ignored me – and then she stood in front of me for a moment before she just said ‘Excuse me Commander, I’ve got things to do’. Then she just left the room. She practically ran away from me.”

May sighted “I can just repeat myself, Maria. You can either ignore this feeling – which I don’t recommend – or you can give it a shot. That I do recommend, otherwise you’ll never know if it could have worked out and you’ll kick your ass for it someday.”

Maria nodded slowly “Thanks May, I’ll do that”

“Giving it a shot or the ass kicking?” May asked with a raised brow

Maria chuckled “Not sure yet, but probably giving it a shot. Thanks for the advice.”

Melinda nodded and got up “Anytime. See you around” she gave Maria a little smile before she left her office


By the time Natasha came back to the Tower the next day it was already getting dark. She parked the car in the garage and went upstairs to the kitchen. The other Avengers were all gathered around the big table and had dinner.

“Oh, you’re back. How was your trip?” Tony asked sarcastically as he spotted her

Natasha rolled her eyes “Yes Tony, I’m back. And my trip was just fine, thank you for asking”

Steve curiously looked at her “Where did you go to?”

“To Ohio” Tony huffed while he air quoted Ohio

“Why did you air quote Ohio?” Clint asked him with a frown

Tony rolled his eyes “As if the Black Widow would go AWOL to Ohio”

“I did go to Ohio. A…friend of mine lives there. I visited her”

Tony raised a brow “You have friends?”

“Tony!” Steve glared at him. Well he tried to glare at him, but it’s Steve, he isn’t one for angry looks.

“Sorry, not sorry. But I really thought Legolas over there and we would be your only friends”

Natasha shook her head while she got herself a portion of whatever it was they were eating before she answered. “Yes Tony, I do have other friends then the people in this room, and I visited one of them. Are we done with the interrogating now?”

“Well actually I have a question” Clint said silently

Natasha cocked a brow but motioned him to go ahead “Why did you visit her?”

Natasha shrugged “I needed some advice and I missed her, why?”

“I was just curious, you usually ask me if you have a problem, that’s all” he shrugged it off

“Oh, did you hurt your boyfriend?” Tony mocked Natasha but she just rolled her eyes while she turned back to Clint “I didn’t ask you because you wouldn’t stop teasing me about it until eternity if I’d told you, so I asked her instead”

Clint nodded and opened his mouth to say something but Tony was faster “Who is this mystery woman you are talking about? Do I know her? Can I get to know her? What’s her name? Who is she to you?”

Natasha let out a deep sight “No, you don’t know her. No, you can’t get to know her. Her name and what she is to me is none of your business. But before you ask: NO, she is NOT my girlfriend or lover or anything like that. Now stop asking.”

“Ok, fine” Tony pouted a bit but the topic was dropped.

 

 

The next few days Natasha kept avoiding Maria. But four days after her short trip she collected all of her courage and knocked on Maria’s office door

Chapter Text

The next few days Natasha kept avoiding Maria. But four days after her short trip she collected all of her courage and knocked on Maria’s office door. She heard Maria answer so she came in and closed the door behind her.

“Romanov. What can I do for you?” she asked

Natasha took a deep breath and asked “What are you doing tomorrow evening?”

Maria frowned “I don’t know, probably work, why?”

“Would you go to dinner with me?” she asked nervously

Maria froze for a moment and stared at Natasha who only became more nervous

“Maria?” she asked full of insecurity

Maria shook her head to clear it and then answered “Did May set you up to this?”

Natasha frowned “No! Why would she?”

Maria relaxed and a little smile started to form on her lips “Never mind… I would like that. To go to dinner with you”

Natasha visibly relaxed and smiled “Really?” Maria nodded “So I’ll pick you up around seven tomorrow?” Natasha asked and Maria again nodded “I’ll be here.”

Natasha nodded while smiling widely and left the office.

As soon as the door closed behind Natasha Maria let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. A wide smile spread across her face as she leaned back in her chair

“She asked me out. She really asked me out” she whispered to herself


Rachel’s perspective

Rachel was sitting at a table with a few other Glee Club kids when her phone started to ring. She hit the accept button and she smiled “Hey Natasha, what gives me the pleasure of your call”

“I asked her out” Natasha replied hesitantly

Rachel’s eyes widened “Did she say no, or why are you so hesitant?”

Natasha shook her head “She said yes actually, after she asked me if Melinda set me up to this. What is that supposed to mean? Why would May set me up to ask her out?”

Rachel shrugged “I don’t know, maybe she talked to her about you and assumed that May had told you and you were making fun of her? I don’t really know. But is that the reason you are so hesitant about this whole thing?”

Natasha shook her head “No, I just don’t know how to do this. I mean I’ve been on dates with targets, I know how to seduce them and how to gain intel, but I don’t know how to go on a real date. I’ve never done that. What if I totally mess it up and she’ll never talk to me again? I mean she’ll have to talk to me, she’s my boss, but it will be so awkward.”

“Natasha relax. She said yes so you will go out with her now. When is that date of yours?”

“Tomorrow evening at seven”

“And do you know where to go?”

“No” Natasha shook her head “Where do you take a date?”

“What is your favourite restaurant in New York?”

Natasha frowned “That Russian restaurant in Brooklyn.”

“Ok good, what is it called?”

Natasha cringed “Romanoff?”

“Seriously? You go to a restaurant named Romanoff?”

Natasha shrugged “Isn’t my fault that it’s called that way, and it serves really good food. Now why did you want to know that?”

Rachel shook her head “I was going to suggest taking her to your favorite restaurant, but now I’m overthinking that plan.”

Quinn looked at her with a frown “Isn’t that what you usually do? Take someone to a good restaurant? Even better if you like it yourself?”

“Who was that?” Natasha asked.

“Oh, that is Quinn from my Glee Club. And to answer your question Quinn: Would you take someone to a restaurant named Romanoff if your last name is Romanov?”

Quinn chuckled “Probably not”

“Okay, first of all: Why are you discussing my problems with your friends? And second: Where else am I supposed to take her? I do not, I repeat: do NOT know how to date, so give me good advice, I need it. Usually I’d ask Clint, but if I tell him about her he’ll make fun of me from now until he’s dead, so I’d rather I don’t have to tell him for now.”

Rachel chuckled “Well to answer your first question: I’m not discussing your problems with my friends, they don’t even know who you are. I’m just at lunch right now and it’s hardly my fault that whenever you call me I’m in school. And to your second question: I think the restaurant is good. If it’s the one you took me to when I last visited you then it’s a great choice no matter the name. Just take it easy Tasha, if you really like her you have to give it time and show her the real you. Don’t put on one of your many masks and personas. Just be yourself”

“But who am I really?” Natasha asked sadly “Who am I but a liar and murderer? I don’t know who I am. I never had the time to BE me. I was always someone to get the job done. If you tell me to be a secretary, I can do it. If you tell me to be the president of the United States, I can do it. If you tell me to be a collage girl: no problem. But I don’t know who I am, so how can I be myself?”

Rachel sighted sadly “Tasha I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. How about you try to be with her who you are with me? I mean she knows of your past, she’ll understand that you don’t quite know who you are yet. But maybe she can help you find that out”

Natasha nodded “Ok. So I take her to that restaurant, try to be me – whoever that is – and then what?”

“You’ll just have to wait and see. I can’t give you anymore advice for that. But you can do it…I have to go now, good luck”

“Thanks. I love you”

“I love you too” with that Rachel hung up

“So who was that? Mercedes asked as soon as Rachel put down her phone

“That was Natasha” she answered

“Well I gathered that much, but I meant how do you know her? Or in what relationship are you? Like are you friends, is she family etc.?”

“She is family. That’s also how I know her. She is my closest relative.” She answered with a tone that left no room for discussion so they dropped the topic.

Chapter Text

When the next evening finally came Natasha was so nervous she wanted to call Maria and cancel. But instead she got dressed into a loose red and black dress combined with heels and a black leather jacket, and made her way to Maria’s office. At seven o’clock sharp she knocked at the door and heard Maria call her in.

“Hey” Natasha greeted her with a smile and looked at her. Maria wore a form fitting blue dress that went to her knees, paired with black high heels and a black jacket. Natasha sucked in a breath “Wow, you look stunning”

Maria blushed and gave her a shy smile “You don’t look bad yourself”

“Thank you” Natasha answered equally shy and then added more confident “Ready to go?”

Maria nodded and they left the office towards the elevators. Along the way they got several curious looks but they choose to ignore them. Once they reached the main floor Natasha called a Taxi and they went to the restaurant.

“Where are we actually going?” Maria asked curiously

“A Russian restaurant…” Natasha answered hesitantly while looking at Maria’s reaction to it but she didn’t seem to have one so she continued “It’s my favourite restaurant in the city, so I thought we could go there, but if you’d rather go somewhere else that’s ok with me”

Maria smiled “No, I’d like to try Russian food; never had that before.”

Natasha nodded a little before she recalled the name of the restaurant “I’m sorry about the name of the restaurant, but I promise it serves good food” she said sheepishly

“What’s wrong with the name?” Maria wondered

“You’ll see” Natasha said

The rest of the ride they spent in silence


“It’s called Romanoff?” Maria asked amused as they stood infront of the restaurant

Natasha shrugged “I said I’m sorry about that”

Maria shook her head but laughed. They went inside and after they ordered their meals Natasha suddenly blurred out

“I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing”

Maria frowned “What do you mean?”

“I mean I’ve never been on an actual date that wasn’t a job” Natasha replied slowly

“Really? Is that why you are so nervous?”

Natasha nodded, her eyes glued to her hands “I asked a…friend, what I should do. She asked me what my favourite restaurant is, that’s why I brought you here. Though she had second thoughts about that when I told her the name of the restaurant”

Maria chuckled “I get it, I probably wouldn’t take someone to a restaurant with my name on it either, but I like it here.”

“Really?”

Maria nodded and was just about to answer when the waiter brought their dinner. When he left again Natasha had a thought “Can I ask you something?” she asked Maria. She nodded “Sure”

“Why did you ask me if Melinda set me up to this?”

Maria blushed “I, well, I was talking to May the day after our encounter in the Avengers kitchen. I may have told her that I have a crush on you and I didn’t know what to do about it…”

“So you thought she told me and I was making fun of you?”

Maria nodded “That might have been the thought.”

Natasha gently took Maria’s hand and smiled “I would never do that to you, to Clint…maybe, but not to you. And just so you know. When I first talked to my friend about you she had to explain to me that I have a crush on you. I couldn’t even figure that out on my own”

Maria smiled at her and squeezed her hand a little. After a moment of silence she said “Can I ask who this friend of yours is?”

Natasha paused a moment but then nodded “I think you’ve met her actually. She goes by Rachel Berry these days, but her previous name was Anastasia Romanova”

Maria almost choked on her drink “Your mother?”

Natasha nodded “Yes, I feel like I can talk to her about things I can’t talk to Clint about”

“I guess it makes sense. While Clint is a good friend he doesn’t share those experiences you had. She does so she understands you better in some ways. And she’s your mother, so there is a natural trust given.”

Natasha smiled; she was glad that Maria wasn’t mad at her for talking to Rachel about her.

“So when did you decide to enlist?” she asked after a few minutes of silence.

The evening went great. While both woman had their insecurities about the date – for Natasha it being the first one and for Maria the first one in a long time – they really enjoyed each other’s company. So when they left the restaurant they both didn’t want the night to end. Not sure what to do in that moment Natasha turned to Maria.

“As I said, I have never been on a date before, so what happens now?” she asked half curious, half joking

Maria smiled and hesitated a moment before she took a step towards Natasha. She slowly cupped her face, giving Natasha enough time to back out before she softly covered her lips with her own. Natasha immediately responded the kiss and smiled widely when they broke it.

“I had a wonderful evening Nat and I don’t really want it to end, but I’ve never been good with relationships, so I’d like to take this slow. Is that ok with you?” Maria asked silently

Natasha nodded “More than ok. I don’t even know who I am, so I’d like to figure that and this thing between us out with as much time as it takes. I don’t want to screw this up”

Maria smiled “Me neither, so we call it a night?”

“Yes.” Natasha pulled Maria down for another kiss before she walked down the road. After a few steps she turned around one more time and smiled widely at Maria before she vanished in the crowed.

Maria chuckled to herself and made her way home.

This was for sure the best date she had had in a long, long time.